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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 62 ning the "power" forward spot, whether it's been Robbie Hummel, Caleb Swanigan or most recently Edwards, all of them players capable of shooting from the perimeter, handling the ball, passing and rebounding. Point guard looms large as a position of need for Pur- due moving forward, in recruiting, but so too does that forward spot, whether it be in recruiting or development of current players. It looks wide-open right now. Combo forward Aaron Wheeler will come out of red- shirt next season, but will he be ready for a leading role right away? Grady Eifert will be back, but ideally Purdue would have a more offensively skilled option. Purdue could go big by playing Matt Haarms and Jacquil Taylor alongside one another, assuming everyone eligible to return next season does, but that might come with cer- tain limitations as well. Freshman Trevion Williams will arrive in the summer, but his body type is believed to be that of a center right now. The reality is Edwards might be Purdue's most difficult player to replace next season and it's a wide-open fray. Junior college forward Eden Ewing was recruited in the 2017 class, but didn't pan out and was dismissed from the team mid-season. Purdue has scholarship space to use for next season should a potential late signee emerge, but it has also di- rected its efforts for its 2019 class toward the position, at a number of high-end, nationally recruited players and if it doesn't sign another 4 for 2018 and if Williams is viewed as 5, it will have a year of depth-chart separation to sell to prospective 2019 signees. That will be part of the pitch to at least four top-50-cal- iber players coveted by Purdue for next year's recruiting class. Keion Brooks: The Fort Wayne North Side star has been a household name for years now, and Purdue's been there since Day 1 and hung in while the world has joined it. The wiry and athletic 6-foot-7 forward claims offers from Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Indiana, Michigan State and many others, but has continued to reciprocate inter- est with the Boilermaker coaching staff, including an un- official visit in the summer. He'll be difficult to sign, but Purdue's gotten this far with him. He's ranked No. 35 nationally by Trayce Jackson-Davis: Purdue was the first prominent school to offer the Center Grove big man last year and that mattered to him, to the point he named the Boilermakers his leader in the spring. Since then, though, Michigan State, Indiana, UCLA and others have offered and right now, it seems to be a three-team battle between Purdue, Michigan State and IU, the latter of which has had him on campus a number of times of late. The son of former NBA standout Dale Davis, the 6-9 Jackson-Davis has looked like a likely center for most of his high school career to this point, given his size, domi- nant rebounding and advanced back-to-the-basket game, but this year he's shown significant improvement facing the basket, to the point his projection has widely changed to power forward. The next step is developing a jump shot, he says. A big season thus far has propelled him to No. 28 na- tionally in's's rankings. Malik Hall: Of all Purdue's known targets in the frontcourt, the combo forward from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas is probably most like Edwards in terms of his shooting range, body and ability to play off Brian Neubert Trayce Jackson-Davis's improvement facing the basket has shifted his projection from center to 4.

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