Purdue Basketball head coach Matt Painter has done another fantastic job in recruiting for the 2014 class to come in. ESPN ranks this class 22nd overall and it’s the fourth best class in the Big Ten Conference.
The way this recruiting class is shaping up to be similar to the one Painter brought in 2007 that consisted of Robbie Hummel, Jajuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, and Scott Martin.
Purdue is bringing in P.J. Thompson, Vince Edwards, Jacquil Taylor, Dakota Mathias, and Issac Haas.
Thompson stands just under six foot but plays small compared to the other recruits the Boilermakers are bringing in. He seems like a good fit to replace Terone Johnson (Graduation) and Ronnie Johnson (Transfer) as the point guard of the team.
Thompson plays a similar style to former point guard Lewis Jackson. He is a strong passer off the dribble and he is not afraid to drive the lane and take a hit or two. He has the ability to be quick off the dribble and break a few ankles while doing so. He is also well equipped to catch and shoot from anywhere on the court.
Vince Edwards however has a similar style of play of former Boilermaker Robbie Hummel.
He brings in an offensive presence of being able to grind out down low and get a shot, however he also hones the power to step back behind the three point line and shoot the long ball. His defensive prowess comes at the low block where he can block almost everybody within reach.
The only issue with Edwards is he may be tall but he is lanky and he could stand to gain some more muscle before the season starts. Lastly for Edwards he could use a little more help with body control when he take the ball to the hoop and gain a better understanding of ball control.
Jacquil Taylor stands a 6-foot-9 barefoot. This kid is a mismatch for a lot of forwards and centers. He easily compares to Jajuan Johnson.
Taylor is extremely athletic, and is great for the pick and roll due to his height and strength against guards and forwards, especially in Purdue’s motion offense. He contains the right post moves to get the ball in the hoop, although he could always perfect a few more.
Much like Johnson Taylor is comfortable stepping out from the paint and shooting the ball. He too is also a defensive presence down low.
The main concern for Taylor is the fact he could stand to build more muscle. He is a skinny guy headed to play in the rough and tough Big Ten Conference.
Dakota Mathias is a 6-foot-5 guard forward combo out of Ohio, he carries the same attributes as E’Twaun Moore.
Mathias is a good ball handler and can drive strong to the basket if needed. He is outstanding shooting off the dribble as well. He is not afraid to shoot the deep ball either, and Mathias does not get phased with a hand in his face while he is shooting.
He does have the ability to grab a few boards here and there but don’t depend on him when you need one. If you need somebody to do that you can call on Issac Haas.
Issac Haas was a man among men in high school down in Alabama standing at 7-foot-2. He would be the perfect accent to returning center AJ Hammons.
Haas is a big strong body down low especially scoring wise. He is strong on the glass and can bully defenders into giving him position. The best part about his offense is his ability to put the ball in the basket after a missed shot. Much like Hammons, the kid loves to block shots.
The main concern with Haas however is his height and the stress his knees are under. Watching Haas run down the court, he steps gingerly as if he already has knee issues.
Overall this recruiting class is a big step up from years past and it looks like there will be a lot of promise. However Painter recruited all tall recruits except for Thompson. It may be misleading watching tapes on them since these guys tower over the competition.
The Big Ten Conference is an animal within itself and these guys will need to bulk up and play physical ball if they are to succeed.
Purdue has already gotten better by adding these five to the roster believing 3 could make an impact this upcoming season. Things finally seem to be looking bright again for Purdue Basketball.