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Being a fan of a professional or collegiate team is one of the beautiful things in life. It brings people together, creates life lasting memories, and allows people to decompress from a tough day at work.

There is also the part of fandom that brings heartbreak or frustrating moments. Most of the invested fans of college programs are alumni and want to see their program succeed. For the last couple of years, Purdue basketball fans have felt every emotion imaginable.

“There’s a lot of people that played at Purdue that are really excited for this weekend because there’s been so many opportunities that have gone array or some of the injuries. Those are hard pills to swallow. I think the hardest thing for me when I look back at when I was a player is that we didn’t get a chance. I blow my knee out in late February and that team is rolling. The hardest to thing is to say maybe we would have won, you would almost rather lose because then you at least know you got to out there and do it.” Robbie Hummel stated on Query & Company Wednesday afternoon.

The most recent example of an injury impacting Purdue’s NCAA Tournament run was in 2018 when Isaac Haas fractured his elbow. Nobody had answers for the two-man game between him and Carsen Edwards. Plus, Purdue received quality production from Vincent Edwards, Dakota Mathias, and P.J. Thompson.

This season seems to be the team to reach the promise land. All season long they have weathered every loss with a win streak of six games or longer and don’t have an area of vulnerability.

“I’m just really proud of this team. Every time that I’ve watched them play, they compete, do it with class, play hard, they play for each other, and when you’re a former player, those are the things that you want your school to do. You want your team to play the right way and those dudes go out there every night and do that. I’m proud to watch them play.” Hummel  said.

The one constant variable since 2005 for Purdue has been Matt Painter. One of the best teams he formed until this season featured E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson, and Robbie Hummel. How would those two match up if they faced head-to-head? It would be fun to watch.

In 2007, Hummel started his Purdue career after graduating from Valparaiso High School. Fast forward to today, he’s now an analyst for the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports, Westwood One, and has had stops at other media outlets. He’s been able to watch Painter grow over the years.

“To get to see Coach Painter evolve from when I played for him where he’s an up and coming, really young, really hungry head coach whose trying to set the tone, and trying to build a culture. To get that type of opportunity at a Big Ten school where you played, you’ve got hang on for dear life. To see him evolve now as one of the really really great coaches in college basketball is a joy to watch.”

Painter is second all-time in Purdue basketball history in wins. He trails Gene Keady by 136 victories. There is a strong chance that Painter will finish his coaching career as the all-time winningest coach in Purdue basketball history. He’s 53 years-old and needs to average 27.2 wins over the next five years to pass Keady.

Purdue will take on Gonzaga for the second time this season on Friday night. Tip-off between the Boilermakers and Bulldogs is set for 7:39pm from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with Robbie Hummel, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

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