Pro basketball | NBA pre-draft combine

Purdue's Robbie Hummel proclaims himself fit for the NBA Draft

2012-06-07T19:45:00Z 2012-06-30T01:44:29Z Purdue's Robbie Hummel proclaims himself fit for the NBA DraftBy Al Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com

CHICAGO | Robbie Hummel knew most of the questions before they were asked.

Yes, the former Purdue star and fifth-year senior believes he's recovered from two right ACL surgeries and estimates his game is at "80 percent" efficiency.

Yes, the 6-foot-8 guard/forward expects to be hounded about his health during this week's NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago. And that's cool.

Thursday was no exception.

"Everyone's been happy with how I look, how I move. I think I'm back to being semi-athletic again," Hummel said, smiling. "I'm starting to feel a little bit explosive whereas during the season I really didn't have that.

"Right now, I'm probably projected in the second round but I'm trying to move up as high as I can. It's a process of going to these workouts and showing what I can do every time."

Despite a college career marred by injuries -- he wore a back brace part of his sophomore season because of a broken vertebra -- Hummel finished ninth in total points and fourth in rebounds.

But the knee, what about the knee, they all ask?

"I know it's something I have to do," Hummel said of the constant interrogation. "I think I proved in college that I have the ability to play in the NBA. I think it's more of 'Can I prove that I'm healthy?'

"I definitely am. I'm here. I made it this far."

The Valparaiso grad has worked out for San Antonio, New York, Oklahoma City and Minnesota. He has visits planned to Cleveland, Chicago, Utah, Portland, Sacramento and Miami.

"It'll be a wild two weeks until the (June 28) draft's here," he said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime deal and I'm looking forward to it. At the same time, travel's the hardest part. The workouts are fun.

"I want to compete against guys who think they're better than you are. You're going up against the best players in the country and I want to make Purdue proud."

Hummel led the Boilermakers in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (7.2) last season, shooting almost 39 percent from beyond the arc.

He won the hearts of a national TV audience in the 63-60 third-round NCAA tournament loss to Kansas with 26 points and nine rebounds in 38 minutes -- hitting 9-of-13 shots and five 3s from the exits.

"I think I can definitely shoot the ball. It's my biggest asset to a team," Hummel said. "I think I play with a pretty high basketball IQ. My team defense is another strength. I understand the concept of what the other team is trying to do.

"I think I'm an under-rated rebounder, to be honest. At 6-8, I bring size to the table as well."

Ohio State's William Buford, among 61 players invited to the pre-draft combine at Illinois-Chicago, had several run-ins with Hummel in Big Ten play and became a huge fan.

"He's real competitive. He gives it his all every time he's out on the court; gets on you like sweat," Buford said. "He gives it 100 percent nonstop and you can't go wrong with that."

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