WAUKEGAN, Ill. - Vince Edwards had quite an audience as his July tipped off Friday at the King James Summer Showcase in Waukegan, Ill.
For King James Shooting Stars' 66-39 win over BTI Select in the afternoon, the coaches section overlooking the court included Thad Matta of Ohio State, Bob Huggins of West Virginia, John Groce of Illinois, John Beilein of Michigan and assistant coaches from Purdue - Micah Shrewsberry represented the Boilermakers - and Wisconsin, among others.
"It's kind of hard to block it out when every time you look up at the scoreboard, you see a bunch of coaches up there," Edwards said. "But as far as playing, you can never let that distract you and interfere with your game."
The versatile 6-foot-7 Class of 2014 forward from Middletown, Ohio, put on a bit of a show.
In a one-sided game in which the clock ran freely for much of the second half, Edwards scored 19 points, scoring off the dribble, posting up and with a three-pointer in transition. He made all eight shots he attempted.
It was a good start to the month for a player who's starting to find his name among top-100 rankings in his class.
"I'm never going to be satisfied," Edwards said. "... I'm always going to be striving to be the best."
Edwards has several scholarship offers, with Dayton and Xavier, among others, joining Purdue. West Virginia is expected to finalize an offer when he makes a visit to Morgantown.
Father and AAU coach Bill Edwards said Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Illinois are among those very interested as well.
Purdue was way out in front of its many competitors, though.
"They had made me a high, major priority pretty quick," Edwards said. "I feel like one with them.
"We have a great relationship. I talk to them on pretty much a daily basis, day in and day out. What I like about them is they can just make you feel like you're part of the family. That's the sort of place you want to be, somewhere they make you feel comfortable in your spot, like you're at home, and let you play your game. They don't want to try to force you to be something you're not."
The versatility Edwards showed in Waukegan Friday is undoubtedly something that struck Purdue when it first got involved with him.
With Robbie Hummel, the Boilermakers were known to put the power forward's diverse set of skills to use as much as they could.
"I feel like I could fit in perfectly (in their system)," Edwards said. "If they have that 3 man or that 4 man who can bring the ball up, they'll let him and they'll run the offense through him. I think I can really help in that sort of offense and set up a lot of great things."
Purdue took an early lead with the Rivals.com four-star prospect by getting in quickly. But there is no end in sight, at least not at the moment.
"I'm going to wait to see how things go," Edwards said. "I want to make sure I make the right decision and make sure I find what's best for me, the best fit for me."
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