The more I see this Purdue class, the more I like them. I’ve been able to see each guy play several times and the obvious star of the class is center A.J. Hammons (#47), a true seven-footer. Rapheal Davis has also grows on me the more I see him play and his physicality and toughness is a definite plus. He’s also able to get into the lane but I’d like to see him develop into a better defender. Power forward Jay Simpson is another guy who gets better every time I see him and he’s someone you can count on to consistently run the floor.
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Hammons is a big body who has great size and finishing ability around the bucket. He is a presence on both ends of the court and runs well from end to end. He also has good hands and has some quality interior scoring moves in addition to good touch around the bucket. Hammons is a very good rebounder, too, and is mobile for his size. He needs to make sure that he’s in good shape so he can keep getting up and down the court at the rate as he does. Hammons can also improve on his counter-moves so he can become a better scorer inside.
Rapheal Davis | Overall: NR | Position: Shooting Guard (NR) | 6’5 | 200
Davis is a very good rebounder at the guard spot and is strong with the ball. He welcomes contact in the lane and finishes well through it. He’s also quick enough to consistently get to the bucket but he’s also one of the most physical guards in the class. Davis is good from the free throw line too but needs to improve on the defensive end.
Ronnie Johnson | Overall: NR | Position: Point Guard (NR) | 5’10 | 160
The lefty is the opposite of Davis since he’s less of a tough, physical guard and more of a quick, speedy floor general. He’s a pretty good shooter who can stroke it from the mid-range game and plays well on the defensive end. However, he needs to develop better range on his shot in addition to improving his strength.
Jay Simpson | Overall: NR | Position: Power Forward (NR) | 6’9 | 235
Simpson has been good when I saw at the end of his high school season in running the floor. He’s able to consistently go from basket to basket and can finish through contact. He’s also a solid shot-blocker and can knock down the 15-foot jumper. However, he needs to improve his interior scoring ability in addition to getting stronger.