Travis Carroll, and Patrick Bade. Purdue fans, let me introduce your new best friends.
It would be folly to say that Purdue’s season is doomed without Robbie Hummel, who re-injured his right anterior cruciate ligament in practice a couple weeks ago and is, yet again, lost for the season.
Purdue is filled with talent, and experience, and has the essence of reliability at both guard positions and down low. If JaJuan Johnson can play an effective four, (he’s been a five his whole career because of his shot-blocking prowess, though he hardly has the body for it) then it gives Purdue more versatility in its front court, because it moves Johnson around well. Dude doesn’t do so well exclusively as a banger, though he’s added weight.
That said, Purdue isn’t exactly busting with size either. Hello, Carroll and Bade.
First, let’s talk about Patrick Bade. The Franklin Central product is 6-foot-8 and looks about 13, and he didn’t look at all impressive against real competition late last season filling in for Hummel. He scored 17 points in the last 19 games of the regular season, including a home win over West Virginia, and even when he saw more playing time in place of Hummel looked uncomfortable and often over-matched.
One positive Purdue fans and pundits swore the Boilermakers could take from Hummel’s injury was the playing time it got freshmen like Bade and D.J. Byrd. They didn’t look good then, but maybe they would this season. Matt Painter and Co. need that to be the case with regard to Bade.
Carroll’s is a different situation, but probably not a more encouraging one. Carroll is a 6-foot-9 freshman center from Danville who plenty of Indiana fans like to remember as the player Cody Zeller owned in the state semifinals in March. According to Rivals, his only other offer was from Indiana State, but he stands to get plenty of minutes this year. Unless he was wildly undervalued during the recruiting process, it’s hard to see Purdue attaching much expectation to Carroll, beyond body minutes.
In advance of IU’s exhibition opener on Wednesday opposite Franklin College, sophomore forwards Derek Elston and Christian Watford met with the media. Video below, courtesy of IU Athletics:
Lost a bit among the Hanner Perea commitment and the official visits of Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller this past weekend was the fact that IU’s primary point guard target, Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, snuck in a quick unofficial visit on Saturday.
The 2012 Park Tudor guard, who said a prior obligation prevented him from attending Friday’s “Night of the Living Red,” joined the aforementioned prospects at the IU-Northwestern football game.
“It was a lot more fun with Hanner, Austin and Cody down there,” Ferrell told Inside the Hall of the experience in Bloomington, adding that it was “pretty much all the same” as his previous trips.
In an interview last spring, Ferrell’s father Kevin told Zach Osterman that Indiana wasn’t recruiting Yogi quite as heavily as a few other schools. That’s no longer the case and it’s become clear in recent months that Ferrell is IU’s most coveted recruit at the point guard position.
“They’re just showing a lot more love,” he said. “The coaches are coming out, seeing my open gyms, talking to me about being a leader if I come to Indiana. They’re definitely recruiting me more than they used to be.”
Like many who follow the program closely, Ferrell will be keeping an eye on the Zeller decision, which is expected to come sometime next week with the early signing period beginning on Wednesday, November 10.
He admitted that Zeller’s announcement could play a factor into his decision, which he’s doesn’t expect to make until sometime next year.
“It would affect me and where I’m going,” he said. “But I’m just going to look at what’s best for me, really.”
For now, the immediate focus for the five-star floor general is the upcoming high school season and another trip to the Class 2A State Finals at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Park Tudor fell in last year’s title game, 41-38, to Wheeler and should get a boost from two newcomers.
“The two freshman, Trevon (Bluiett) and Troy (Spears), are definitely going to help us on the offensive end,” Ferrell said. “We’re really small right now. We’re actually a really fast team. Those two guys should definitely help us.”
(Photo credit: Jack Arent/adidas)
Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and contributor to Inside the Hall. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHoopsBlog.
The first time I watched Hanner Perea play, I knew how good he was in a matter of seconds. Ironically, it was in Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. In one sequence, he blocked a shot and recovered the ball, threw it to a teammate, sprinted down the floor, and literally jumped over an opposing player to throw down a vicious two-handed alley-oop dunk.
Most Impressive: The first thing that stands out about Perea is his natural athletic ability, strength and length. He uses his great leaping ability to score in the paint with an array of thunderous dunks. Hanner’s athleticism also stands out on the defensive end where he blocks plenty of shots and alters many more. He can block shots when his man goes up for an attempt, or rotate over to the weak side to block a shot by a penetrating opponent. Perea can run the floor as fast and hard as any big man I’ve ever seen, whether racing down court to catch an alley-oop pass, or to block a shot on the defensive end. Hanner’s athleticism and strong hands help him as a rebounder, especially on the offensive end, where he uses great timing to often thrown down put-back dunks. Although big men aren’t usually known for their great free throw shooting abilities, Hanner has a nice stroke from the foul line and is able to convert free throws consistently.
Needs Improvement: The majority of Perea’s offensive production comes from offensive rebounds, alley-oops and wide-open dunks. He’s occasionally shown a nice short-range hook shot, but it needs to develop consistency. If he could add a consistent mid-range jump shot or go-to post move, his offensive game would become even more dangerous. Becoming comfortable with the ball in his hands would also be a great step towards expanding his offensive game. If Perea could create his own shot off the dribble or get to the rim, he would be a nightmare to defend. Another area Hanner could improve is his decision making when going up for a shot near the basket. Often he will try too hard to dunk a shot that could be easily converted as a layup.
UPDATED: 2:43 p.m.
Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class just became significantly better.
The news was broken by Evan Daniels of Scout.com: Five-star forward Hanner Perea has given a verbal pledge to the Hoosiers. Perea joins Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin in IU’s 2012 recruiting class.
The commitment followed a weekend during which IU hosted some of the state’s most talented prospects, including Perea, Cody Zeller, Austin Etherington and Yogi Ferrell. For Perea, it was time to pull the trigger.
In Perea, Indiana adds a player with solid NBA potential and the kind of measurables scouts drool over. A 6-foot-8 forward, Perea possesses great athleticism and enough talent for Rivals to tag him the No. 10 overall player in his class. He is the highest-ranked commitment Tom Crean has reeled in at Indiana, and it was the coach, Perea said, that made his final decision easy.
“That’s why I committed, because I know he’s going to help me make my dreams come true and is going to help me get to the next level,” Perea told Inside the Hall by phone shortly after leaving Bloomington Sunday. “He was really happy.”
Perea hit town Friday night and took in the Night of the Living Red scrimmage seated next to Zeller and Etherington. The trio was joined a day later by Indianapolis point guard prospect Yogi Ferrell at the IU-Northwestern football game. The four recruits, all part of the Indiana Elite program, took in the game from the east side of Memorial Stadium, seated with members of the team and sandwiched between Tim Buckley and Crean.
In his North Carolina postcard, published yesterday on SI.com, Seth Davis has a bullet on the Cody Zeller decision with a little insight from his older brother, Tyler.
Williams has already put together a fine recruiting class for next season, but it would be even better if Zeller’s younger brother, Cody, a 6-10 forward from Washington, Ind., would join Tyler in Chapel Hill.
Cody is also considering Indiana and Butler, and when I asked Tyler where he thought Cody was going to end up, he said he honestly did not know.
“I don’t think he knows, either,” Tyler told me. “Obviously I’d love for him to come here, but it’s his decision.”
I’m sure it’s a tough call, but I still think Cody’s gonna stay home and play for IU.
Add Davis, a studio host for CBS Sports, to the growing list of media members that are calling Cody to IU.