While it’s a given that Purdue will be in the Tournament, the question is, how far will they go? The answer lies in a simple equation: Team – Hummel = not far. This season Hummel has averaged almost 16 points and 7 rebounds per game, leading the team in boards.
You can’t deny it; the guy was the ‘x-factor,’ an irreplaceable player, a dark knight in the fight for Tournament glory. Now it’s up to the rest of the team to prove that the dream is still alive. It’s definitely possible that the Boilermakers could face multiple hungry mid-majors as well as even a Big-12 or a Big East power, testing every newcomer attempting to fill the void left by Hummel.
If there is any comfort to the situation, Notre Dame is succeeding without their gunner, Luke Harangody, and in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers, who won four out of five without their star, Kobe Bryant, are solid heading into the playoffs.
However, the NCAA Tournament is much less forgiving. One loss and you’re out!