Boilermakers are experienced but not deep

BY foxsports • November 8, 2009

We're not going with a typical, run-of-the-mill top 25 rundown each day. Instead, we'll cut to the chase and tell you who will be left standing at the end of the year in the Elite Eight.

2009-10 preview

Roy Halladay

Can't wait for the college hoops season to start? We get you ready for 2009-10 with our preseason guide.

We'll hit on one each of the next eight days — in no particular order. Then we'll unveil my complete bracket just prior to the start of the season on Nov. 9. I had the championship game right last year, but incorrectly picked Michigan State to beat North Carolina.Carolina.

I have a good feeling about my bracket this time around.


The Boilermakers shocked just about everyone when they made the NCAA tournament two years ago with a bunch of freshmen.

Then they took the next step last season and went to the Sweet 16.

With just about everyone of note back, there's no reason to think that Matt Painter's team can't advance to the Elite Eight — and maybe even down the street from their West Lafayette, Ind., campus to the Final Four in Indianapolis.

Robbie Hummel is 100 percent again, JaJuan Johnson made a dramatic stride a year ago and point guard Lewis Jackson has a year under his belt. Toss in underrated smooth scoring wing E'Twaun Moore and a pair of experienced senior guards in Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant, and the Boilermakers have a legitimate shot this season.


1. Robbie Hummel's health: The Boilermakers' top player spent nearly all of last season battling back problems and was even forced to don a back brace for most of the year. The back brace and the pain are gone, and that means the skilled and versatile 6-foot-8 junior forward may contend for Big Ten Player of the Year honors.

2. Experience: The core of Hummel, Johnson and Moore have been together for the last two years, and Hummel and Moore played alongside one another in AAU ball. The two seniors, Grant and Kramer, have also logged a ton of minutes in their careers.

3. Defense and toughness: These are staples of Matt Painter's programs, and the Boilermakers will still hang their hats on both stopping teams and also playing harder and tougher.

4. Perimeter shooting: Hummel can really shoot the ball from deep, Moore is a quality mid-range shooter and sophomore guard Ryne Smith will get minutes this season and is the team's most consistent long-range threat.