Hummels injury alters Big Ten race

It has been a year full of injuries in the Big Ten.Before the season even started, Northwestern lost its best player, Kevin Coble. Then it was Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Indiana’s Maurice Creek and Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas. But now, as the season approaches its end, the conference’s highest-ranked team has been bit by the injury bug in perhaps the most devastating fashion.Purdue’s Robbie Hummel tore his right ACL in a win last week at Minnesota and will miss the remainder of the season. Hummel was a member of the All-Conference team a season ago and was averaging almost 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists a game before the injury.“I was sick,” OSU coach Thad Matta said when asked what he thought upon hearing of Hummel’s injury. “You hate to see that for any player—any kid. It’s just, it’s not right”The Buckeyes witnessed firsthand Hummel’s importance to the Boilermakers in last month’s game at Purdue. Although OSU managed to win the game, Hummel scored a career-high 35 points, including 29 in the first half. “I love his game and I’ve told him that,” Matta said. “He can pass, he can shoot, he can put it on the floor and he rebounds on both ends. Obviously he’s a tremendous loss for Purdue.”With him in the lineup, Purdue had Big Ten and even National Championship aspirations. Although both are still attainable, neither will be nearly as easy with Hummel watching from the sideline.

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