This is not the way we wanted to start the basketball season.
A.J. Hammons, Purdue's starting center and a possible NBA draft pick this year, will not begin the 2013-14 season on the floor as he has been suspended for the first three games:
Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter announced today that A.J. Hammons has been suspended for three games due to a "violation of team rules."
Hammons, a 7-foot sophomore center, will miss both exhibition games and the season opener against Northern Kentucky.
Painter did not elaborate on the reason for the suspension except to say it was conduct-related and not academic.
This is a pretty light penalty, as the exhibition games mean nothing and Purdue should not need Hammons to beat a newcomer to Division I in Northern Kentucky. What this does is put him on thin ice for the rest of the season with coach Painter. Hammons is perhaps the most needed player on the team when it comes to Purdue's overall success. Purdue needs his size and talent int he low post with Travis Carroll and Jay Simpson as the only other proven post players. Calling Simpson proven is a major stretch, as well.
We can only speculate as to what Hammons did, but hopefully this serves as a wake-up call. Purdue needs him too badly.