Predictably, Trey Kaufman's recruitment beginning to take off
Breakdown: Purdue 2021 targets
For Trey Kaufman, June has brought up what seemed inevitable: A series of high-major offers for the promising junior-to-be from Silver Creek High School in Southern Indiana.
The 6-foot-7 forward was offered a scholarship for the 2021 class by Purdue during an unofficial visit Tuesday. That offer followed closely those from Xavier and Indiana, marking the beginning of what figures to be a high-level pursuit for one of the state's best prospects in his class.
In addition to the new offers, Kaufman's fielded interest from Louisville, Virginia and Iowa, among others, despite missing the spring evaluation period/weekend in April due to a wrist injury.
"Things are just starting," Kaufman said. "To get Xavier, IU and Purdue in short little span has been humbling and amazing, crazy and hectic, all the adjectives you can use to describe it. It's definitely picked up and we're just going to take it day by day."
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Purdue will have Kaufman back on campus Thursday for its team camp, a chance to watch him play, the chance it didn't have in April during the grassroots season. But it felt no need to wait 'til later in the week to extend the offer.
"A big reason, they said, they wanted to offer was their culture, being family-oriented," Kaufman said. "Not only did they say that they think I'm a talented basketball player, but also a good person who'd fit both in their brand of basketball and how they conduct themselves. They're tough-minded, blue-collar people and for me, it's an honor to be thought of that way, for the type of culture they have. They've had people like me they've trained (as players) ... and I check their boxes there."
Kaufman bears plain-as-day similarities to former Boilermaker forward Vincent Edwards, from his skill set to his positional categories, down his mannerisms and even his appearance.
He's 6-7 — and probably growing — and a strong rebounder and refined post player, but also well suited to play away from the basket, drive, handle the ball and shoot.
Purdue projects him as the sort of multi-faceted forward that's been such an important part of some of its best teams under Matt Painter.
"They seem me as a versatile 3-4," Kaufman said. "They used a lot of examples of inverted screens, inverted (dribble) handoffs. They said they'd let me be the sort of player I am and use my versatility, being more of a bigger guard, so to speak."
Kaufman visited Purdue in August for its elite camp, then in the fall for a football game and again during the season for a game in Mackey Arena, then returned Tuesday for a more dedicated recruiting visit.
"They know who they are, and trust and culture," Kaufman said. "Those are two of the biggest things I've gotten from Purdue, and just how tight they are as a community."
As a sophomore, Kaufman helped Silver Creek — located in Sellersburg, due north off Louisville — to a 25-3 record and the state's 3A championship, beating Culver Academy at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Kaufman finished that game with 12 rebounds, but also six assists.
"For me as a player, there's two areas for me to develop," Kaufman said. "The first is physical, as far as getting more on balance and more coordinated. I'm kind of naturally clumsy, and I need to improve on speed and quickness and those things but first you have to get your balance and your footwork down.
"And then, my team, I need to be a better leader for us to repeat in the state in 3A."
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