As you probably know, fellow Indianapolis Cathedral alum Errick Peck has his final three down to Purdue, Xavier and Duquesne...and the decision rides on upcoming visits to the latter schools.
For those of you that don't get wrapped up in recruiting- good for you. It's a dirty, slimy business, even when it's within the rules...and it's putrid and foul when the teams that press the envelope get involved with a kid's Dad or AAU coach who is a willing dance partner. Plus, as we all know too well, Purdue is a consummate bridesmaid in these battles; timing isn't right, player didn't receive enough love (hate that fricking phrase), or a player miraculously changes his mind due to circumstances unknown.
BUT, the Errick Peck scenario is different. He's 21 years old, a fifth year Senior and seemingly damned important to Purdue. Not sure if the Muskies or Dukes need him as much as Purdue right now...and am also not sure that it matters to Peck. He's gotta do what's best for him at this point. We talked about Peck a few weeks ago as one of the guys we wanted to see in a Purdue uni as he would check off a number of boxes that the program needs right now...but none is a bigger box than maturity; something this squad desperately needs.
Back in 2009, Peck didn't receive offers from any of the teams that he's got in his final three this time around. Butler was really the only offer of note (if you're looking at it solely from a basketball power standpoint)...But this was pre-back-to-back NCAA finals appearance Butler. The other two offers were Missouri State and Evansville. When he weighed his options, Peck thought paying for an Ivy League education would be of some value after he was done playing basketball (weird idea, right?).
As I save for my kids' college tuition in the distant future, Purdue's nearly $10k pricetag doesn't seem like chump change. But Cornell's $45k/year ticket is eye-popping. Keep in mind that price doesn't include room, board or tweed blazers with a crest on the breast (which I presume all Ivy League students have to wear year-round). I'm not sure exactly how much Peck and his family had to pay for his tuition per year...but it was a lot more than $0.
Peck was injured one season, played three solid years, has an Ivy League diploma and now has a chance to play in the new-fangled Big East, A10 or B1G...and potentially make an impact at any of the three programs. I'm glad Purdue's in this conversation and has a chance to land him; a character guy who's also a good basketball player isn't a bad thing for a program, even for only a season. I have no idea if Kelsey Barlow is a close communication to Peck due to their time at Cathedral...but have read nothing that indicates they are- that can't be a negative for Painter at this point.
According to many sources I've read, Painter's pitch to Peck has been consistent with what Painter does- he makes no promises. And unlike a typical 18 year old recruit with little life experience behind him and bad counsel whispering in his ear, Peck seems to like Painter's recruiting technique.
And speaking of that technique, the message boards have been ablaze (kinda) with the discussion of Painter as a recruiter. Plenty of Purdue fans want to see Painter stop being so honest, and maybe sugar coat the product that he's selling a bit. I get what they're saying.
On one hand, you have "coach A" who tells a kid that he can't stop thinking about him via social networking, or that he reminds him of an NBA all-star. On the other hand, you have a coach that refuses to promise playing time, let alone express his undying admiration for an 18 year old boy. As a guy who is a horrible liar, I get where Painter's coming from...but as a guy who also sells business service to clients, I know that there's a time for brutal honestly, and the courting process isn't that time. Painter also should make sure not to wear the suit that looks like jeans and a khaki blazer on recruiting visits; my dead Grandpa thinks that one is out of style...I digress.
But Painter's recruiting helped him get a verbal commit from Dakota Mathias this week...that's a good thing. Mathias isn't currently in anyone's top-150, but based on the way his young AAU season is going, he'll break into one of the recruiting service's rankings in the next few months. He's between 6'4" and 6'6" (according to different sources), is a good shooter and is out of Ohio. He felt like Purdue was a good fit and seems to really want to play in God's country...so that's a good start. Just as Hazell got his first '14 verbal, Mathias will be in Painter's 2014 class...but there are three or four other players who look to be Purdue leans. We'll see who pans out in the next few months. You can be assured of one thing though- we at BS won't be too excited about any of these guys until they sign their letters of intent.
Sorry for the diversion from our normal focus, NHL hockey of course...I'll do my best to get you an update as soon as I care about it.