WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 24: Robbie Hummel #4 of the Purdue Boilermakers hugs teammate Anthony Johnson #1 after a basket against the Michigan Wolverines at Mackey Arena on January 24, 2012 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Michigan defeated Purdue 66-64. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The anticipation was draining for Boilermarkers everywhere. We waited, and waited. We wondered how the hell that guy went already, scratched our heads at the thought of Miles Plumlee being drafted in the first round (that's just comedy), and bit our nails as we waited for one name to be called.
I sat on my couch through the first round knowing that the one name I truly cared about wasn't going to be called till much later; good thing I love the NBA and had a case of Busch Light and a Papa Johns pizza. As the second round commenced, I sat on my couch, antsier than I have been for God knows how long. When it hit the last 6 picks I had the thought that I'm sure many people shared with me: "It's not going to happen. If it hasn't happened yet, it's not going to".
My insides started to sink; I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness and disappointment start to take over. It almost felt like a close friend's girl friend just broke up with him and now he was drunkenly ranting about how miserable he was, and then you can't help but feel miserable too. But I had stuck it out for 50+ picks, what's a few more?
Best decision I've ever made.
Last night at roughly 11:50 pm, 58 picks and 8 Busch Lights deep, Robbie Hummel took his first step on his new journey in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The last of the Baby Boilers grew up right in front of us, and we were able to share a special moment in witnessing his name being called.
In my first "Rob vs. The Draft" article, I was thinking that the Spurs would probably be the best fit for Robbie. I still stand by this, but Minnesota is another place where Rob can start to figure things out and start to make a household name for himself.
Hummel will be joining one of the top 5 power forwards in the NBA in Kevin Love and up-and-coming star Ricky Rubio, who showed us last year that he was worth the wait (note that Rubio will be out for a while due to an ACL injury...Minnesota seems to really like dishing those out to athletes). If only Brad Miller could have foreseen this happening and stuck it out one more year so we could have a Boiler veteran mentoring Rob his first year. Thanks a lot, Brad.
I only kid.
One area that Minnesota needs help in is 3-point shooting. They were ranked 23rd in the league in 3pt percentage at 33.2%, and attempted 26.1 3pt shots per game while only hitting 7.2 of those shots. That's nothing impressive, least to say. Now they have a guy who in college shot almost 40% his senior year from behind the arc (.383) and 82% from the foul line. Coaches love having guys who can hit their gimme shots.
Robbie is coming into one of the younger teams in the league that is finally showing some promise and, with the right pieces and circumstances, could make it into the playoffs in the next few years. Right pieces meaning K-Love & Rubio stay while they get rid of Beasley and hope that Derrick Williams turns out to be a legit NBA forward and circumstances being the Lakers & Mavericks age start to catch up with them, leaving some playoff spots up for grabs.
Anyway, with all this being said Robbie is basically going to be asked one thing: shoot. Look for Robbie to be coming in as the 10th or 11th man off the bench as of now and to come in at shooting situations or when there is a blowout. This is a good fit for Robbie. Whenever he comes off the bench people will expect him to just shoot. This is where Hummel has the opportunity that he is capable of so much more than just that.
More than likely these next few years are going to be pretty quiet for Rob. But hey, didn't a lot of us think that when he came to Purdue as a freshmen? I don't know what kind of predictions to actually make for this guy. I know what he is capable of, and I have a crazy bias towards the guy, so I want to say that he is going to be an all-star at some point and work his way into a starting lineup somewhere.
Then again, I have an idea of how the NBA works and what ACL injuries and lack of athleticism can do to someone in the league. Sadly, and it does suck to say this, but I don't see Robbie Hummel doing anything more than being a quality role player who plays his heart out every single night he is on the court and everyone falls in love with.
But hey, Robbie has proved his critics wrong over and over again at the college level. It's time to kick back, and see how his first year in the NBA plays out.
So here's to you, Robbie Hummel, for giving us 4 great years of Purdue basketball and giving a new identity to a rich basketball program. We look forward to your future, and you have the support of an entire Purdue community behind you, and will also be held as a hero to all of us. Thank you, and good luck.