FORT WAYNE — For decades now, the Bill Hensley Memorial Run ‘N Slam has been one of the signature events of the grassroots season, certainly the spring portion, and competitive arena for countless Purdue basketball recruits. This year was no different, as numerous Boilermaker targets and prospects played at the Fort Wayne-based event.
Here are three quick thoughts on Purdue recruiting and other topics from games played Friday through Sunday.
PURDUE’S 2025 FRONTCOURT BOARD MUST BE LOADED
Wisconsin Playground brought a couple of clear Purdue targets to Fort Wayne, as newly offered 4/5 Kai Rogers and closely watched near-7-footer William Gorlock each played at the event and showed why Boilermaker coaches have been paying them so much attention lately in the rising junior class.
Rogers, from the Milwaukee area, was just offered by Purdue last week, among others. He’s a long and low-post-oriented multi-positional big man who can make foul-line-extended jumpers, has solid passing instincts and was disruptive this weekend as an interior defender.
Gorlock is on the verge of being the sort of 7-footer Purdue has become known for, but also moves extremely well for his size at this stage of his career and plays with distinct energy. He generated numerous possessions for his team this weekend just by batting offensive rebounds in the direction of teammates. Gorlock also showed Saturday night he can step out and make threes, connecting on one and missing on two others but looking comfortable/natural doing it.
He was just offered by Marquette. More will be coming.
Stay tuned for more on Rogers and Gorlock this week.
Established Purdue 2025 center target Malachi Moreno played in Fort Wayne, alongside Boilermaker prospect Dezmon Briscoe, who’s fielding genuine interest as well. Briscoe could be a slightly undersized center or a huge forward at the next level. Either way, he’s a big-time rebounder with strong hands and a well developed physical presence. Briscoe was offered by Iowa some time ago.
Moreno, who’ll be one of the most sought-after big men in his class, is probably still more prospect than producer at this stage, at least in grassroots, but has every physical tool imaginable, most notably his 6-foot-11 frame, elite length and highest-level mobility for his size.
He’s not a post player, but forward Trent Sisley played very well this weekend for his short-handed Indy Heat team. After EYBL trips to Atlanta and Mesa the past few weeks, Indy Heat was missing blue-chippers Jalen Haralson and Kanon Catchings (the Purdue commitment), neither of whom played this weekend.
Sisley looked energized this weekend in an expanded role. For as much as the Southern Indiana forward has come to be known for his versatility and skill, his bounce, quickness and explosiveness of the floor are really something, too.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED THIS EVENT
Again, the Run ‘N Slam has long been a marquee, catch-all sort of event for teams from the Midwest and beyond of all apparel affiliations, but since Nike and subsequently adidas and Under Armour transitioned to their respective circuits — with no Midwest locations, for some reason, this year — Fort Wayne’s spot on the calendar has become surrounded by high-stakes shoe-league events and all the emphasis and travel that come with them.
There are still a good number of Nike EYBL, adidas 3SSB and UA Association programs participating, but you see circuits’ impacts all over. Host Indy Heat’s 17U team was down a couple of big-name players. Indiana Elite’s 17-and-under team, the eventual senior-to-be division champs, looked tired on Friday night, falling behind by double-figures right away to Ohio Buckets. After a couple Under Armour events, Purdue commitment Jack Benter nursed a bit of a sore back and had his minutes this weekend managed accordingly. It didn’t stop him from scoring 19 Saturday morning in a win, then making five threes Sunday morning in a loss.
TRAVIS PERRY WAS OUTSTANDING THIS WEEKEND
Purdue guard target Travis Perry helped Indiana Elite to a 17-and-under crown this weekend, showing again what a gamer he is.
Kentucky’s newly minted all-time scoring leader shot the ball really well, but from three and off his lethal mid-range pull-ups. When Perry shoots like this, you see another layer to his value. He’s mostly being recruited as a point guard, but he’s a pure 1.5 who can play with and without the ball. He’s not always even Indiana Elite’s primary ball-handler, which puts him in position to get threes off the catch and closeouts to attach for pull-ups and runners. In transition, he has free rein to look for his jumper.
Reminder here how much college coaches value lineups with multiple ball-handler/decision-maker types playing together these days.
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