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Purdue Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Update

What is the 2018 class looking like? Who are we recruiting?

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The season has been over a for a few weeks now. Our 2017 class is pretty much cemented, besides possibly one variable.

The finishing factor for the 2017 class is whether Biggie stays in the draft or not. If he does, we have an opening for someone this year, say Malik Ondigo, who took his official visit this past weekend. The interest is there between Coach Painter and Ondigo, the matter is if Ondigo wants to wait to see if Biggie goes pro.

Another option that is possible if Biggie goes pro is Trevor Thompson, the 5th year transfer from Ohio State. It seems as if the two sides have talked, and we are genuinely interested and so is Thompson. Thompson was 2nd in the B1G in rebounding this past season only trailing Biggie.

But what is going on with the 2018 class? We have no commitments from that class yet, so who are we even going after? I am here to hopefully answer some of those questions for you. I will break it down position by position.

Here is the updated scholarship for a quick measure of what we can take in for 2018.

Purdue Basketball Scholarship Grid

Player ('17-'18) ('18-'19) ('19-'20) ('20-'21)
Player ('17-'18) ('18-'19) ('19-'20) ('20-'21)
Vince Edwards Senior
Dakota Mathias Senior
Isaac Haas Senior
P.J. Thompson Senior
Jacquil Taylor RS Junior RS Senior
Ryan Cline Junior Senior
Caleb Swanigan Junior Senior
Carsen Edwards Sophomore Junior Senior
Eden Ewing Junior Senior
Matt Haarms RS Freshman RS Soph. RS Junior RS Senior
Aaron Wheeler Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Nojel Eastern Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Sasha Stefanovic Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Scholarships Used 13 9 5 4
Scholarships Left 0 4 8 9

We have a minimum of four spots open for the 2018 class, with the graduation of Isaac Haas, Vincent Edwards, LaSalle “PJ” Thompson and Dakota Mathias (I am crying because I never want to lose these four).

Point Guards:

Robert Phinisee - 5’11”, 160 pounds, Lafayette, IN (McCutcheon HS) 3* Rivals #134

Robert is the type of point guard that can thrive in Coach Painter’s system. He takes care of the ball, can shoot pretty well, but he can also penetrate. I have had the opportunity to watch him play first hand and he is the real deal. Robert doesn’t lack a swagger to his game either. He is right in our back yard, many have said he seems to want to leave the state. Who really knows, but with the firing of Tom Crean, I think it made our chances a little bit better for his services. He would be dynamic in the pick and roll with our future bigs too, he is one of the players I WANT for the 2018 class. Hometown kid. Go get him Coach Painter.

Tyler Harris - 5’10, 160 pounds, Memphis, TN (Ridgeway HS) 4* Rivals #84

I don’t know too much on Tyler Harris. I have watched a little bit of film on him, but not too much. He is an explosive guard, who can score at will. He has standing offers from major programs, Memphis, Florida, Kansas, Iowa State and Purdue. If Kansas has offered, then I have no problem recruiting him. He is very quick and would be able to penetrate and kick to our shooters.

Foster Loyer - 6’, 165 pounds, Clarkston, MI (Clarkston HS) 3* Rivals #124

Loyer is hard for me to gauge. His only other B1G offer is MSU, who he is verbally committed too currently. I don’t see him reneging on that verbal either, being from Michigan kid. He can shoot, and takes care of the ball, exactly what you want in our big man oriented system. He can get up and down the court, just like most points can, which plays into our style of play. Yes, our pace is fast, we aren’t a slow it down team. I expect him to stay with MSU though.

Shooting Guards:

Romeo Langford - 6’4”, 185 pounds, New Albany, IN (New Albany HS) 5* Rivals #3

Langford is getting recruited by everyone. Duke, UNC, Kansas, Louisville, IU, UCLA, Kentucky, Purdue. Just a few of his offers there. He will be hard to lure in with all of those offers. IU recently opened up and said that he is their main priority for 2018 for Archie’s first class. I think he ends up at Duke or Uk, the one and done hot beds, which i would assume is what he wants. If he ends up in West Lafayette though, no one will complain.

Robby Carmody - 6’4”, 185 pounds, Mars, PA (Mars HS) 4* Rivals #92

Robby is another player I really want. He reminds me so much of Dakota Mathias, in stature, toughness and shooting ability. He is gaining traction in recruiting and seems as if everyone is starting to come on. We were very early on him, starting the process last season. Carmody has offers from Purdue, Louisville, Michigan, Butler, Notre Dame and Stanford. He will be tough to get, but I am hoping with starting so early we have a good head start.

Eric Hunter - 6’3”, 175 pounds, Indianapolis, IN (Tindley HS) 4* Rivals #78

Here is one that I think we get. Hunter is a good combo guard and could probably play some point for us at some points as well. He just recently lead his Tindley HS team to an Indiana State Championship. He can do it all, shoot, penetrate, pass and is quick enough to guard either a 1 or a 2 at the point. I am not sure why I am so confident we get him, but I just feel like he ends up with us. Other offers are Butler, Xavier, Minnesota.

Small Forwards:

Damezi Anderson - 6’7, 210 pounds, South Bend, Indiana (SB Riley HS), 4* Rivals #97

Damezi’s biggest offer resides from our Boilermakers in West Lafayette. He has offers from Ball state and New Mexico as well. I am unsure why he isn’t getting more attention from bigger schools. Damezi is long and super athletic. The kid can jump out of a building. He is raw offensively when it comes to shooting the ball, but he makes up for that with his above the rim mentality. With us coming in as his biggest offer, I hope that we get him. He is raw in some areas, but you can’t teach length and athleticism.

Brandon Johns - 6’7”, 185 Pounds, East Lansing, MI (East Lansing HS), 4* Rivals #42

Brandon is a combo forward, he can play either the 3 or the 4. For me, he is a little thin to play the 4, but that is up to how the coaches recruit him. I’m not going to lie, with being from East Lansing I am surprised he hasn’t committed to the Spartans already. But, kudos to him for not being single minded and going through to process. Similar to Anderson, Johns is very long and athletic. He is a more polished shooter than Anderson right now too. Defensively, his length can help us tremendously. He is a Vincent Edwards type mold with his length and shooting ability.

Power Forwards:

Joey Hauser - 6’8”, 215 pounds, Stevens Point, WI (Stevens Point HS) 4* Rivals #37

Hauser is nice. He has some good offers, Wisconsin, Marquette, UVA, Iowa, Iowa State and Purdue. It seems like Marquette might be the front runner here though. Joey is pretty polished for a PF. He can dribble drive, pull up and shoot, shoot the 3 and play the post. He is a little heavy footed on tape, but non the less he is ready to contribute from day 1 wherever he goes. I am unsure where we stand with him, but I would love to have him.

Pete Nance - 6’8”, 205 pounds, Akron, OH (Revere HS) 3* Rivals unranked

Pete is the younger brother of LA Lakers power forward Larry Nance Jr. Pete is just as athletic as his brother is too. He plays ABOVE well above the rim. He just appeared a few days ago as Purdue going after him, and in my opinion we stand as his best offer. Northwestern and Michigan have gotten in on the sweepstakes as well. I think we have a pretty good chance with him, as we play through our 4s and 5s.


Adam Trapp - 7’2, 210 pounds, Esko, MN (Esko HS) 3* Rivals unranked

We have a big man shortage for the first time in a long time. The 2016 class had no big man. The 2017 class has Eden Ewing, who is more a PF, unless Malik Ondigo ends up in West Lafayette. If Coach Painter still wants to make is big man U, then we need to get one for sure in 2018 class. Trapp is thin at 210 pounds, similar to Haarms, who could also be a big man for us I suppose. Trapp should end up with us, IMO, but, who knows. Is other offers are DePaul and Iowa.

Emmanuel Dowuona - 6’10, 225 pounds, Miami, FL (Westwood Christian) 3* 247

The players with these last names always end up at Louisville, but I think we are pushing hard for him, as we will need a center. Dowuona is a premier athlete that could be a rim protector and dunker. His game is similar to Malik Ondigo that we are recruiting for 2017. They might as well be twins.

Ernest “EJ” Williams - 6’11”, 300 pounds, Middletown, Ohio (Middletown HS) 3* 247

EJ is my dark horse prospect. If we don’t get any other big men, I can see us pushing hard for him. He is a traditional back to the basket bully big man. He is not a real rim protector or athlete, but he is a big big body. We have yet to offer, but Xavier has offered already. We have pulled a pretty good player from Middletown, Ohio before with Vincent Edwards. He is the dark horse and I think his recruiting will pick up his senior year.

Who do I want? Like it actually matters, it seems like we will get 4 spots for 2018, if we get a 5th year to fill Biggie’s spot if he leaves we should have 5. Ideally, I want a Phinisee, Hunter, Johns & Trapp class. If we get a 5th spot, give me Nance, his potential entices me.

There is a lot hanging right now with 2018 basketball recruiting. Losing Jack Owens could impact a lot. It seems as if Painter is after a premier recruiter to fill Coach Owens’ spot. We need that badly. I like the guys we are going after, that Coach Owens and Coach Painter have set the foundation for, now we just need another guy to come close the deal with Coach Painter.

Look for 2018 recruiting to pick up for us this summer.