He may not be quite to the finish line yet, but Barret Benson is at least nearing the homestretch in his recruitment.
The 6-9 Benson, a four-star 2016 prospect from suburban Chicago and the Illinois Wolves AAU program, is a longtime Purdue target. His parents attended Purdue, giving him plenty of familiarity with the program.
“(Purdue’s) pitch to me is that they get their bigs the ball,” Benson said Saturday at the Run N Slam in Fort Wayne. “They did it all year with A.J. (Hammons) and Isaac (Haas). They say they are going to get me the ball like they get those guys the ball. They feed their bigs. I’ve been there multiple times, so I know what it’s like there.”
Benson, ranked No. 89 nationally in the class by Rivals, said he remains “completely open” in the recruiting process. He has options. Benson, a junior at Hinsdale South High School, has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
“Definitely at this point I’m completely open,” he said. “Everyone is equal to me right now. I’m probably going to make a decision before the start of my senior season so I can play without worrying about anything.”
Benson said he plans to take his official visits in the fall but hasn’t scheduled anything yet. Notre Dame and Wisconsin have also expressed interest in Benson but haven’t yet offered.
With seven Big Ten offers, it seems likely Benson would remain in the Midwest.
“Staying home for family is appealing, but it’s always going to come down to the best fit for me overall,” he said. “If I have to go far, I’ll go far. If I have to stay home, I’ll stay home. I definitely need to keep developing my body to get stronger and quicker. I need to be able to go against bigger guys and smaller, quicker guys.”
*Charles Payton, a 6-6 sophomore from Bloomington, Ill., is a name worth tracking. Payton, who recently was offered by Illinois-Chicago, is an explosive athlete who is starting to get high-major looks. Butler and Indiana have shown interest.
“I haven’t had too many looks yet, but I’m starting to get some now,” he said. “I just have to keep working. I hear how they like how hard I work and how aggressive I am.”
Payton said he’s most comfortable attacking the rim and finishing at the basket or getting to the foul line. Payton, who plays for the 16U Illinois Wolves, figures to be watched more closely during the July evaluation period.