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Johnny Hill Transfers to Purdue

The fifth-year senior graduate-transfer will be immediately eligible to play for Matt Painter.

Johnny Hill to Purdue is done.
Johnny Hill to Purdue is done.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Hill has committed to play basketball for Matt Painter and the Purdue Boilermakers.  The 6' 3", 180-pound point guard is a 5th-year graduate transfer from UT-Arlington and will be eligible to play immediately.  Hill played previously for Illinois State for two years before transferring to UT-Arlington after the 2012-2013 season.

Hill averaged 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists last season for Texas-Arlington.  He also averaged 3.1 turnovers per game, but I would expect that number to drastically decline in West Lafayette.  His turnover rate increased when he transferred to UT-Arlington, largely due to their high-octane offense which was rated by Kenpom as the 8th highest-tempo offense in the nation last season.  By comparison, Purdue was 179th.  Hopefully he finds his groove in Matt Painter's motion offense which won't require him to run the show at such an uncontrollable level.  Plus, having a solid frontcourt and being surrounded by shooters (finally), he shouldn't have too much trouble finding someone to score.

Hill will join the team in June along with incoming freshmen Grant Weatherford and Ryan Cline.  He reportedly is still having issues from a wrist injury from last season that he will continue to rehab in the off-season.

When asked why he chose Purdue over Illinois (who was also strongly courting him), Hill told reporters that he saw the hunger in the eyes of his potential teammates at Purdue and that they all had loftier goals than he had imagined.  During his visit in April, he was hosted by senior-to-be Raphael Davis, who reportedly played a very large role in convincing him to transfer.  When Hill found out that Davis had set a goal to reach the Final Four in 2016, he knew that he had to become a Boilermaker.  (As a side note, Ray Day is also reportedly in Ft. Wayne this weekend, helping recruit Caleb Swanigan.  If that is true, and he plays any type of role in that recruitment, and Biggie does commit, then he gets my MVP vote for next season, no questions asked.  That's just insanely good senior leadership right there.  Holy crap.)

Is Hill a replacement for Jon Octeus?  Will he be our starting point guard this coming season?  I don't think so, but I could be wrong.  I think Purdue has a great young point guard in P.J. Thompson that could see plenty of minutes going forward.  There's also the possibility of guys like Davis or Dakota Mathias seeing time at the point, though I really don't want to see that happen.  The beauty of Painter's motion offense is that it doesn't require a true point guard to run set plays every possession down the court - it relies on all players at every position to make good decisions and have good court awareness.  If Hill ends up as the starting point guard, all he has to do is be solid at bringing the ball up the court, be patient, and make good decisions.  If he can do that, then the depth and leadership he will provide will be invaluable.

Welcome to West Lafayette, Johnny!