Moving on to the 2015 prospects, it doesn’t take long to realize that this class is absolutely stacked with talent. Especially at the guard positions. Purdue has made no secret about making a few very notable names priorities early in the recruiting process within the state. As well as one particular prospect in Illinois. It’s been a tough call to say who is the top prospect in the state. Most scouts and coaches agree two kids come to the top though. Hyron Edwards of East Chicago Central and Jalen Coleman of Indianapolis Cathedral. Both kids have been running the point for their respective clubs with Coleman having more opportunities to play off the ball and looking great doing it when he’s given the chance. Coleman is deadly from deep and has a lightning quick first step that gets him to the rim for a ton of layups as well. He’s strong enough to finish in traffic and smart enough not to force things when he’s in the paint. He’s such a gifted scorer that it’s easy to overlook he does an outstanding job of running his team and making good decisions with the ball. All point guards at this age have some growing up to do but Coleman is clearly on the right path.
• Hyron Edwards is a kid that clearly gets it. He’s an ultra competitive player that wants to win no matter what he’s playing. He’s exactly what you want in a floor general and the scary part is that he’s only going to improve. His recruitment will be an interesting one to say the least. Purdue will have to fend wish the biggest of sharks in the game to win his services. However, this is not a kid that is going be directed. He’s got a lot of smart people around him and he’s a very intelligent, well spoken young man that wants to take his time. It’s easy to forget he’ll only be a sophomore this year because he’s blown up so quickly. Purdue will without a doubt be a player for the length of his recruitment.
After the top two there are a ton of kids that could very well be top 100 players by their senior year.
• KJ Walton (Brownsburg) is a player that is very well thought of. However, at times he has a mind of his own and can disrupt the flow of things in his team’s offense.
• Bronson Kessinger is a player that I personally love. He’s a monster on the glass. Gets a ton of put back buckets. Runs the floor hard and has a nice variety of post moves around the rim. He’s 6’8”, athletic, and he’s got red hair. So he’s gotta be good.
• Ryan Welage (Greensburg) is a kid that blew up so to speak in Indy a couple weeks ago and appears to be headed for stardom. Another kid that is 6’7” and is crafty in the post. Not as aggressive as Kessinger but he’s a player that is really evolving.
• Gary Bonds of Warren Central is another kid with a ton of upside. Long arms with good range out to 18 feet and a pretty decent handle have attracted a lot of coaches to keep a keen eye on him.
• Ryan Fazekas is another kid that has played very well this summer. He fits the point forward style. Can handle it, shoot, and rebound while handling some contact. Should be another prospect to watch.
• Brennan Gillis is a name to remember. He’s a kid that just looks like a man among boys. Soooo strong with the ball. Has huge hands and when he gets his big paws on it. It’s his.
• Chandler White is a fun player to watch. Has great range is is very strong. Just have to wonder how much better he’ll become. If he continues to get better he’ll be a player that gets a ton of high major interest.
• Michael Benkert is one player I’ve been raving about since I first saw him in Bloomington this spring. I love his game. He’s a play maker. Scores in every way imaginable. Long arms with a deadly strong that is near impossible to block. If he gets to 6’6”. It could get scary. Personally, this is a kid I think is worthy of an early offer.
• Derrick Smits is a nice player also. He’s like…Huge. So we can’t ignore him. He does a nice job of keeping the ball high in the post. You can definitely tell his dad has been working with him on big man fundamentals. With his size the potential is hard to ignore. He’s never going to be the athletic phenom on the floor. But, he could be the 7 footer that can shoot 15 footers all day and drain them all. He just has to be careful to not fall in love with the perimeter to much.
• Jordan Ash is an out of state prospect that has been incredibly popular among fans as another kid that received an early offer from Coach Matt Painter. His ties to the Illinois Wolves never hurt will the familiar relationship that Purdue has with that program. He’s so athletic and no doubt is scratching the surface of what will most likely be a very very bright future. Seems like a very likeable kid that will fit in no matter where he ends up. His defensive ability is another quality that has attracted the Purdue staff as well as several others.
Again, this weekend I’ll be in Fort Wayne getting another look at some more prospects. Should be an interesting week with all the new offers coming out.