Head coach Matt Painter and the Purdue men’s basketball staff wrapped up one of the nation’s top recruiting classes on Wednesday, as a highly-regarded trio signed National Letters of Intent to begin competing for the Boilermakers in the 2013-14 season.
Bryson Scott, Basil Smotherman and Kendall Stephens comprise a class that is ranked as the 23rd-best in the nation by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
“With the class before this one having three bigs, we needed to add some depth in our backcourt,” Painter said. “With the signings of Bryson Scott, Basil Smotherman and Kendall Stephens, I think we’ve been able to land three very good players. They’ll not only help us improve our guard play, but they’ll give us more options in the backcourt.
“We’re excited about all three guys. They all bring something a little bit different, and they’re really going to help us solidify our backcourt.”
Each of the Boilermakers’ signees has strong ties to the state of Indiana, as Scott and Smotherman are in-state products and Stephens is the son of Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame member and former Boilermaker basketball standout Everette Stephens.
Purdue’s 2012 Signing Class
Bryson Scott – G // 6-1 // 180 // Ft. Wayne, Ind. // Northrop
Basil Smotherman – F // 6-6 // 205 // Indianapolis, Ind. // Lawrence North
Kendall Stephens – G // 6-5 // 165 // St. Charles, Ill. // St. Charles East
Scott averaged 25.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a junior at Ft. Wayne Northrop to lead the school to a sectional title. An aggressive guard on both ends of the floor, he was the lone junior on either of the top two AP Indiana all-state teams a year ago.
“Bryson Scott is a player who’s very good with the basketball,” Painter said. “He’s physical strong, and he’s really worked on his perimeter game in terms of becoming a consistent three-point shooter and having an effective pull-up. He’s always been a guy who can get to the basket and finish or get to the free throw line, and he really brings a tenacity at both ends of the floor.”
- Graded a four-star recruit and ranked No. 56 nationally in his class by MaxPreps
- Given a four-star rating and ranked No. 79 nationally and No. 18 among point guards in his class by Rivals.com
- Named one of the 10 best perimeter defenders in the class of 2013 by Rivals.com
- Rated a four-star prospect and ranked No. 87 nationally and the No. 19 point guard in his class by Scout.com
- Given a three-star rating and ranked as the No. 5 player in the state of Indiana and No. 38 player at his position in his class by ESPN.com
- Selected for the 2012 NBA Top 100 Camp
- An Indiana Junior All-Star and IBCA All-State Underclassman in 2012
- A second-team Associated Press all-state selection in 2012, the only junior on the top two squads
- A third-team ESPNHS all-state selection in 2012
- A 2012 All-Northeast Indiana honoree
- Named News-Sentinel Player of the Year and all-area selection in 2012
- Earned All-SAC recognition in both 2011 and 2012
- Averaged 25.2 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the floor, 6.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a junior to lead Northrop to a sectional title
- Coached by Barak Coolman at Northrop High School and Todd Hensley on the AAU circuit
“Bryson is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever been around,” Coolman said. “He’s mentally tough and very driven to succeed. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t need motivation to work hard. He just brings it every day.”
Smotherman averaged 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season as a junior at Lawrence North. The athletic wing’s play earned him honorable mention AP all-state accolades and an All-Marion County nod.
“Basil Smotherman is a very good athlete who can play both forward spots,” Painter said. “He’s a guy who is really impressive from a physical standpoint. He’s got a big frame, and he’s long and athletic. He’s continuing to improve his skill set and energy level. I think he could be a high-energy guy who runs the floor, crashes the glass and really defends the wing position.”
- Given a three-star rating and ranked as the No. 4 player in the state of Indiana and No. 26 small forward in his class by ESPN.com
- Rated a three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com
- Garnered honorable mention all-state recognition from the Associated Press in 2012
- Named honorable mention All-Marion County as a junior
- Averaged 9.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a junior at Lawrence North
- Posted averages of 13.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Heritage Christian
- Coached by Jack Keefer at Lawrence North and Matt Greene in AAU ball
“Basil fits the mold of a couple guys who are already at Purdue in Terone and Ronnie Johnson,” Greene said. “He works his butt off every day, and he’s really blossomed over the last year. Basil has really reenergized himself and he’s going to have a great college career.”
Stephens averaged better than 24 points per game as a junior at St. Charles East after logging 17.1 points per contest as a sophomore. A deadly shooter with a quick release, he was a third-team ESPNHS all-state honoree in 2012.
“Kendall Stephens has really made some strides physically, and in his overall game, over the past year,” Painter said. “He’s a very good shooter who can catch and shoot out to about 23 or 24 feet. He’s really improved in putting the ball and floor and going to his pull-up. His game will continue to improve as he improves physically, and that physical maturity will be a tell-tale for him.”
- Rated a four-star prospect and ranked as the No. 58 overall recruit and No. 18 shooting guard in his class by Rivals.com
- Given a four-star rating and ranked as the No. 64 overall prospect, the No. 3 player in the state of Illinois and No. 18 shooting guard in his class by ESPN.com
- Given a four-star rating and ranked as the No. 65 overall prospect and No. 14 shooting guard in his class by Scout.com
- Graded a four-star recruit by MaxPreps
- Participated in the 2012 NBA Top 100 Camp
- A third-team ESPNHS all-state selection in 2012
- Garnered honorable mention Class 4A all-state accolades as a junior
- The 2012 Daily Herald Player of the Year
- Named to the Tri-Cities All-Area Team in both 2011 and 2012
- Averaged 24.2 points per game as a junior at St. Charles East
- Averaged 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game during his sophomore season
- Son of Purdue Hall of Fame member Everette Stephens, who scored 1,044 points for the Boilermakers from 1985-88 and was a member of two Big Ten championship teams
- Coached by Pat Woods at St. Charles East and Mike Mullins on the AAU circuit
“Kendall is a player whose best days are ahead of him,” Mullins said. “He’s got a great frame to play shooting guard with his size and length. He’s got a tremendous shot with range and a quick release. Everette has been a great father and mentor to him. He’s got to work on his body a little bit, like most players going from high school to the Big Ten, but he’s made huge strides over the last few years. We’re looking forward to seeing him have a great career at Purdue.”