The 2021 recruiting class for Purdue is all but complete after Brian Waddell announced his commitment to the Boilermakers on Wednesday. Waddell joins four-star forwards Trey Kaufman-Renn and Caleb Furst to round out another solid group of freshmen.
There have been rumors circulating that he is almost a certain redshirt candidate next season and will essentially be a part of the 2022 class. The same was said for Zach Edey before last season and that ended up not being the case so we shall see what the coaching staff decides on next fall.
Fletcher Loyer, a four-star guard out of Fort Wayne is the only signed recruit for the Boilermakers in the class of 2022 at the moment. He was the leader and go-to scorer for a Homestead team that finished 25-1 on the season and also had four-star Illinois commit Luke Goode. As a junior, Loyer posted 24.4 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the field and a blistering 45% from long distance.
At 6’3, Loyer is listed as a shooting guard but could play a good portion of minutes as a point guard as well. This is important given the possible subtractions of Hunter Jr, Stefanovic, and Ivey.
After next year, there is much uncertainty surrounding who will still be sticking around for the Boilermakers. Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr. have reportedly told Matt Painter that they do not plan to use their extra year of eligibility with All-Big Ten big man Trevion Williams likely following suit. The program will presumptively have three open scholarships for that season at the least.
Another possibility that should be under consideration is Jaden Ivey’s possible early exit to the NBA, which looks very likely. In an ESPN 2022 NBA Mock Draft via Jonathan Givony, he has Ivey being selected 14th overall and could go much higher if he continues to build off of his success last year.
A big question for the needs of this class will be answered by Ethan Morton’s play this season. He had a rough year and Matt Painter is extremely high on the former four-star prospect that can play 1-3 and even had some practice time at the four. If Morton plays how he is expected to, Purdue has another talented guard that can do a little bit of everything.
Matt Painter and the rest of the coaching staff will have their work cut out for them on the recruiting trail whether Ivey stays another year or not. It does beg the question, what holes will Purdue need to fill?
There are three main areas Purdue must address in this class or the graduate transfer market:
- Another forward/center to play alongside Edey, Gillis, Kaufman-Renn, and Furst.
- Shooting wing that can guard multiple positions.
- Guard that can create off the dribble and run the offense.
The 2022 recruiting class is loaded with talent and the potential to mesh with the rest of the team. Here are the prospects that are of high priority for Purdue:
- Camden Heide: Heide has long been on the Boilermaker’s radar and seems to have them as his most likely destination with four Crystal Ball Predictions via 247. The 6’5 Minnesota wing can shoot it from deep and has a versatile arsenal offensively, but will not jump out of the gym like Jaden Ivey or Brandon Newman. He would will the role of a Sasha Stefanovic/Brandon Newman at the three position and could play well alongside the aforementioned Waddell. Purdue is the frontrunner to land the four-star small forward, with Arizona, Minnesota, Creighton, and Iowa among others still in the running.
- Jalen Washington: This would be an enormous win on the recruiting trail if Washington were to come to West Lafayette. The 6’9 Gary, Indiana native is ranked 20th in the country and will be a stud regardless of where he goes to school. Adding him to Edey, Kaufman-Renn, Furst, and Mason Gillis would make for one of if not the best front-court in the country. He can score on all three levels, tenacious on the glass, and has the tools to be a great defensive player. Purdue is firmly entrenched in the running for the five-star forward but will be tough to land him as he seems to also be honed in on Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, and Stanford. Right now, it is up in the air on where he decides to go, but a potential instant impact player would do wonders for Matt Painter.
- Jameel Brown: There is a bit of an asterisk alongside Brown as he once committed to Purdue before reopening his recruitment following Micah Shrewsberry’s move to Penn State. The Nittany Lions appear to be the frontrunner, but Brown has said Purdue is still very much in the running. The other schools that are in the mix currently include Notre Dame, Virginia, Pitt, and Saint Joe’s. Although Purdue still has a shot, it seems like a move to Penn State is close to being a done deal.
- Vince Iwuchukwu: Hailing from the powerhouse, La Lumiere, Iwuchukwu is an uber-talented center that has several top programs vying for his services. As Trevion Williams leaves following next season, there could be a hole behind Zach Edey for the main reserve center position. This also depends on how Caleb Furst fits within the roster though, as he could very well split time there as Matt Painter has done in the past. Baylor, Kansas, Texas, and Purdue are among the most talked-about destinations for the big man, but Baylor would appear to be in the lead.
Recent Purdue offers to monitor:
- Josh Dix: Like Waddell, Dix is a bit of an under-recruited late bloomer that Matt Painter has shown he loves to jump on. A phenomenal shooter that has a great scoring feel and shows some unexpected bounce in certain positions. He was being recruited by Paul Lusk at Creighton but had yet to receive an offer from the Blue Jays. Dix has started to get more high major offers in the last couple of weeks with Wake Forest and Iowa joining the Boilermakers.
- Demarion Watson-Saulsberry: Another Lusk recruit from Creighton is a very athletic wing, Watson-Saulsberry. They were high on his list with Lusk as the main contributor and also holds offers from Florida, Iowa State, Marquette among others. He would fill the role that Painter hoped Aaron Wheeler would serve for the Boilermakers, and at 6’7 could bring much-needed length and athleticism to this roster.
- Seth Trimble: Trimble was just offered in the last couple of days by Matt Painter and is a highly sought-after prospect in this class. He could find himself playing the same role that Jameel Brown was set to have alongside Fletcher Loyer, a combo guard that can score at a high level and an above-average passer as well. It is up in the air on where he stands in the recruiting process, so this is a wait-and-see situation at the moment.
Ideal 2022 recruiting class:
- Fletcher Loyer
- Camden Heide
- Jalen Washington/Vince Iwuchukwu
- Demarion Watson-Saulsberry/Josh Dix
In the past, Purdue has gotten many great players who weren’t necessarily the most highly recruited and it has worked out quite well for them. As the AAU circuit gets back going this summer and these players roll into their senior seasons, fans should expect more news on potential commits moving forward.