A potentially busy offseason for player movement in West Lafayette extended to the coaching ranks when long-time assistant Jack Owens recently accepted an offer to become the head coach at Miami (OH).
To replace Owens, head coach Matt Painter hired veteran Creighton assistant coach Steve Lutz on April 13th.
Lutz is a veteran assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with stops at Incarnate Word, SMU and Stephen F. Austin.
What does Lutz bring to the Boilermakers? Check out some of positives for this hire for Purdue.
This was a common theme coming out of the hire. Lutz spent his seven years as Creighton’s recruiting coordinator and previously was recruiting coordinator for SMU from 2006-10.
He found recruiting success in both places.
While with the Mustangs, Lutz was on staff for two recruiting classes that ranked in the top 35 in the country, according to a press release from Purdue.
Lutz’s time in Omaha equaled more success on the recruiting trail. Since 2014, Creighton has signed five four star players according to Rivals. The Bluejays’s 2017 class is the highest ranked in school history. Rivals has the class, which is made up of three four-star players, ranked 22nd in the country, while 247sports slots them in at 18th.
Even in his short time at Purdue, he has already started to recruit players to the Boilermakers that he previously wanted for Creighton. This week, Purdue’s staff was in to see Rivals 2018 Top 150 guard Jamal Bienemy, according to recruiting analyst Corey Evans.
Michigan & Purdue are expected in today for top-150 @HoustonHoops17U guard Jamal Bieniemy, per source; Oklahoma offered yesterday— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 18, 2017
Time will tell in what impact Lutz’s recruiting abilities will bring to the Boilermakers. His track record indicates these results could be substantial.
Strength In Coaching the Bigs
Purdue has gone all in on size with its recent rosters and the hiring of Lutz indicates that this focus will not be going away any time soon.
Lutz handled much of Creighton’s big man coaching. At Purdue, he’ll split big man duties with fellow assistant, Brandon Brantley.
The resume with bigs at Creighton is impressive. He helped develop Doug McDermott into a first round NBA talent, and Justin Patton might sneak into the lottery in this year’s NBA draft after an impressive freshman season averaging 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Senior forward Cole Huff was one of most the most impressive spot up scorers in all of college basketball this season, according to Synergy Sports. He shot over 46% from three-point range this season.
Here is a final look at the most efficient spot up scoring players in DI college hoops. pic.twitter.com/L7wCGjm4gd— Synergy Sports Tech (@SynergySST) April 10, 2017
Even with the NBA draft decisions, Purdue projects to have one of the better front courts in the Big Ten next season. Lutz’s abilities coaching big men with a variety of skill sets will help with a Boilermaker roster next season with a traditional center (Isaac Haas), stretch four (Vincent Edwards) and a slew of newcomers (Matt Haarms, Eden Ewing and Aaron Wheeler).
This is a nice hire for Purdue. Lutz comes with veteran experience and proven success in assistant coaching and recruiting. His reputation is respected and he stands to build on an impressive big man pipeline the program has built up over the past five years. He comes at a critical time for Purdue’s 2018 recruiting class. It will be interesting to follow the new players that come on Purdue’s radar and Lutz’s ability to integrate himself on the staff and build relationships with the already established targets.