By Paul M. Banks
If Purdue is going to get back into the Big Ten race, a lot of it will depend on their star forward Robbie Hummel.
The team’s second leading scorer, and leading rebounder is the first Boilermaker since Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson to be a finalist for the Oscar Robertson and John Wooden awards. Slowed by a bad back last season, Hummel was an All-Big Ten second team selection after being first team two years ago. A season in which he led the conference in 3-pt field goal %. A couple weeks ago, the 6-8 Valparaiso Ind native tied Carl Landry for most points in a game under Matt Painter with 35. In that game, a home loss to Ohio State, he had 8 threes, tying the school record. Robbie also recently set the school record for most consecutive free throws made.
Paul M. Banks goes one-on-one with one of the 30 finalists for the Wooden Award (Hummel was named to the midseason watch list earlier this month)
PMB: You’ve been designated as a point forward. Tell me about the match-up issues your opponents have given the height advantage you have over most point guards…
RH: “When I was little I always played guard. I wasn’t very big, but then I grew a lot between my 8th grade and freshman year so with that I kind of kept my guard skills and tried to add some big man skills, but I’m kind of used to playing the point.”
PMB: We’ve seen a lot of bigger than usual point guards, Deron Williams from Illinois is an example, succeed in the league lately. You model your game on any of these NBA stars?
RH: “I don’t have a role model in the NBA. I grew up a Bulls fan so obviously Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen are the guys. I don’t model my game after them, but I just love to watch those guys play. Chris Paul is very special, Deron Williams like you said from Illinois, is obviously very special, there’s a lot and it’s hard to name them all.”
PMB: What aspect of your game do you most want to improve upon?
RH: “I’d like to become better with my back to the basket, earlier in the year when we played Illinois I had Chester Frazier guarding me and I didn’t capitalize on that.”
PMB: Yes you had quite a big height difference there, but what makes Chester Frazier such a great individual defender?
RH: “He’s hard nose. He’s tough, he really gets low when he defends so he’s obviously a special guy and great player.Follow paulmbanks