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2015 Purdue Basketball Recruiting: Grant Weatherford Commits

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Remember Chris Kramer? This guy will remind you of what a pain in the ass defender is like.

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Andy Lyons

Today's alumni game had an unexpected windfall for the basketball program. Grant Weatherford, a 6'2" 215 pound point guard from Hamilton Heights High School received a Purdue offer and later committed to the Boilermakers:

Weatherford is a player I have had an eye on for some time. Since Hamilton Heights plays in the same conference as all four non-Kokomo Howard County schools I usually cover 2-3 games at their place per season for the Kokomo Tribune. I first wrote about him in December 2012 when he was a sophomore playing with Alex Etherington, who is now playing at Indiana State. He played this summer with incoming 2015 player Ryan Cline, so we got a slid backcourt coming in for 2015.

The first thing I would say about Weatherford is that he is an old school Purdue player. He is a tough, tenacious player that is not afraid to get on the floor and get after the basketball. I think it comes from his football background. You see, he is also one of the top wide receivers in the state of Indiana for 2015. Last season in 11 games he caught 49 passes for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns. That was more than half his team's receiving yards. He also had 240 kickoff return yards, 146 punt return yards, and 28 interception return yards. He had 21 total touchdowns and was a two-way player.

As tempting as it would be to have him in Ross-Ade Stadium on fall Saturdays, he is a pretty solid basketball player too. What stands out is his versatility. In terms of recent players I would compare him to Chris Kramer. Because of football he is very solid, but he turns that strength into toughness. He is smaller than Kramer and, from what I have seen, he hasn't displayed that single-minded will to take over a game defensively.

I am not the only one to compare him to Kramer:

"I went to one of Purdue's (football) camps and they said they are really impressed by me and are going to keep in touch," he said. "(Purdue's basketball coaches) said I remind them of Chris Kramer. If I play football there, I could walk on to the basketball team."

On offense, he does a little bit of everything. He is an unselfish player that can quietly score 20 points per game. He rebounds well and gets his teammates involved. For a point guard he is a solid shooter, but not the long-range sniper that Cline is. Basically, I can see him as being a very solid role player in his time at Purdue.

I don't think he is quite a true point guard in terms of being a total distributor because I have seen his ability to score off the ball as well as hit the jumper. Last season Hamilton Heights was 18-4, but Weatherford only played in 14 of the 22 games because of an off the court issue. I know his coach well (he was an assistant at Kokomo when I was in high school) and while I don't know the exact details of the incident (Chad didn't tell me), I know he wouldn't suspend him for nothing.

Even in only 14 games he averaged 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. He shot 8 of22 from three, so while it is not a major part of his game, he can still knock it down with some regularity.

So what does this mean for the rest of the recruiting season going forward? Here is how the scholarship grid looks now:

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

Grant Weatherford


Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior







Scholarships Used

10

12

10

7

2

Scholarships Left

3

1

3

6

11

So Purdue has one scholarship left for the 2015 class, but two if A.J. Hammons leaves for the NBA early as many suspect he will if he has a good season. More importantly, one of the players that Purdue is going after is 5-star point guard Jalen Brunson. If Purdue were to get Brunson it would give us two point guards in the 2015 class plus P.J. Thompson. The college game is a guard-oriented game though, so having three point guards is fine. Besides, Brunson is one of the top players in the country, and having him as a distributor with some other solid wings is never a bad thing.

I think Brunson is priority 1 for the final scholarship, with another post player (Caleb Swanigan? Please?) as the likely target for the open Hammons spot. This is about Weatherford, however, and his toughness is what is attractive. It has been awhile since we have had a defender that pisses off other fans with his play. Purdue is at its best when it has some pain-in-the-ass players that everyone else hates and we drag more talented teams down into a rock fight. Weatherford can help us get back to that.