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Does Purdue Need A Graduate Transfer For 2016-17?

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The crowd looks thin for graduate transfers this season, so should Purdue pursue one?

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue has had at least one graduate transfer in each of the past three seasons. With only ten scholarship players at most there is more than enough room for a graduate transfer for the coming season. As things stand, adding a graduate transfer does not cut into the extremely fertile 2017 recruiting class, where Purdue would currently have four scholarships to throw around. The nightmare scenario, of course, is that Stephens leaves, Swanigan and Edwards stay in the draft, and Purdue heads into 2016-17 with only 7 scholarship players. If that happens we're going to have a panic offering of virtually every grad transfer, but I doubt it happens.

But do we really need a grad transfer?

I find it very, very interesting that Purdue has already posted the 2016-17 roster and it still lists Kendall Stephens as part of the team. Hopefully this is good news, but we will see. Regardless, Purdue is in a situation where it has experience and depth, but still plenty of room on the roster. One could argue that there is a starter and reserve at almost every position:

Position

Starter

Reserve

PG

P.J. Thompson

Carsen Edwards

SG

Dakota Mathias

Ryan Cline

SF

Vince Edwards

Kendall Stephens

PF

Caleb Swanigan

Basil Smotherman

C

Isaac Haas

Jacquil Taylor

There is obviously some shifting there with Smotherman and Stephens, but you get the idea. Purdue has depth at every position that can all play big minutes next year. That makes it difficult to get a graduate transfer of any value. Where would they play?

The good folks at ESPN have already compiled a transfer list with the following players that would be immediately eligible:

Kale Abrahamson, 6-8, F, Jr., Drake
Pernell Adgei, 6-7, F, Fr., Loyola (CHI)
Spike Albrecht, 5-11, PG, RS Jr., Michigan
Austin Arians, 6-6, F, Jr., Milwaukee
Canyon Barry, 6-5, SG, RS Jr., Charleston
Malcolm Bernard, 6-6, SF, Jr., Florida A&M
Elisha Boone, 6-3, G, Soph., Saint Peter's
Terry Brutus, 6-6, F, Jr., Ole Miss
J.J. Butler, 6-3, G, Sr., Lipscomb
Milos Cabarkapa, 6-11, C, RS Soph., Central Michigan
Sam Cassell Jr., 6-4, PG, RS Jr., Connecticut
Darion Clark, 6-7, F, RS Jr., USC
Talbott Denny, 6-6, PF, Sr., Lipscomb
Connor Devine, 6-10, C, Jr., South Dakota State
Ot Elmore, 6-3, G, RS Soph., UTRGV (two years remaining)
Hayes Garrity, 6-1, SG, RS Jr., Utah Valley
Savon Goodman, 6-6, F, Jr., Arizona State
Derail Green, 6-7, F, RS Jr., Incarnate Word
P.J. Hardwick, 5-10, PG, Arkansas State
DeAndre Harris, 6-4, SG, Jr., North Texas
Gregory "Pierre" Hayden, 5-8, G, Jr., Hampton
Marvin Jones, 6-10, C, RS Jr., Kent State
Christian Kessee, 6-1, G, Jr., Coppin State
Michael Kessens, 6-9, F, RS Jr., Alabama
Mike LaTulip, 6-1, G, RS Jr., Illinois
Anthony Livingston, 6-8, PF, Jr., Arkansas State
Grant Mullins, 6-3, G, Jr., Columbia
Cullen Neal, 6-5, SG, Soph., New Mexico (two years remaining) -- considering Ole Miss, Texas A&M
J.J. N'Ganga, 6-10, C, Sr., New Mexico
Reggie Patterson, 6-4, G, Jr., Mississippi State
Cartree Pettis, 6-0, PG, RS Jr., Jacksonville (walk-on)
Jodan Price, 6-7, SF, Jr., Eastern Michigan
Katin Reinhardt, 6-6, G, RS Jr., USC
Chris Reyes, 6-7, PF, Jr., Utah
Atif Russell, 6-5, F, RS Jr., Pepperdine
Chad Rykhoek, 6-11, C, Jr., Baylor (2 years left)
Aaron Scales, 6-9, C, Jr., Cleveland State
Akeem Springs, 6-3, G, Jr., Milwaukee
Justus Stanback, 6-9, F, Jr., IUPUI (two years remaining)
Patrick Steeves, 6-7, SF, Jr., Harvard (two years remaining)
Tristan Thomas, 6-2, G, Jr., USC Upstate
DeVon Walker, 6-6, G, Jr., Florida
Karon Waller, 6-4, SG, Sr., Binghamton
Andre Washington, 7-0, C, Sr., Wake Forest
Tafari Whittingham, 6-8, F, Jr., South Alabama
Avery Woodson, 6-2, G, Fr., Memphis
Johnny Zuppardo, 6-8, F, Jr., Mississippi State

Missing from this list is the infamous Ronnie Johnson, who will graduate from Houston and transfer. We are not getting Ronnie Johnson back. We should not get Ronnie Johnson back. Ledman will have more later this week on that topic, but let's just look at Ronnie with a big NO.

Several of these players would be a reach at best. Let's look at J.J. N'ganga. Yeah, a 6'10" might be a good backup center, but he played sparingly for New Mexico in 2014-15 and not at all last year. The same is true with Connor Devine and Marvin Jones. Andre Washington from Wake Forest also has "gigantic stiff" written all over him.

What Purdue really needs is an attacking guard that can shoot well and get to the rim. It needs a Red Button again, and those are in short supply on the graduate transfer market. The best there is Canyon Barry, who averaged 19.7 points per game for College of Charleston. Katin Reinhardt would be a good choice from USC as well. Grant Mullins from Columbia is an excellent three-point shooter who averaged 13.3 ppg, but we already have shooters. Unless we're going to speed up the tempo and ball movement while bombing away from deep I don't know how Mullins would fit in.

Outside of those guys there is not much there this season. Akeem Springs from Milwaukee could be good, but with the existing rotation I don't see anyone that comes in and fills an immediate need like a Hill or Octeus did. There could be more of a demand if Stephens leaves because said grad transfer would basically be filling his one year spot. I think Purdue would be better suited to take a flyer on someone like Desmond Bane, who could work out to be a pleasant surprise of a player and a better long term payoff.