In the early stages of the offseason recruiting period, Matt Painter has been active on the recruiting trail and has now picked up after a class of 2022 guard, Braden Smith, announced his commitment via Twitter early Thursday evening!
This is the second recruit to pledge to the Boilermakers since the end of the season, as Smith joins fellow Indiana and Hamilton County native Brian Waddell. If you recall back in 2015, Matt Painter signed Grant Weatherford and Ryan Cline from the same area in Indiana. Carmel High School, led by Waddell beat Smith and Westfield High School in their sectional championship game this past season.
Smith was offered just a few days ago and evidently has been waiting on a Purdue offer for some time now. The Boilermakers were the first high major program to extend an offer, but Gonzaga, Oregon, Villanova, and Indiana were all interested in him. At the time of his commitment, he held offers from IUPUI, Appalachian State, Belmont, Montana, North Texas, and Toledo.
Purdue’s 2022 recruiting class now consists of two Indiana natives in the aforementioned Braden Smith who joins Homestead’s, Fletcher Loyer. As of right now, the Boilermakers will have Isaiah Thompson, Ethan Morton, Brandon Newman, and possibly Jaden Ivey if he does not leave early for the NBA in the backcourt by the time these two make their way on campus.
For a recruit that is not ranked by either 247 nor Rivals, Purdue fans could have mixed emotions on the newest Boilermaker, but anyone that has seen him play has nothing but great things to say about him.
During his junior season at Westfield, Smith averaged 22.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game while also hitting his three-point attempts at a blistering 45.1% clip. During a sectional game this past season against Noblesville High School, he dropped a career-high 41 points in a win to advance. He has great basketball IQ, sees the floor extremely well, and is a very crafty passer, as you can see from his junior season highlights below:
Matt Painter has found many under-recruited players over the last decade that have turned into great players for the Boilermakers such as, P.J. Thompson, Zach Edey, Sasha Stefanovic, and even Dakota Mathias to an extent. I see Smith being a very valuable piece for Purdue that comes in with the right mentality and the skill to contribute in West Lafayette.
Congratulations to Braden on his commitment, Purdue is happy to have you! Boiler Up!