Rankings and Spankings: Purdue's 2012-2013 recruits, Miscellaneous Notes

By Drew Wooden

On a boring Wednesday, the recruiting services unleashed their not-so-scientific rankings of high school and prep school basketball players. Rivals, Scout.com, and CBS Sports all published lists on April 18th. Here’s a recap:


While Rivals.com released their final 2012 rankings previously, the 2013 rankings were updated. Two Purdue commits were ranked: Kendall Stephens at 50th and Bryson Scott at 51st. Kendall Stephens is listed at 6-3 by Rivals, but he is a legitimate 6-5, so that height needs updated. Wing Basil Smotherman was not ranked, although that could change by June (or whenever they choose to update the rankings) because he has improved his consistency lately.

Miscellaneous notes: previous Purdue commit Derek Willis came in at 26th. Both point guard Monte Morris (82) and big man Maverick Morgan (148) have received some recruiting attention from Purdue.

If you’re interested in Rivals’ final 2012 rankings, AJ Hammons made a big jump and went from Purdue’s lowest ranked signee to its highest ranked. Hammons is 77th, Ronnie Johnson is 94th, Rapheal Davis is 96th, and Jay Simpson is 112th. Hammons, Johnson, and Davis are 4-stars and Simpson is a 3 star (just 7 players shy of the meaningless 4th star). As a team, Rivals ranks Purdue’s class as 20th nationally although a few late commits to other teams could slide them one way or the other.


On Wednesday, Scout.com released its final 2012 rankings. All four Purdue signees finished in the top 100: A.J. Hammons No. 66, Ronnie Johnson No. 84, Rapheal Davis No. 97, and Jay Simpson No. 98.

In addition, recruiting analyst Brian Snow made comments about Purdue’s commits during a Wednesday internet chat on Scout.com.

Regarding AJ Hammons:

I think he will be a very good player in time for Purdue. He has good hands, is developing more of a post game, and has great size and can block shots. Also he is showing more passion as a basketball player. His game is going in the right direction.

In response to impact players for Purdue:

I think Raphael Davis and Ronnie Johnson will both be great on offense. Davis by getting to the rim and scoring in the mid-range, Johnson by setting up teammates and making open threes. Defensively however, that will be an issue.

As a team, Scout ranked Purdue 18th. Again, that could fluctuate with some late commits to other programs (or Purdue).

Scout did not update their 2013 class yet, but Kendall Stephens is ranked a 4 star (15th best SG, 69th overall), Bryson Scott is a 4 star (10th best SG, 56th overall), and Basil Smotherman is ranked a 3 star.

CBS Sports

Although CBS Sports is not as well known as a recruiting service compared to Rivals and Scout, they ranked the 2012 class on April 11th and two Purdue signees made the top 100: Ronnie Johnson at 85 and AJ Hammons at 87. Signees Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson were not included in the top 100.

CBS Sports released updated rankings for the class of 2013 on April 18th. Bryson Scott came in at 69 and Kendall Stephens at 83 (both 4 stars). Commit Basil Smotherman was not ranked in the top 100. Purdue target Nigel Hayes was ranked 95th.

CBS Sports also updated their class of 2014 rankings. The following Purdue targets were included: guard Jaquan Lyle (14) and guard Paul Turner (35).


Purdue’s 2012 class was ranked as follows by ESPN:

  • AJ Hammons (92/100), 4 star, 18th ranked center, 81st overall.
  • Rapheal Davis (92/100), 4 star, 15th ranked shooting guard, 87th overall.
  • Ronnie Johnson (92/100), 4 star, 17th ranked point guard, 92nd overall.
  • Jay Simpson (89/100), 3 star, 33rd ranked power forward.
Purdue’s 2013 class was ranked as follows by ESPN:
  • Bryson Scott (94/100), 4 star, 12th best shooting guard, 45th overall.
  • Kendall Stephens (92/100), 4 star, 20th best shooting guard.
  • Basil Smotherman (91/100), 3 star, 19th best small forward.
The only Purdue target in ESPN’s class of 2014 top 25 is Jaquan Lyle.
What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. But it’s big business for scouting services and serves as fodder for obsessed sports fans (much like myself) during the offseason.
If the recruiting analysts are right, Purdue has a bright future as the 2012 class is a consensus top 20 class and the 2013 class features two top 100 players. With 5 bona fide top 100 players, Matt Painter will have a definite upgrade of talent (according to the recruiting analysts).

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