As the focus in college basketball is quickly moving from the National Championship to the off-season, even more emphasis will be put on examining the incoming recruiting classes who will soon be moving into workouts with their respective colleges.
In the state of Indiana, the Hoosiers look to be on their way back. Grabbing all of the headlines with their top ten recruiting class and their surge back from prominence last season, this looks to be a team that will be poised for national attention again next season.
Guest post by Collin O’Connor
However, their in-state arch-rival will be once again bringing in a recruiting class that is worth discussing.
For Purdue, the likes of Jajuan Johnson, E’twaun Moore and Robbie Hummel from that stellar recruiting class are now out of the picture. In what was perhaps one of the best classes in the nation that season, they enjoyed great success and could have been national title contenders had it not been for some bad luck with injuries.
Now, the program will be reloading with another big, four person freshman class that should be able to compete for playing time right away. Headlined by the home-grown, Indiana point guard Ronnie Johnson, this will be a class right at the top of the Big Ten at the beginning of the season.
Ranked 91st on the Rivals Top 150, Ronnie Johnson is a left-handed point guard that excels in the open court. Leading his North Central High School team to the state championship title his junior year, Johnson has had a numerous amount of success playing for teams that simply go out and win. And he had a lot to do with it.
Next on the list are forwards Raphael Davis and Jay Simpson, both from La Lumiere High School in Indianapolis. Also playing alongside IU commit Hanner Perea, they were a part of the number 23 ranked high school team in the nation at season’s end.
Finally, A.J. Hammons who was originally from Carmel, Indiana, will be the last line of defense for this team next year with his 7-foot frame. Coming in ranked 123rd in the Rivals Top 150, Hammons should also compete for playing time because of, if nothing else, his size that will make a difference on the defensive end.
All four of those freshman be able to come in and be contributors right away. Thus, their job will also be to play a part in replacing some of the best talent from last season’s team including Robbie Hummel, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith.
They might be a couple years away from really doing damage, but this recruiting class will definitely be one to keep an eye on as they progress under Coach Matt Painter.
So, while Indiana’s recruiting class grabs all of the headlines next year and runs away with more national attention, don’t forget that there will be a very talented group of freshmen over in Lafayette who will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.