Hummel might have been a huge pain in the rear for Gophers fans when he was at Purdue, where he scored 1,772 points and grabbed 862 rebopunds, both of which rank in the top 10 in program history.
But now he's a person you can root for. He's quiet, unassuming ... doesn't do a dance or fancy hand gesture just because he made a 3-point shot that he practices every day. He's an underdog, someone who would have gotten a mulit-year, million-dollar contract if he'd stay healthy but now bounces around the basketball globe trying to stick somewhere.
He's learned about competition and adjusting to your environment. He said last season in Spain, he was called fro travelling eight times in the first three games.
"(The Timberwolves) know I can shoot," Hummel said. "I have to show them that I can defend and rebound and battle."
For all the Timberwolves players who have come through here the last few seasons feeling like they were owed something — Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, Rasha McCants, etc. — it's refreshing to talk with Hummel, who has worked hard to earn a few basketball scraps.
He faces an uphill battle to make the final roster, though Budinger's injuiry history suggests that he'll miss more games than he plays this season so Hummel has a chance.
That's really all he's asking for. He'll take care of the rest.
Chad Courrier is a Free Press staff writer. To contact him, call 507-344-6353, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter feed @ChadCourrier.