The last two weekends have been big for basketball recruiting, as Indianapolis and Fort Wayne have had major EYBL and AAU events of late. That has allowed the coaching staff to watch several 2017 and later targets. With four open scholarships (for now) for 2017 it looks like coach Painter is going big for that class, which would pair very nicely with five seniors during the 2017-18 season. Here is who Purdue seems to be going after the most:
Jaren Jackson - The junior at Park Tudor is having a great spring and is a different type of big man than we're used to. Listed at 6'10", Jackson can run the floor and has extreme athleticism. He can shoot the three and generally be a matchup nightmare. He is currently the No. 63 prospect according to Rivals and the Indy Star rates him as the No. 3 prospect in the state.
Kris Wilkes - Wilkes is a national top 20 prospect that, if Caleb Swanigan returns for his sophomore season, would be an excellent replacement if he goes pro in 2017. It helps that Purdue has done well recruiting at North Central (Terone Johnson and Ronnie Johnson). Purdue has been after him for a very long time and has made him a priority.
Paul Scruggs - With Wilkes being the top 2017 prospect in state and Jackson being No. 3 Scruggs is the No. 2 guy. He averaged 21 points per game last season with 8.1 rebounds. What makes me so excited about Scruggs is that he is the attacking, E'twaun-esque guard we sorely need. He can both shoot and get to the rim to score the ball.
Malik Williams - By some rankings Williams is ahead of Jackson, but he might be a little more of a true center like we're used to having. He is from the Fort Wayne area, another area where Purdue has had some success in recruiting. I would be satisfied if we got Jackson or Williams, but both would be unlikely since they would both likely be centers.
Nojel Eastern - Painter and Co. appear to be high on Eastern, but part of the issue might be his location. He plays in Evanston, Illinois, and regardless of history, Chris Collins doesn't want to let a guy in his own back yard go to another conference school. He is another big, attacking guard we can use.
Romeo Langford - If Painter can land Romeo Langford all will be forgiven. He already has a state championship under his belt and all indications are that he will be a national recruit. He is already ranked 21st by ESPN nationally and before his high school career is done he might break Damon Bailey's all-time scoring record. Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke have already offered, plus he is in IU country in Southern Indiana, so getting him will be difficult.
Robert Phinisee - A more realistic option is Phinisee, who is in Purdue's own back yard at McCutcheon. He took McCutcheon to its first ever state finals in march and came up just short against Langford and New Albany. That might end up simply being "Round 1" between those two before their careers are done. He is a dynamic point guard that would compliment Langford well if we somehow got both.
Adam Trapp - The days of the towering center may not be over, as Purdue recently offered 7'2" center trap from Minnesota. Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are already on him, and it appears that he is a rising star in the 2018 class. He visited Purdue last weekend and was offered along with 2018 guard Tyler Herro. Purdue's success in getting bigs to the NBA seem to be a big factor with him.
Kevin Easley Jr. - Easley is another player that Purdue has been after for awhile. He is a 6'6" forward from Lawrence North is pretty highly rated as another top 100 prospect that is a strong perimeter player. The Indy Star had a great profile on him earlier this spring.
Isaiah Thompson - This is P.J.'s little brother and after seeing extensively this past season I can tell you that he is going to be very good. The fact that his older brother will be in West Lafayette for two more years is a great in we have. He can see the program in ways normal recruits can't because of his brother, so we need to take advantage.