I should really be more up to date with this stuff, even if my readership is in the single digits (if that). But if you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been high on CMP’s recruiting effort this spring, and that includes Purdue’s latest verbal, Ronnie Johnson.
Ronnie is the younger brother of Purdue sophomore Terone Johnson, and while he’s less heralded than his old brother, he’s been receiving a lot more love lately from college basketball recruiting services. And with good reason. His performances against standout point guard Yogi Ferrell (consensus top-50 recruit out of Park Tutor, headed to IU in 2012) has served notice that he’s a fine player in his own right.
It’s kind of funny how a young man’s stock can rise and fall so quickly on the recruiting scene. A couple of months ago Ronnie was known as Terone’s younger brother and little beyond that. But with a strong showing in the IHS basketball tournament and a solid start in AAU season, he suddenly becomes the hot recruit. Next thing you know he’s holding a press conference, deciding between Purdue and Illinois. While it’s great to see a kid like Ronnie get his moment in the spotlight, his case is an example of why recruiting services can be mostly ignored. Does what Rivals, Scout or ESPN have to say about Ronnie make me more or less excited about having him as a Boilermaker? Well, no.
What is boils down for me is whether or not I trust CMP to make good decisions about who he offers a scholarship to. And while Purdue has yet to replicate the success of the 2007 class (who could? And besides, 2013 is shaping up to be equally amazing) each year CMP has added pieces to the team that fit. It’s no surprise that most freshmen in Purdue’s system get significant playing time. CMP recruits kids who can contribute right away, who have the skills, personality and mentality to fit the program.
That trend continues with the Ronnie Johnson commitment. He’s strong (like his brother when he was that age), fast, aggressive, and an excellent passer. Probably the most impressive part of his game has been watching him pass in traffic or in the paint. Plus you can’t go wrong with a kid who loves Purdue as much as Johnson does.
The obvious question this raises is what will happen with the scholarship situation. We’re oversigned by one scholarship for the 2012-23 season. This is ok (technically teams are permitted to oversign by one) but by the time the 2012-13 season starts, we need to be down to only 13 scholarship players. I won’t speculate now as to how we’re going to do that, but the next two summers should be interesting.
Although we won’t see Ronnie in the black and gold until 2012, just getting a verbal from him is enough to get me pumped for the 2011-12 season. It’s going to be a long summer, but come November, I’ll be ready. Welcome to the family Ronnie!