Purdue Boilermakers Head Coach Mike Painter and his staff have done an excellent job in getting players into his program to compete in the Big Ten Conference, but this upcoming potential 2017 recruiting class will be huge in determining the direction of the program over the next few years.
Two back-to-back seasons of 12-6 records in the Big Ten, finishing tied for third place, and NCAA Tournament berths proves it's time for Painter to take his Boilermakers to new heights.
Heading into the 2016 season, Purdue is bringing in their only 2016 signed recruit in freshman point guard Carsen Edwards. He is a Texas prospect who has a lot of promise and pressure on his shoulders to be the guy to lead a veteran team as a true freshman. He's also the catalyst who could help lure 2017 recruits interested in playing for the Boilermakers if his season goes as many foresee.
Speaking of 2017 recruits, there are some pivotal prospects that could make or break the Boilermakers recruiting class with guys like center Ikechukwu Obiagu, small forward Justin Smith, Kyle Young and two Indiana prospects in Kris Wilkes and Malik Williams.
Offer From Purdue #Blessed— ikechukwu obiagu (@dahskywalker1) July 7, 2015
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Justin Smith is another prospect on their radar. Besides his 6-foot-6 frame and versatility to play both wing positions, he's someone who falls close to the nest, as he's from Illinois. The proximity could be a huge factor, but with the soon to be departures of senior guards Spike Albrecht and Jon McKeeman, his versatility would be useful.
The two Indiana prospects on the top of Purdue's radar has to be Malik Williams and Kris Wilkes. Williams is a 6'-foot-10 hybrid big man while Wilkes is a true all-around forward. These two have a chance to change the landscape of Indiana recruiting if the Boilermakers land both or one of these prospects. Proximity could affect this situation the same way it could with Smith, but with the recent success Purdue has had, they have a chance at them.
Carsen Edwards was the only 2016 commit for the Boilermakers, but with the bevy of potential talented recruits ahead, they have a real chance to jump from inconsistency to bringing in a new age of Purdue basketball.
Battling against the big time programs of the conference like Michigan State, Ohio State and (especially) Indiana for recruits in the state of Indiana is a tough task. If Painter and his staff can achieve it in this recruiting cycle, then they're looking at a gem of a 2017 recruiting class.