The key Purdue prospects in attendance at the Adidas ABCD Camp were two point guards. You can usually figure out who the coaches are recruiting based on the game they are watching and where the players are from.
2004 Rico (enRico) Harris, PG from Denby Tech in Detroit 6’1 180
He seems to be the more likely player of the Adidas attendees to land at Purdue at this point based on what I read about interest level and based on his game fitting with our offense. I did not ask Cuonzo anything about either of the guys as players or as recruits so this is my own opinion.
Rico is a traditional Keady point guard. He was in the top-tier of point guards at the camp in terms of assist per game but really didn’t look for his shot. There are not a ton of assists in these games as many players are looking for individual glory. He did grab a few rebounds while I was watching and had a steal. He averaged around three assists, six points and 2.5 rebounds a game. He played aggressive but in control defense.
A couple of Ohio State assistants were watching Rico and stopped by to say hello to Cuonzo. They seem to be one of the big competitors for Rico. I am not sure if we have offered. I have seen him listed as an MSU prospect as well as Marquette & Texas A&M. Xavier is reportedly in the mix, but Rico’s teammate shooting guard Darryl Garrett recently decommited from Xavier (reportedly a mutual decision) so this may make them less likely. Reportedly Garrett and Harris would not mind paying together in college. He was also ranked as one of the top 2-3 player in Michigan as a sophomore.
2004 Justin Cerasoli, PG from West Aurora in Illinois 6’5 170
Cerasoli is highly ranked, but did not impress me much of the time. The second game I watched he drew a couple quick fouls by going for a steal when there was not a real opportunity. He also got the ball stolen from him and got in trouble trying to do too much dribbling in traffic. He missed a short shot and the frustration was starting to show (he gave his best “Brad Miller frustration” expression). I was literally ready to write him off, and then suddenly he goes on a tear. He scored six points in a row and 10 of 14 points for his team coupled with assists on the other buckets. Most of the points came from drives to the basket but he did hit a couple of jumpers. He put up one particularly acrobatic shot in heavy traffic. He was very quick driving to the hoop and had good body control on his shots. He is an intriguing prospect with a lot of talent but not a typical Keady point (closer to Willie than Brandon). He was more productive scoring and overall than Rico, but not nearly as steady or unselfish. We are in the mix for Cerasoli but we have tough competition from UConn, Memphis, and a number of others. HOOPSCOOP rated Cerasoli the #21 player at the Adidas camp and the #6 point guard (three spots behind highly touted Sebastian Telfair, the former Adidas Underclassman MVP two years running, (shared with Lebron James in 2001)). Shaun Livingston a former Purdue target was rated the #3 overall player and the #1 point. He is not flashy but he is a talent.
One note on my player observations. They are for only a game or two, so they are not a complete evaluation by any stretch. Melvin Buckley did not impress me a few years ago at Adidas, so I am not always right on. James Augustine (now at Illinois) was not flashy, but really impressed me at Adidas.
I think we will also see at least one post player in this class bigger than the current most likely big man in the class (Landry). Whoever it is will be was not at Adidas. We were clearly focused on the 1’s from what I could see. I expect we are looking for a big banger from elsewhere but I can’t point to who that may be. I also have no idea of the likelyhood that Landry will end up at Purdue, except for what I have read.
There was also a slasher from Indy, 2005 George Hill of Broad Ripple, that was playing very well at the camp. He was the only player from Indiana. He is 6’2 and averaged over 10 points a game at the camp. He also had 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and almost a block a game. I don’t think we were recruiting him. He looked like a high major type player that will be a good pickup for someone (a 2-guard). He averaged 23.6 points a game last year for Broad Ripple, good for top 10 in the state, just ahead of James Hardy. He was honorable mention all state but I had not heard much about him. HOOPSCOOP rated Hill the #13 2-guard at the Adidas camp.
On Friday morning I was wearing my Nike Vegas Gold Purdue Visor with an Embroidered Motion P. I walked by Mike Davis and you could see him looking at the hat and recognizing the P. He gave me a personable smile and nodded his head. He comes across as a good guy just based on watching him at the camp.
Davis was working the other coaches – he knows everybody from the south and many others as well. He looked very relaxed (and who wouldn’t be given his current recruiting success). I also talked briefly with the new IU assistant as we were walking out - ME: "You’re the new guy eh." HIM: "Yeah, I am the old new guy". Not very exciting but kind of funny at the time.
Cuonzo could not work the coaches as much as the players we were after were all in games on court 1 and he was watching while standing on a crowded base line rather than in the less crowded but further away bleachers. Cuonzo does know many of the guys. He watched one game with the Central Michigan Coach who is a former Michigan assistant. As I recall those guys made some noise in the tourney a year or two back. I was almost hesitant to post that for fear of some crap about being MAC level in recruiting (you can bet someone would be thinking that). I even saw Cuonzo talk to a Ball State assistant that I believe played at Wisconsin with Traci Webster - heaven forbid.
That said, we did not have a particularly high profile at Adidas. Partially due to the numbers (one assistant) versus some schools with a head coach and multiple assistants. Most of the other Purdue coaches were at Nike, which had more Purdue targets.
Some stuff on other recruits that is my opinion as well:
My take is that we will see Xavier Price looks to be a 2-guard, not a point guard (may get some minutes at the point). He is cut from the Kenny Lowe mold, which is fine by me.
I think the comments by the juniors at Nike stirred some things up. I am not sure Jay Price was really going to reel them in, but the transition in who is recruiting them has to be at least a short-term issue.
Don’t be surprised to see either of those guys head to a Duke/UNC/Kansas type program in the end.
The best player at the camp was Dwight Howard, a 2004 6'11 center from Southwest Atlanta Christian, GA. Expect to see his name as a first round NBA pick next year. He was dominating in the games I saw.
I will post one more post on some random thoughts and observations on Purdue basketball and other related topics.
Feel free to ask any questions. I will share what I can.