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OLD GOLD FREE PRESS
Purdue Men's Basketball Recruiting

2002 Spiece Run 'N Slam Tournament


A look at a few Purdue prospects in attendance


Date: May 8, 2002
By: Bob Richards
© Old Gold Free Press

    Scratch off Brian Butch and Drew Naymick. Neither named Purdue on their list this weekend. Although I would love to have Butch. He more of a finesse post player with a mid-range shot, and averaged in the upper twenties in scoring for the tournament (until he ran into 6'6 Drew Conner, but more on that coming in another summary).

    I was very impressed with new target Josh McRoberts, a 6'7 freshman from Carmel. He's a lefty, but is equally as good with his right hand, especially on the dribble. Did a nifty pseudo-palm spin move with his right hand that most people can't do with their good hand. He has a little bit of a power game in the post, with strong moves, can bang a bit, and has good balance. Might have resembled a better Matt Kiefer at his age, but doesn't possess the outside shot that Kiefer has developed. He's only got three more year though! Iowa and Purdue have both offered him a spot within the past two weeks. Something created a buzz around this kid and Iowa and Purdue came calling. He will have many more school on him in the near future, as he is being talked up as maybe the best potential post player in the state, better than Luke Zeller (who is no slouch himself). He makes smart decisions with the ball and doesn't try to do too much. I got the impression he is capable of doing much more, but doesn't call for the ball much. He cruises within the flow of the game right now. Very skilled. What makes me think he will be very good is that he currently doesn't do the things post players do that just drive you nuts, like slapping at the ball or leaving their feet on defense.

    I added a name to the recruiting prospect name page over a week ago, but at the time I had no information on him. He's Monty St. Clair from Cincinnati Roger Bacon, a 6'8 junior power forward. I was pleasantly surprised with his talent. St. Clair was the leading scorer for his team as they were bounced in the final four by eventual champion Ft. Sooy (IL). He hit for 18 points, all 2-pointers, in the 66-50 loss. He's also got a mix of games. I wouldn't necessarily call him a banger, but he can. He's strong and can move his defender when posting up. But he also has enough athleticism to spin off the bang and finger roll a shot in on you. His strength is his mid-range game. Accurate shooter with nice form. I didn't see him hit a perimeter shot, and can't remember him even attempting one. He hustles, and could be found on the floor after loose balls. Against some talented post players on Ft. Sooy (Brian Randle for one), he had little trouble. Randle only had 12 in the game against St. Clair, but Ft. Sooy led by ten at the half and ended up winning by 16. A nice candidate for the remaining scholarship. Not really a center, but he's that 6'8 rebounder and hustler Purdue has needed.

    Brian Randle. Great player, but didn't mention Purdue and I haven't seen much mention in a while now. The kid to go hardcore for is Shaun Livingston, a 6'6 sophomore point guard from Peoria Richwoods. Think of Tayshaun Prince with a skill for passing and you have Livingston. Same body, but doesn't look to score as much as Prince. Talks a little trash with a smile on his face, but can back it up. Thrives on being challenged, something he did in the finals against Andrew Lavender, a 5-foot-nothing (actually probably 5'6) point guard who is a big-time threat. When you hear people say a point guard has to be 6'0 to play in the Big Ten, this kid is the exception. He will go to a high major program (I'm hearing Oklahoma) and cause people fits. The difference between Livingston and Lavender, besides the 11 inch height difference, is Livingston is sort of a jokester, while Lavender is all business.

    Brandon Dixon made a last minute appearance on a fill in team for one that didn't show up. The roster wasn't in the program, and I was shocked to see Sylvester Mayes there with Dixon. Mayes is still a phenomenal scorer, while Dixon added rebounds and double-digit points. He had 10, 9 and 12 points in the three games I knew of. Nice backup option if available.

    Adam Liddell. You'll see the stats and think he stunk up the place. He's just not much of a scorer for No Excuses. Actually I can describe 80% of No Excuses' offense. Give the ball for Todd Abernathy and let him score. Liddell's offense wasn't much to speak about. However, he provided a considerable amount of post defense, playing low post to Justin Cage's power forward/high post game. He blocked what would have been the game-tying shot on Friday night, and had a late block on Saturday. No block stats were kept, but I'd guess he averaged four to five per game. Potential, potential, potential.

    7-footer Ronnie Norman of Morton Memorial (IN) is getting some attention from Purdue. Kevin Jones, his high school coach and AAU coach, confirmed Purdue contact. However, Norman is a project. Might help rebounding, but not much offense there. Gradution from Morton Memorial earns graduates a scholarship to any in-state university. So Norman might make an interesting walk-on candidate since a scholarship does not need to be tied up with a player who might take a while to develop a big conference game.



    More information linked from the Tournament Coverage page on this site.



As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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