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2017 Purdue Basketball Recruiting Update

No, we don’t have any idea when Matt Painter will land a 2017 commit.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The early signing period for basketball is November 9th. Will Purdue have a 2017 basketball commitment by then? It appears that the days of committing to schools as sophomores like Rapheal Davis are long gone. With this class in particular we are waiting until early signing day to get anyone. Given that the 2016 class was a one-member class, it has been a long, long wait for commitments going back to when Caleb Swanigan came on board.

First, the bad news: Purdue is already out on Paul Scruggs, Kris Wilkes, and Malik Williams as the absolute top guys in the state. That gets even worse if Wilkes and Scruggs (who inexplicably transferred to a California prep school last week) end up in Bloomington.

The good news is that the top player in the state is still on the board and Purdue has a shot.

Jaren Jackson – No. 15 (Rivals) and No. 26 (ESPN)

Jackson jumped into the top 15 of the recent rankings by Rivals, and Purdue is heavily involved in going after him. The top five at this point appear to be Purdue, Michigan State, Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Maryland. He recently attended unofficial visits for both Maryland and Georgetown. Painter is still trying to lock down the deal today by being at Laporte LaLumiere for workouts today:

Jackson is staying about as quiet as possible. The only content we know for sure from him comes from a thank you to Georgetown and Maryland from 6 days ago. His LaLumiere team is absolutely loaded with talent, but can Painter close the deal? It seems we have as good of a shot as any.

Gut Feeling: I think it will be Purdue or Michigan State, based on absolutely no hard eveidence.

Nojel Eastern – No. 75 (Rivals) and No. 78 (ESPN)

Eastern was on an official visit just before football season two weeks ago and since then, silence. Michigan State and Ohio State are trying to get him for a visit and Missouri has shown interest, but we don’t know. He is the big, scoring guard that I dream of having, but we have no word of a commitment. The best we have is a “warm” rating on 247.

Since Painter is up towards LaPorte today he is going to stop in and check on Eastern as well:

Gut Feeling: I think we end up getting Eastern in the end. He is a very good fit.

Xavier Tillman – No. 86 (Rivals) and No. 75 (ESPN)

This is yet another fight to the death with Michigan State over a recruit. There have been so many of those over the recent years and Michigan State has won all of them except Swanigan. He visited the same weekend as Eastern, so it would be very nice to have them both around the same time since they very likely spoke with each other on the trip.

Unlike others, we have some real journalism updates on Tillman:

Tillman took an official visit to Purdue on the weekend of Aug. 27. He'll take three more official visits to Florida, Michigan State and Marquette on Sept. 9, Sept. 16 and Sept 23.

And then, a long recruitment will come to an end.

According to Powell-May, Tillman is "close to decision time" and will accept a scholarship offer from MSU, Purdue, Florida or Marquette "a week or two after the visits are over."

Gut Feeling: I think it will be Purdue or Michigan State.

Chris Sodom – 3-Star (Rivals) and 3-Star (ESPN)

Sodom will make an official visit to Purdue next weekend as Purdue continues to try and corner the market on absurdly tall individuals near the basket. Sodom comes in at 7’3” will play at Hillside Prep in Phoenix this winter:

Now, the program has added 7-3 Chris Sodom from Beaumont Central in Texas, according to a tweet late Friday night. Sodom is originally from Nigeria and played for the Houston defenders on the Under Armour Association circuit.

He is a shot blocker, given his size, and will need to refine and develop his offensive game. He averaged 3.7 points and 3.8 rebounds during the 12 games of the UA schedule.

Everything about Sodom screams “PROJECT”, but you can’t teach 7’3”. New Mexico is already recruiting him heavily.

Gut Feeling: Can’t say until he visits.

Jacob Epperson - 3-Star (Rivals) and 3-Star (ESPN)

Epperson will visit Purdue the weekend of September 24 and he is already a teammate of Jackson at LaLumiere with Jackson, so Painter can check in on him this weekend too. The added bonus of getting Epperson with Jackson is that Epperson is more of a true center at 6’11”, while Jaren Jackson is your 6’10” athletic freak of nature power forward. Ideally, Painter closes the deal with both and the pair has a year this year to develop a low post rapport together.

Gut Feeling: Can’t say until he visits.

Evan Battey – No. 143 (Rivals) and 3-Star (ESPN)

Battey is interesting in that he is 6’7”, but will be a load on the low block at 275 pounds. He will visit the same weekend as Epperson and Miami has already had a visit scheduled for September 17. Battey is not an above the rim player. Think of him as having great old man’s game with good footwork like Zach Randolph.

Gut Feeling: Can’t say until he visits.

Theo John - 3-Star (Rivals) and 3-Star (ESPN)

Our friends at Anonymous Eagle had a recent visit from John, who visited Purdue in June. Here is what they said:

John has a visit to Minnesota, his home town team, scheduled for next weekend. Presumably, he’s not going to make any announcements until after that visit. He visited California last weekend, leaving him two official visits available. John listed a top six of the three schools he’s visiting, plus Oklahoma, Illinois, and Purdue. While he has not announced any other visits (as far as I know), it’s entirely possible that he could end up visiting at least two of that second group. That would prolong the waiting period a bit as well. Which is fine.

Gut Feeling: Purdue has been relatively quiet here, so I don’t think we get him.

T-Mill’s priority list:

1. Jackson – If you can land a top 20 player you land him. Period

2. Eastern – I really want a big scoring guard to pair with Carsen Edwards for a few seasons.

3. Epperson – he is more polished and has that year to develop with Jackson this year.

4. Tillman – Can you imagine a frontcourt of Tillman-Jackson, and Epperson/Sodom? Holy shit!

5. Sodom – He can defend the rim, but can he score?

6. Battey – Well, at 275-280 no one is going to move him unless he feels like it.

7. John – Sorry, but I know the least about him.