by Kent Sterling
Purdue has three scholarships open for next season – assuming Sandi Marcius doesn’t return – and one of those rides could belong to Indianapolis Cathedral product Errick Peck.
Peck, who has earned his degree at Cornell, is one of the new breed of one-and-one players who are allowed to use their last season of eligibility after they graduate from their initial school.
At 6’6″, Peck fits as a wing who can shoot and rebound. He’s a typical Cathedral kid who was passed over in recruiting because he played within the system, and was a generous player, not a stat padder.
As a player, he is a very good rebounder who is capable of scoring, but doesn’t have any driving need to be a star. As a kid and leader, Purdue couldn’t do better.
My son was a teammate of Peck’s for two years at Cathedral, and loved playing with him. At first it was because he could catch the ball on the block and score. Then, he grew to admire Peck for his quiet strength and team-first attitude.
Purdue lacked some leadership on last year’s team – or maybe it was the willingness of the followers that was lacking. In Errick Peck, they can bring in a smart and diligent kid for a single season who is going to work and lead a team in the classroom, on the practice floor, and is capable of producing in games just as he did as a little known Indiana All-Star, who emerged as one who many thought was the best player on a roster that included Indiana recruits Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston, and Purdue’s D.J. Byrd.
Brandon Wood was exceptionally valuable to Michigan State in a similar situation in 2011-2012, averaging nine points while playing almost 1,000 minutes after graduating from Valpo.
In an offseason with very few game changers in the graduate-eligible pool, Peck is a no-brainer for Purdue or any other program with a scholarship available. This is a no risk move to grab a high character kid, and that’s what college hoops should be all about.