Terry Hutchens Hits a Homer

For those of you who don't like the way we often relentless badger people who disrespect the Purdue basketball program, we're going to do our best this year to let mindless sportswriters churn out their tired cliches and ignore Purdue basketball to their hearts' content.

At least, I was going to try to do that. Then Terry Hutchens, resident IU shill, released his preseason Big Ten basketball rankings.

For those who don't feel like clicking through, lest they get some dope on themselves, here's his ranking:

1. Ohio State
2. Michigan State
3. Wisconsin
4. Michigan
5. Illinois
6. Indiana
7. Purdue
8. Northwestern
9. Iowa
10. Minnesota
11. Nebraska
12. Penn State

Now, this isn't the first time I've seen Purdue knocked a bit down the list. But when you release such a list and also include this remark...

"Now, I can already hear it from the Purdue people but to be honest I really wrestled with that one."

...then you sort of expect some explanation, right? Some thought? Some breakdown as to how you arrived at the decision that a second-place team that has never shown significant steps backward during the Matt Painter era would suddenly fall to the lower half of the league. But no, Terry only offers this wisdom:

"I think you could make a case for Purdue at No. 6 and IU at No. 7. It all comes down to Robbie Hummel. (I did have Hummel on my preseason all-Big Ten team by the way)."

And that's it. No more about Purdue. And granted, I know it's a Hoosiers Insider column, but come on, Terry. Provide something to support your opinions! It's part of your damn job!

I also like that he allows that you could make a case for Purdue as high as....No. 6. Wow, really? That high, Terry? Are you sure? Do you know the last time Purdue finished lower than 4th in the conference? It was Painter's first year, '05-'06. The last time they weren't at least first or second place was 2007.

We often point out that success in decades gone by does not have anything to do with the upcoming season -- and the same applies here. How Purdue has fared in the past half-dozen seasons really has no bearing on how they will fare in '11-'12. HOWEVER, if you're a professional columnist and you are writing about how Purdue will fall to their worst finish since the dawn of the Matt Painter era, especially given the talent still residing in West Lafayette, shouldn't you explain why you think that?

Nope, apparently not. You just say it all comes down to Robbie Hummel, the one player on the team you can remember. And the player who you once wrote would be lucky to amount to a role player in the Big Ten.

(Interestingly, the link to the post where Terry wrote that is no longer online. Huh. Interesting.)

Fact Fondue - Michigan Wolverines

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