Unless Rich Rodriguez picks up the hobby of basketball recruiting and sinks his
fangs claws into one of Purdue's basketball recruits in the next few months, it looks like Matty has signed the first three of his incoming class of 2014: Vince Edwards, Dakota Mathias and Jaquil Taylor.
If you read any of the recruting pages, our pals Brian Neubert at Rivals, Chris Emma at Scout and Eric Gardner at 247 have all told you about Purdue's three-man class. But if you're not big on reading up on recruiting, that's OK, we'll fill you in on what you need to know.
First off, Ohio's Vince Edwards is the guy that Painter really wanted to nail down and build around. Edwards was a bit more highly-rated a year ago, but landed as a high 3-star shooting forward with offers from Michigan, WVU, Xavier and others. His recruitment was a roller coaster ride, mostly because Edwards seemed to enjoy the limelight that came with it. He's very skilled, and at 6'7" has solid size for his ability. He's not the greatest shooter, but can create his own opportunities. It looked like he was a heavy UM lean at one point, but is now a boilermaker. If you're looking for a comparison, he's versatile like Hummel...but not as good of a shooter, a touch less length and with a better head of hair.
The first guy to verbal in the class was Mathias. Also offered by WVU and others, the 6'4" sharpshooter will draw some attention away from Kendall "The Kid" Stephens right away. He's an all-in guy; seems to love Purdue and is excited to get on campus. If you're looking for a comparison, he's a more-polished/developed Ryne Smith as a Freshman. Like Smith, he's out of Ohio.
Lastly, Jaquil Taylor is 6'9" and will provide depth behind Jay Simpson and co. should Hammons head to the league after this season. Painter has been pretty transparent, that he believe there's a good chance that Hammons is a two-and-done type of player if he works hard enough...but keep in mind that the NBA class for next season is ROBUST, to say the least. So if Purdue doesn't have a good-to-great season, I don't think Hammons will be a serious candidate to go. If he carries them to a very successful season, he gone. Back to Taylor- he probably needs the most development. He's long-armed and has decent athleticism and shot-blocking ability, but might struggle versus the bohemoths in the B1G. He's the first signee from Massachusetts for Painter.
As much as Edwards tried to will himself into the nation's elite during his recruiting, he stayed under that level...I don't really see any of the three of these guys being candidates to leave early. So for the program's stability and as Purdue has needs, all of these guys are very good fits. Plus, all are ready to get on campus.
Now, I really didn't like the way Edwards did more than flirt with other programs after calling Purdue a leader YEARS ago. But I will say this, he never really changed his story. In a way, we're witnessing a similar scenario with Tranquil (on the football side)...but since he started his dance with Notre Dame, I've been convinced he's not coming to Purdue.
I never really got that from Edwards...I think he just enjoyed the process of being recruited...a lot.
Purdue still has a lot of room for additional bodies...and the JuCo ranks and even unsigned players in the spring will be targets for Matty and Co. Since Taylor is a bit of project, Painter will seek a true big body to fill one of those spots...and Purdue will have a very large incoming class in '15 unless Hammons stays and gold falls from the sky in the form of a perfect fit.
I'm glad they're signed...because I hate recruiting.