As the oldest of three boys very close in age -- when I was a senior in high school, my youngest brother was a freshman -- I spent a fair amount of my childhood engaged in what you might call "roughhousing." My formative years pretty closely resembled a World Wrestling Federation (this was long before the "F" was changed to an "E") event. But there was one very clear rule in the house...
You see, my mother had a collection of porcelain figurines on a shelf in the living room. They were precious. They were expensive. And they were, based on her reaction, really really fragile. Any Jimmy Snuka impressions that caused the figurines to rattle on their shelf were sure to get her attention... even if she wasn't home at the time.
I can still hear her yelling. "The Hummels!"
Maybe there's something in the name. Purdue forward Robbie Hummel is incredibly valuable to his team. And unfortunately, he's proving to be awfully fragile as well. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee for the second time this year and will miss the entire 2010-11 season.
Hummel originally tore the ACL last February, during a game against Minnesota.
At the time, the Boilermakers looked like a potential number one NCAA Tournament seed. Even without him, they ralled to a Sweet Sixteen appearance before losing to the eventual national champion Duke Blue Devils. Coming into this season, most observers had the Boilermakers ranked as a top-three team -- they were number two in my original preseason power rankings.
Hummel will have the option of applying for a fifth year of eligibility and returning to the team next season.