The football bye week comes at a perfect time, as we get to have five days in a row now of basketball profiles for numbers 24 through 20. Today we feature a new player and a freshman walk-on
Grady Eifert - Fr.
Ft. Wayne, IN (Bishop Dwenger HS)
6'6", 221 pounds
2015-16 Projection: Deep Reserve
If a player like Basil Smotherman is seriously considering a redshirt year at forward there likely won't be many minutes for Eifert. In fact, there may not be many minutes for the walk-ons period. Jon McKeeman and Stephen Toyra only played in five games last season. Anfernee Brown was in three before he left the team, and an early season injury limited Neal Beshears, a 4th year senior, to a single minute of action because the only team we blew out sufficiently to get the walk-ons in during Big Ten play was Indiana.
So Eifert is not going to play much, but he brings a big body to bang in practice. He technically played a prep school year last year at Don Bosco Prep, but in three years at Ft. Wayne Dwenger he averaged 15.8 points and 8 rebounds per game. He is a legacy kid too, as his dad played at Purdue from 1981-84. He is also the brother of Notre dame and Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert.
Dwenger basketball is not as good as their storied football program, but he still helped them to some pretty good success. His senior season hey went 17-9 and won the regional before losing 85-71 to Bowman Academy in the semi-state. It was the school's first regional title since 1996, when they reached the elite 8 (and knocked off my Kokomo Wildkats when I was a sophomore) in the semi-state behind another former Purdue walk-on in B.J. Carretta.
Among some of the players Eifert played against in high school are Caleb Swanigan (a 70-60 loss to Homestead in 2014) and V.J. Beachem from Notre Dame. In 2013 he played against Bryson and Brenton Scott when they were at Fort Wayne Northrop. This is a kid who has played at a high level against some of the best the state has had to offer from Ft. Wayne, so he should fit in nicely.