LOUISVILLE, KY. -- Purdue coach Matt Painter received a text Thursday after his team defeated Tennessee in the Sweet 16.
The text came from former Gophers assistant coach Silas McKinnie, who recruited Painter when he was a high school player in Muncie, Indiana, in the late 1980s. Painter made an official recruiting visit to Minnesota his senior year at Delta High School.
“I made four official visits – Purdue, Michigan State, Minnesota and Evansville,” Painter said Friday outside his team’s locker room.
Painter said he gave serious consideration to signing with the Gophers to play for Clem Haskins before signing with Purdue.
“I love Clem,” Painter said. “He was a players' coach. I got along with him. Silas McKinnie did an unbelievable job recruiting me. Great guys, very successful. At the end of the day, I just couldn’t think going there over a school that was two hours away from me that had the success of Purdue.”
Painter recalled that, while being recruited, the Gophers advanced to the Sweet 16 in 1989 where they lost to Duke.
“They were rolling, they were good,” he said. “Purdue had a down year. I really liked those guys at Minnesota. There was nothing that they could’ve done differently that would have changed my mind. Purdue was two hours away and a great school. I felt that was best for me.”
Painter played in three NCAA Tournaments at Purdue and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior.