With Hummel's situation, it might be time for a change

Robbie Hummel's back has been bothering him most of the season...but we didn't know until just recently that the back problem is a cracked vertebrae in his lower back. Watching him versus Michigan, you could see that it was little more than will that was keeping him walking, let alone playing basketball.

But now, according to the J&C, Hummel and Painter might be addressing the back problem in a much more cautious manner. With Hummel out of every other contest, might it be time for a change in tactic for Painter's team?

What I'm referring to is not a major change, just a shift in playing time. I believe this shift will help everyone involved and might lay a foundation for next season. What I think needs to happen is we need to see Ryne Smith/Bobby Riddell for at least 6 minutes/game. Not a ton of playing time, but these minutes might take the added strain off of Kramer, Jackson and Grant. Furthermore, we simply must see more production from Green and/or Calasan. Both of these players have shown at times that they are more than capable of playing a sizeable amount of minutes, but what Painter really needs from both is not points, but rebounds and solid defense. It seems Johnson has become a bit of a weapon offensively...and a shift to using the twin towers a bit more might help Purdue late in the game as well...as clearly, our Boilers' lack of depth has killed them time and time again this season. A Big Ten team (especially one that plays Purdue's style of defense) needs AT LEAST 8 players in its rotation as the physical nature of this conference's games are too much for to spread out over 2 subs.

I also think it might be imperative to employ these substitutions even during the games that Hummel's playing. During the Michigan game, he was forced to play too many minutes...the lingering effects of this seem to last days.

One thing was very clear last night- poor shot selection sets up the opponent for easy buckets...so smart offensive sets become an aspect of Purdue's defense, if each player can effectively play his role, Purdue might still finish in the top-3 in the conference and get a solid seed for the NCAA tournament. But what are those roles? At times it seems even the players don't understand what's needed from on the offensive side of the court. Purdue must re-learn how to play without relying on Hummel night-in, night-out; undoubtedly, this will be a tough task for Painter's team as March fast approaches.

Todd McShay- Are You Drunk Right Now?

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