NCAA BK

Hummel's injury leaves Purdue in shambles

Share This Story

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. Check out his Yardbarker blog. MORE>>
 
   
 

Since I broke into this business, I’ve always tried to remain objective. Growing up in Boston, I was never a towel-waver of any of the local teams. I’ve taken plenty of shots at my alma mater, Arizona, over the last few years.

But this one doesn’t call for objectivity.

When I stepped off the plane in Kansas City and read the text, my heart sank.

"Hummel tore his ACL”

It had to be wrong. The first “real” practices began this morning following last night’s dramatic Midnight Madness festivities throughout the country.

Hummel had just been cleared by doctors a week ago and he was so excited he sent me a text on Oct. 7.

``I’ve been cleared and played my first game of one-and-one. It felt great,” Hummel wrote.

He took care of teammate D.J. Byrd.

Hummel was back, well ahead of schedule and ready to do what he was unable to a year ago when he went down with a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 24, essentially ending Purdue’s Final Four and even national title hopes.

He was ready to help lead Purdue to the Final Four.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair and bad things happen to good people.

Robbie Hummel was one of the best kids I’ve ever run into — in all my years of covering the NBA, college and high school basketball. I’ve watched and known Hummel for about six years — since he played AAU ball with the SYF Players as a junior in high school.

He‘s what’s right with basketball.

In a sport in which many stars have egos that can barely fit into arenas, Hummel is virtually ego-less. In a sport where guys play for the wrong reasons, Hummel truly plays for the love of the game.

The calls and texts came in at a furious rate following the news around noon on Saturday — from rival Big Ten coaches and other head and assistant coaches from throughout the country.

Pick your adjective.

More punishment?

UConn has imposed sanctions on itself after admitting to recruiting violations. Jeff Goodman says the NCAA may not be satisfied.

Unfair. Devastating. Horrible.

People forget that Hummel spent most of his sophomore season playing in a back brace. A year ago, the Boilermakers were rolling and some were even questioning whether they deserved the No. 1 overall ranking before Hummel went down on Feb. 24 against Minnesota.

Season over. Not just for Hummel, but also for the Boilermakers — who somehow managed to reach the Sweet 16.

But this column isn’t about Purdue and what Hummel’s loss does for their postseason hopes this time around.

It’s about a kid that doesn’t deserve this.

There he was in a 3-on-2 drill early in Saturday morning’s practice, trying to block teammate E’Twaun Moore’s shot and coming down awkwardly.

One observer said that Hummel, on the floor, looked immediately at Purdue coach Matt Painter and shot his head coach a look that made it clear.

He knew he’d done it again.

Torn the right knee, the same one that cost him a chance to play in the Final Four down the road in Indianapolis last April.

I’m not certain Hummel was in line for an NBA career, but I wouldn’t have bet against it. He’s not the most athletic kid in the country, but he does everything. He can score, rebound, pass, defend and has all the intangibles.

He’s the kind of guy you’d take to start your team because, well, he’s just a winner.

He’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t hesitate to babysit your 7-year-old daughter because, well, he’s just that type of kid.

And he’s the kind of kid who will find a way to come back from this.

"I have a year and a half to get ready now,” Hummel texted me early Saturday afternoon.

JaJuan Johnson and Moore, who arrived with him at Purdue, will be gone.

But Hummel will be back to finish his college career because, well, I’m still a believer that good things do happen to good people.

And Hummel is one of the best I’ve run across.

Tagged: Purdue, Robbie Hummel

More Stories From Jeff Goodman

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..