Haas, the 7-foot-2 center who will become the tallest player in Purdue history, was set to sign with Wake Forest and fulfill his verbal commitment. A sudden change put him back on the market and Painter was in Alabama days later, pushing for the promising center. His persistence paid off.
"I think he gives us a true post player in this class, which we desperately needed," said Painter in his first public comments about Haas. "He has a chance to be a special player here at Purdue. He's got big-time size, very good coordination, can run the court and do a lot of different things for somebody of his size."
Haas averaged 18.5 points, 11 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game as a junior with Hokes Bluff (Ala.) High School. He is also a 4.0 student, the second of which to join Purdue's 2014 class (Dakota Mathias being the other).
The Boilermakers' 2014 class is at four, with Dakota Mathias, Vince Edwards and Jacquil Taylor having all faxed in their letters of intent last week. Now, Haas joins the mix and there could be more to come. Painter has suggested he still hopes to add a point guard.
"We feel very happy with our class, but we will continue to evaluate our own team and our needs moving forward," Painter said.
Painter can only hope a star point guard like Haas lands with the program the way Haas did.