FanPost

Peaking too early?

As I look back on the Purdue recruits / players, there seems to be a curious pattern. I am not sure if it is just some coincidence or if others see the same thing too, so I'd like to hear other people's input. This is NOT meant to be criticizing the coaching staff or their recruiting strategy, but more so to get a better understanding on recruiting.

The pattern I am seeing is that with the exception of RJ, it seems that everyone on our team doesn't seem to get better from junior to senior in high school, at least statistically. Now of course there are some cases that can be explained (for example, Jay and RayD going to a new school that plays a more competitive schedule, or injuries like Lawson), but if it happens over and over again, then it seems ignorant to just push them all aside with more and more excuses?

Here are some examples of players who don't have a noticeably better senior season than junior season, which I thought should be the exception rather than the norm:

TC - 19.6 / 12.0 / 1.6 blocks (s); 22.1 / 13.2 2.3 (j)

Hale - 18.0 / 7.8 / 3.3 blocks (s); 19.7 / 10.0 / 4.0 (j)

TJ - 21.5 / 4.1 / 3 ast (s); 19.4 / 4.4 / 3.9 (j) - not necessarily much worse, but I expect senior stat should be better if the player is still growing

RayD - 21.5 / 4.3 / 1.8 (s); 28.8 / 7.8 / 3.1 (j) - change school

Jay - 8.6 / 5.4 / 2.5 (s); 12.3 / 6.9 (j) - change school

Lawson's supposedly have a worse senior season due to injury, so as little AJ. I don't get the statistics for Big AJ for his junior season.

Also, speaking of recruits, while I understand that players' ranking tend to drop after they are committed, it seems that the drop is unusually large for Purdue recruits. For example, Basil Smotherman was #26 on ESPN when he committed, but is now outside 150. Derek Willis was #49, and now out of 100. Little AJ was in the Super 60, but then out of 100. Jay was #1 recruit in Illinois, ending up #5; Bryson was Top 60, now barely cracking Top 80.

Is it fair to conclude that it's difficult to evaluate talents in the fresthman/sophomore season? After all, Gary Harris and Glenn Robinson III didn't blow up until much later and we were not the frontrunner despite their obvious connection. (Some say they just don't want to follow their parents' footstep, but some also say it is largely b/c we already got RayD)

But if that is the case, what about IU? It seems that their early commit, like Trey Lyles and Yogi, don't seem to experience the sharp drop-off after their commit (or decommit).

The only real exception is RJ, who ironically wasn't expected to be able to join us until Molock's lack of progress due to his torn ACL and Painter adding another PG to the class. Now we are all singing praise to RJ and many see him as better than even the junior-year LewJack. So is it better to take a wait-and-see approach with recruits? Is this what Painter is doing now with the Class of 2014?
(I am aware of that my "research" is incomplete and thus potentially biased to the cases that confirms my thesis while ignoring the ones that contradict. I am also aware that there are some legitimate reasons to justify the drop-offs like RayD and Jay. Lastly, I am fully aware that I am an idiot when it comes to high school recruiting and hence I am seeking to learn more, thank you)

Stuff in the FanPosts is entirely at the discretion of those that post them. They do not represent the views of Hammer & Rails, SBNation, or Purdue University in any way.

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