I know that the 2013 Purdue recruiting class is full unless there is a transfer or Sandi Marcius does the John Hart graduate-early-and-leave-for-more-minutes dance to open up a spot. There are rumors that will happen, but until that happens we're full. That didn't stop me from thinking about an additional player on next season's roster that could be an interesting addition.
Tonight I was at Carmel High School to see my beloved Kokomo Wildkats (undefeated at 12-0) take on the defending State Champion. I was expecting to see something in 2014 forward Zach McRoberts (younger brother of Josh McRoberts), but a senior guard for the Greyhounds really stood out.
His name is Michael Volovic, and he is a quality player that would be an interesting addition to say the least if he ended up at Purdue. The Indiana Recruiting Guide only lists him as the No. 49 player in the state in the Class of 2013. Indiana State is the only Division I school that is showing interest among some Division III schools, but in my opinion, this is a very underrated player.
First off, you have to look at his pedigree on the court. Last season he played big minutes on a Carmel team that went 23-4 and won the Indiana Class 4A state title. They didn't exactly beat a bunch of pansy schools along the way. Carmel beat Hamilton Southeastern 81-63 in the sectional final that had Gary Harris and 2013 stud Zak Irvin. In the regional they avenged a regular season loss against D.J. Balentine and my Kats. In the semi-state Carmel beat Elkhart Memorial and Illinois-Chicago commit Markese McGuire. In the State Finals Carmel beat the current No. 1 team in the state Pike with P.J. Hunter.
Already this season Volovic has been part of wins over Cathedral (with Collin Hartman) and North Central (with Eron Gordon). He will play in one of the state's toughest sectionals at Noblesville with Hamilton Southeastern (with Irvin), Zionsville (Andrew Dakich, Derrik Smits), and North Central. There are also still regular season games with Pike, Ben Davis, Lawrence North (with Basil Smotherman), Zionsville, and Warren Central.
This is a kid that is more than holding his own against some of the best teams in the state. He is averaging almost 18 points per game and had 22 points and five assists against previous undefeated Kokomo (which has three players that will play somewhere in college).
What I liked about Volovic is that is he is a very intelligent player and a good shooter. He picks his spots well, can get to the basket, and can also hit the three. Tonight he was 3 of 5 from three and 5 of 6 at the three point line. He was 7 of 12 overall. On the season he is 18 of 32 from three. Given Purdue's struggles from long range is it really a bad thing that we get a guy that can shoot the three with consistency?
Yes, it is unlikely he would shoot better than 50% from long range in college, but right now he is acting as his team's point guard. Put him in the college game with a designed role where he gets lost by defenses and takes open threes while teams concentrate on other scorers and he could be deadly. Think Ryne Smith or Jordan Hulls. He is also an EXCELLENT free throw shooter at 67 of 74 on the season.
Yes, he is not a highly rated player, but he fills a glaring deficiency that Purdue currently has. He is a good shooter and he can knock it down from the line. He is smart enough not to force anything and he would know his specific role while potentially thriving in it. He's also averaging about five assists per game so he can make some good passes too.
His size could be an issue. He is listed at 6' 165, but again, we're talking about a specialist guard. Hulls is only 6' 181, so you're looking at a similarly-sized player. Last season he averaged 11.5 points per game and in 2010-11 he averaged 3.3 in a much more limited role.
This is not a flashy recruit, but it is a recruit that fills a need. In talking with a few people tonight he is getting some interest from bigger programs asking him to walk-on. I don't know where he stands with Purdue, but he is at least worth a look. I end with some video, so you can decide for yourself.