Purdue Football and Basketball Mailbag: Quarantine Edition

Last week I put out a call to the Purdue community in our time of need and some of you answered the call. Here’s what people had to ask and how I answered.

Harrison Ingram? @Everyone

Alright, I see everyone is extremely excited about Harrison Ingram and there is good reason to be, he is a certified stud and could prove to be an extremely versatile piece to allow Purdue to go “small” but still maintain solid height should he make his way to Purdue.  Everyone is asking about Purdue’s chances and I think Purdue will have a shot at the end of the day. One of the school’s Purdue is going up against for Ingram is Stanford, which goes to show how invested in academics he is. While Purdue might not be exactly the same level of academics that Stanford, it is still a really solid academic institution. But, where Purdue has the advantage is recent success compared to Stanford.  Needless to say the competition for Ingram’s talents will be tough but at the end of the day I think Ingram will give Purdue a serious look, especially considering the last Purdue guard that came from Texas.

Are Purdue fans getting their hopes up just to get crushed again? @rahkaflakalakha

In some regards yes, in some regards no.  Since Caleb Furst committed the Purdue fanbase seems to have gotten locked into Harrison Ingram, he did take a visit all the way from Texas after all.  Statistically speaking it is very unlikely Purdue lands Ingram, but that is assuming everyone he is considering has an equal chance. So in that regard Purdue fans are setting themselves up to get crushed statistically speaking, but as I said before Purdue will have a shot so we shall see.

How realistic is a class of Furst/Ingram/Kaufman?  That would be insane. @e_atkinson

Now this one is very unlikely just on statistics alone.  In order for this would happen it would require Purdue to land Ingram, have someone transfer out and then land Kaufman even with Furst already on board.  This would be an incredible class, but there is near 0% chance this lands.

We still in on Wesley as well?  What about 2022 recruiting? I see there’s a stud out of Gary, IN. @e_atkinson

I think Purdue’s primary focus is now shifted towards guards and that would include Wesley.  Not sure he is a guy Purdue would immediately take right now with Ingram on the board still, and that isn’t to mention Max Christie as well who Purdue was sitting well with prior to receiving a Duke offer.  In terms of 2022 recruiting, you are correct there is a big fish in Gary, that would be Jalen Washington. From what I’ve seen is that he did just recently suffer a season-ending ACL injury so that will be something to watch how he recovers in the future.  In terms of the rest of class it seems like it will be a fairly large class with potentially up to 4 or 5 scholarships available depending how things shake out now. Another name to watch in 2022 is Cameron Heide, who is a native of Minnesota but his father is a local guy and Purdue grad.

Do you think someone will transfer (Wheeler? Emmanuel?) to open up another spot in 2021 class? @MattPearson18

Nothing against Matt, but I really hate speculating on people transferring, these are these kids’ entire lives we are talking about.  That being said there very well could be someone to transfer, but I won’t be talking about specifics. Purdue has a very talented roster and that roster only gets 200 minutes of time a game to divvy up.  A third scholarship for the 2021 would definitely not be the worst thing in the world with the number of people Purdue is “in on.” Heck Purdue hasn’t even offered Luke Goode yet for the class and Purdue should be in a good spot considering his friendship with Caleb Furst.

What is the next basketball domino to fall into place? @justin_krohn

People might not like it but the next domino to fall will be someone on Purdue’s board committing someone isn’t Purdue.  Is it Ingram? Kaufman? Christie? Who knows, but Purdue landing a second and likely final commit being the next domino to fall is highly unlikely.

Do you see any late additions to the football roster? Any late attrition that you see possible? @justin_krohn

I would not be surprised to see Purdue potentially pick up a grad transfer all the way up until fall practices start, but as of now I’m not sure Purdue is on anybody in the grad transfer market.  May need to wait to this pandemic gets cleared up to get a better picture. As for attrition that was always a possibility after the conclusion of Spring Ball, but with this current situation I’m not really sure.  Will school’s be able to get some summer practices in to complete their allotment? Who knows? Long story short, with a compromised Spring Ball season the outlook going into the Summer is very muddy to say the least.

What have you heard about Yanni Karlaftis?  Also is Purdue a Dark Horse for any big time recruits? @SchmitzRyan12

Have not heard a ton about Yanni, it appears he is playing this one closer to the belt than George did.  One thing that does seem apparent is that wherever he lands he appears to plan on enrolling early. In terms of other big time recruits, Purdue definitely has a chance to land some big time names, I’ve always maintained that with Purdue’s apparent scholarship crunch coming this year, the average rating of this class should hopefully be higher than the last two.  Purdue personally is the leader for 4* RB Mar’keiese Irving based on things I have seen. Other blue chip recruits Purdue might be in the picture for include: Donaven McCulley (QB, IN), Dominic Lovett (WR, IL), Rayshaun Benny (OT, MI), Raheem Anderson (OC, MI), Naquon Brown (DE, VA), Tyleik Williams (DT, VA), Jamari Buddin (LB, MI), Jalen King (CB, MI), Jaylen Reed (S, MI), Jantzen Dunn (ATH, KY)

What are realistic floor floor/ceiling scenarios for football and basketball next year? @AlmakkiDeputy

 Honestly Purdue Football has an absolutely brutal schedule this upcoming year. Non-conference matchups including hosting Air Force and Memphis and travelling to Boston College are some of the toughest in the Big Ten.  A Big Ten schedule opening up at Nebraska with trips to Michigan and Minnesota are especially rough. The Big Ten West is absolutely wide open and top to bottom very competitive these days so really anything is possible.  Absolutely nothing would surprise me out of Purdue next year, but this is really the season where the staff needs to show the investment the athletic department has made has been worthwhile. There are no more excuses left to give (provided the team doesn’t become a field hospital again).  A bowl game is a must have next year and competing for the Big Ten West title till the last few weeks is an expectation. 

As for basketball we don’t know much about the future schedule both non-conference and in-conference.  Regardless of the schedule, I fully believe Purdue will not have a repeat performance of it’s season. I’m looking forward to Purdue competing for it’s 26th Big Ten Championship and making it to the second weekend of March Madness next year. 

Why do we struggle to keep high ranked in-state basketball recruits (vs. Indiana for example)? @AlmakkiDeputy

This answer might ruffle some feathers but I’m just going to be honest.  Up until recently Purdue Basketball has never been a big brand but it isn’t any fault of it’s own.  Purdue doesn’t have a built in major market like other big time national programs and also doesn’t have a massive nationwide legacy like Indiana.  But things are changing in that department in large part to basketball games being on a more national scale, recent success and the excellent creative department behind Purdue’s recent social media push.  You can literally see this notion changing each and every year. Last year Purdue landed Jaden Ivey, the top in-state recruit for 2020 and already landed Caleb Furst in 2021, the second rated recruit. I think we are going to start seeing more and more success for Coach Matt Painter in landing his top targets both in-state and nationally.

Favorite part of your new reporting role so far? @AlmakkiDeputy

Honestly, just being around other people that are as invested in covering athletics.  The conversations had in press conference rooms while waiting for people to speak are some of the best conversations about sports I’ve ever had.  I also have to shout out the rest of the ISC Staff, it is refreshing to have people to talk to about the smallest of things related to Purdue athletics. 

Who do you see in the starting lineup at the beginning of next season?  Have seen some people clamoring for Nojel to be moved to the 4. It comes down to starting IT at point and Nojel at the 4 or Nojel at point and Wheeler or Gillis at 4? @cmarchino12

Nojel will stay in the PG role next year, but we may see some more sets where he gets a post up.  Honestly that is where he has had the most success for an individual scoring perspective outside of getting put backs on rebounds.  I’m also a firm believer that Aaron Wheeler will have a very successful off-season and bounce back year.

If Morton shows up and beats out IT in the first scenario I wouldn’t have any problems.  I just think it’s asking a lot of a freshman to be expected to start when there’s so many guys who have gotten time already in front of him.  Thoughts? @cmarchino12

Asking freshmen to have any significant outside of some back up minutes is very rare and that will be extra true next season with all of the returning talent Purdue will have.   I predict we will see only one freshman get playing time next year, and that will either be Ivey or Morton. I could also see a scenario where all three freshmen redshirt, which might cause much dismay to the Purdue fan base.  Regardless with what happens regarding redshirts next season, Purdue fans should 100% trust Painter’s choices, he’s deserved it to this point.

What is your early view on next year’s MBB starting line-up and bench rotation?  Especially curious on how redshirts and incoming freshmen fit in. Any of them start right away?  @PurdueToes

Nojel, Hunter, Sasha, Wheeler, Trevion

IT, Ivey, Newman, Gillis, Haarms

Caleb Furst is verbally committed to Purdue.  However, is there any concern of him switching to Michigan State?  Rivals crystal ball has MSU as a 33% chance. @rahkaflakalakha

There is always the possibility this far out, but I’m about 99% certain Furst is locked in.  Everything I’ve read is that he is very much a family guy and typically that would lead me to believe a commitment to him truly means a commitment.

Football recruiting wise, can you go over the list of in-state offensive linemen (there’s so much talent this year) and discuss where Purdue stands with each of them? @KrotzofKansas

Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter (Mooresville) – Committed

Blake Fisher (Avon) – Committed to ND.  Purdue’s recruiting coordinator is trying to stay in communication with him because that’s just the kind of guy he is, which is very rare in this business.  Whether or not he makes a true push to flip him remains to be seen.

Luke Collinsworth (Brookville) – I believe he has visited and seemed pretty high on Purdue.  He is one of the higher end guys in a loaded O-Line state and considering where he lives might need to watch out for Ohio State coming in with a late offer potentially.

Josh Sales (Brownsburg/South Bend) – He is originally from South Bend but goes to school at Brownsburg with current Purdue commit Preston Terrell.  Purdue should be sitting good with him right now after a recent unofficial before the pandemic hit.

Zach Richards (Mooresville) – Teammates with current Purdue commit Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter which should also be a big plus for Purdue.  I think Purdue is sitting really well with Richards right now since he is in the same boat with Sales having just taken an unofficial before the pandemic.

I think there is a decent chance Purdue fills up all of it’s offensive line scholarship allotment with in-state talent, but there are plenty of other areas Purdue has recruited well loaded with talent.

Basketball recruiting who will be the last 2021 recruit? @Mattpearson18

Some people might not like it but I think it will end up being Blake Wesley or Luke Goode after Purdue loses out on Harrison Ingram, Max Christie, with Trey Kaufman looking elsewhere because of Caleb Furst

What’s your projected 2 deep on the OL this year? @Unlawful_Badger

 Hermanns, Craig, Garvin, Jornigan, Bramel

Miller, Washington, Beach, Stickford, Monot

Spring ball getting cut short will make the likelihood of Gus Hartwig making an appearance next season even lower than it already was, but who knows?

If you could come out of the end of this social distancing and quarantine and watch one sporting event live, what would it be, where would it be and why? @HowardCtyIn4H

This was a great question so I decided to ask all of the guys what their answer would be.

Corey – Early Fall night game at Wrigley Field out in the bleachers.  Serenity.

Kobie – Lakers vs. Clippers @ Western Conference Finals

Dave – White Sox World Series Game 1 in October (shortened season) 

(Note from writer: Yea Ok!)

Ben – Purdue Football night game at Ross Ade. Warm late summer air, the AAMB, Slater Hill rocking.

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