Painter Announces Five Commitments on National Signing Day
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue head coach Matt Painter has announced that five prospects have signed their national letters of intent and will join the Boilermakers for the 2023-24 season.
The class is ranked eighth by Rivals.com and ninth nationally by 247Sports. It is Purdue’s highest-ranked recruiting class since the class of 2007, when the Baby Boilers were ranked No. 4 nationally by Scout.com and No. 5 by Rivals.com.
The class is second in the Big Ten behind Rutgers according to Rivals.com.
Guards C.J. Cox and Jack Benter, wing Kanon Catchings and post players Raleigh Burgess and Daniel Jacobsen have all submitted their paperwork and are now officially members of the Boilermakers.
“Obviously, we were able to touch a lot of points with this class. Anytime you have skill like these guys provide who can move and pass and play together, it really opens up a lot of different things you can run on both ends. Getting size and versatility in this class was really important to us,” Painter said. “We’ve got a bit of everything with this class and can still take one more player. We still need some help in our backcourt with what we are losing this year. We feel like if we can get one more guard that it will really help our case next season and moving forward. We’re excited about this class and where we are going with our program. This is a class that has a lot of skill and high basketball IQ.”
Under Painter, Purdue’s recruiting classes have now been ranked in the top 20 three different times (2007 – 5th; 2012 – 19th; 2024 – 8th).
JACK BENTER (Guard / 6-5 / Brownstown, Indiana / Brownstown Central)
- An outstanding scorer, Benter excels at Brownstown Central, already setting the school record for career points and points in a game.
- A 3-star recruit on 247Sports, Benter accepted an offer early (June 2022), turning down offers from Indiana State, Bellarmine and Liberty. Virginia, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Stanford and Penn State were others showing interest.
- Fits the mold of previous Purdue recruits Dakota Mathias and Sasha Stefanovic.
- Averaged 18.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a freshman.
- Then his sophomore year, averaged 26.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a sophomore, shooting 45 percent from 3-point range (93-of-207).
- Named to the Indiana Junior All-Star Team following his junior season.
- Shattered a backboard on a breakaway dunk during his junior season.
- Tallied 50 points against Jennings County on Jan. 6, 2023.
- Led the Braves to a sectional championship as a sophomore and to the semi-state championship game as a junior. Should be considered a favorite to win the state title as a senior.
- Competed in the Top 100 showcase after his sophomore year.
- Played for Grand Park Premier AAU.
PAINTER QUOTABLE: “Jack really gives us the type of player that has thrived here at Purdue in terms of skill level and understanding of his game, in the mold of Dakota Mathias and Sasha Stefanovic. He has really good size at the two or three position even though he handles the ball a lot and plays point at Brownstown Central. He is a great decision maker and can really stretch the defense with his ability to shoot the three.”
RALEIGH BURGESS (Forward / 6-10 / Cincinnati, Ohio / Sycamore)
- Missed some of his junior season but is now 100 percent for his senior season at Sycamore.
- Ranked as the No. 89 prospect nationally by Rivals.com, Burgess received 19 offers, turning down offers from Indiana, Cincinnati, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin among others.
- Was averaging 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks as a junior before his injury. Was named second-team All-Southwest District All-star despite playing only half the season.
- A stretch big man that can step out and hit the three, but also play on the block.
- Chose Purdue because it was a perfect fit of basketball and education.
- As a sophomore, averaged 10.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while shooting 62.6 percent from the field.
- In July 2022, helped his AAU team (Indiana Elite) to a 3Stripes Select Basketball U16 Championship.
PAINTER QUOTABLE: “Raleigh has the ability to play two positions at the four and the five and his athleticism, mobility and the ability to play both in and out is something that we really looked for in this class. He has the ability to stretch the defense, but also play down low. His versatility and size make him interchangeable and he plays really hard and has a lot of fun playing the game.”
KANON CATCHINGS (Forward / 6-9 / Brownsburg, Indiana / Brownsburg / Overtime Elite)
- The second-highest ranked recruit of the Matt Painter era, Kanon Catchings is ranked as the No. 22 prospect by 247Sports.
- Currently playing at Overtime Elite after a sensational career at Brownsburg (Ind.). Became the first player from the state of Indiana to play at Overtime Elite.
- Currently averaging 14.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game on Overtime Elite’s Cold Hearts team. Shooting 18-of-42 (.429) from 3-point range and 51.3 percent from the field.
- Committed to Purdue in September (2022) as an unranked player, but exploded onto the scene in the last year.
- Committed early to Purdue with his only other offer from Xavier. Was starting to gain interest from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and others.
- Son of former Illinois great Tauja Catchings and nephew of Naismith Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings.
- In a win over state runner-up Kokomo and the No. 4-ranked recruit in the country, Flory Bidunga, Catchings scored a Cox Tournament-record 39 points, tallying 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the opening half.
- Averaged 17.5 points and 4.8 rebounds as a junior at Brownsburg.
- Was one of the youngest players invited to try out for the 2023 USA Basketball U19 World Cup team this past summer.
- Excelled on a loaded Indy Gym Rats team in the AAU season.
PAINTER QUOTABLE: “Kanon has morphed into a big guard role at 6-9, 205 pounds, and can really play a lot of positions because of his versatility. His athleticism and skillset is really impressive and he is an elite shot-maker whether it’s catch-and-shoot or getting to his pull-up. He is still growing and expanding his game, but he’s just scratching the surface in terms of what he can do. He is outstanding in structure and is a very good player at all three levels. He has a chance to be a very productive player here at Purdue.”
C.J. COX (Guard / 6-2 / Lexington, Massachusetts / Milton Academy)
- An incredibly underrated player, Cox had no high-major offers before committing to Purdue in early October.
- Chose Purdue over offers from most of the Ivy League and UMass, but caught Painter’s attention this summer on the AAU circuit.
- Stars at Milton Academy in one of the toughest conferences in the country (NEPSAC). Led Milton to the 2023 NEPSAC championship a year ago, outdueling one of the top recruits in the country in the 2026 class.
- Also led the Middlesex Magic to the AAU Under Armour Championship last summer. Averaged 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting over 40 percent from deep in the summer AAU circuit.
- In a premier Las Vegas AAU event, averaged 18.7 points, shooting 43 percent from long range, including 29, 27 and 26-point games, one of which came against a loaded Indiana Elite team.
- Becomes just the second signee in school history from Massachusetts (Jacquil Taylor).
PAINTER QUOTABLE: “C.J. was an absolute steal for us. We are very fortunate to get somebody with a lot of substance who has such a competitive spirit to him. He’s very skilled and developed into a very good shot-maker, whether it be catch-and-shoot 3’s or on pull-ups. He can hurt you in a lot of ways and has a unique ability to take good shots. His shot selection and discipline on offense is something that really helps a team. C.J. has really good ball skills and is going to be a very good player at our level.”
DANIEL JACOBSEN (Center / 7-3 / Chicago, Illinois / Brewster Academy)
- A late addition to the class, Jacobsen committed to the Boilermakers on Nov. 3, turning down offers from Wisconsin, Creighton, Iowa, Minnesota, Clemson and Xavier.
- Jacobsen reclassified from the Class of 2025 and is ranked as the No. 94 prospect in the On3 national rankings.
- Excelled at Peach Jam, AAU’s biggest event, averaging 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds in just 19 minutes while starring in the pick-and-roll.
- Averaged 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit with JL3 Elite out of Houston. Shot 49.2 percent from long range, earning session standout accolades at Session II.
- Started his high school journey in New Mexico, where he averaged 6.2 points and 6.1 rebounds as a high school sophomore.
- Will play his senior season at Brewster Academy, where former Boilermaker Aaron Wheeler attended school.
- Has tremendous upside and potential.
PAINTER QUOTABLE: “Daniel is a great shot-blocker, who is very versatile on both ends. He has a level of fluidity to him and is very long and moves well. He can also pick-and-pop and really shoot the ball at a high level. He has the ability to really stretch the defense and has a lot of untapped potential. Daniel is a very talented player who is just scratching the surface of the player he can become, and we are excited to watch his progress.”
Gearlds Lands Talented Trio on Signing Da
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue women’s basketball head coach Katie Gearlds landed a trio of talented high school seniors for National Signing Day on Wednesday, adding to the Boilermakers’ talented young core for the years ahead. Jordyn Poole, Lana McCarthy and Kendall Puryear committed to play at Purdue starting with the 2024-25 season.
“We are excited to have Jordyn, Kendall and Lana officially become Boilermakers,” Gearlds said. “These three have a relentlessness to win games. They all have incredible potential which will translate to making an impact on our program when they set foot on campus next year.”
5-7 | G | Fort Wayne, Ind. | Fort Wayne Snider
Instagram – _jpoole | Twitter – _JordynPoole3
“To get one of the nation’s best players to stay home is exciting for the future of Purdue Women’s Basketball. Jordyn is an elite playmaker, possessing the ability to create for others or score it herself. Jordyn has a knack for making other people better. Jordyn has the speed and athleticism to become a lockdown defender to compliment her offensive talents.” – Gearlds on Poole
• No. 54 overall player, four-star prospect with a 93 rating by ESPN HoopGurlz
• No. 38 player in the nation by Prospects Nation
• No. 1 player in Indiana by Prep Girls Hoops
• Named a preseason candidate for Indiana Miss Basketball
• 2023 Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp invitee and participant
• 2023 SAC Player of the Year
• Earned a spot as an Indiana Junior All-Star and Indiana All-Star Core Group member
• Garnered three All-State, first team All-Summit Conference, first team all-area nods
• Indiana Underclass Supreme 15 All-State
• Adidas All-American in AAU
• Invited to the 2022 Adidas All-American Camp and 2021 Wooten Camp
• Earned three letters for Fort Wayne Snider High School
• Has a 54-17 high school record through three seasons, winning two sectional titles and one regional championship
• Scored 1,000th career point to start her senior season
• Guided the Panthers to a 21-5 record, reaching semi-state as a junior
• Powered the way offensively with 16.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals per game, while shooting 48% from the field and 41% from behind the arc on 52 triples, dropping 30 points on two occasions
• Named the SAC Player of the Year, an Indiana Junior All-Star Core Group member, First Team All-State and First Team All-Summit Conference as a junior
• Went 20-4 as a sophomore to reach the regional championship game
• Recorded 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game during her sophomore campaign
• Nearly totaled a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a sectional game her sophomore season
• Tabbed Second Team All-State, First Team All-Summit Conference and Second team All-Area as a sophomore
• Garnered Freshman First Team All-State and First Team All-Summit Conference with 12 points and 4.5 assists per game in 2020-21
• Full Name: Jordyn Nicole Poole
• Birthdate: Aug. 14, 2006
• Birthplace: Huntsville, Ala.
• Intended Major: Sports Management
• Parents: Jason Barnes and Kristin Poole-Barnes
• Brothers: Chase and Christopher Barnes
• Sisters: Jayah Barnes and Jenae Barnes
• Her father Jason earned three letters playing football at Ball State
• Her mother Kristin ran track at Alabama A&M
• Her great uncle Roosevelt Barnes was standout basketball and football player for the Boilermakers in the early 1980, before a four-year career in the NFL with the Detroit Lions, where he was named the Yale Lary Special Teams MVP twice
• Her cousin Caleb Swanigan played for the Purdue men’s basketball team and was named the 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year, the Lute Olson Award and Pete Newell Big Man Award winner and a consensus First Team All-American
6-2 | F | Lee’s Summit, Mo. | Blue Springs South
Instagram – K.Puryear | Twitter – blkbeltballer22
“Big, Strong and Powerful are the first things you think of when it comes to Kendall. A high school double-double, she can score it on the low block or be just as efficient in the high and mid post. A black belt in karate, Kendall brings that same intensity to the defensive end.” – Gearlds on Puryear
• No. 2 player in Missouri by Prep Girls Hoops
• Named to Class 6A All-State, two-time Suburban Gold First Team All-Conference, The Examiner’s All-Area and two-time all-district
• Twice led the state of Missouri in field goal percentage
• Earned letters in basketball and track at Blue Springs South High School
• Dominated junior season to average 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 57.8% from the field
• Garnered Class 6 All-State, all-conference, all-district, all-area honors after junior year
• Took the Lady Jags to the Missouri State Class 6 Final Four, finishing third, and won the Suburban Gold Class 6 District 7 Conference title as a sophomore
• Nearly averaged a double-double with 9.1 points and 8.1 rebounds to earn all-conference and all-district as a sophomore
• Finished her sophomore campaign with the highest field goal percentage in the state at 61.6%
• Tallied 7.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a freshman and notched the state’s best shooting clip at 59.8%
• Won conference her junior year in the shot put, finished third in the district, did not compete at state due to basketball
• Full Name: Kendall Sarai Puryear
• Birthdate: April 4, 2006
• Birthplace: Kansas City, Mo.
• Intended Major: Mechanical Engineering
• Parents: Kevin and Vicki Puryear
• Brother: Kevin Puryear
• Sister: Aleyse Puryear
• Brother Kevin was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Missouri for Purdue alumnus Cuonzo Martin
• Kevin scored 1,241 points in 119 starts to finish 27th in Mizzou history for scoring, was named SEC All-Freshman in 2016
6-4 | Bedford, N.H. | Bedford
Instagram – lanajm_15 | Twitter – _lanamccarthy
“Lana is flat out a winner, having played in 8 state championship games by the time she gets to us speaks on that. Lana is a skilled post player, that can finish either hand or knock down midrange shots. Defensively she can make an impact with her ability to defend the rim and guard in space, her best basketball is truly ahead of her.” – Gearlds on McCarthy
• No. 7 player in New England by Prep Girls Hoops
• No. 1 player in New Hampshire by MaxPreps
• Three-time All-State honoree in basketball and volleyball
• Three-time NW Sports Page Underclassman Team honoree
• Won one basketball state championship, reaching three title games, and a trio of volleyball state championships
• Two-time captain and the first ever junior captain in program history
• Tabbed the New Hampshire Player of the Year in volleyball
• Earned letters in basketball and volleyball at Bedford High School
• Took the Bulldogs to third straight state championship game, averaging a double-double during the regular season with 18 points and 11 rebounds per game, before upping her scoring to 21.7 points per game in the playoffs as a junior
• Earned second straight First Team All-State honor along with a spot on the NH Sports Page Underclassman Team as a junior
• Tallied 14 points per game to take Bedford to state championship game appearance in sophomore campaign
• Tabbed First Team All-State and NH Sports Page Underclassman as a sophomore
• Led Bedford to a New Hampshire State Championship with 16.8 points per game, earning honorable mention all-state and a spot on the NH Sports Page Underclassman Team as a freshman
• Three-time volleyball state champion, earning three straight First Team All-State honors
• Named the New Hampshire Division I Player of the Year and First Team All-State during senior campaign after leading the Bulldogs to third straight state championship in volleyball, setting the state record for blocks in the process
• Full Name: Lana Jade McCarthy
• Birthdate: Nov. 15, 2005
• Birthplace: Manchester, N.H.
• Intended Major: Nutrition
• Parents: Robert and Sharron McCarthy
• Sisters: Melody Rose
Green Announces Second Fighting Illini National Signing Day Class
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Illinois women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green has inked National Letters of Intent from Hayven Smith and Berry Wallace to join the Fighting Illini program. Smith, a center from Frankfort, Ill., and Wallace, a forward from Pickerington, Ohio, will join the Orange and Blue beginning in the 2024-25 campaign.
Hayven Smith – Frankfort, Illinois – Lincoln-Way East High School
- 6’6″ center
- Four-year varsity basketball letter winner, three-year varsity volleyball letter winner
- Earned IBCA All-State, Illinois AP All-State, and Southtown All-Area honors as a junior (2023)
- High School Stat Lines:
- 2022-23: 14 PPG, 10 RPG, 2 BPG
- 2021-22: 10 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 BPG
- 2020-21: 8 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 BPG
- Five consecutive semesters on high honor roll
- Parents are Greg and Tammy Smith
- Older brother Hunter and older sisters Hailey and Hannah
- College Basketball Ties: Sister, Hannah, played at Illinois Wesleyan from 2019-22
- AAU Team: Midwest Elite Nike EYBL
Why she chose Illinois: “The recruitment process is very long and tedious. I spent years talking to numerous schools and coaches trying to find the right fit, and Illinois was alongside me for most of that process. While figuring out what I wanted in a school, I grew amazing relationships with the coaches and staff. Illinois never left my mind, and I had grown such a unique relationship with everyone that I could not possibly have envisioned myself at any other school.”
Berry Wallace – Pickerington, Ohio – Pickerington High School Central
- 6’1″ forward
- ESPN HoopGurlz Recruiting Ranking – #20
- Five-star recruit
- Four-year varsity basketball letter winner, three-year varsity volleyball letter winner
- Earned All-District honorable mention and helped team to district championship in 2021
- First-team All-Conference, First-team All-District 11, First-team All-Central District, Second-team All-State, First-team All-Adidas 3SSB, and helped team to district championship in 2022
- First-team All-Conference, First-team All-District 11, First-team All-Central District, First-team All-State, Adidas Eurocamp National Team, and helped team to district and regional championships in 2023
- High School Stat Lines:
- 2022-23: 15.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.0 BPG
- 2021-22: 14.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG
- 2020-21: 11.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
- Honor roll all three years of high school
- Member of the National Honor Society and class president
- Parents are Chris and Brandi Wallace
- Four brothers (Evan, Garner, Isaiah, Adae) and four sisters (Bailey, Bexley, Brooklyn, Blossom)
- College Basketball Ties: Older sister, Bexley, played two seasons each at Penn State and Kent State
- AAU Team: United Family 3SSB
Why she chose Illinois: “I chose Illinois because of the coaches’ vision for the team and for their dedication to their players and program. Illinois has all the academic perks that I could want and the support I know I can rely on in all aspects of life.”
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Coquese Washington announced the signing of incoming freshman Zachara Perkins on Wednesday morning. Perkins, a 6-foot-3 guard/forward combo will join the Scarlet Knights ahead of the 2024-25 season out of Houston, Texas.
“Signing Zachara Perkins gives us another addition to our roster that will help us compete on an elite level,” said Washington. “Zachara is a very talented, versatile forward who brings a variety of skills to the table. She is a serious competitor with a strong work ethic. She is also a kind, considerate young woman who will be a great teammate and have a positive impact on our culture. It’s exciting to imagine all the ways in which Zachara will help move this program forward.”
During Perkins’ 2022-23 season at Summercreek High School in Houston, Texas, she led her team to both an Area and a Bi-District Championship in addition to the Region 3 Finals. A consistent double-double type player, she averaged 18.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game through her junior season.
Perkins was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) All-State and All-Region teams. In addition, she was selected as the Newcomer of the Year and to the All-Academic Team.
“I chose Rutgers because as soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like family,” Perkins said. “It felt like Coach Coquese and the rest of the staff really wanted me to be there and it wasn’t just fake love. The team was amazing and really nice. Overall, it just felt like the place to be.”
Basketball and New Jersey run deep in the Perkins family as her mother, DeMya Walker-Wheatfall, was a high school All American at Rancocas Valley in Mount Holly, N.J. She had a successful collegiate career at the University of Virginia where she was an honorable mention All-American and went on to play 14 seasons in the WNBA, competing for five different teams and winning a WNBA Championship in 2005 with the Sacramento Monarchs.
Perkins’ father Ben also played college hoops, suiting up for both Providence University and McNeese University.
Koch, Tadjo Sign With Iowa Hoops
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery announced Wednesday that Cooper Koch and Chris Tadjo have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.
“Both of these young men are going to be great additions to our program and are the true definition of culture,” said McCaffery.
Forward, 6-8, 205
Metamora Township High School
– Transferred from Peoria Notre Dame to Metamora High School for his senior season
– Selected to the 2023 adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy
– Four-star ranking by Rivals and ESPN
– Rated as the No. 71 player nationally by On3, No. 14 power forward and No. 2 player in Illinois
– Ranked as the No. 51 player nationally by 247Sports and the No. 8 power forward in the class
– Earned Illinois Basketball Coaches Association 3A first-team all-state honors as a junior after averaging 18.6 points and eight rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals
– Was AP second-team all-state in 2022-23 and first-team All-Big 12 Conference honoree
– Honorable mention all-state and all-conference selection as a sophomore after averaging 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block
– Plays for Indiana Elite on AAU circuit
– Son of former Hawkeye and NBA player J.R. Koch, who played for Iowa from 1995-99. J.R. was an NBA second round draft pick by the New York Knicks in 1999
“I chose the University of Iowa because it embodies everything I am looking for in a college experience — a dynamic and fast-paced style of play, an extraordinary coaching staff that has the expertise to guide and develop my skills, and above all, a strong sense of family and belonging within the Hawkeye community that I am thrilled to be a part of.”
FRAN McCAFFERY ON COOPER KOCH
“Cooper is incredibly versatile and is a phenomenal shooter, but he is also skilled in so many different areas. He runs the floor, moves constantly, puts it on the floor and can make plays for so many other people. He rebounds the ball, really competes and is a tremendous worker. Cooper has tremendous character and he is one of those guys that continues to get better every time you see him. He’s going to have a great impact for many years.”
Forward, 6-8, 220
NBA Academy Latin America
– Four-star recruit by On3
– Rated as the No. 66-best player in the class and the 11th-best power forward
– Attends the NBA Academy Latin America – an elite basketball training program for top prospects from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Canada
– Selected as the Defensive MVP of the 2022 Basketball Without Borders (BWB) America’s Camp in San Luis Potosi, Mexico
– Named a BWB Americas All-Star
– Named Most Valuable Player of the White Team at the BioSteel All-Canadian Games after posting a double-double (25 points, 16 rebounds)
“I am happy to embark on an exciting journey at the University of Iowa. Iowa is an exceptional program with a great community, and the warmth I have experienced while interacting with the coaching staff and the players made Iowa an instant home away from home. I’m more than excited to dive into this experience and get to work.”
FRAN McCAFFERY ON CHRIS TADJO
“Chris is a very gifted, talented, athletic player. He is extremely versatile with the ability to put it on the floor, slash and play in the post. Chris has a great deal of character, and we are so excited to have him join our program.”
Spartans Add Three on National Signing Day in a Top-10 Recruiting Class
East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State’s men’s basketball team has received signed National Letters of Intent from Jesse McCulloch (Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East), Jase Richardson (Miami, Fla. / Columbus) and Kur Teng (Manchester, N.H. / Bradford Christian Academy [Mass.]).
The Spartans’ recruiting class has been recognized nationally as one of the best in the country, ranked No. 7 by 247 Sports, No. 13 by Rivals, and No. 19 by ON3 Sports. All three players are ranked among the top-100 nationally in the ESPN Top 100.
“Signing Day is always great, especially when you think you had a good class and we think we have that with the guys who signed today,” Head coach Tom Izzo said. “I like what we’re doing and the way we’re doing it on the recruiting front. This is a highly ranked class and we’re very excited to have these guys coming here.
“Jesse has a body that can put on some good weight, we project him as a guy who can really, really help us down the road and he’s got a love for the game. It’s unique with Jase because he is the first son of one of my former players we recruited. I told his dad early on that I’m going to recruit Jase as Jase and not his son. It’s pretty cool for a son to come to a place his dad went to two Final Fours and won a national championship and 20 years later his son has a chance to do some special things. With Kur, we always look at programs they play and where they come from and he’s one of those that we say he’s “Our Kinda Guy.” We’re just really excited to have all three of them coming to our program.”
Jesse McCulloch (6-10, 225, F – Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East)
A four-star recruit who has moved up the recruit rankings over the last two years … Ranked No. 98 in the ESPN Top 100 … Tabbed No. 106 in the country by On3 Sports and No. 128 by 247Sports … Among power forwards, ESPN lists him at No. 13, with On3 Sports and 247Sports tabbing McCulloch at No. 21 … Plays for one of the top prep basketball programs in Ohio at Lutheran East … An all-state honoree as a junior … Averaged 17.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game … In three years at Lutheran East, has helped lead the team to a 54-18 record and two state titles.
Izzo on McCulloch…
“He’s a four-start recruit right now and I think he could move up. He has something that we think is very valuable, he can really shoot the ball. He’s got more weight and more energy and he’s a guy that’s excited to be here. His team has played very well, so he has won a lot in Cleveland. We were attracted to him because he could shoot it and he communicated really well on the floor, maybe better than any guard I’ve seen. Then we had a chance to meet his family and his parents, they were just unbelievable. We looked at Jesse early, we liked Jesse early and we moved on Jesse early.”
Jase Richardson (6-3, 180, G – Miami, Fla. / Columbus)
The son of former Spartan standout Jason Richardson … Listed among the top-40 players in the country … Appears at No. 28 in the country in the ESPN Top 100, No. 35 in the country by 247Sports, No. 37 by On3 Sports and No. 39 in Rivals … Ranked No. 3 among combo guards by On3 Sports, No. 4 by 247Sports, No. 6 by ESPN and No. 11 in Rivals … Averaged 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists for PG Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit last year
Izzo on Richardson…
“In Jase Richardson, we get a little bit of everything. We get a guy who can shoot it. What is probably the best thing is, it is an honor to have the son of a former player. That is a big-time recruit. He’s right on the edge, hopefully will be a McDonald’s All-American by the time the year is up. He’s ranked in the top 35 or 40 for most polls. He’s ranked among the three best combo guards and I think that’s what he is. He had a knee injury a few years ago and I saw him play and he was good and he was just coming back. I saw him last summer and his game was elevated to a whole new level and now he’s even taken it to a new level. I think the health of him has made a big difference. He can pass it, he can shoot it, he can defend it, and he can rebound it, he’s a very aggressive rebounder. As he gets stronger, and that would maybe be the only thing right now, as he gets stronger like his dad went through, I think this kid has a chance to be one of the great combo guards because I think he can do it in a lot of different ways that we’ve had. He too, his family, his mother was a coach believe it or not, he’s got a brother, so in the family, they all are big basketball nuts. He lives, eats, and sleeps it. I think he’s going to be a great addition to not only what we have, but we need and I think that that’s going to be really important to us in the near future.”
Kur Teng (6-4, 185, G – Manchester, N.H. / Bradford Christian Academy [Mass.])
The first player of the class to commit to MSU … A consensus top-50 guard … A 4-star recruit listed at No. 44 nationally by 247 Sports, No. 39 in the ESPN Top 100 and No. 43 by On3Sports … Ranked as the No.8 shooting guard in the class and the top player in Massachusetts by 247 Sports … The Circuit’s 2023 3SSB Most Valuable Player … NBPA Top 100 and adidas Eurocamp selection … Named Most Valuable Player at the adidas 3SSB 17u Open Championships … In the 2023 adidas #3SSB circuit, Teng shot 48.8 percent from 3-point land, while averaging 18.1 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game … Has scored 1,615 varsity points entering his last season at Bradford Christian Academy (Lawrence, Mass.) … A two-time New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) AA first team selection.
Izzo on Teng…
“We always look at program’s guys play from and are they “Our Kinda Guys.” This guy’s coach (Vin Pastore) is a lovable guy, hard on his players, demanding of them and he’s had some big-time players, some pro players from his program. The body, the build, we thought he could be a Big Ten guard and then the fact that he can shoot it. He’s got a mid-range game, a long-range game, he can shoot the ball and right now, let’s face it, there’s a premium on being able to shoot the ball. We got to know him and we got to know his family. It was just the right fit for us and hopefully that’s why he thought it was the right fit for him.”
Buckeyes Ink a Pair in 2024 Class
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State men’s basketball has received a pair of national letters of intent from two Ohio players in John “Juni” Mobley Jr. and Colin White.
“We’re really excited to welcome Juni and Colin to the Ohio State family,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “It’s always great when we can add players with Ohio roots to the Buckeye family. They are two high character guys who both know how to win at a high level.”
Mobley Jr. grew up in nearby Reynoldsburg, Ohio and has played his high school ball on a national level at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas and this season at Wasatch Academy in Utah.
“Juni is one of the very best shooters in this class. He can play either of the guard spots and, as people have seen over the summer, he has the ability to change a game quickly,” Holtmann said. “We’re excited to see him continue to grow this year. I want to welcome he and his family to our program and can’t wait to see him in the Scarlet & Gray.”
Mobley Jr. had a great summer on the AAU circuit and has proven himself as one of the best shooters in the class. He’s been a Top 50 ranked player over the last two years and is only getting better.
White plays at one of the top high school programs in the state at Ottawa-Glandorf and has led his team to the state title game each of the last two seasons.
“Colin is a tough, physical kid who comes from a great basketball program,” Holtmann said. “He’s a cerebral player that will bring versatility to our team as he can play a number of positions. Buckeye Nation is going to enjoy watching his development. We are excited for he and his family to join our family.”
White is a smart and versatile player who has also shined on the national level for Indiana Elite. He has risen in the rankings because of his ability to score from multiple positions.
John “Juni” Mobley Jr.
Bishop Gorman/Wasatch Academy
- Four-star recruit who is ranked No. 46 in the class by the 247 composite rating.
- Grew up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio and moved to Las Vagas to attend Bishop Gorman for high school.
- Transferred to Wasatch Academy prior to his senior season in the fall of 2023.
- Played over the summer for Vegas Elite and was one of the stars at the Peach Jam in July
- In 15 games in the Nike EYBL, he averaged 13.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and shot 47 percent from the floor, including 39 percent from three-point range.
- Averaged 20.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a junior at Bishop Gorman
- Led Bishop Gorman to a 30-1 record and a 5-A state runner-up appearance as a sophomore after averaging 15.5 points, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
- Top 125 recruit in the 2024 class
- Competed on the AAU circuit the past two seasons for Indiana Elite
- Helped Indiana Elite to a 39-3 record this past summer as he averaged 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field.
- Led Ottawa-Glandorf to back-to-back state championship game appearances each of the last two seasons.
- Was named the Division-III Northwest Ohio Player of the Year as a junior after averaging 20.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
- Also earned first-team all-state honors as a junior.
MADISON, Wis. – The Badgers will have two new faces on the court in the 2024-25 season. Head coach Marisa Moseley announced on Wednesday that high school seniors Alie Bisballe and Gracie Grzesk have each signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Wisconsin.
Bisballe comes to the Badgers from Lake City High School in Lake City, Mich. When she was not on the court for her high school, Bisballe played for the Michigan Mystics, the state’s largest girls basketball club.
The 6’4″ forward earned first-team all-conference, fourth-team all-state, Cadillac new all-area team, and BCAM best division III honors. Bisballe has also received a handful of varsity letters and helped her team earn conference and district champions.
The daughter of Chad and Kristi Bisballe plans to major in education when she comes to Madison.
“I chose Wisconsin because it reminded me of home and I felt very welcomed and wanted. Wisconsin is an amazing university academically as well. I wanted somewhere where I would be challenged not only athletically, but academically. I am so excited to start practicing with the team, participating in school activities, and being on campus in early June!” – Alie Bisballe
“A Lake City, Michigan native standing at 6’4, Alie Bisballe immediately increases our size and skill in the post. Her versatility and skill enable her to move seamlessly about the court. Alie’s IQ and court vision at her size truly make her a unique and dangerous player! Alie is capable of starting our break as well as knocking in trail 3’s or posting up, adding even more depth to a loaded roster. Alie’s desire and commitment to becoming a Badger is exciting and inspiring. She is fully bought into where we are headed as a program, and I am confident her skillset and work ethic will prove to be a phenomenal additions! Badger fan’s please help me welcome Alie to Madison!” – Head coach Marisa Moseley
Grzesk (pronounced “GRESH”) will stay in her home state, traveling to Madison from Green Bay, Wis. The 5’11” forward attended Notre Dame Academy and played club for the Wisconsin Purple Aces, who capped off a perfect 25-0 season en route to the 2023 USJN National Championship.
In high school, Grzesk earned multiple first-team all-conference, FRCC Player of the Year, AP all-state, WBCA all-state and varsity letter honors. She also led her team to three Wisconsin State Championships as well as three conference championships.
Gracie comes from a basketball family, with her dad, Gary, playing at UW-Green Bay and her mom, Liz, at Youngstown State. Gary Grezek stays familiar with the collegiate basketball scene as he leads the St. Norbert Green Knights’ men’s basketball program.
Gracie intends to major in Rehabilitation Psychology during her tenure at Wisconsin.
“I chose Wisconsin because of the challenging academics, being close to home and the family atmosphere. Coach Mo, the assistant coaches and players made me feel very welcomed. In addition to staying close to home, I am excited to compete in the Big Ten, one of the best conferences in the country. I can’t wait to be part of what Coach Mo is building.
On Wisconsin!” – Gracie Grzesk
“A Green Bay, Wisconsin native, Gracie Grzesk is a dynamic and versatile guard who can impact the game in a multitude of ways! Her laser accuracy from beyond the arc, as well as her ability to bang in the post, will be a delight for Badger fans to watch! The product of two coaches, Gracie’s basketball IQ and savvy play are a great fit for our program. She is the definition of a winner, having recorded three straight Wisconsin state championships, with her eyes set on a 4-peat. As an in-state kid, she bleeds red and is a true Badger. Gracie joins a long line of in-state players committed to bringing Wisconsin back to greatness. Badger Nation please help me welcome Gracie to Madison!” – Head coach Marisa Moseley