(This meant to go up Saturday, but we were late).
Purdue has done well with Mr. Basketball. it took a while to get one after Glenn Robinson, but Caleb Swanigan had a successful Purdue career as the top player in Indiana. Now we get another Mr. Basketball from the same town.
Caleb Furst - Fr.
Ft. Wayne, IN (Blackhawk Christian HS)
6’10”, 230 pounds
2021-22 Projection: Potential Starter
Any time you can have a player of the caliber of Furst and not need him to play a lot as a freshman is a tremendous luxury. Furst could probably start at center on a lot of college basketball teams. For Purdue, we get to see how he can do at the four and he can play center to mess with lineups. It’s wonderful.
Furst, like Trey Kaufman-Renn, was a two-time state champion and could have had a third if not for the 2020 cancellation. His team went 105-11 in his four years in high school, winning the Class A title in 2019 and the 2A title in 2021 when they had to play up a level. They lost in the semi-state when Furst was a freshman, and they were favored to win in 2020 before COVID hit. He didn’t just dominate smaller schools, either. Blackhawk went around the state to play top competition. Just last year alone his team beat Kaufman-Renn at Silver Creek 94-84 in double OT. He also lost to Fletcher Loyer and top rated Homestead, but got a lot of other really good 4A wins with a team that averaged 82 ppg. His team was good enough to make a serious run in the old one-class Indiana tournament if we still had it.
Furst finished with 2,087 career points, then went and won a gold medal with Jaden Ivey and Team USA this summer at the U-19 World Cup. He is an extremely talented big that can shoot from outside, and he might be Purdue’s third best center behind Zach Edey and Trevion Williams. He will likely see a lot of minutes at the four this season, but can play the five in a pinch. he also has more of an outside shot than Tre or Edey.
It is a tremendous luxury to have him.