Purdue inks trio in early signing period

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue head coach Matt Painter has announced that three prospects have signed their national letters of intent and will join the Boilermakers for the 2017-18 season.

Wing players Eden Ewing and Aaron Wheeler and post player Matt Haarms have submitted their paperwork and are officially members of the Boilermakers’ basketball program.

“Each year we have really tried to get someone in the class that was skilled and talented. If you look at our roster this year, you see a lot of guys that can really shoot the basketball to go along with our size,” Painter said. “These guys give us athleticism and versatility and are different kinds of players, and is a group that will only get better. This is a very talented class with a great upside to it.”

Eden Ewing / 6-9 / 215 / Richmond, Texas / Tyler JC (Texas) / Bush H.S.
• A 3-star player from Tyler Junior College, Ewing committed to Purdue on Nov. 7.
• Will have two years of eligibility with the Boilermakers.
• Athletic, bouncy and physical wing player that can play both inside and out. Has the tools to be a very good defensive player.
• Turned down offers from Iowa State, LSU and Fresno State.
• Committed to Nevada out of high school in 2014, before opting to attend Tyler JC.
• Averaged 9.9 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 47.9 percent from the field as a freshman at Tyler in 2015-16.
• His head coach, Mike Marquis, has sent over 120 kids to NCAA Division I programs, including 2016 Olympic Team member Jimmy Butler.
• As a senior at Bend, Ewing led the team to a 26-8 record, averaging around 15 points and eight rebounds per game.
• As a junior at Bend High School, Ewing averaged 12.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, leading the school to a 30-5 record.
• His uncle, Daniel Ewing, played at Duke and was a McDonald’s All-American.
• Played AAU basketball for T.J. Ford Elite, the former Texas star and eighth overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003.
• Father, Lorenzo, played college basketball at Louisiana Tech and Houston Baptist.

PAINTER: “Outside of JaJuan Johnson, Eden Ewing might be the most-athletic player we have signed at Purdue. He gives us that athlete that can do a lot of things well and has a really high ceiling. He can put the ball on the floor, block shots, drive, get rebounds and get out and run. He’s a guy that can do a little bit of everything and plays with a high motor. I think his offensive game is going to take off this season and are excited to watch his development.”

Matt Haarms / 7-2 / 225 / Amsterdam, the Netherlands / Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)
• Ranked a 3-star forward by both Rivals and 247Sports, Haarms committed to Purdue on Oct. 4.
• Was a member of the U-18 Dutch National Team.
• Chose Purdue over offers from Colorado, Vanderbilt and Washington State.
• Has a rare blend of athleticism and size who can step out and hit the 3-pointer, making him a tough matchup.
• Started playing basketball at age 11 and left the Netherlands prior to his junior year to spend a year in Spain to help strengthen his game.
• Sunrise coach Luke Barnwell described Haarms as skilled and mobile and able to “really fly and move laterally” defensively.
• Haarms said “some of the best big men are coming out of Purdue. That was accentuated on my visit. I kept coming back to that every time I was thinking about a decision.”
• Is also a strong student with an ACT score of 29.
• Played with the Chauncey Billups Elite AAU team in the Adidas Gauntlet series.
• Attends the same school as Buddy Hield, a 2016 All-American at Oklahoma, and Michigan State point guard Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn.
• Son of Peter Haarms and Martine van Hoorn.
• Born April 22, 1997, in Amsterdam.
• Becomes just the sixth international player to play at Purdue since the 1951-52 season.

PAINTER: “Matt Haarms gives us great length and a guy that can shoot the basketball. He has a high motor and can defend on the perimeter and inside. We really like his versatility to be able to play both inside and outside. We feel once we adds some strength, he will take his game to the next level.”

Aaron Wheeler / 6-8 / 190 / Stamford, Connecticut / Brewster Academy (N.H.)
• A 3-star recruit from Brewster Academy, Wheeler committed to Purdue on Oct. 17.
• Took one official visit during the fall – to Purdue. Northwestern, Michigan, Arkansas and Creighton were trying to get Wheeler in for official visits before he committed.
• Turned down offers from Pittsburgh, Providence, Rhode Island, Temple and Seton Hall.
• Has great size, length and athleticism on the wing. Has a lot of tools to be a very good player in the Big Ten Conference.
• Called an “undeniable talent with still untapped potential. He’s capable of making plays in the open floor, gets well above the rim with ease, covers the court gracefully and is a consistent threat from the 3-point line”. – New England Recruiting Report.
• “Has tremendous length and quickness and can guard a couple different positions at our level,” Brewster head coach Jason Smith said.
• Owns a 7-foot wingspan.
• As a junior was named third-team All-NEPSAC AA, one of the best prep leagues in America.
• Brewster Academy has won four national championships in the last six years.
• Played AAU basketball for Mass Rivals on the Adidas Gauntlet series and was part of a team that won the Adidas Championship this summer.
• Father, William Jr., played basketball at Manhattan College in the late-80s.
• Son of William Jr., and Michelle Wheeler.
• Born Sept. 24, 1998, in Stamford, Connecticut.

PAINTER: “Aaron Wheeler gives us a really long, skilled athlete who can shoot the basketball that we feel has his best basketball ahead of him. He has tremendous upside. His ability to shoot along with his length and athleticism gives him a great skillset to really expand his game. He’s going to have to get stronger, but we are really looking at him as a big guard who can play multiple positions.”