Dakota Mathias really wasn't lying when he said he planned to make a decision on his college choice soon over the weekend. The only part that wasn't true was just how quickly that would come.
After playing in a game at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam All Star Classic Friday night, Mathias had said he planned to make his decision by July. He said he would take June to talk it over and think about it with his parents.
So much for that plan as Mathias called Purdue men's basketball coach Matt Painter Sunday on his way home to Elida, Ohio, and gave the Boilermakers their first 2014 commitment.
Purdue had been following the 6-foot-5 shooting guard early, offering him a scholarship this season. Mathias took unofficial and official visits and Painter made an in-home visit last Monday.
“It went really well and we talked for two or three hours,” Mathias said of the in-home visit. “I really like him (Painter). He came to two of my high school games this season, and they're at our first open practice right out of the gates.”
Mathias also had offers from Boston College, West Virginia and Dayton. He was also being recruited by Butler, Xavier and Stanford, with Louisville calling to express interest recently.
After this weekend, his stock was on the rise. Mathias showed his ability to shoot outside, scoring 36, 31 and 28 points in different games at Spiece Fieldhouse.
His ability to shoot is something Purdue desperately needs. Mathias said he averaged close to 40 percent shooting from three during his high school season, while Purdue averaged 32 percent as a team this season. The Boilermakers also graduated their top outside threat in DJ Byrd, though incoming freshman Kendall Stephens is known for his outside shot.
Mathias also showed an ability to see the court well and find the open man. In a Friday night game, Mathias routinely drove into the lane and passed back outside to open teammates.
But Mathias isn't done growing his game. He is hopeful he can help his Northwest Ohio Basketball Club stay competitive with the top teams this summer, as well as become as strong as possible for Purdue when he arrives on campus in a little over a year.
“I want to get a lot stronger, a lot quicker, and get in the weight room,” Mathias said. “As far as our team, we got a good group of guys. We're all from the same area, so if we continue to improve we can compete with some of these bigger teams.”
For Purdue and Mathias, it was a player and school who met each other's needs.
“It went really well,” Mathias said of his official visit to Purdue. “I spent a lot of time with the whole coaching staff, they were with us the whole time, and I spent time with some of the players and some of the academic people. I like everybody I met there.”