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Gold and Black Illustrated Vol28, Digital1

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Page 65 of 74

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1 66 BY BRIAN NEUBERT P urdue has long pegged the Class of 2018 as a par- ticularly important recruiting class, considering its timing. Whichever players Matt Painter and his staff secure for this signing class will enroll just as the Boilermakers' high- ly productive and influential senior class departs, leaving significant voids to be filled, significant opportunities for incoming players to find immediate playing time. How the class winds up taking shape very much re- mains to be seen — as of the end of August, Purdue held one commitment toward a class that could include as many as five — but it will once again be an active fall for Pur- due, which will be bringing in official visitors throughout September and potentially into October, with the thought, too, that it could reserve a scholarship to either use in the spring or hold back for the 2019 class, which as of right now would have just two spots available. BUILDING BLOCK Caleb Swanigan indirectly landed Purdue its first Class of 2018 recruit, as one of its top big man targets, Trevion Williams, picked the Boilermakers explicitly due to Swan- igan. While it's a lofty standard to hold any player to — Swani- gan was a McDonald's All-American before he was a college All-American — Williams is drawn to it. The 6-foot-8, 250-plus-pound forward/center from De- troit's Ford Academy chose Purdue over Xavier, Michigan State, Illinois and numerous others because of the Swan- igan he sees in himself and how it worked at Purdue the past two seasons. That, too, was the crux of Purdue's message to him. "When I was making my decision, it was about who be- lieved in me most," Williams said. "I felt it was Purdue." There are some common denominators between the past Purdue post and the future Purdue post. "I'd just say that everything's similar — the body, the playing style," Williams said. "It's the same. And that's why they liked me." Their bodies are similar, for one thing. Williams is roughly the same height as Swanigan, with the same sort of wide, powerful and real estate-consuming body. Williams is coming off foot surgery, which affected his conditioning and left him overweight. He will want to change his body before and after getting to Purdue, same as Swanigan did. Like Swanigan, Williams has been an ultra-productive rebounder, in different ways, but ultra-productive nonethe- less. And Williams is regarded as one of the finest passing big men in America, an important element for the Boilermak- ers continuing on with their offensive M.O. of the past few seasons. URGENT NEEDS Purdue has recruited a wide-ranging array of players, as is typically the case with large classes, but two needs stand out above all others. Boilermaker coaches are recruiting point guard and center as non-negotiable needs. Purdue does not have a true point guard slated to be on Another Busy Fall To Come Purdue's important 2018 class will have to take shape in September, October Brian Neubert Trevion Williams, Purdue's first commitment for 2018, represent- ed a strong start to the 2018 class, because of his versatility and uncommon blend of offensive skill and rebounding ability. MEN'S BASKETBALL RECRUITING

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