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May 20, 2014

Purdue offers center during visit





Purdue offered Class of 2016 center Joey Brunk a scholarship Tuesday during an unofficial visit to West Lafayette, making for its second offer to a junior-to-be big man in the span of a week.

Late last week, Purdue offered Chicagoland's Barret Benson for the 2016 class.

Also on Tuesday, Purdue hosted West Lafayette High School guard Nai Carlisle for an unofficial visit.

Brunk's offer came after Purdue's watched the 6-foot-10 Southport High School center closely for the bulk of his high school career, then last summer and this spring, most recently for an open gym then again in Kansas City during the NCAA's spring evaluation weekend in April.

"(Matt Painter) said he liked the way I played, that I play hard and that I'd fit well in their system," Brunk said. "They said they like my passion and my communication. That's why they offered."

Of that systematic fit, Purdue emphasized how it's played so much through the post when it's had some of the better big men who've played for the Boilermakers under Painter.

"They pound the ball inside to A.J. (Hammons) and he plays with his back to the basket," Brunk said. "I think that's something that's one of my strengths right now and something I'm going to continue to develop.

"(Painter) said he likes my work ethic, the way I've worked and will continue to work. I play hard and have embraced that I'm a big kid playing within 10 feet of the basket and (embracing) the physicality, knowing I still have to get stronger. But he likes how hard I play and he thinks I'd be a good overall fit."

The Purdue offer is the continuation of a busy spring for Brunk, who also fielded offers this spring from Xavier and Iowa to go along with one from New Mexico. Michigan State, Notre Dame and Indiana have long shown interest and Mississippi and Utah have been in recent contact also, Brunk said.

"I'm just going to let it play out. Everything's wide open right now," he said. "If I have a chance to visit different places if it works out with my schedule, I think I will. I don't know when I'll be deciding. I still have a little bit of time. I just want to take it all in and enjoy it, because not everybody gets this opportunity. And I want to get to build a relationship with the coaching staffs and make sure I feel comfortable (at those schools) and make sure I find the right fit for me."

Tuesday's trip to Purdue was at least Brunk's third. He made an unofficial visit last summer, then returned not long thereafter for the Boilermakers' elite camp on campus.

"I was hoping they would (offer on the visit)," Brunk said. "I wanted them to, but ... I had a great time (on the visit) so whatever happened, happened. Either way, I was going to be happy. I was going to keep working whether they offered me or not, but it's a big deal to have it. I appreciate it."




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