College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Robbie Hummel, Purdue's 6'8" junior forward, has been hailed as one of the best players in college basketball ever since he took the floor as a true freshman two years ago. Now, with the Boilermakers a perfect 14-0 after grounding Minnesota's Golden Gophers, 79-60, Hummel is being mentioned prominently in player of the year discussions.
Scoring in double figures for the 13th time in 14 games (he had 9 points in an 85-60 win at St. Joseph's back in November), Hummel and teammate E'Twaun Moore each scored a game-high 18 points as the Boilermakers shot 52% from the field while holding Minnesota to an ugly 31% shooting. Hummel also ripped down 11 boards, along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Purdue took a 35-28 lead into the break and then blistered the Gophers in the second stanza, shooting 65% from the floor. The 14 wins to open the season matched Purdue's 1993-94 start when Glenn Robinson led the Boilermakers to the first of three straight Big Ten championships and a finish in the Elite eight of the NCAA tournament under coach Gene Keady.
Last season, Purdue won the Big Ten tournament and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA's, finishing the season with a 27-10 record.
NOTABLE:Plagued by foul trouble, Texas forward Damion James still managed to put up 20 points with 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes to help the #2 Longhorns pull away late from a determined Arkansas squad, 96-85. Dexter Pittman had 21 points as the Longhorns won their 14th game without a loss.
On the other side of the coin, #15 New Mexico suffered tis second loss of the season (14-2), dropping a 74-64 decision to conference foe San Diego State (12-3). It was the Lobos' second loss in their last four games and raises questions about their ability to endure over the long haul, especially against the expected challenge in the Mountain West from teams such as BYU, UNLV and Air Force, not to mention the Aztecs, who got 18 points and 15 rebounds from Malcolm Thomas in Tuesday's win.