Leave it to Pat Forde to not only tie anything and everything to UK basketball but also use the opportunity to bring up one of the worst memories Cats fans have. With the untimely knee injury to Purdue’s Robbie Hummel (as a resident of West Lafayette I can tell you that there is mass hysteria in the streets here over his injury, a scene rivaled only by The Great Organic Chemistry 303 Cancellation of 2005.) Forde takes a look back at other pivotal injuries of the recent past.
Of course Derek Anderson’s 1997 injury makes the list, as does four others that I don’t really care about. Is it just me or is it still amazing to anyone else that we lost a probably first-team All-American in mid-January (not to mention Edwards to a foot injury later in the season) and still had enough talent to make it to overtime in the final game? Call him what you will now (crypt-keeper, health-care advocate, traitor), but Pitino could flat out recruit in the 90s and was really able to make guys like Mercer and Mohammad step up for that team. No one likes to even consider the possibility, but I’m not even sure the talent on this year’s squad could do what that ’97 team did.
I feel for Purdue, I really do. (I also feel for my wallet as I had put some money on Purdue making it far in the tourney.) After a 3 game losing streak in mid-January and flying under the radar most of the year, they had finally gotten some of their swagger back and now reports are that Hummel is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Somehow Tubby found a way to lose last night’s game even after a 9 point second half league and no Robbie, but I doubt Izzo will give them such a gift on Sunday. I know we’d all love a cake-walk to the national championship this season, but injuries to seemingly good kids aren’t what I would wish for. Now if Bill Self or Jim Boheim were to fall down and break their brains, I’d be the first to pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate.
For Forde’s sake, here’s to hoping there isn’t a “hack writer’s illustrated” curse. I’m calling it now, if even one of our players falls down hard tonight, I’ll blame Forde for even mentioning “Kentucky” and “injury” in the same article.
Anderson during happier times: