Next year, Nemanja Calasan and Chris Reid will ride off into the sunset. It seems that these losses aren't too significant at first blush...Calasan doesn't look like he's going to be an all Big Ten this year and Reid will see little-more than spot duty this year. But, both provide depth under the basket.
While JJ seems to be a budding star, he's going to need help, especially when Nemanja is no longer available. He'll get that help from incoming Freshmen Jeff Robinson and Patrick Bade. Kelsey Barlow, another Forward, may also grow a few more inches, but seems to be more of a finesse player than Bade and Robinson. In my opinion, a player like Butler's Matt Howard (who was almost a Boilermaker) would fit in well...and one of these three might become that type of end-to-end, rebounding-first PF that Painter needs.
The incoming class rounds out quite nicely with the jewel of the bunch, D.J. Byrd. I like Byrd a lot for a lot of reasons...he can create his own shot off of the dribble, he's a good defender and can square up and shoot. But maybe more than that, I really like Byrd because he not only rejected X, UND and IU when he chose Purdue...but from his Sophomore year on, he's really been a big time Purdue cheerleader who has helped Matt Painter's recruiting effort...and he's not even officially a Boiler, until tomorrow (when this class officially signs on).
To learn more about this incoming class from the good folks at Rivals, click here.
I'll be honest, I don't think the class of '09 will be like the class of '07...BUT, '10 is a different story...It just keeps gettin better.
Who do you think will be the Ostrich of this class?
(For the record, I didn't think Hummel would be ready for prime time for a few seasons...I am so SMRT)