As if the importance of having a healthy Robbie Hummel in the fold for this year’s version of the Purdue men’s basketball team hasn’t been stated often enough, during Thursday’s Big Ten basketball media day in Chicago the Hummel related questions dominated head coach Matt Painter’s microphone time.
All told, four of the seven questions asked of Painter by the media were either directly about Hummel or elicited a Hummel related answer.
“Looking forward to getting Rob Hummel back in the fold and he’s looked very good in practices,” Painter said in his opening statement to the gathered reporters. “We are looking at getting him back to All-American form where he was a year and a half ago.”
Hummel has averaged 13-points and nearly seven rebounds per game in his career, on Thursday he was named to the preseason All-Big Ten first team despite having missed the last 20 months with ACL injuries.
The one thing Painter would like to see from Hummel in his senior season, selfishness.
“(Robbie) has got to make sure that now that next play is better for Purdue instead of maybe being a little bit what some people would call selfish in terms of maybe taking that uncontested shot,” Painter said. “I would look at it as an unselfish play because maybe it’s a higher percentage shot than making an extra pass for that next guy.”
Ohio State was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the league, with Wisconsin and Michigan State finishing second and third respectively.
Purdue opens play on Tuesday in exhibition action against visiting Northern State.