Purdue's 2014 basketball recruiting class is already four members strong and signed with Dakota Mathias, Jacquil Taylor, Vince Edwards, and Isaac Haas. The switch of Haas put it in the top 30 nationally according to Rivals and the top 25 according to ESPN, but the Boilers do have two open spots should they choose to add to it in the spring period. Since there are no 2015 scholarship seniors any open spots would carry over to the 2015 class, so Purdue has only two spots open there unless there is another transfer or early departure.
One player that Purdue has watched before could be in either class, and I got to take a look at him today. Perry Poindexter Jr. is a 6'8" forward from Lawrence North in Indianapolis that has been on Purdue's radar for awhile. He started his high school career at North Central as a teammate of Ronnie Johnson, but transferred to Lawrence North just before this season. That means he was not a teammate of Basil Smotherman last year.
The word on the street it that it was a disciplinary issue that forced his transfer:
@HammerAndRails Apparently he did something really stupid and got kicked off the team.— Jackson Brunner (@BoilerOfLegend) December 27, 2013
The familiarity that Poindexter has with Ronnie Johnson could be a positive. He has already been part of a big upset, as Lawrence North stunned Marion and James Blackmon 85-84 earlier this season. Poindexter had 18 points in the upset and today I got to see him against Kokomo in the Noblesville Holiday Tournament.
He was impressive against Kokomo as the served as the anchor of a very athletic 2-3 zone used by LN. He finished 6 of 8 from the floor with 14 points, five rebounds, and four blocked shots playing against a solid senior post player in Erik Bowen. He is a very, very athletic 6'8" and he had at least one dunk that showcased his athleticism. Much of his scoring was done inside where he used his height and athleticism to get to the rim over a smaller Kokomo team.
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, and Xavier have expressed interest in the past, but it would seem that much of the interest has cooled on him since a very promising sophomore and junior season. The last update from GBI was almost two years ago:
Poindexter's not as tall yet as Johnson was at this stage of his career, but the 15-year-old may get pretty close, expecting to top out around 6-9.
As is, his ability to run and jump and his bounce off the floor are Poindexter's defining characteristics, it would seem. Against Vegas Thursday night, he canned a mid-range jump shot and finished a couple baskets at the rim through contact and was active as an offensive rebounder on tip-ins.
The Railroad Tie's Michael Henry had more to say on him:
@HammerAndRails @BoilerOfLegend he's a good kid. Purdue isn't recruiting him though. He's a prep school kid imo. See him again in a year.— Michael Henry (@therailroadtie) December 27, 2013
The prep school route would be very interesting in Purdue's case given our current scholarship situation. It would reclassify him as a 2015 prospect, but Purdue still only has two slots left to hand out there. It does, however, leave open more room if there is a transfer after this or next season. The play of A.J. Hammons so far has not been indicative of anyone leaving early for the NBA, so I think we're getting at least a third year out of him, but a departure after next season would open up a spot for the 2015 class.
I think he is an interesting prospect. There is always room for a tall, lanky, athletic forward. He is a similar type of player to Smotherman and exhibited strong defense today whenever Kokomo tried to get into the zone. I don't think Purdue goes after him for 2014, but if he does reclassify to 2015 he might be worth a look. That also allows for another year of maturity, which may be an issue with his transfer and why many schools have cooled on him.