Matt Painter and the Purdue men’s basketball program picked up a massive commitment from consensus Top 40 recruit in the class of 2023, Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn, Thursday evening.
This was a recruit that had been on Purdue’s radar for quite some time. Gibbs-Lawhorn grew up in Purdue’s backyard of Lafayette up until his sophomore year of high school. After his freshman year at McCutcheon High School, he decided to transfer out to Real Salt Lake Academy for the rest of his high school career.
The 6’3 guard is one of the most touted recruits in the Matt Painter era. Coming in as the 30th ranked prospect in the class of 2023, he has been a fringe four/five-star player throughout his recruiting process. A foot injury held him out of his sophomore year, or he would likely be a five-star player across the board.
The 247Sports Composite rankings gave him a rating of 0.9867, which is the third-highest in program history behind Caleb Swanigan and E’Twaun Moore and just ahead of JaJuan Johnson. As we’ve seen across college basketball recruiting rankings aren’t everything, but it goes to show you just how talented this young man is.
Gibbs-Lawhorn’s only official offers were Purdue and Indiana, but he had some interest from schools such as Gonzaga, Kentucky, Mizzou, BYU, and Utah. Michigan State, Butler, Cincinnati, and Xavier also showed interest but had not given an offer. I believe the lack of actual offers also had to do with his injury, but Matt Painter and the staff saw enough to make him a priority for this class.
From the small amount of tape available on him to this point, it is hard not to come away impressed with his skills on the court. He is a score-first guard that has a great feel for the game and all of the traits you want out of a player.
Offensively, he can hurt you on all three levels. He has shown the ability to hit the three consistently, can attack the basket off the dribble, and play off the ball as well. Through 13 games this season, he is averaging 17.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game all while shooting 55% from the field. His perimeter shooting has dipped down a bit from his freshman year, but that ability remains prevalent in his game.
Watching his tape, he shows a great knack for using his handles to get to the bucket and phenomenal finishing ability in the paint. Once he gets to Purdue and gets coached up by Painter and the staff, those skills will only improve.
The main knock on his game is his size and defensive abilities. In a post-game interview last month, he said that he is becoming more comfortable on defense and embracing picking up guys full court, which we know is a calling card of Matt Painter’s guards at Purdue. As far as his size, once he gets on campus in the summer and starts the strength and conditioning program I think that will be a non-issue. He is listed in the 6’0, 165-pound range on recruiting sites but I’ve seen many tweets saying he is 6’3 now so he is still growing.
Gibbs-Lawhorn’s commitment now gives the Boilermakers an impressive 1-2 combo for the class of 2023 as he joins fellow four-star recruit, Myles Colvin. This game is unpredictable, but a Gibbs-Lawhorn and Colvin tandem has all the potential to become a lethal combination in the Big Ten.
These two will follow the class of 2022 which might not have the most hype around them but are deep and highly thought of within the program. It is more or less a 6 man class essentially with Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer, Camden Heide, and William Berg as true freshmen while Trey Kaufman-Renn and Brian Waddell will be coming off their redshirt seasons.
Matt Painter has hit the recruiting trail hard and picked up some very interesting pieces for the next couple of years, but Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn might be the most talented of them all. Congrats to Dravyn on his commitment and welcome to the Boilermaker family!