Out of nowhere, just under a month after having been denied admission to UCLA's graduate school, Jon Octeus broke the news that he had committed to Purdue University. The news is a welcome relief to Matt Painter, who will still have just eleven scholarship players after the addition of Jon Octeus.
At 6'4", Octeus is a tall guard that can guard multiple positions. During his time at Colorado State, he was considered their premier off-ball defender, and was often rewarded the task of denying their opponent's best player access to the basketball. Matt Painter's Purdue Boilermakers finished 11th in defensive efficiency within conference play, Purdue's worst mark under Painter, so the addition of a defensively focused player at least adds important depth.
And there's a chance that Octeus could mean much more for Purdue. Jon made a splash when he joined the Colorado State Rams in Fort Collins, starting each game of his first season there. In his second season under Larry Eustachy, he raised his average assists from 1.3apg to 2.3apg and played over 30 minutes per game. Ronnie Johnson is long-gone, leaving nearly 30 minutes per game at point guard to replace him. Incoming freshman PJ Thompson was slated to be the only true point guard on Purdue's roster. Bryson Scott, a combo guard at heart, was his only competition for the starting role after posting a neutral assist-to-turnover ratio as a freshman guard. Now, Octeus has a chance to win the starting role at point guard or provide valuable depth for a team that simply doesn't have very many bodies.
Jon Octeus said that he left Colorado State to better position himself to pursue playing basketball professionally after college. Under the bright lights of Mackey Arena and throughout the Big Ten, he'll get a chance to contribute in front of NBA and euroleague scouts checking out All-B1G talents like Sam Dekker and Caris LeVert. He'll get minutes and he'll have a big stage, but steering a young Boilermaker unit could prove a challenge.
Check out some highlights below and let me know how you see Jon fitting into the puzzle at Purdue.