Trey Kaufman’s commitment to Purdue on Friday should appease any concerns Boilermaker fans had about their program’s ability to lock down the state’s top in-state prospects.
The 6-9 Silver Creek standout announced his commitment to Purdue on Friday night, choosing the Boilermakers over Indiana, Indiana State, North Carolina and Virginia. It had essentially become a two-team race between Purdue and Indiana for Kaufman, who said on multiple occasions that proximity to home would factor into his decision.
Indiana’s campus is closer to Kaufman’s home than Purdue. But the fit at West Lafayette is a good one. Coach Matt Painter, with a reputation for developing big men like Caleb Swanigan, A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas, among others, now has two in-state stars in the 2021 recruiting class in Kaufman, the state’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, and 6-9 Caleb Furst of Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian.
This is a HUGE pickup for Boilermakers as Kaufman chose Purdue over rival Indiana among other schools. Matt Painter is putting together a great 2021 recruiting class. “Based on the roster that they’re going to have when I’m there, that’s a big key,” Kaufman told the Courier-Journal. “I think based on some of the previous players that they’ve had like Vincent Edwards and Robbie Hummel, players that could have been a 4 but they played at a 3. The way that Coach (Matt) Painter likes to run his offense, and then for me, being a 3 maximizes my potential in not only my scoring, but playmaking.
While Purdue has not had a Mr. Basketball recruit since Swanigan came out of Homestead in 2015, there is a good chance it could happen this year with Furst and Kaufman in the class. The past three Mr. Basketball winners — New Albany’s Romeo Langford in 2018, Center Grove’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Bloomington South’s Anthony Leal in 2020 — all went to Indiana.
But Purdue’s in-state recruiting has been steady as well. The Boilermakers picked up a commitment in the 2020 class from Jaden Ivey of Mishawaka Marian/La Lumiere, a top-100 prospect. The 2019 class included three in-state players in Valparaiso’s Brandon Newman, Zionsville’s Isaiah Thompson and New Castle’s Mason Gillis and the Boilermakers added Eric Hunter of Tindley to the mix in the 2018 class. Crown Point’s Sasha Stefanovic was not a highly-ranked prospect of high school, but has turned into one of Purdue’s most important players.
With Kaufman and Furst on board, Purdue fans can feel assured they are keeping the state’s top players at home.Follow Us Here: