As promised, Eric Gardner has more on some incoming recruits. While Purdue currently has no one on board for 2014, we are courting multiple high level names. As the scholarship graph states, we currently have three slots open that year with the departure of Sandi Marcius, Travis Carroll, and Terone Johnson the previous season. it is a key year with this year's incoming freshman reaching their junior years and with only seniors Anthony Johnson and Jacob Lawson on that roster. Here is what Eric saw this past weekend in Ft. Wayne:
Kieta Bates-Diop - 6'7" SF/PF Normal University (IL)
Kieta is going to be a stud. His upside is through the roof and people are starting to take notice. He has great size and length although a little light in the weight department right now. Once he packs on the muscle he is going to be a handful. He shoots well from outside but does most of his damage in the paint. He will drive baseline catch and hit a turnaround jumper. In transition he can make the extra pass and finish through contact. I haven't seen him go up against great competition yet and that will tell me a lot more about him but as of right now I don't understand why more people aren't lining up to offer him. He is still raw but damn good now. Purdue got in at the right time for Bates-Diop. Time will tell with him because I don't think he will commit anytime soon.
Trevon Blueitt - 6'5" SF - Park Tudor (Ed. Note - Won Class 2A title in 2011 and 2012)
Trevon impresses me more and more every time I see him. I wasn't sold on him earlier last year but now I can say that I'm a big fan. Don't know where and what system he will end up in but the one thing I know is that he will produce. At 6'5" he doesn't have great height or length to play inside and isn't overly athletic. However, he shoots really well from about everywhere on the court and is strong for a 16 year old kid. Against Mac Irvin Fire this past Saturday he went did some damage, displaying his vision and range. As far as recruiting, I think Purdue nor Blueitt are much of a match but I know Purdue is keeping tabs on him.
Aaron Brennan - 6'6" PF - Guerin Catholic (Ed. Note - Won Class 3A title in 2012)
Brennan may be my personal favorite big man in the state for 2014. He is a lot like 2015 stud, Bronson Kessinger. They both have huge motors that never stop. Brennan lost 20 pounds over the past year and it has really shown up in his game. He can move better and quicker in the post and if need be, go up and throw one down. He has decent explosiveness for a guy his size and match that up with his quickness and it allows him to block shots on smaller guards with ease. He possesses a great spin move and a floating hook that he uses in the paint. I have also seem him take a guy one on one to the basket. Purdue is in decent shape here now. His only offer right now is IUPUI, but a Matt Howard-type workhorse won't go without some better offers sooner rather than later.
Vincent Edwards - 6'6" SF - Middletown (OH)
I only caught one game of Edwards' but it was enough to show me what he has. Vincent has a great looking shot and puts up points in a hurry. He has range to well beyond the 3-point line and can play in the post a little. I saw him get down in the paint and battle for rebounds against some decent competition. He is a pretty good athlete but not an above the basket player. I see the potential in him but the only knock I would have is his ceiling. If I was choosing today I would much rather have Bates-Diop just because of his potential and ceiling. That isn't to say he isn't worthy of a scholarship offer because he is but from what I saw he may be closer to maxing out as a player than Purdue's other SF target.
Grant Evans - 6'4" SG - Wapahani
This kid is fun as hell to watch. Built in the same mold as Kendall Stephens, Grant is a shooter and is a great one at that. He has a beautiful looking shot that is best coming off of screens. Evans can handle the ball well enough but needs to do some more developing. In a game where Aaron Brennan was absent, Grant Evans was money for his team. He played the point, hit the big shots, and lead his team all while Jack Owens was watching. Not sure if he will be a need for Purdue after getting Kendall Stephens in 2013, but Purdue should be in great shape if they do end up needing him.
Jacob Johnson - 6'6" PF - Mooresville
Jacob has come up in a lot of discussions for being a Purdue target so I thought I should talk a little bit about him. He is 6'6" and plays predominately in the post. He can step out and hit a jumper. Johnson is a really good athlete and can throw it down although I haven't seen it live yet. In the few games I have caught, Jacob didn't play a ton so I really can't elaborate anymore on him till I get some more time.
Sam Longwood III - 6'6" PF - Lawrence North
Sam could be a really good player. He is uber athletic and is pretty strong. He likes to play above the rim if he can. Longwood has a good jumper that he can use out to 20 feet. His best skill right now is his rebounding. In the games that I saw he boxes out well and has decent hands. The biggest knock on him is his ability to put it all together. I have gotten flashes but never seen the whole thing at once. If he can do that and become more consistent (which I know is a lot to ask) he could be a really good player. So far this summer he has impressed some people that were not sold on him. Hope he keeps it up.
Jaquan Lyle - 6'5" CG - Evansville Bosse
I have been scouting kids a little while now and I haven't seen anyone with the ability to see the whole floor like Lyle. He has that uncanny ability to make the most ridiculous pass and put it right where it needs to be. I saw him play with D-Rose AAU squad that had 2014 big man Cliff Alexander on it. That tandem was absolutely ridiculous together. It was Lob City all day long. Lyle does have more to his game though. He can knock down a 20 footer and then drive inside and finish with contact. He also, at times this past weekend, would get up for a put-back dunk. Jaquan can play the point but I am not sold on that being his position at the next level. He doesn't excel at being a ball handler or a shooter but does both well. Purdue may be a great place for him because he could play either the 2 or 3 for them. As of right now I would categorize Jaquan as a long shot at Purdue but he has a long way to go in his recruitment. Probably going to be a late signee.
Bryant McIntosh - 6'4" SG - Greensburg (Greenburg was the only undefeated regular season team in Indiana in 2011-12)
This kid has the skills. Bryant is a shooter and loves to shoot the 3 in the corner. Greensburg killed people last year because of the inside/outside combo of McIntosh and Sellers. Bryant is a skilled guard that can handle the ball well enough for a SG and plays within the offense. He doesn't force a lot of shots and if he can make the pass inside he will. I know Michigan has been really after both McIntosh and Sellers and for good reason. Purdue is watching but not actively in pursuit right now. By the end of the summer you should know their interest level.
Perry Poindexter - 6'7" PF - North Central
Poindexter was an early target for Purdue but that has faded a bit as of late. His high school season was lackluster due to the lack of touches he received. North Central was loaded this past season so maybe with the departure of Ronnie Johnson and Patrick Ingram, Perry can get more of a chance. He is a crazy athlete and plays above the rim. He doesn't have much of a jumper right now and falls in love with his baseline 15 footer way too much. He still has a ton of potential but he didn't make that jump like a lot of other did. So far this summer he has been fairly solid but still needs to do more work. Time will tell with him.
Sean Sellers - 6'6" SF/PF - Greensburg (Greenburg was the only undefeated regular season team in Indiana in 2011-12)
Sean is a great inside/outside player. He will set a pick, receive the ball and knock down a mid-range shot and then the next time down the court he will come off a pick, get the ball and run right at the rim. He shoots well for a guy that looks like he will end up 6'8" and will bang down low. He is a productive rebounder with great hands and decent length. Again, Michigan is hot on these Greensburg guys but Purdue has been around their games so who knows.
P.J. Thompson - 5'9" PG - Brebeuf Jesuit
This kid will be underestimated till the day he quits playing ball but nobody should. He is all heart. Thompson has a great motor and possess a skill set that would make you think he could be a shooting guard. However, at 5'9" he would have to be a point guard and that isn't a problem. He has great ball skills and makes plays by driving and dishing. As a point guard he is in the same respect as Ronnie Johnson, he will pass first but don't think he will hesitate to hit the open 3. He has kind of a Lewis Jackson fade-away jumper but not as bad. So far this summer he has put up a ton of points. He could be a scorer at the next level because he scores in a ton of different ways and knows how to do it with his size. He may gain another inch or so but I would bet against him reaching 6'. If I had my choice and Purdue needed a pure point guard in this class, I would take him in a heartbeat.
Paul Turner - 6'4" SG - St. Joseph (IL)
Got to catch a couple of his games up in Merrillville a few weeks back and he impressed. He is a scorer, not a shooter. He has great looking pull up jumper which he knocks down with consistency and is a great all-around athlete. Turner can play above the rim and get up to grab boards against taller competition. He is strong and well-built for a sophomore. Ball skills are good enough for an off-guard but can sometimes get lost when he doesn't have the ball. I know Purdue is fond of this kid and rightfully so. Not sure he has a ton of high-major interest yet and I would expect he would wait to make a decision until it comes. It will.
Tyler Wideman - 6'7" PF - Lake Central
I have a ton of mixed signals about Tyler. Honestly I don't know what to think about him. Let's start with the good things. He is big but agile, he rebounds well, and he has developed an outside shot. Now for the bad things. He is slow, lazy, and has terrible hands for a guy that strong. He gets stripped a lot when he goes after boards or can't corral them to begin with. His shot seems to be getting better which is great but I still don't know about his motor. I heard reports of other games that I didn't attend that he was going all out but in the games I saw he wasn't at all. I still like Wideman and think has the skills to be a good PF. He looks to be in better shape but I guess the deal now is consistency. I may have just caught the wrong games but I would like to see one of his better games. Purdue was strong here for a while and then possible backed off or maybe Wideman backed off. Michigan has been coming after him a bit and I know he visited recently. Apparently he has a Purdue offer and it is his only one.