J talked a bit about Peck's decision last week. I didn't have the chance to weigh in as I was traveling and didn't have the ability to post...but this will probably be the last post about Errick Peck road to Purdue and potential impact.
Errick Peck wisely chose to come to Purdue around the middle of last week and will be a good fit. There's really no second-guessing that- A smart, versatile player who can run the floor and works hard is never a bad thing. A person who gets good grades and and is described as a very, very, very good kid (according to multiple sources) is generally not bad for chemistry. Atop of that, Peck chose Purdue because he likes the place, likes the coaches, likes the guys on the team and feels that he plays better in front of his family...which is an hour South of God's country.
This Purdue team needed, really needed Peck for multiple reasons; many we've talked about over the last few weeks. I've heard some Purdue fans try to minimize the importance of an ex-Ivy league player that averaged 10 pts/game...and I've heard others nearly guarantee Purdue will be in B1G conference championship contention because of the addition of the 6'6" Indianapolis native. The reality of Peck's impact on this team will probably fall in between these two forecasts.
Will Peck wear the historically-significant #13 for the black and gold?
Peck's FG % is in the top 4 of Purdue's returning roster, his 3-point % and rebounds per game are both in in the top-3 on the roster, and his free throw shooting % is in the top-2.
But outside of the statistics and in addition to the win/loss record, Peck's decision matters for less-obvious reasons. Having a good locker room guy, a solid teammate and someone who will do whatever he's asked to do makes everyone better: Running practices should be a bit easier for the coaching staff and just coming into Mackey for meetings and practices might be better for players if the team's chemistry improves because of this addition and other subtractions.
But the long term effect of Peck to the program is something that I hope helps the coaching staff go after, and more-importantly, land guys that fit the program. Don't get me wrong, I still want and expect to see highly-rated players coming to play for Painter...and if you want and hope for Purdue to make another Final Four before you die, this is an essential part of that expectation. A good fit for the program isn't necessarily the best basketball player available. A good fit for the program IS a guy who can play the game (obviously), but really wants to play for Purdue and who understands what the Purdue program is all about.
Purdue fans, myself included, have openly expressed their concern with the lifeblood of the program- recruiting. But even the most critical fan should see that recruiting efforts are trending upward. The class of 2012 averaged 4.0 stars and the class of '13 is just below that (if Jay Simpson is now counted in that class)...and I'm not sure how many stars a Senior transfer who might average 10 points and 5 rebounds would garner, but landing Peck is nothing to sneeze at.
I still believe that RayDay will benefit from Peck's transfer more than anyone on the team as the wily veteran will be able to teach him a thing or two as they square off in practice; Time will tell if this prediction pans out.