Returning all five starters from a team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago, defending Big Ten Tournament champion Purdue has been picked to finish second in the league this season in a vote by a 24-member media panel.
The league also announced on Thursday that junior forward Robbie Hummel has been chosen as part of the five-man Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team. The selection is the second in as many years for Hummel, who ranked fourth in the league in rebounding and 15th in scoring last season with averages of 7.0 and 12.5, respectively.
Purdue returns six of its top seven scorers, and more than 80 percent of its points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, from last year’s squad that won the program’s first-ever Big Ten Tournament title and earned its first Sweet 16 berth in nearly a decade. The Boilers put together an overall record of 27-10, including an 11-7 mark in the Big Ten that was good for a second-place tie in the league.
Michigan State, the league’s 2009 regular-season champion and national runner-up, was the media’s pick to win the league, while Ohio State was slotted third, one spot behind the Boilermakers.
The MVP of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament after driving Purdue to the title with averages of 16.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, Hummel was a third-team All-Big Ten selection a year ago and picked up first-team honors as a freshman in 2008. The 2008-09 season also saw the Valparaiso, Ind., native garner U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District V honors for the second year in a row and earn his first appearance on the Academic All-Big Ten team.
Hummel represented the United States in the World University Games following his sophomore season, leading Team USA to a bronze medal in Belgrade, Serbia. He enters the 2009-10 season with career averages of 11.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
He is joined on the Big Ten Preseason All-Conference team by four fellow juniors: Talor Battle of Penn State, Manny Harris of Michigan, Kalin Lucas of Michigan State and Ohio State’s Evan Turner. Lucas was named the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year in a vote by the media panel.
Fifth-year head coach Matt Painter, along with Hummel, senior guards Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant, junior guard E’Twaun Moore and junior forward/center JaJuan Johnson, will be in Chicago on Thursday to meet with media from around the country as part of the Big Ten’s annual Basketball Media Day.
2009-10 Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team
Talor Battle, Penn State
Manny Harris, Michigan
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Evan Turner, Ohio State