You've probably heard us say that we don't get too wrapped up in recruiting, at least publicly on this site. Sure, we'll read about it, talk about players and potential in person...but tend not to jump on stories about 15 and 16 year olds with great vim and vigor in this venue.
Back in November of 2009, a virtually-unknown Sophomore point guard from Ohio committed to playing for Matty and the staff. Some Purdue faithful were shocked, others who had seen video of the up-and-coming, hard-nosed guard thought he was a perfect fit.
Kyle Molock is defensive-minded, smart and tough. Those three things are probably in the top-5 of most-important characteristics for a player under Matt Painter to have. Add a ton of athleticism, a lot of humility and great vision, and you can understand why Painter liked the kid a ton.
But, recruiting services weren't in love with Molock, even before he blew out his knee a year ago...so the three-star athlete's stock has held steady, and maybe even fallen a bit as he's been on the mend. At the same time, Ronnie Johnson's enjoyed a meteoric rise as his recruitment heated up, the lights got brighter and the offers rolled in. Subsequently, he decided he also wanted to play in God's country. So Johnson & Molock were set to come to Mackey in '12 and Scott would be there in '13...all at point guard. PLUS, TJohn and Barlow will both be playing some point guard in the coming seasons...that's a lot of guys wanting to bring the ball up...but only one ball.
So something probably had to give. Maybe Molock thought that since he was the only kid out of Ohio, that he wasn't a great fit. Maybe since his pals were looking at Xavier, Cincy and aOSU, that he wanted to keep playing with them...or maybe he just didn't like the uphill fight he had infront of him coming in behind a couple of guys who would already be established...regardless of the reason, he'll be playing his college ball somewhere outside of West Lafayette.
I don't really cry when this stuff happens and I generally don't celebrate too much when someone decides to come to Purdue either...there are just too many variables before a kid ever suits up in the gold in black to get overly excited. Maybe it's because I'm 35 years old and jaded or maybe it's because I'm a curmudgeon. Regardless of your perspective, I hope we all learn a bit from Kyle Molock's recruitment- that nothing is a sure thing...and stuff happens. Plus, how rock-solid were your decisions before you got your driver's license?? I can't speak for you, but mine were always good and rooted in solid research and a very sound thought process.
On the other side, my gut feeling is that when Painter recruits someone, there's usually a reason for it. A few months ago, I had never heard of Derek Willis. Now, Willis is becoming a summer circuit star...and Matty's probably not surprised. He hasn't missed on many of these guys, if any...and even if a few fans don't like a kid for one reason or another, they were generally courted by Painter's staff because they saw the kid as fulfilling a need.
It's really not our style to rip up a kid who decides to sweat and bleed for our alma mater, so you won't hear us do that here, or at other times (especially if he's on the roster). And if a kid decommits from a verbal, has his own reasons for it and handles himself with class and dignity, we wish him well. That's the case today.
I hope Molock finds a good fit, whether in his home state or elsewhere...but I also hope Purdue beats him if/when the schools cross paths. Good luck, Mr. Molock.