GREENFIELD - The word is out on Ryan Cline.
“Everyone I've talked to is criticizing how I need to get stronger, and they're right,” he said.
The recent Purdue men's basketball commit will spend his final year at Carmel High School packing on muscle and building athleticism, and he hopes to take his 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame to the next level by spending some extra time in the weight room.
Though he's long been a 3-point specialist, Cline said he wants drive past people in the future - not just shoot over them. That will require ball handling skills, quickness and coordination beyond what he has now.
Nonetheless, what he does have now is a scary-good long ball.
Note that Cline's three-point field goals through eight games last season made up for a larger portion of the team total than his attempts. That's because he was wildly efficient, shooting 51 percent from three-point range over that span.
Cline's shooting contributions
Cline went on to average 16.9 points per game for the season as a whole, while his 3-point shooting accuracy dipped slightly to 43 percent.
Though Cline's critics say he's undersized, he might be a perfect fit for the Boilermakers.
Purdue finished in a tie with Indiana for the fewest three-pointers made in the Big Ten last season, all while shooting just 32.7 percent from deep as a team.
Though Cline also had offers from Ball State, Lipscomb, and Northern Kentucky he said Bellmont was the only other school he seriously considered. The incorporation of a motion offense was possibly what set the Boilermakers apart from other potential suitors.
Purdue coaches wooed Cline with promises of a screen-heavy offense - always good for shooters - and a focus on drive-and-kick basketball. Apart from that, there are plenty of holes to be filled in the already lackluster shooting lineup.
Three of Purdue's four players to attempt more than 50 3-point field goals last season are no longer on the roster. Sophomore Kendall Stephens, statistically the team's best long distance shooter last year, is the sole returner from that group.
Purdue's lack of shooters
Cline heard the critics loud and clear, but he knows just how bright his future can be with the Boilermakers.
“There is no other place I'd rather go, and no other place where I really fit in,” Cline said. “Nobody compared to Purdue and the things I was looking at there.”