Purdue-bound Dakota Mathias part of unbeaten Ohio team
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent July 16, 2013 11:22PM
Updated: August 19, 2013 2:21PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Dakota Mathias expected to play with a Purdue recruiting target at the NHSBCA Rising Senior event, but instead went against one.
It’s a scenario that was unlikely just 10 days ago.
It was expected that Team Ohio would include Mathias and four-star recruit Vince Edwards, seemingly Purdue’s top recruiting target.
Edwards, though, suffered a slight ankle injury and had to pull out of the event. Mathias instead played against a new Purdue target — Greensburg’s Bryant McIntosh, who originally committed to Indiana State but reopened his recruitment 10 days ago.
Purdue coach Matt Painter will offer a scholarship during his trip there later this summer, McIntosh said.
“You never see this coming after decommitting,” McIntosh said. “You always question is somebody going to come calling. You just have to go out and play the way you’re capable of playing. It’s been a little crazy, but it’s been fun.”
McIntosh said he plans to visit Purdue and Northwestern, whom also offered, though no other visits have been determined, nor has a timetable for a decision. He’s also been contacted by Indiana, though no offer has been made.
Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew has also been in contact with McIntosh.
“Coach Drew has talked to me and really wants me to come up on campus,” McIntosh said. “I’m not taking anybody off my list and I’m going to be wide open; and if they recruit me the hardest and they fit me the best, it might be where I end up.”
Mathias and Team Ohio went 5-0 during the two-day event that concluded on Tuesday at Ben Davis High School. He showed to be more than adept at shooting from the perimeter during the event.
“That’s the main thing (Purdue) has told me — they need guys that can shoot it and that’s what I’ve been working on my whole life,” Mathias said. “...Playing against the best competition in the country gets you ready for the next level.”
While Edwards did not participate in the event, Mathias has been in contact with the potential future teammate, making his own sales pitch.
“I think we’re going to get him,” Mathias said, “but he has to take his time.”
Plymouth rising senior Mack Mercer is a Valparaiso target who is also picking up recruiting steam with more than a dozen offers. The 6-foot-9 post player, who can shoot from the perimeter, was offered by Valparaiso a year-and-a-half ago.
Mercer works out in Valparaiso a couple times a week and has visited the campus and played in open gyms several times. However, he doesn’t typically list Valparaiso in his top 3, frequently mentioning Boston College, Indiana State and Belmont.
“I’m good friends with some of the guys that go (to Valparaiso) so the coaching staff thinks we could have a good thing going if I went there,” Mercer said. “They have great coaches there.”
Indiana went 4-1 in the event, defeating Kentucky in its final game, 104-58. Lake Central’s Tyler Wideman shared team-high scoring honors with 18 points against Kentucky.