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Revisionist History: What If Purdue Had No Transfers?

Purdue has lost quite a few transfers over the years. Here is what happened to the ones that could still technically be playing in West Lafayette.

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NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Occasionally, something good come s out of That School Down South. Their doctors take care of us and keep us healthy. They also had this great post today on all the Creaned players. I was amazed at hoe many of them there were, too. They had enough for an entire roster that is still playing all over college basketball this season.

Purdue has had a ton of transfers too. For every A.J. Hammons you have a Ronnie Johnson who leaves. You also have a complete swing and a miss on the 2011 recruiting class, where neither player made it very long in West Lafayette. While we don’t have enough for an entire roster, Purdue has had plenty of transfers out in the past five years. Let’s take a look at everyone who could be eligible this season, because yes, that is a qualified:

Donnie Hale – 2011 class – Purdue waited forever for Donnie Hale. He graduated high school in 2010, but spent the 2010-11 year in prep school. He then redshirted during the 2011-12 season before playing one year at Purdue in 2012-13. That season he played in 32 games and averaged 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. I really had high hopes for him. In fact, I once called him a poor man’s Robbie Hummel in terms of his potential.

I am a stupid person.

Hale transferred to Division II Bellarmine in Louisville for the 2013-14 season, where he still had sophomore eligibility. He played there for one year, averaging 4.7 points per game in just half a season (he was ineligible for the first semester), before he left yet again:

Upon originally joining Bellarmine's program, Hale cited a move closer to family, including his daughter, for his transfer. A school spokesperson said Hale is no longer enrolled at Bellarmine.

Davenport said Hale "just had enough" of basketball and quit the game. The former player told the coach he plans to attend a satellite school in New Albany for Purdue's College of Technology.

Technically, Hale could still be at Purdue if he received a medical redshirt for a hypothetical injury and a 6th year, but that is a stretch. I just wanted to include him here because there would at least be the possibility of a 7th-year senior due to his prep year, redshirt year, and hypothetical medical redshirt. Technically, Jacob Lawson could also be a 6th year with a redshirt and a medical redshirt, but since he played his remaining two years at Appalachian State and finished last season with no injuries we can’t apply the 6th year hypothetical. Since Hale didn’t play two more years, we can have it.

Ronnie Johnson – 2012 class – Another college basketball vagabond, Ronnie would have finished last year had he stayed at Purdue, but he is now on his third Division I school. The saucy fellow left Purdue after two seasons and actually played less in one year at Houston (691 minutes) than in either year at Purdue (900 plus both years). He averaged 9.4 points per game before graduating and transferring yet again. He is playing his final year of eligibility this year at Auburn, where he is averaging 5.6 points and 2 assists per game as reserve point guard. He even crossed Purdue’s path a few weeks ago when Purdue beat Auburn 96-71 in Cancun. The Tigers are 6-2, but just had a bad loss to Boston College by one point. In the Purdue game Ronnie had just two points and an assists with two turnovers.

Jay Simpson – 2012 class – What might have been for Jay Simpson? As a freshman in 2012-13 he played in 10 games and averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds before an injury forced him to have a medical redshirt. He came back the next season as a redshirt freshman and averaged 12 minutes a night with 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds. He even had 14 points and 6 rebounds in the season opening 77-76 win over Northern Kentucky. There were times where he looked like he would be a major contributor going forward and he should be a senior leader on this year’s team.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. On February 23, 2014 at Nebraska he collapsed on the court after playing 10 minutes. He would never again play basketball. Doctors diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, ending his career immediately. That is the same condition that killed such players as Hank Geathers, Reggie Lewis, and several other players. One of the first symptoms is normally death. Jay was lucky. He stayed at Purdue for a while to work on his degree and even has a son now.

Bryson Scott – 2013 class – Bryson Scott should go down as “The Hoosier Killer”. He is 4-0 against Indiana in his career, and in three of those games he has had a huge hand in helping his team to victory. As a freshman in 2013-14 he averaged 6.2 points per game and won Big Ten Freshman of the Week a few times. The next season he saw his minutes diminish and he averaged only 3.8 per game. By the end of the year he was having several DNP-Coach’s Decisions, and that led to his transfer. That didn’t stop him from an electric 11 points-6 rebound effort against Indiana in Mackey Arena (the only time he was in double figures in B1G play). He only had two points at Indiana, but his harassing defense was critical in a 67-63 win in Bloomington.

With some behind-the-scenes conflicts with coach Painter, Bryson transferred home to IPFW. He has junior eligibility this season and he might well lead the Mastodons to their first ever NCAA Tournament. He is thriving at 15.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and he even got another win over Indiana. He had an 18-12-3 line in the ‘dons’ 71-68 upset of the Hoosiers on November 22nd. The ‘dons are 8-3 and are the strong favorite to win the Summit League this year.

Kendall Stephens – 2013 class – It is hard to make a call on Kendall, but his struggles off the court cost him his place in the lineup this season. Kendall played a lot of minutes in his three years in West Lafayette. As the son of one of our more memorable players great things were expected of him. He was primarily a shooter, and even though he only played three years, he is still one of the best three-point shooters in school history. He is currently 8th all-time with 483 attempts and ninth with 137 made.

After the death of a close personal friend, however, his minutes dropped off last season. He asked for some personal time off and left the team for four games in January. By the time he returned, Ryan Cline and Dakota Mathias had passed him. He was left only with some garbage time minutes, and he did hit a three-pointer against Illinois in the Big Ten tournament, but those 12 minutes in a 31 point blowout were the most he would play after the January 21 game vs. Ohio State. He only played in four of the final 15 games last season, and only scored in said Illinois game.

This past offseason, seeking a change of scenery, he transferred to Nevada, where he is sitting out this year due to transfer rules before playing his final year next year. He needs 302 points to reach 1,000 in his career and he should be a great one-year addition for them next season.

Jacquil Taylor – 2014 class – This is merely a placeholder. I don’t think Jacquil will transfer, but after redshirting in 2013-14 he is once again injured and will be out until February. I have had high hopes for him as a strong post player and he even had a double-double last year at Rutgers as a redshirt freshman, but we’re reaching the “Will he ever be healthy?” stage of his career. He is in his third year at Purdue, but redshirted his first season due to injury, played sparingly last year, and is hurt again.

Grant Weatherford – 2015 class – This one is really hard to say because Grant never officially played for Purdue. He got 5 minutes and recorded an assist with two fouls in the 2015-16 exhibition against Northwestern Ohio. Even in a 92-43 exhibition blowout that is bad for a scholarship player. It was later announced that he would redshirt as a freshman in 2015-16. Given that Purdue brought in Carsen Edwards and still had P.J. Thompson, Weatherford announced he would transfer after last season.

Weatherford is now at Midland Junior College in Texas, about as far from Indiana as a kid from Hamilton Heights can get. He has played in 13 games this year with 10 starts and he is averaging 8.1 points and 1.9 assists. At one point I thought he could be the next Chris Kramer. His senior year at Hamilton Heights I covered one of his games and he had 10 steals, something I had never seen before in all the thousands of HS basketball games I have watched in my life. He was probably a recruiting reach, however, and that’s why he left.