Losing Micah Shrewsberry to the Boston Celtics (again, way to go Micah!) was a significant loss. His main responsibilities included recruiting (mostly the 2014 class) and the development of Purdue’s guards. Those are some important shoes to fill.
Enter Brandon Brantley. For those of you unfamiliar with Brantley, well, first of all, shame on you for not knowing your Purdue history, but secondly, he’s a 6’8” former beast of a frontcourt player who played at Purdue from 1992-96. He played when Purdue ran off three straight Big 10 titles, and played on the last Purdue team to be seeded #1 in the NCAA Tournament.
Since graduating from Purdue, Brandon has held a number of basketball-related roles, most recently coaching within the Eric Gordon AAU program. He has stayed tight both with Purdue (he coached in last month’s Purdue-IU alumni face-off) and the state of Indiana. He has deep ties to the prep scene in Indiana, most notably within the northern part of the state commonly referred to as “The Region” (he’s from East Chicago).
But before anyone jumps too quickly to the conclusion that he was a recruiting-hire only, let’s make it clear that the two main reasons he was hired are: 1.) Matt Painter knows and trusts him and 2.) he is a gifted basketball mind, who was already working his way up the ranks within the Indiana basketball scene, where he is very well respected.
Brandon will bring experience, both as a college player and as a pro in Europe, as well as energy and enthusiasm. He’ll be well-liked by his players and he will make a different on recruiting trail. This is an exciting hire for Purdue; a hire that was about as good of a fit in all directions as you could hope for the position. I wouldn’t worry too much about his lack of experience at the college level – Greg Gary and Jack Owens are experienced enough to show him the ropes and give him some breathing room until he gets his feet under him.
I personally am very excited about this hire; I think he’ll do great things at Purdue. Welcome aboard (again, 20 years later) Brandon!