Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at some recruits that Coach Matt Painter and his staff are looking at or have committed in the incoming classes. In this series we provide an overview of the player, provide a comparison to a former Purdue basketball player, where Purdue stands with the recruit, and hopefully hear from the player or one of their coaches. Let’s get into one of Purdue’s 2024 commits in Brownstown Central’s Jack Benter.
Benter is a 6’5 200 pound shooting guard from Brownstown Central High School in Brownstown, Indiana. He is ranked as the 37th shooting guard in his class and 6th overall in the state of Indiana. He is currently rated a 3 star player on 247 but is unrated on all other major recruiting networks (Rivals, On3, and ESPN. Benter is the type of recruit that Purdue and Matt Painter just seems to focus in on like Braden Smith or Sasha Stefanovic where they’ll fit great into what Purdue needs them to be for a successful program. He is really under rated as a player who continues to grow, gain strength, but continues to show an evolving game that is expanding to be a capable three level scorer.
Benter is just a junior but shows a really good ability to dribble into jump shots where he has a high release point but what jumps out for the shooting guard is his ability to finish at the rim. This is something that, with his bigger body, he will be able to get to the rim and finish through contact as he continues to develop a more rounded offensive game. On defense, Benter will need to improve his lateral quickness to be able to defend smaller, quicker guards but he can use his length to disrupt shooters.
A good comparison for Benter I think would be former Purdue players Sasha Stefanovic or Dakota Mathias. Like those players, Benter is pretty under ranked for his skill level and shooting but has been a bit of a late developer. Benter is one of the better shooters in his class and has grown about two inches from his sophomore to junior season. Sasha and Dakota both came to Purdue needing to work on their bodies a bit with Sasha taking a redshirt but with Benter the skills that Coach Painter values and looks for are evident. Benter’s comparison may be much closer to Mathias than Sasha as Benter shows better overall skills in some things like shot creation, handling ball pressure with the dribble, and his length. Where Benter really shines above those two is his overall athleticism and an ability to finish at the rim with dunks. If you haven’t seen it yet, Benter showed a lot of this athleticism with his dunk that brought a halt to the game by shattering a backboard.
Benter also really compares well to both of those players in his ability to catch and shoot from behind the arc which I believe he is one of the better catch and shoot wings in his class. A lot of that skill is developed as a young player in high school where a player doesn’t have the physical abilities to match up with older players and they rely on others to create open shots for them from behind the arc for shots. Dakota really flashed his ability to create his own shot in his final two seasons at Purdue and has really shown that in the G-League and Benter certainly has flashed that ability this season but the higher ceiling for Benter may be his ability to get to the rim and finish above it (which is something Sasha and Dakota could not do).
On the defensive end, Benter appears to give good effort but both Dakota and Sasha struggled with picking up the defensive game at the major college level. This is possibly where the better athleticism will help Benter with a higher ceiling as he’ll be able to defend across the perimeter for all positions.
Like you see in the video clip below from Nick Baumgart (@Nick_Baumgart) you can see the high level shot making ability and skills from Benter that drew Coach Painter to the emerging guard/wing. He has the kind of range to draw defenders way out beyond the arc but has the ability to put the ball on the dribble to take advantage of that. He even shows his ability to find open players in that sequence as well and he is well known for sharing the ball in that manner which shows a high IQ.
I’ll say this: he is likely under recruited like Braden Smith because they play on the Under Armour affiliate Grand Park Premier AAU team and not with the Nike branded Indy Heat. Benter likely has more offers and a better ranking if he was getting put in front of the coaches and 247/Rivals/ESPN media at those mega events. Benter is another case of a guy checking all the boxes for Purdue from a skill and personality standpoint and another one where schools around the B1G will be kicking themselves for not recruiting more seriously.
One of the better 2:33 I've seen so far, courtesy of Brownstown Central junior Jack Benter at the BCDC Classic before Christmas. After Peyton Bledsoe puts Loogootee up 4 late in first half, the Purdue-commit went to work. pic.twitter.com/bH8KtwOmNM— Nick Baumgart (@Nick_Baumgart) January 5, 2023
Where Does Purdue Stand?:
Benter is currently one of two current commits in the 2024 class joining Kanon Catchings from Brownsburg, IN. Benter is a solid commit and doesn’t appear to be wavering in that commitment to Coach Painter and the Boilers.
In the midst of a great junior season, Jack sat down with H&R staff to discuss his growth as a player, his commitment to Purdue, and how he thinks he fits into Purdue’s program.
Hammer & Rails Staff: Brownstown Central has started off 9-3 overall and a 3-0 start in conference. How do you feel your season been going so far?
Jack Benter: ‘Our season has been going good so far. We have had some injuries throughout the course. Our point guard broke his finger so we are down a couple guys right now. So we just need to regroup here and get ready for the post season. I’ve been moved to full time point guard now so that has been a little adjustment with everything. I’ve helped handle the ball the past three years but never done it full time. It’s just been an adjustment doing that full time.’
H&R: Right now you are having a great junior season that appears to be headed to a possible Indiana Junior All Stars selection. What would that mean for you headed into your senior season?
J.B: ‘That would be something special to be a junior all star and not many kids get the opportunity to achieve that goal so that is special. I just have to keep working and have a better senior season than my junior season.’
H&R: You’ll be a very recognized senior player next season and Purdue has had a good run of Mr. Basketball’s lately (Braden Smith, Caleb Furst, Caleb Swanigan). What would it mean to you to win that award before heading to Purdue?
J.B: ‘That would be special. Every kid in Indiana, their dream is to be Mr. Basketball growing up. That is just something that would mean a lot to me and my community.’
H&R: In another interview your father said you kind of stopped growing and then started again. I think you are listed now at around 6’5 and 200 pounds. Do you expect to keep growing a bit more or do you think 6’5 may be where you likely end up?
J.B: ‘I am hoping to get another inch or two. My dad grew when he got to college so I am hoping so I can keep growing like that.’ <would make Benter a 6’7 shooting guard>
H&R: You had offers to Indiana State and Liberty prior to your commitment to Purdue but had you waited likely would have led to more opportunities. What were some other schools that you think may have offered you or had really shown interest prior to your commitment?
J.B: ‘Virginia, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, and a lot of mid-majors showed a lot of interest. My dad went to college with one of UVA’s assistants so that’s where that interest came from and Virginia Tech saw me at an AAU tourney this past summer.’
H&R: Had the staff at Purdue been following you for a long time or was your recruitment a pretty quick one? What were some things that stood out to you about the staff that made you think ‘Purdue is the place for me?’
J.B: ‘Purdue watched me early. Coach Shrewsberry spoke to my dad my freshman year and then they came and watched me my sophomore year. Then this summer when I came to Purdue for camp (elite and team camp), Coach Painter came and watched me like four times.’
‘Coach Painter and the staff just makes you feel at home. They make it feel like a big family and they are the best fit for me. They (the staff) are just great people and on my official visit I got a chance to hang out with the entire team and I’m excited to get there.’
H&R: It is obviously still pretty early but do you think you have what you might be interested in majoring in at Purdue? If so, what experiences led to you wanting to choose that?
J.B: ‘I’ve been trying to think about that the last couple of months but I haven’t figured out what I would major in yet.’
H&R: What part of your game do you think is your best attribute right now? What do you think you need to work on the most before getting to Purdue to possibly help contribute during your freshman season?
J.B: ‘My shooting and my passing. My freshman year I was mostly a catch and shoot guy but the past couple years I’ve been able to turn my game into more of a three level scorer where I can get to the basket, get my own shot, or shoot from the outside. Last year I could dunk but this year I feel like I’ve been more explosive and just being able to get a step on my defender makes me more confident to go up and finish strong. But I think I just need to keep working on my body to get stronger and faster.’
H&R: Your father was the National Player of the Year his senior season at Hanover College and is your head coach at Brownstown Central. How intense were or are those 1 on 1 games in the driveway or the gym? What did you do when you finally got that first win?
J.B: We haven’t played recently but back in the day they would get pretty heated sometimes. He would bury me and wouldn’t let me win though. About quarantine, I started getting bigger and quicker and he was slowing down so it evened out more so by the time I got to high school I could beat him. That first time I won I let him know about it.’
H&R: What player do you most think you compare yourself to? Is there someone in college or the NBA that you look at and think ‘their game is what I think my game looks like?’
J.B: ‘Dakota Mathias, that’s who a lot of people compared me to; that’s who Coach Painter compared me to.’
H&R: You’ll be joining fellow 2024 win Kanon Catchings at Purdue. Have you had a chance to play with or against him? What do you know about him?
J.B: ‘Back in like 4th or 5th grade we played AAU together. He is a great player and he has had a really great junior year so far. He is a really great guy.’
H&R: Your team is down by two with 15 seconds left. Your team has the ball and the coach puts the ball in your hand. What kind of action do you want to run to go and get a bucket? Do you go for the tie or the win?
J.B: ‘I would probably call for a high ball screen and see what the defense gives you. If they stay back, you go for the win but if they but if they come up and blitz the ball screen you try to get something at the rim or find someone else for an open shot. It would really depend on the time left in the game though. If there was only like 5 seconds left I’d go for the win but 15 seconds left I’d go for a quick two.’
H&R: Purdue has some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in college basketball and that makes Mackey Arena a pretty unique place to play. What kind of player are fans going to get to watch during your time at Purdue?
J.B: ‘I’m hoping a great player. I’m hoping that the coaching staff can develop me into a great player and I can be someone that make Boilernation proud.’