Purdue men’s basketball fans are eagerly awaiting the ninth-ranked recruiting class in the country that will come to campus next fall.
Among those is Jay Simpson, a six-foot-nine forward from Champaign, Ill. Simpson is ranked No. 101 in the class of 2012 by Rivals.com.
For his senior season, Simpson chose to attend La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Ind. At La Lumiere, Simpson is surrounded by an environment with multiple Division I recruits, including fellow 2012 Purdue commit Rapheal Davis.
La Lumiere plays a challenging schedule that includes multiple games on national television against some of the best teams in the country.
“The school has better academics, more competition and a very big stage. This will be my best season so far,” Simpson said.
Lifting weights twice a day and a fitness regime similar to what Simpson will experience at Purdue have improved his conditioning.
Simpson says he has lost 16 pounds since arriving in August but is not content with his progress.
“I still need to lose eight more pounds to get my target weight of 245 pounds.” Simpson said. “Here at school they have me on a diet; I don’t eat fried foods or any kind of junk.”
Having grown up in Champaign, Ill., Simpson said he was a fan of the University of Illinois but jumped on Matt Painter’s scholarship offer because he felt the Purdue system of play fit his style perfectly.
“My mom and I always watched games of other schools and we always thought that Purdue was the perfect fit for my game,” Simpson said. “I am a mix of JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel, I am trying to develop a post game but have a bit of a mid-range jumper game as well.”
La Lumiere head coach Alan Huss, who is Simpson’s fourth coach in four years, said Simpson has potential that is rarely seen but that Simpson needs to learn how to harness that.
“Jay is a guy who has talent that is just off the charts, but he is just now learning how to work and apply himself every day,” Huss said.
Simpson plans to major in communication at Purdue. He will arrive on campus in July. for summer conditioning and classes.