2016 Purdue Basketball Recruiting: July Evaluation Period

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 Purdue recruiting class will likely be small, but has some good targets.

Over the weekend I wrote about the main targets Purdue has a chance of getting in the 2015 class, but Coach Painter also did a lot of work this weekend pertaining to the 2016 class. For review, here is the current scholarship grid for that year:

Player

('14-'15)

('15-'16)

('16-'17)

('17-'18)

('18-'19)

Rapheal Davis

Junior

Senior




A.J. Hammons

Junior

Senior




Bryson Scott

Sophomore

Junior

Senior



Basil Smotherman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior



Kendall Stephens

Sophomore

Junior

Senior



Vince Edwards

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior


Dakota Mathias

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior


Isaac Haas

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior


Jacquil Taylor

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior


P.J. Thompson

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior


Ryan Cline


Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior







Scholarships Used

10

11

9

6

1

Scholarships Left

3

2

4

7

12

If Purdue signs two more players for 2015 the Boilers will have two scholarships open. The trick comes with what A.J. Hammons decides to do after this year. If he returns for his senior season, Purdue will have two scholarships to use (assuming Painter finds two 2015 guys). If he goes pro, it allows coach Painter to go after a fourth player for 2015 (Cline, the two open spots now, and Hammons' spot), but it would knock the open scholarships for 2016 down to one.

The roster would also look roughly like this going in 2016:

PG: P.J. Thompson

SG: Kendall Stephens, Bryson Scott, Dakota Mathias, Ryan Cline

SF: Vince Edwards, Basil Smotherman

PF: Jacquil Taylor

C: Isaac Haas

Second 2015 Recruit, Third 2015 Recruit, Fourth 2015 recruit (If Hammons goes pro early)

Coach Painter is hitting the point guard spot hard for 2015. He also wants to get another post player like Tacko Fall, Derrik Smits, or (in a dream world) Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan would be interesting because he could be a potential one-and-done, but I think our chances are pretty low we get him.

To me, I think we get a point guard, Davon Dillard, and random post player, giving us a full compliment of scholarship players in 2015-16 if Hammons is here as a senior. If Hammons is not, Painter may still keep the scholarship open for 2016.

Either way, the class of 2016 is likely going to be a small class of two players and only gets to three if we have another early departure after the next two seasons. I can see size being a priority again with Haas, Taylor, and 2015 Post Player X as the only guys on the roster.

That long-winded introduction aside, here is who Purdue is looking at this summer for 2016:

Eron Gordon - Indianapolis, IN - We're all familiar with North Central High School and the Johnson Brothers, but Gordon has tie to Indiana with both older brothers playing a single season for the Hoosiers. The 6'2" 170 pound shooting guard is one I need to check out in the coming season. He is rated No. 38 in the nation and has pretty much been at the middle of an in-state Indiana-Purdue battle for two years now.

This past weekend in Chicago Gordon was held scoreless in a game, which is virtually unheard of on the AAU circuit. Kentucky is now sniffing around him, too:

Eron Gordon, who has recently visited Duke, Michigan and Louisville, does not have a UK scholarship offer but has said his interest in the Wildcats would be significant if he receives one.

Eron Gordon denied that he is a lock to follow in his brothers' footsteps and play for IU, who offered him a scholarship as an eighth-grader.

Gordon has transferred to Cathedral for his final two seasons, which is a lateral move, but could mean a longer tournament run since he no longer has to go through the grueling Noblesville sectional. I think getting him would be a huge coup, but it will be tough.

Joey Brunk - Indianapolis, IN - Brunk appears to have some rising stock this summer after Purdue offered him a few weeks ago. He's a promising center that will play this coming season at Southport, and he should have a decent program going into this season. Scout has already promoted him into their top 75 for 2016. The Indy Star recently talked about how his profile is rising:

In addition to the schools that have offered him a scholarship, he's also recently visited Notre Dame and Michigan State, the latter after a team camp won by his Southport squad.

"Coach (Tom) Izzo said they are going to be out to watch me in July," he said. "(Notre Dame coach Mike Brey) said he wanted to come and see me more, too."

Oklahoma and UCLA have also expressed recent interest in Brunk.

"I think my name is starting to get out there a little more," he said. "But it's kind of like our Southport team. People know who we are now, so we're going to get everybody's best shot. You can get ranked high, but you can't get too far ahead of yourself."

Purdue has a pretty good shot here, but he has also drawn comparisons to Travis Carroll in HS, for what that is worth. Carroll was a great HS player and I still feel he played out of position at Purdue, as offensively he was more of a four.

Barret Benson - Chicago, IL - Benson has long been on Purdue's radar and is starting to draw a lot more interest. Indiana, DePaul, Penn State, and Oregon State have officially offered and he is up to No. 84 nationally in the 2016 class according to Rivals. His training methods are... interesting:

Barret Benson would not seem like a typical participant in hot yoga classes. His instructor disagrees.

"Any athlete, because of the heat, it helps their muscles, it helps their joints and with their flexibility," JoAnn Dwyer said. "It's wonderful to see when they do it. They think it's a girl-thing. When the men get there, they realize it's more difficult than they think."

In the spring, Benson, a rising junior center for Hinsdale South, took one-hour classes, three to four times a week, for about three weeks. He said his mother Joan, who also teaches yoga, joined him for his first class, but only a few men participated.

Purdue has also been on him early and he rates a little higher than Brunk. ESPN has him int heir top 60 for 2016 at No. 58 and he has more bulk to be a true center like Hammons. I found one report this weekend that said he moves like a small forward.

Nick Rakocevic -Westchester, IL - I don't know a lot about Rackocevic, but he is highly rated as the No. 64 player nationally according to Rivals. That's good enough for me to give him strong consideration. His offer list is extensive with Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin offering just within the Big Ten along with Purdue. That means there is a good chance he is playing in Mackey Arena SOME time during his college career, so it might as well be in Black & Gold.

Where Purdue might have a better chance is that his HS teammate is Glynn Watson, a 2015 target at point guard. I always like getting HS teammates that are both highly rated because that means they already have a natural rapport from playing together for years. He had a big weekend this past weekend:

The headliner of the one-day showcase was 6-foot-10 forward Nick Rakocevic. Coming in at No. 64 in Rivals.com's Class of 2016 rankings, the forward from the suburbs of Chicago is the best prospect from Illinois in the 2016 class and he showcased his inside-outside game on Wednesday night. Rakocevic has the shooting touch and skill to play on the perimeter while also showing a willingness to mix it up a bit on the interior.

T-Mill's picks: Given how small this class is going to be, it is hard to say which is a priority. If only given two to pick I would probably go with Gordon and Rakocevic. I don't think we need to go as guard heavy, however because we could have as many as seven guards on the roster depending on how the 2015 class shakes out (Stephens, Mathias, Cline, Scott, Thompson, 2015 PG, and possibly Dillard). That makes it a post-heavy class, but we'll just have to see what happens.

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