Five-star 2021 basketball recruit Harrison Ingram was set to announce his college commitment Friday afternoon. Boilermaker fans eagerly awaited his decision — Purdue, North Carolina, Michigan, Howard and Stanford were among his short list of schools.
Ingram’s choice of Stanford came as a blow to fans who had hoped Purdue would score an addition to four-star recruit Caleb Furst, who verbally committed to the program earlier this year.
Purdue men’s basketball head coach Matt Painter discussed the changing landscape around recruiting in a Friday press conference, calling the future “different” as opposed to “difficult.” The chief difference, according to both Painter and football head coach Jeff Brohm, will be the inability to bring potential recruits onto campus for in-person visits and interviews.
“That’s been a huge selling point for us — that we feel great about the facilities we have, about the academic reputation we have, and the people that we have here,” Brohm said during a press conference Wednesday. “When we get guys on campus and we get them in front of us, we normally have a great success rate.”
The moratorium on recruiting visits that began in March was issued by the NCAA instead of individual conferences, so the problem is universal.
Much of the legwork that goes into recruiting — researching players, watching game film and building player profiles — remains unchanged, Painter said. But coaches are left to build relationships with students and families virtually.
“You’re living on Zoom,” Painter said. “You’re building relationships with people through Zoom and talking to them on the phone and texting them.”
Brohm expects a smaller recruiting class moving forward, in part because of these challenges. Players transferring or cashing in an extra year of eligibility might also limit the need for recruiting. The coach feels confident, however, about the immediate future of the recruiting program.
“We’re moving forward on a few young men that we feel good about, that hopefully at some point we can get on board,” Brohm said, “and then we’ll continue to fight that recruiting battle each and every day.”