One of the things I struggle to cover is basketball recruiting, specifically the AAU season. I have no idea where the events are, nor do I have the time to do it. Fortunately, Old Boiler52 has done a great job stepping up with the FanPosts, and now reader Eric Gardner is chipping. Eric has done a great write-up of the Spiece shoot-out in Ft. Wayne last weekend. in fact, he did such a thorough job that I'll be breaking it out by class over the next few days.
2013 is already full, but things are always shifting, as we know. Here is is his breakdown:
Over the first month of the AAU season I have had the chance to check out a ton of high school prospects. Some have impressed and some have not. Here is my look at the current prospects that Purdue is going after in the upcoming classes. First up is the 2013 Class.
Nigel Hayes - 6'7" SF - Whitmer (OH)
I only got to see him play this past weekend at Spiece but was impressed within the first 5 minutes of watching him. Hayes passes the eye test with ease and looks like a shorter version of Jacob Lawson. He is 6'7" and probably about 200 pounds. Nigel can play the 3 or 4 and shoots well from outside. He uses his athleticism around the rim and will get rebounds at a high rate. In the times that I saw of him, he liked to play outside and that seemed to be his best fit. For Purdue he is a guy they are keeping an eye on but not sure if he is a top target at this time.
Bryson Scott - 6'2"CG - Fort Wayne Northrop
Bryson has been very steady over the past few months. I caught 2 of his last 5 games of his high school season and then again this last weekend at Spiece. He is very aggressive on both ends of the court. Offensively he loves to play in transition, whether it is a tough layup or a pull-up 3. I wrote above that he is a combo guard because he can play the point but it isn't ideal. When he plays off the ball he is active and always moving within the offense. Bryson is also a great catch and shoot guy as well. One thing that will be interesting to see is if he can limit his shots. He is a little too much of a volume shooter right now.
Basil Smotherman - 6'6" SF - Lawrence North
This last high school season was tough for the entire Lawrence North team but especially for Smotherman. He not only transferred schools but also went from being the guy to just another guy on a very talented team. By the end of the season, Basil and his teammates had really turn the corner. So far this AAU season Basil has been stellar. He seems more involved in the offense especially with regards to scoring. Basil has developed a better inside game and has put it to good use. Rebounding has also improved over the past 6 months which is a big plus. On his AAU team he will never score a ton of points because of the ridiculous talent level but as long as he is consistent and continues to work on his offense he will be fine. Basil is already a very good defender. The transition he had to Lawrence North and becoming a piece rather than THE piece will be a huge lesson for him as he heads to Purdue. I really think that will help him get off to a great start in college.
Kendall Stephens - 6'6" SG - St. Charles East (IL)
I got to see Stephens back when he first committed to Purdue and he was really, really skinny. Not going to lie, it kind of concerned me. However, Kendall has put on some muscle and looks like he is going to be just fine. As most know by now, Kendall can shoot the lights out of the ball. He has also developed a more all-around game. He can go inside and get rebounds and finds his teammates on the offensive end. Stephens being 6'6" may really make him a matchup problem at Purdue. He has the height and the length that will make it really hard to defend his outside shot. He fits a role that Purdue needs, a shooter and a damn good one. If Ronnie can find him coming off screens it will be a great thing to see.
Russell Woods - 6'8" PF - Leo (IL)
Woods is an interesting player for Mac Irvin Fire. He is good enough to be a star on most teams. He is aggressive around the basket and loves to draw contact. He can play in both the half-court and in transition. Woods is an above the basket player with a little bit of a mid-range game. Not sure he is a top prospect for Purdue but has been on Painter's radar since he was a freshman.