BLAIRSTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- Last night was billed as one of the better matchups this season in the Northeast -- St. Patrick versus Blair Academy. St. Patrick is ranked second in the state of New Jersey and Blair Academy features the talented duo of Charlie Villanueva and Luol Deng.
There were some programs on hand to watch this battle and take a look at the talent in each of these programs. Duke University, Rutgers, and Purdue were all represented.
Purdue assistant coach Cuouzo Martin watched St. Patrick hang on to a tough victory over Blair Academy played in Blairstown, New Jersey, about 12 miles from the Pennsylvania border. Then Martin made his way around the gym and spoke to both head coaches -- Blair's Joe Mantegna and St. Patrick's Kevin Boyle.
Martin, a very personable coach, spent several minutes after the game, conversing with the administrators and coaches of both programs. "It's always great to see the top programs come out and see your players," Boyle said. "The coaches work very hard at what they do."
One of the players Purdue scouted besides Villanueva and Deng was Grant Billmeier, a 6-9 center/power forward. Billmeier did not get many touches during this game as Paul Williams, the senior forward for St. Patrick, took over the game early offensively. Billmeier was not at his best.
But Martin had a chance to see junior guard Jason Patterson continue to impress. Patterson plays for St. Patrick and has nice range on his jumper. "He scored 25 points in a half for us one game this season," Boyle told us after the game. "He hit eight three's in the game. He is going to be a great player for us."
Whether Purdue will be able to seriously take a shot at Villanueva and Deng remains a question mark. But credit must be given to Martin and the Purdue staff for hustling to the Northeast for such a big game. This usually helps pave the wave for future recruiting attempts.
We will keep you posted on whether they are able to pursue any of the players scouted last night here on rivalshoops.com.