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Purdue Basketball Recruiting: Fifth Year Transfer Possibilities

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Could the fifth-year transfer market deliver a point guard to Purdue?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The graduate transfer rule has had a large effect on college basketball recruiting of late, as every year players with a degree and a year or two of eligibility remaining become 1-2 year hired guns. Some are from major schools looking for more playing time like when Sandi Marcius went from Purdue to DePaul. Others are smaller conference players looking to move up and prove their worth in a bigger conference like Brandon Wood when he ended up at Michigan State.

Purdue has been on the receiving end of this three times. Just two seasons ago Errick Peck and Sterling Carter came to West Lafyette. Peck transferred from Cornell, where he could not play his final year because the Ivy League does not allow graduate students on their athletic teams. Carter came after an up and down career at Seattle. Both played a lot of minutes, with Carter unfortunately becoming a victim of the Purdue ACL curse after a memorable game against Indiana. This last season we had Jon Octeus, who might have been the team's most valuable player. He, too, had a memorable game against Indiana.

There is already talk of Purdue dipping into the fifth year pool again. The departure of Bryson Scott leaves the Boilers quite bare at point guard, with sophomore P.J. Thompson as the leading candidate and incoming freshman Grant Weatherford a bit unproven. Given that Purdue returns experience at every other position and could be a preseason top 25 team, coach Painter might look to shore up the point guard position.

First, a look at the scholarship situation:

Player

('15-'16)

('16-'17)

('17-'18)

('18-'19)

Rapheal Davis

Senior

A.J. Hammons

Senior

Basil Smotherman

Junior

Senior

Kendall Stephens

Junior

Senior

Vince Edwards

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Dakota Mathias

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Isaac Haas

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

P.J. Thompson

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Jacquil Taylor

RS Fresh.

RS Soph.

RS. Junior

RS Senior

Ryan Cline

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Grant Weatherford

Freshman

Sophomore

Junior

Senior

Scholarships Used

11

9

7

3

Scholarships Left

2

4

6

10

Purdue now has two spots open for the 2015-16 season, and this is assuming A.J. Hammons returns for his senior season. There is plenty of room to take a flyer on a player and not affect the 2016 freshman class with four open scholarships regardless of what happens next year.

Once again, ESPN has a list of players that are looking to transfer, and Purdue has already reached out to a few. Here are some of the more likely candidates:

Dylan Ennis - Villanova

9.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 41.7% FG, 36.3% 3FG, 61.9% FT

I was going to lead this list off with the perfect candidate in Trey Lewis, but Lewis has already decided to go to Louisville. That leaves Dylan Ennis, a point guard from a team that was a No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, as a top target. Ennis was a redshirt junior because his sophomore season was missed due to a torn MCL, so he already has his knee injury out of the way. He started at Rice as a freshman before transferring for a couple of solid seasons at Villanova.

This year he started all 36 games for Villanova and was second on the team in assists. He is a capable scorer that can hit the three-pointer at about one per game. Purdue has more size than Villanova, too. With a dedicated post player he could thrive in Purdue's system.

Anthony Collins - South Florida

7.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 44.2% FG, 27.6% 3FG, 67.9% FT

Collins is an interesting possibility because he is almost exclusively a distributor. He missed most of the 2013-14 with a medical redshirt, opening the door for his transfer. He unfortunately played for an awful South Florida team that went 9-23. As a true freshman he did play for South Florida's last NCAA Tournament team, however. The Bulls won a First Four game that year and a first round game before losing to Ohio in the round of 32. That was his best scoring season at 9 points per game.

In his career, Collins has over 600 assists and a ton of experience. He has never averaged less than five assists per game and he can score the ball if needed too. He looks like a player who wants to get his teammates involved, and with 166 career steals he can also be involved defensively. At worst, he is good insurance for Thompson.

David Wishon - College of Charleston

Nate Wells - Bradley

Since we're starting the section on pure speculation we might as well have some fun. Neither of these guys is a point guard, but they are both 7-footers that can transfer and have a year of immediate eligibility. You know what this means? Instead of the Twin Towers we can go with THE WALL!! That's right! Get both of these guys with our two open scholarships and we can play more than 28 feet of basketball player with four centers!

Damion Lee - Drexel

21.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 43.8% FG, 38.5% 3FG, 88.7% FT

Lee has named a final five of Louisville, Arizona, Gonzaga, Marquette, and Maryland, but maybe coach Painter can make a last minute call. He is an excellent scorer and shooter that comes with size at 6'6". He was the No. 5 scorer in Division I this past season and is one of the top fifth-year guys on the market. Sure, he is not a point guard, but who cares?

Lonnie Jackson - Boston College

Jackson played in three games midseason for Boston College before shutting things down due to injury. The 6'4" guard is not a true point guard, but is a decent three-point shooter at over 38.5% for his career. We have seen him before, too. He had five points for BC in the 88-67 ACC/B1G Challenge at Purdue in 2013-14.

Derrick Gordon - Massachusetts

9.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 spg, 40.3% FG, 8.3% 3FG, 73.6% FT

Gordon brings some interesting things to the table. He is a capable and experienced scorer with decent size for a point guard at 6'3". He is not a good three-point shooter, hitting just one shot in 16 career attempts. He gets involved defensively and shares the ball, however. He played a year at Western Kentucky before playing two seasons at UMass. He was Western Kentucky's leading scorer as a freshman. He would be a different type of point guard because he does a lot more of his scoring while attacking the basket.

Sterling Smith - Coppin State

13.9 ppg, 1.6 apg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 spg, 46.8% FG, 41.8% 3FG, 77.2% FT

Smith is an excellent shooter and scorer who is also active on defense. How much of that came against the MEAC, however, which is just a godawful conference for basketball. He may not be a true point like so many others out there, but why not get Collins as a true point and Smith here as a 40%+ three-point shooter that can chuck it from deep?