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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, May 09, 2019 9:50 pm

Purdue basketball lands big 2020 commitment

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Purdue reached the Elite Eight this season in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000 and was just seconds away from its first first Final Four since 1980.

The Boilermakers have a young core to build upon and coach Matt Painter has wasted no time in capitalizing on the program's momentum with a pair of recruiting successes in the last couple of weeks.

First it was 2020 guard Jaden Ivey of Mishawka choosing the Boilermakers over Notre Dame, where his mother was a record-breaking guard and has coached for 12 years. Tonight, four-star 2020 Pennsylvania point guard Ethan Morton chose the Boilermakers over offers from Indiana, Michigan and Pittsburgh among others. 

Morton is the No. 42 player in the 2020 class, per, and the No. 1 player in Pennsylvania. Painter has prioritized shooting in the last several classes and that seems like it will continue: Ivey and Morton can both fill it up from the outside.

"On my home visit, (Painter) laid out such a great vision they have for me, exactly who’s going to be playing there and how they see me as the ultimate point guard at the next level," Morton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The coaches and fitting in with the players were the two most important things to me. But when it comes down to it, there are a bunch of little things that add up, too.

"Their fans are unbelievable. They’re smart fans and know the game. … There are so many things that make it the perfect match."

Morton wasn't expected to make a decision until the end of summer, but he had a handful of in-home visits over the last several weeks and something about Purdue seemed to click. 

The 6-foot-6 guard was prolific as a junior at Butler High School in western Pennsylvania, averaging 27.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.1 assists while shooting 57 percent from the field. That is the type of stat line that gets people excited and Morton could be able to help the Boilermakers as soon as he gets on campus with a game that's already mature (though not finished by a long stretch).

In addition to being a win for Purdue, this is a loss for Indiana, which also wanted Morton badly. This is the second class in a row in which the Boilermakers have out-recruited the Hoosiers for a talented player. Morton follows four-star 2019 guard Brandon Newman of Valparaiso as players who have chosen the gold and black over the cream and crimson.