It has been awhile since I have given a full update on how Purdue's basketball commits are doing, so after a very busy day I had a chance to sit down and write about them. Here is what Purdue's three commits are doing, as well as a handful of Purdue targets:
Ryan Cline - Carmel, IN - Over the weekend I saw Cline yet again and he had 22 points and seven rebounds against Kokomo. He has drawn comparisons to Dakota Mathias and Kendall Stephens as shooters, but I think he is a little bit different. Both times I saw him this season he was not afraid to cut to the basket and create his own shot. He was 8 of 8 inside the arc Saturday night and 10 of 14 overall. He does not need to run off of a series of screens like Stephens.
Cline's team is doing extremely well. Since his freshman season they are 80-9 with two state championships. They are currently 11-1 and ranked fourth in class 4A. Unfortunately, they play in the toughest sectional in the state, which includes No. 5 North Central (who is the one team to beat Carmel), along with very good teams in Zionsville, Noblesville, and Fishers. I don't have his full season stats, but I think he is averaging close to 20 points per game.
Grant Weatherford - Hamilton Heights, IN - Weatherford's team has fallen out of the Class 3A top 10 by going 4-4 in their last eight games. Over the New Year's weekend they played in the tough Bob Wettig Tournament in Richmond and went 3-1. They beat Valparaisio in overtime but lost to Indy Scecina by nine. They went on to beat Ft. Wayne Dwenger by one and a pretty good Zionsville team by 23. On January 10 they played Wayne County of Kentucky in the Indiana-Kentucky challenge at New Castle and lost 67-66 on a last second shot. This past weekend Lapel beat them 49-45 before they beat Western Boone 70-50 to go to 9-6.
Weatherford has excellent stats through 15 games. He is averaging 11.5 points, 4.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 steals. Weatherford's team is favored to win the Mid-Indiana Conference, but their sectional will be tough with Muncie Central and Yorktown in it.
C.J. Walker - Indianapolis Tech, IN - Tech continues to play a varied schedule. They will be re-joining the North Central Conference next season and they have scheduled games against McCutcheon, Anderson, Richmond, and Logansport this season to get acclimated. They have also played some of the state's better teams and a handful of out of state games. They sit at 9-5 overall heading into the Indianapolis City Tournament, which started tonight.
Walker is blowing up for Tech, as he has had to take on a much larger scoring load this season. He is averaging 23.9 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.9 steals while running the point. In a recent 98-86 loss to Lawrence North he had 36 points to go with six assists and four steals. I will have a more detailed scouting report on him when I see him play at Zionsville on February 21.
Caleb Swanigan - Homestead HS - Swanigan has Homestead ranked second in the state in class 4A and they are favored to make the state finals if they can get past the Carmel-Fishers-Noblesville-North Central-Zionsville winner in the regional. Their lone loss was on November 28 to Chicago Curie and they are on a 13 game winning streak. Over the new year they won the Carroll shootout of four games in two days. I don't have any stats, but Swanigan is a top candidate for Mr. Basketball this season.
Purdue currently has two open scholarships for 2016, and that includes Walker.
Eron Gordon - Cathedral, IN- Gordon is in limbo currently, as he transferred from north Central to Cathedral and the IHSAA ruled him ineligible for 365 days after his last game with North Central because they judged the transfer to be for athletic reasons. He is currently ineligible until March 7, 2015, so in theory the earliest he could play is the sectional championship game if Cathedral reaches it. His family is appealing.
Joey Brunk - Southport, IN - Southport finally dropped a game in the semifinals of the Marion County Tournament, but it was a barn-burner as they lost 92-86 to Pike in four overtimes in the semifinals. They are now 12-1 and are still No. 1 in the state in Class 4A. Brunk is averaging 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. He had a monster game against Pike of 32 points and 15 rebounds.
Paul Scruggs - Southport, IN - Scruggs is a teammate we have offered a year behind Brunk and he is playing extremely well as one of the top sophomores in the state. He is scoring 16.1 points per game with 5.7 assists, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.5 steals. Against Pike he had 16 points. His best game this year was a 25 point performance against Jeffersonville in an 86-59 win. Scruggs is rated as the No. 22 player in the country in his class for 2017.
Cassius Smits-Francisco - Zionsville, IN - This is a new player to track here, but he is a player in which Purdue has shown some interest. He is playing power forward at Zionsville and is a cousin of Derrik Smits, the Valpo commit who is the son of Rik Smits, formerly of the Indiana Pacers. Smits-Francisco is already 6'8" and is more athletic than Derrik, but has only recently come back from a knee injury that cost him the beginning of the season. On Friday night at Noblesville he had just two points, but seven rebounds in his first start. Zionsville is 10-4 after beating Noblesville 55-41. He could be a top 100 player in the 2017 class.
Kris Wilkes - North Central HS - There are no 2014-15 stats for Wilkes, but last season as a freshman he averaged 9.4 points per game. North Central is 9-2 and ranked No. 5 in Class 4A. They lost their last two games, to Ben Davis and Lawrence North.