Friday, December 23, 2011

Simpson gives Purdue size and potential

With the next Purdue basketball game nearly a week away, Inside Mackey will take a look at one of the most anticipated back-to-back recruiting classes to set foot in West Lafayette for quite some time. Yesterday we focused on 2012 commit Rapeal Davis, today we look at his current teammate and 2012 commit Jay Simpson.
Simpson brings size and skill to Purdue's frontcourt

It's felt like forever since Jay Simpson verbally committed to the Boilers, and well, that's because it has been. Simpson committed all the way back in 2009, while he was playing for Champaigne Central.

Now Simpson plays for La Lumiere with Rapheal Davis. Standing at 6' 10'' and in the area of 250 pounds, Simpson is one of the more interesting recruits in these next two classes.

Interesting because of what people think he can become. With his size, he has the ability to bang inside with anybody. Like Davis, Simpson possesses a college ready body right now. He also has the skill to step outside and knock down that fifteen foot jumper. If you have a chance to watch some of his highlights, the ability is there: shooting, handles, athleticism.

He shows flashes, but the knock on Simpson is that he could be a lot more than he is right now.

During his time at Champaigne Central where he played through his junior year, asthma was a problem for Simpson. It prohibited him from going as hard as he could for long stretches. Simpson reportedly joined the track team to help with his problem. From all accounts, this and getting in better shape have put the asthma in his rear-view mirror.

So what explains his low production at times and his tendency to disappear out on the court?

That's the question that most Purdue fans are asking.

It has some to do with the team he is on. La Lumiere is run by point guard Antonio "Bobo" Drummond. Drummond, who has committed to Southern Illinois, tends to overlook all the talented bigs on the team. With three talented big-men, all headed to Division I schools, Drummond fails to feed and reward them.

If Ronnie Johnson was on this team, also a 2012 commitment to Purdue, the possibilities would be scary. A pass first point guard on a team like this would be something to see, but that's not what Drummond is and part of the reason Simpson is overlooked and rarely fed the ball.

With this said, however, he needs to demand the ball more. If he isn't getting the ball he needs to do something about it. On occasion, he relies too much on his skills to shoot and handle on the perimeter, instead of going down low on the block where he can really do damage.

Simpson will join fellow big man A.J. Hammons in the 2012 class
Simpson, who is ranked a four-star by and 101st in his class, has yet to prove on a consistent basis what he can be. He shows flashes and those flashes are something to see, but in order to play significant minutes at Purdue, he needs to bring it all the time.

His talents are unquestioned. He brings size and athleticism to Purdue's front-line that they undoubtedly need. If he is ready to bring it all the time, both on the defensive and offensive end, he will play as a freshman. If not, Matt Painter will have a decision to redshirt him or not. It's up to Simpson what player he wants to become, because his potential, coupled with some added motivation and drive, could be something special.


  1. Great Write Up! I follow a lot of Purdue centric blogs and your insight and candor is much appreciated. A lot of fans just write when the team is doing well or like to gripe when they hit a rough patch. Subtracting the emotion is necessary and I enjoy that about your blog. Keep it Up!

  2. Appreciate the comments. Keep posting your thoughts...I love talking basketball!