"We are currently playing phone tag," replied Hazelwood East head coach Terry Creamer when asked about Purdue's interest in his 6'3 post player Krystle Hatton.
"They called last week, but I haven't been able to get ahold of the staff," said Creamer. "I was told today they were at a tournament game."
With the Big Ten tournament title now in the possession of the Boilermakers, Creamer will likely get that return phone call very soon.
At a time when two-year junior college players are getting serious attention from Division I programs, the high school senior Hatton has emerged as a potential 4-year option for the Boilers. A welcomed option considering Purdue will lose starting center Mary Jo Noon to graduation at the end of the season, leaving very capable, yet somewhat undersized post replacements.
Coach Creamer thinks his star can handle any offer sent her way.
"She's a raw talent," said Creamer. "We're getting ready to vote on the all-conference and MVP. She's probably going to be named the MVP of the conference."
Creamer confirmed Saint Louis and Southeast Missouri were involved, but was not sure why more schools were unable to find out about Hatton. The Purdue coaches at least know of her, but will have no further opportunities to scout her in a game setting. Hazelwood East's season is over, and to Creamer's knowledge, Hatton will not be playing in any postseason all-star games. Missouri does not form Indiana's equivalent of a senior all-star team.
Hatton was an early nominee to the McDonald's All-American team after a senior season of rising statistics. She led her team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. As a junior, Hatton averaged 12.2 points and 12.5 rebounds. She carries a 3.7 gpa.
The Spartans finished the season ranked No. 7 with an overall mark of 19-9, including 7-1 in Suburban North Conference play. They fell on the homecourt of their rival Hazelwood West in the finals of the SNC tournament. Hatton scored 17 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked three shots in her final game.