According to almost every publication, A.J. Hammons is expected to be one of the best basketball players in the country this year. He was unanimously voted to the All-BIG Ten team for the preseason, and big things are certainly expected of him going into his senior season. However, there is some news that may make Boiler fans everywhere a bit anxious.
Purdue scrimmaged Dayton in a secret setting last weekend, and one of the rumors floating around was that A.J. Hammons did not play in that game. This led to some speculation as to why, and it appears to now be clarified by Coach Matt Painter.
In an interview Tuesday, when asked whether he would play in this Sunday’s exhibition game Painter said, “He’s got to take care of his business more than anything. He’s a guy we need to lead by example and when you get old in a program, you can’t just say the right things. You have to go out and lead by example. We’ll see for this weekend.”
When prompted further as to whether Hammons is facing suspension, Painter said, “”Not right now he’s not, but we’ll see. It’s one of those scenarios where you wish you’d get to the end of a career and you don’t have to worry about things, but he still has some things that we’ve handled internally to take care of.”
So although Hammons is currently not suspended, it appears he is in Painter’s dog house for the time being. I can’t imagine it is anything too serious or Hammons would already be suspended officially. However, it is a bit worrisome as he is expected to be one of your leaders both on and off the court as a senior.
Hammons was suspended in the past, for three games at the beginning of his sophomore campaign. Although that also wasn’t considered too serious, you obviously don’t want any distractions going into the season. The fact that it is happening again is sure to cause some anxiety among all of the Boiler faithful, at least until we see A.J. step onto the court for the first time this season.
Stay tuned on College Pride Press as we’ll continue to update on the story.