Basil Smotherman Jr commits to Purdue

Another Indiana basketball player is off the board, and keeping his talents in the state. 6-5 sophomore Basil Smotherman Jr. committed to Purdue University, informing head coach Matt Painter of his decision Tuesday evening.

He also had offers from Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame and Xavier. Basil now joins Bryson Scott (Fort Wayne Northrop) and Kendall Stephens (St. Charles, Ill.) in the Boilermakers’ 2013 class.

The Heritage Christian guard attracted attention from a very young age. His dad, Basil Smotherman Sr. was an assistant coach at North Central High School for over a dozen years under Doug Mitchell. I was at every NC men’s and women’s basketball game from a very young age, as was Smotherman Jr. because of his fathers’ role. It has been fun for me the past few years to follow his progress on the court, and see him get bigger than me.

It was typical for us to go to the auxiliary gym at North Central to shoot around, play HORSE or something. Four years ago, I had him by at least four inches. Now, he’s got me by about seven. He’s tremendously athletic and long.

This continues a hot streak of recruiting for both Purdue and Indiana University. Indiana got everything started with four commitments in 2012, and two for both 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, Purdue has three commitments in 2012, and three for 2013. How much further along are these two Indiana schools you may ask? Of the 14 commitments in the 2013 and 2014 class, seven are with Indiana and Purdue.

ESPN describes Smotherman Jr. as “a guy who shows you a thirst to compete, especially as a younger player. The lefty already owns a diverse offensive game and if he continues growing is likely to end up as a skilled small forward. Already he’ll rebound in traffic and play for tips at the rim. He likes to play behind the arc and earned the right to do so with a steady shot.”

His dad, who is such a nice guy and a great coach, spoke to ESPN’s Dave Telep about the research that went into this decision. “Personally, I think he had a good handle on things,” Smotherman Sr. said. “We visited all of the schools that offered him and the ones that had high interest. As a family, his mom and I wanted him to get a good sense about each school.”

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