|Photo Credit: Chris Kramer
catches his pal Rob seconds
after getting picked
Neither J nor I are fans of the NBA...but that won't and doesn't stop us from rooting for ex-Boilers as they take the next step in their basketball career. But the reasons we don't like the league reared their collective ugly head on Thursday night...before #4 swooped in and shed some light into the dark chasm of the world's most-watched professional basketball league.
Before you attempt to sell the league to us, let me urge you to save your breath. Your energy might be better used performing a rain dance for the Indiana's BS headquarters in Fishers.
Unlikeable players, a ton of them, were picked time and again on Thursday night...then, a bunch of 6'10" Euros that will never make a dent for their team became the en vogue pick type. Sure, there were a few players in the first 50-or-so picks that won't be hard to cheer for...but not many, at least for me. Finally, much like Smooge's long draft night a year ago was mercifully ended late in the night, Hummel was picked just before the two-round draft ended.
Hummel landed in Minnesota after the 58th pick was announced. The same state that hosted Hummel's first knee injury...and then a year later, Goldy was in town on a football roadie when Hummel hurt it, yet again...many, myself included, weren't so sure Hummel would play basketball at a high level again. But after a second half of a season of very good basketball, and NBA workouts and doctors' opinions that kept reaffirming that one of Valpo's favorite sons was indeed back, he'll play basketball professionally.
The biased Matt Painter told everyone that Rob's best ball was in front of him last week in meetings with the media...and it looks like he's got at least one team that believes it's true. And really, that'll be all it takes. Hummel's work ethic, overall attitude and ability to make his teammates better should make him a guy that has a solid run in a league that needs players that I actually want to watch play a game that almost-resembles basketball.
As the night wore on, even Purdue fans questioned if Hummel truly deserved a spot on an NBA roster via Twitter. Sure, the guy was injured, but players that were drafted higher like Thomas Robinson and Draymond Green both know how much of a warrior Hummel is on the court...and how difficult he is to stop or when he's feelin' it.
I don't think the NBA deserves Hummel...but Rob thinks it does...so I'm glad he's playing in the league. Congrats, #4. Regardless of what happens in your pro career, you'll be a legend in West La La.
Hope Focusing on Needs
A few seasons ago, Danny Hope had a hard time getting anyone to verbal during the summer months. This year, Purdue's coach already has four verbal commitments. He's got another DE, which is needed, with a last name that you might know from that God-forsaken school in the Southern-half of Indiana. This Repogle chose Purdue over Air Force, Navy, Marshall and others.
Randy Gregory, another DE, comes to Purdue following some time in JuCo. His commitment out of High School was merely delayed.
The final DE in this class (thus far), John Strauser, seems to be well-suited to play in the 3-4. He chose Purdue over Pitt and others...but the really interesting part of that commitment is that he's the nephew of Pitt's new coach (and former Wisconsin OC), Paul Chryst.
David Yancey, an RB out of Saint John, Indiana, surely won't be the last RB in the incoming class of '13...and Danny Etling, the second Elite11 QB finalist in as many years to verbal to Coach Hope, completes the group...So far.
I know, I know, most of these verbals have been known to Purdue fans for a while. But many Purdue fans, unlike me, don't read up on recruiting...and they do visit this site, so I thought, why not?
But even though I read about recruiting, I still don't trust it a whole bunch. All it takes for me to be sobered up (when I'm stoked about a verbal commit) is a few minutes cruising around Twitter and reading just how fickle some recruits can be...then I'm reminded why I don't talk about these guys too much until their name is signed in the late winter. But that doesn't change that it's better to have verbals than to have no one interested or talking about the program...even in June.
But June is almost over...and we're getting closer and closer to the first day of September.
My Gut Says...
J talked about how he wasn't a fan of the new 4-team playoff system earlier this week...and he and I seem to be in the minority when we talk about our hesitation to celebrate the new system. But, am I the only one who remembers how EsPN college football TV analysts were diametrically-opposed to anything but the two-team BCS game as recently as months ago...but now, they're all smiles as they talk about this mini-playoff?
The whole thing stinks. Sure, it's good that two teams won't be just named to the championship, but a committee to decide such a small group is not comprable to a committee that decides a large field like we see in college basketball. They're still puppet masters. AND, the presidents and conference heads all enabled UND to continue being a member of the NCAA in football, on their terms. Any entity that does that is pretty tough to get behind, for me. Jim Delany and other conference bosses held all the cards...and they gave the once-mighty (20 years ago, or so) Irish an ace or two...and I can't figure out why.
My brother assures me that this 4-team playoff is a step toward an 8-team playoff that will have ripple effects that will affect everybody...Call me skeptical, but until I actually see it, I won't believe it. Playing a tournament to decide the championship seems to be a no-brainer...but this discussion has been going on for about 20 years, and has moved as slowly as J Money after he's enjoyed a delicious 32 oz. carbonated beverage (illegally) in NYC.
Let's hope it's not longer than just a few years before college football gets closer to truly deciding a champion on the field.