There is something strange about recruiting kids that are freshmen in high school, but that is how the game is these days. It will be almost four years before any of these players can have an impact on the court for Purdue, but this is a big class that we may only have room for two according to the scholarship graph (assuming we sign a full three 2014 players).
With that in mind, here is what Eric had to say about the class of 2015:
Michael Benkert - 6'3" SG - Center Grove
Benkert plays on the same team as Eron Gordon and those two are a deadly combo. Benkert may turn into a SF but right now he is a SG. He has a great build for 15 year old kid and uses it to finish on his drives. Michael's big thing so far is his pull-up jumper. He can shoot the heck out of the ball and has range. In a couple of his early games this year he scored points in a hurry. I remember at one point he put up 8 points in about a min on 3 straight possessions. Benkert has to share touches with Gordon so his totals won't always be huge but he will be one to watch.
Gary Bonds - 6'6" PF -Scecina
Gary is going to be a nice power forward talent in this class. He does a little bit of everything right now. He shoots well out to 20 feet. Fundamentally he knows how to play large, keeps the ball high and creates space to get his shot off. He will be a project over the next couple years but he has good coaches around him. Rebounding right now is his big thing. Bonds has good hand and length that allows him to grab and secure anything around him. The last game I saw of his he had 16 points, 14 boards, and 2 blocks. He hasn't play in a bit because of back spasms but he will hopefully be back on the court soon.
Harris Brown - 5'11" PG - Northwest
This kid is fun. Harris is a quick point guard who can score in a ton of ways. He drives well but does have some trouble finishing through contact. His favorite shot is the 3 in the corner which he falls in love with a little too much. He can make plays and set his teammates up but has more of a scorer's mentality right now. Brown has a good motor and is aggressive on both ends of the court. Northwest in Indianapolis has got some talent coming up through the ranks which may lead to a little more exposure for Harris and his teammates.
Jalen Coleman - 6'2" SG - Cathedral
It's hard to think that Jalen is just a freshman. He is very advanced for his age in so many ways. Coleman is a slasher that can finish at the hole. He's on the light side right now but is still strong. He finishes through contact and will make you pay from the line. Jalen also has great range hitting for a pretty good percentage. He plays a lot like his former teammate and St. Louis commit, Jared Drew. Up in Merrillville a couple weeks ago, Coleman had a great weekend. During one game he had multiple Big Ten schools watching and couldn't miss. The only thing that drew attention away from him was Illinois big man Cliff Alexander breaking a backboard. Coleman right now is the best in Indiana for 2015 but Hyron is making it a tough call. Purdue has been right there with Coleman for a while.
Hyron Edwards - 5'10" PG - East Chicago Central
There isn't anything this kid can't do right now. Hyron is one of those point guards that only come along every once in a while. About a month ago this may not have been said about him but something has clicked since then and he has been stellar. Edwards has good speed at the point and makes all the passes. He is a great decision maker with the ball. Hyron can pull a cross-over and drive or pass it off. If he needs he can step back and hit a 3. He shoots very well from distance and usually puts up good scoring numbers along with assists and rebounds. Hyron may only be 5'10" but he can throw it down. His attitude is perfect for a future star and right now he is on his way. Purdue is in good shape with him early. Both Indiana and Purdue have offered. He plans to take visits to Michigan and Illinois next month were I would assume he would pick up more offers.
Brennan Gillis - 6'6" PF - Ben Davis
I caught his first two games of his high school career and he caught my eye. Brennan has great size at 6'6" and about 190 pounds. He is strong on is great on the glass. He is a back to the basket PF with a couple post moves. Gillis still needs to work on his game offensively but has a good foundation right now. The thing that is his biggest problem is motivation. There are games where he is just a dead stick and then you have games where he gets mad and is amazing. This happened when he went up against Kessinger earlier this season. Bronson played tough early on but something clicked with Gillis and he went off. Gillis has good upside if he can keep motivated.
Bronson Kessinger - 6'7" PF - Corydon Central
Bronson is all motor. The red-headed power forward is a beast in the post with an array of moves. He likes to use his spin move in the lane to get to the basket. He's strong and physical in the post which results in a ton of rebounds. Defensively, Bronson can get some weak side blocks and boxes out very well for his age. He is fundamentally sound and has yet to disappoint. Again, the greatest thing about Kessinger is his motor. He is always active and going a 100%. Somebody put the Matt Howard comp on him and I would tend to agree. May end up being better but it's too early to tell. His recruitment should pick up during the next evaluation period.
Joel Okafor - 5'10" PG - Richmond
Joel is a defensive minded PG from the east side of the state. He is small in stature but well built. If he was a running back, you would describe Okafor as a bowling ball. He isn't much of a scorer but does make plays for his teammates. He can drive but has trouble at this early stage of finishing. He makes his money on D. Joel knows how to get into the passing lanes and create fast break opportunities. He's very advanced defensively for such a young player. His recruitment may be slow but Joel should turn out to be pretty good.
K.J. Walton - 6'3" CG - Brownsburg
Walton looks the part. He is big and tall and looks like he was made to play basketball. He has a nice looking jump shot which is getting better. Over the past few weeks he has become more selective which has made him a ton better. He had been shooting too much but is now picking his spots and making them count. K.J. can drive too. He only really goes to the right but it is still early for him. His ball skills are decent but not spectacular. He is much better off the ball where he can come off screens and receive the ball. Purdue has been in on him but have just been evaluating recently.
Chandler White - 6'4" SF - Fort Wayne Carroll
The Fort Wayne product has been pretty steady so far this spring. He isn't flashy but he is effective. White is a well-built SF that can play inside and out. He has a nice stroke from deep and can get to the basket. He can play in the paint with the bigger forwards and hold his own. Chandler likes to play physical. There are times where he can be a little passive but overall he may be one of the more consistent players in his class. Purdue has been in to see him but hasn't offered yet.