Tag Archives: Rodney Purvis

Duke Basketball Team & Recruiting Update – A Crystal Clear Picture

The Dynamic duo of Matthew Jones and Julius Randle srike a pose for BDN - BDN Photo Do you want an accurate take on Duke Basketball Recruiting? Well, join BDN Premium and we'll give you a crystal clear picture.

BDN’s Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates have set the standard among the sites and sure enough, this concept is now being copied.  We’ll take that as a compliment but when push comes to shove, it is all about the content and we’ll stack ours against anybody.  Here at BDN, our staff is in the trenches at AAU events.  That means our members are getting live streams of information as it happens, making our site well ahead of the curve.

We can lay claim to the fact that we cover more major recruiting events in person than any other site and that has been a running thing for several years now.  We don’t send “stringers,” with limited knowledge of the subject matter to do our work, nor do we sit back and depend on national network guys to do our job for us.  Seriously, do you not want first hand observations from an accomplished staff that has seen the prospects play multiple times?  No knocks here on the National guys in that many are our friends, but their sole focus is certainly not on Duke prospects nor is it a priority to cover them.  There are no smoke and mirrors tactics at BDN folks, nope, we are straightforward and honest when it comes to our coverage and we take pride in that.

If you have yet to try BDN Premium, you don’t know what you’re  missing of late and with some exciting changes on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to check us out.  Our staff is hard working, dedicated and hands on in everything we do.  In our current update we lay out a clear picture of the staff’s efforts.  And before we get on with our update where lots is happening, take a look at how much content we’ve pumped out recently which includes: Two interviews with both Tony Parker and Matt Jones to go with individual interviews with Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Jahill Okafor, Rasheed Sulaimon and much, much more.  Just today, recruiting analyst Andrew Slater goes in depth with Mitch McGary and we have content laying in wait this week. And our interviews have meat to them in that we don’t lure you in with a premium article featuring a couple of quotes via texting.  Anyhow, let’s move on to another informative and detailed (2521 word) update on the Duke Basketball recruiting scene where we paint a crystal clear picture for our members.  Trust me in that you will absolutely love our update, so if you want to find out where the coaches will be going, who is really on the radar and such, we have the answers for you.  And if you are not satisfied, we’ll refund you within the first 24 hours of joining.

The picture is now crystal clear with concern to 2012 and beyond.  Duke will stick with Tony Parker until his decision is made.  Coach Krzyzewski sat front and center for many of Parker’s games and the big man [private] knew it, cutting his eyes towards the man while playing.  Parker has been a bit up and down with his comments of late but my belief is that Duke is in better shape than anyone else for Tony.  His parents love Duke and if they had their way, this one would be over from what I’ve heard from legitimate sources.  The Parkers sat directly behind the bench this weekend and they certainly saw the Blue Devils’ keen interest.  Duke has been faithful to Tony and his verbal could set other things in motion.  Coach K loves his hands and footwork and wants him to anchor the paint in Durham.  The Blue Devils have made Tony priority 1 on their 2012 wish list.

And if Parker is priority 1-A, then Mitch McGary is 1-B, or you can reverse the order if you’d like.  Duke will go hard after McGary and they feel they have a great chance at the tenacious big.  Sources are now saying McGary may pull the trigger before his high school season and if that is indeed the case, look for a whirlwind of activity in the coming months.  It is safe to say McGary will be visiting Duke and the Blue Devils will be in home with him when the time comes, but that will not happen until the team returns from their venture to China and Dubai.

The Blue Devils were most impressed with Matt Jones and he gained an offer after his play this past weekend.  Of course, as members, you all saw this one coming.  Jones glowed beyond belief when talking of Duke and you will see those videos this week.  We spoke to Jones the other night but kept it short.  He told BDN that he was on cloud nine after Coach K called and that he could certainly see himself there.  He was very excited that Duke moved in and it is fair to say that they went to the top of his list.  Jones has shown steady improvement in his game and he can slash through the lanes and has an outstanding outside shot.  He is a good on-ball defender as well and he sent a game to overtime with a defensive stop in front of Krzyzewski as time ran out.  The only knock I witnessed is that he at times has trouble shaking free for his shot.  He is a great character kid as well and BDN got his AAU coach’s thoughts on that, which is another feature you can look forward to.

His teammate, the hulking Julius Randle, also has an offer and Duke feels they are in good shape there as well.  Jeff Capel has certainly been a help in this one and the thought of a package deal with Jones is most appealing.  But make no mistake about it, Duke loves Matthew Jones as a stand alone player.  Randle was called the best player in the nation on the night he dominated the Memphis front court by someone close to the situation that watched him play.  That was a bit cryptic but easy enough for you to figure out on your own.  Randle was like a bull in a China shop and it is clear that he will not back down from anyone.  I caught several of his games and was most impressed by his enormous upside.  He is a true power player that may or may not fit should Duke get Tony Parker.

The Bull - BDN Photo

And then there is another 2013 product named Jabari Parker.  What a humble superstar he is and you’ll see this on coming videos as well.  Parker likes Duke a lot … a whole lot and the Duke coaches like him a lot, a whole helluva lot.  They are in great early shape with Parker and this one might end in the spring of next year at the latest.  Parker will make an unofficial visit to Durham in due time and we’ll have more on that as it develops.  While UNC and others are on him, Duke has been from the start and that will IMO pay dividends down the road.  Parker is smooth and versatile and at times cannot be stopped.  He is part of the spectacular trio joining Randle and Noel as the best of the best in 2013.

One thing many seemingly fail to see is that Duke has a great jump on 2013 for a reason.  The Duke staff will be tied up with Team USA duties next summer limiting their time on the recruiting trail.  That especially holds true for Krzyzewski and that is why he was so hands-on this past week with the class.  The three aforementioned 2013 players are clearly at the top of the wish list but more names are in the works, specifically Nerlens Noel.  This defensive demon we coined the “Sultan of Swat,” is a most interesting talent and game changer.  Then there is the “Nerlens Noel effect,” which causes players to alter shots for Noel is an absolute terror when it comes to blocking shots.  By the  end of the EYBL he was in every prospect’s head and it doesn’t matter who he is guarding.  In short, he inflicts pain on guys the same age, younger and/or older.  When I joked with Noel about the fact he didn’t send out invitations to his “Block Party,” he loved it.  Form that point on, Noel really opened up to me.  Make no mistake, everybody is on Noel, so Duke will have their hands full as will every other team that vies for his services.  I love me some Nerlens and so does Grant Hill, for he is making his fade rise on the cover of the 1991 Sports Illustrated stylish again;) A side note is that Grant Hill will go along on the China trip and he will be helping to teach the “Duke culture” to newcomers.

Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones, LJ Rose and Rodeny Purvis strike a pose for BDN

Some have attempted to hang me out to dry with a comment on Rodney Purvis which was misquoted, but that is something I am used to from another Duke site.  This time they made sure my name was in the head of a post.  I never intended certain things to go public but when users break the agreement upon signing up all I can do is boot them.  Purvis flat out wants to come in and play right away but Duke has a bevy of wings on the roster and in the works.  Purvis wanted to hang with Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and LJ Rose this weekend and he is seemingly upset at, well, everything that is said these days.  The mere fact that Duke did not watch him is telling and I can tell you without revealing sources close to the situation that Purvis is no longer an option.  Of course, we were the first to say that in a private forum and now all but one site is on the bandwagon.  I think the offer to Jones may have made him see the light and/or the writing on the wall.  Purvis is a good kid, but his emotion concerns me as does his behavior when he is not on the court.  Would Duke take him if he called and wanted to come?   Make no mistake, Purvis has talent and he is a good kid, so I am in no way beating him down, but he is no Austin Rivers or Kyrie Irving.

We have to watch how we mention prospects around here and even where we’ll be going on the recruiting trail in that it tips off others.  Just this week nobody was on Nerlens Noel until we were seen talking to him.  Yes, people pay close attention to everything we do at events.  It frustrates us at times but what can you do?  All I can say is pay close attention to when information is printed and as a member sit back and know that you were aware of it beforehand.  Noel is sure to pick up an offer soon.

Rasheed Sulaimon played very well at the EYBL finals as well although he saved his worst game for last and a lackluster offensive performance cost him the scoring title.  Still, he finished second and he has improved immensely since a season ago;  he’s like a water bug running all over the place and locks down well on his defensive assignment.  His handle is improving as well and his offense is top shelf.  The Duke staff knew exactly what they were doing in getting this kid aboard early, a testament to Krzyzewski’s eye.  That too should excite one more with concern to Jones.

Wojo was in Wisconsin this week and Krzyzewski was as well before returning to Augusta.  Chris Collins was at home this go round but he returns in the coming week.  The addition of Jeff Capel has been a winner and this staff is, well, pretty darn good.

One kid that caught our eye during the EYBL opening session was  Tyus Jones, a 2014 PG from Minnesota who plays for the older Howard Pulley team.  Once we interviewed him, it was obvious to others he had caught the Blue Devils’ eyes.  Again, our every move is watched by others at events.  We actually interviewed Jones while at Boo, so he didn’t slip up on me at all.  In fact, he stood out and I was amazed to learn he was 2014 for his play was smooth as silk and so far ahead of those in his class.  We have a nice interview coming your way with Jones as well.  I can tell you that he has great character, confidence and his recruitment will go on for a very long time.  Still, both Andrew and myself take pride in giving you background on players Duke likes before it really gets out there.  In short, we anticipate while at the many events, as Andrew did with Jahill Okafor.  What you may not realize is how rare a good interview with Oakfor is, so pay attention to our offerings.

Duke is still keeping an eye on Alex Poythress and Perry Ellis as well.  Neither of them have an offer and both play pretty much the same position.  Duke would likely turn here if they got one of Mitch McGary and Tony Parker but the real need is bangers and not wings.  Still, keep a close eye on these guys as the recruiting evaluation period opens back up.

Just in are the players Duke will watch in Orlando for the AAU National Showcase which runs from the 23rd to the 27th.  Mitch McGary will start there and once it is over go to Kansas City.  Teammates Julius Randle and Matt Jones will be there as well along with Nerlens Noel and Theo PinsonRasheed Sulaimon will play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando which takes place after the loaded Showcase.  And Tony Parker and Alex Poythress will play in both events.  I am trying to swing this event but right now it isn’t looking good.

I am trying to rework my schedule to go to Orlando but a cash crunch may prevent that from happening.  However, Andrew is set to go to Las Vegas and you know his coverage will be top shelf.  In closing our latest update I would like to thank all of you for supporting us through membership.  We would like to give back, so here is an opportunity for you.  If you refer new members to BDN Premium, we’ll give you 15% of their membership provided you e-mail or PM us before they join.  If you have a friend join for a year, that means you get 15$ cash sent to your paypal account.  If it is for six months, you get 9$.  There is no referral granted for a one or three month membership.  This is a limited time offer.  Help us grow our community!

Thanks again for choosing Blue Devil Nation Premium and the future is looking bright around here, so stay tuned for more on that. [/private]

LeBron James Skills Academy, Adidas Invitational Updates

Shabazz Muhammad is but a single player BDN Premium will follow this week.

BDN Recruiting analyst Andrew Slater is currently sending back live reports to members on the Blue Devil Nation Premium Message Board.  He’s checking out the skills portion of opening night at the LeBron James Skills Academy and he’ll float to Akron for the Adidas Invitational this week.  He will of course be checking in with all the major Duke prospects as the coaching staff can see prospects play during the open period and will be present at the events.  Don’t miss any of the reports from BDN by joining today.  We set the standard for complete AAU Basketball coverage of Duke prospects and we are sure you’ll enjoy what we have to offer.  Whether you like in person player analysis, prospect videos, or our famous in depth interviews, BDN brings you the highest quality of coverage available on any Duke site.

Duke Prospects Recap from NBA Top 100 Camp

You can sit in the middle of a bunch of well seasoned analyst and hear several different takes on prospects at major events.  Or, you can sit alone and form your opinion.  I do a lot of both and in the process I see prospects play in upwards of 20 times in a single AAU season.  One thing to keep in mind is that one tournament or camp does not make or break  a player.  Sometimes kids are sick or maybe a family member is having health issues.  Some fly in the same day of the event after attending another one and pick up play right away.  We try and find out the details and that allows a fair take on prospects.  I personally, like to see a kid play five times or more before offering an opinion on his overall game.  In short, talent evaluation is an inexact science and what I see and what Coach K or the staff might see can differ greatly.  I like to see how a kid plays when he is tired.  I like to see how they play from ahead and behind in a game.  I like to see how they step up when the game is on the line and how they face adversity.  I even like to watch their body language and especially what they do off ball.  That said, here is my take on ten prospects and one Duke verbal from this weekends NBAPA Top 100 Camp.

Nerlens Noel (2013) – This kid is a defensive stalwart in the post.  He has good footwork and an impressive and quick leaping ability.  When open he can rattle the rim with the dunk, but he needs polish on his offensive moves and he doesn’t seem to have that go to move in his repertoire as of yet.  With a year of maturity, he may well push for the top rated player in his class and that says a lot when you know Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are his comp.  Clearly the third best player in 2013 in my eyes.  He dominated Tony Parker for the second and third time on the defensive end this past weekend, although Parker did adjust some in his third meeting.

Tony Parker (2012) -Tony is adjusting to the expectations bestowed upon him analyst.  That makes players come hard at him trying to make a name for themselves.  When he has you on his hip or gets an angle, he is effective on the offensive end and or around the block. I thought he went to the well far to often with his fade-away jump shot.  While it worked early, his overuse of it allowed opponents to adjust.  When he reaches for the ball on the defensive end, he usually is not in position to recover if the opponent gets the ball first.  Strong rebounder and space eater, plays position defense and is not a big time shot blocker or leaper.  He ism however, steady and he can be coached to better offensive moves.  Tony was one of the top three bigs in camp and there are times when he is dominant.  Now he needs to work on consistency and taking good shots.  He tried to stretch the floor with his perimeter jumper, a couple from the three point stripe, but he had little success in pulling his man out in that most of the shots didn’t drop.  This also meant that he was not in position to board.  He can be a 16-8 guy in college and there were times when he was dominant this past weekend, but not as consistent as I’d like to see in that I hold him to a higher standard. He mentioned Ohio State as the leader but the question was a hypothetical one and I think he knew it got back to people he wished it hadn’t.  Duke is in good shape with Tony, no matter his comment, but they will let the net stretch a bit wider with concerns to post guys.

Mitch McGary (2012)- He is a typical blue collar Inna grown boy who has a toughness to his game.  He displayed a surprisingly good handle and he was almost always in the middle of the play when in the game.  I liked his hustle and he seemed to be in good shape, never dragging while in the game.  He picks up a lot of garbage, plays decent position defense and blocks the occasional shot.  He is a good teammate, cheering for his team when on the bench, showing a lot of emotion which helps pump his team up.  Earned the “Psycho T,” nickname from his teammates.  He is a beast.  He does not back down and has an edge which could be thought of as a bit of an attitude.  Started talking to refs late which I didn’t like.  Needs a better outside game on the offensive end, but he sets a lot of picks is active and calls for the ball with a wide bodied stance to protect his turf.  He also runs the floor very well.  I liked him a lot but some think he is raw in certain areas.  He is to a point but everything I saw is correctable.  One worthy note is that his team won a single game.  Part of that was guard play for it was weak overall in the camp. He is wide open in his recruitment and has no idea where he wants to go.  The media attention is something new and eye opening for both his whole family.  He said Maryland was over the top aggressive in some many words and Texas is a team he like when he was young.  A long list getting longer.  UNC and Duke are both showing interest now.

Nate Britt (2013) -He was much better than when I last saw him two years ago, especially his stroke which was always near the target hit or miss.  He weaves in and out of traffic well and is quicker than I remember.  In short, he is starting to mature.  He went off in a couple of games on offense and his 30 point effort was a game high.  He teamed with Rodney Purvis who arrived a day late.  He also played with NCSU bound Tyler Lewis, who was sick and played but a single game.  The reason I mentioned the aforementioned two is that Britt adjusted to playing with each one.  Duke has good ins with him.  He is close to Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving.  One guru ranked him as the eighth best PG in the camp.  He needs to be fired.  He was in the top three.  The question posed most often in reference to whether he is a point or two guard.  I think he is a PG that can shoot and or a shooting PG.  His size just isn’t there as a 2G but some disagree with me.  I like his game, think he is smooth and worthy of Duke keeping close tabs on.  Paul Biancardi questioned me as to if I though Quinn Cook was the answer at Duke.  He didn’t think so.  Oddly, they remind me of one another in some ways going into their junior season.  If Cook were to stumble, an offer will surely come Britt’s way providing another kid doesn’t sprout up in the 2014 class.

Amile Jefferson (2012) -He was the camps leading scorer and he earned high marks from everybody involved.  His point production is especially impressive when you looked at the guards on his team.  But to be fair, he got a lot of points on the break so his numbers are a bit inflated.  He can get through the smallest of creases in the defense and spots a mismatch in a heartbeat, taking immediate advantage of the situation.  My concern is his defense, which is quite average.  He doesn’t always mix it up in the paint and he floats outside more than he should at times.  He’d be rated much higher if  it were not for the aforementioned.  Still, I like his game a lot … a whole lot and I would personally like to see Duke open talks with him again or take another look in July.  His consistent offensive effort was most impressive in Charlottesville, but his team?  They played in the toilet bowl and were winless going in.

Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke verbal) -He blew up early and almost evey guru had him the tip shooting guard but he played at a lower level on day three.  For one thing, he was feeling under the weather in that bugs were going around in the camp.  His handle is stronger than ever as is his confidence.  He wants the ball.  He nailed a three (video coming) to lead a 20 point comeback and helped his team go to overtime.  In the overtime he handled the ball for just under a minute but his coach suddenly called timeout.  Thing is, there are no timeouts and the other team got the ball and won by a deuce.  Sulaimon looked puzzled which you will see via BDN Video as well.  Nice stroke and super on ball defense is what Rasheed Sulaimon was about.  BTW, Sulaimon will be sending his first diary entry in soon and he will update us throughout the high school season.

Alex Poythress (2012)- Two things … firstly, he was not getting the ball from his teammates.  Secondly, he should have been more aggressive when he did.  He had a so-so camp, scoring 16 in one outing but less than 4 in the rest of his contests.  He still was in good position most of the time but he was lost with the talent level and or ball hogs.  Don’t make too much out of that for Kyrie Irving didn’t play that well last year always and there is a history of such cases.  Still, many will drop him in the rankings.  Poythress is a victim of soaring in the rankings, 15th in Prep Stars when he is a 20ish plus player IMO.  He is versatile and he is having a great season for the Georgia Stars, so keep an open mind before judging his play in the camp.

Robert Carter (2012) - Confident, active and aggressive fits the bill here.  I am not going into his game too much for I have seen him play in 1.5 games total.  However, as members, you will hear from the post player from Georgia sometime this week.  HE said his phone was ringing off the hook when the coaches could call.  He is listed at 6-9 but looked closer to 6-8 to me.  Once I see him again, I will form a better take on his game.  FWIW, I have a five game rule before I will go into a kids game.  He showed a sweet jump hook at the camp and his stock is taking off as offers roll in every few hours.

Devonta Pollard (2012) -From what I saw of him, I liked him but like Carter, I simply need more views.  So we’ll revisit this one day in the future should he remain on the Duke radar.  The coaches have made contact with him as they have Carter.  Some say he got a Duke offer but that is not true.  He may well have misunderstood, so we’ll give him a pass, especially since is very talented.  He helped himself in the camp and his ranking will likely rise from his play.  He has been through a lot of adversity of late, starting with the tornado in Alabama.  Earlier, his Father passed away from cancer.

Rodney Purvis (2012) – Dude can shoot and he likes to shoot, anytime, anywhere.  The problem is that he is streaky.  What I didn’t like about Purvis was the fact he seem bugged out to sit on the bench and he rarely gave up the ball when it was in his hands.  In short, he didn’t seem to cheer his teammates on.  IMO, he is a two guard in that he does not look to distribute, but he feels he is a PG.  When he is on, his team wins, when his shot is off they lose.  The kid can play but he is not on the level of a Kyrie Irving or Austin Rivers.  I feel he is a NCSU lean but those close to Rodney tell me that he finds negatives in all the teams.  I just think he wants to play right away and I know Coach K can only tell him you can compete and the best will play.  Nice handle but not great, very good at taking his man off the dribble if he gets a step and has the ability to stop on a dime and drop a step back shot.

Beejay Anya (2013)  – Holy Big Load, Batman!  He is a beast of a kid but he has a lot of baby fat.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar spoke of the benefits of staying in shape in the camp, saying it is a must to make it and remain in the league.  Let’s hope he was listening.  At first I thought the drills took a toll on his legs but I later found out that he just flew into the camp after playing in another.  That said, I will reserve judgement.  He in no way plays above or even near the rim, but you can see the possible up side and that is why he is worth keeping an eye on.  We have an interview with him as well and he is a good kid.  Didn’t like his hands from what I saw nor that he struggled getting up and down at times.  A space eater for sure who showed me little offense, but of course, he might have touched the ball three time  a game via the pass.  Britt hit him once where he had the man on his hip but he muffed the pass and never saw another one.  However, when he had the advantage he showed he could finish.  He has no outside game on offense.

Note to members – I touched base with all of the above prospects and interviews both print and video are on the way.  We will also have another guest analyst give their take on Duke prospects.  If you are a member and do not have access to the BDN Message Board, you need to sign up for it is included with your subscription but requires a separate sign up and approval than the main site itself.  Just contact me under the FAQ section on the front page of the site if you have any questions.  Many of you are not signed up for the message board and a lot of information you awaits you there that is not seen on the site.  Feel free to drop me a PM message if you have any comments, complaints and the sort.

Recruiting Guru Van Coleman Breaks Down Duke Prospects

Our staff at BDN Premium has now seen Tony Parker (left) and Alex Poythress (right) play in over 16 times, so we can tell you firsthand our opinions. But on this occasion, we bring you a chat with Van Coleman, one of the nation

BDN has established a lot of genuine relationships in that for years, we have been covering the Grassroots Basketball scene live and in person.  The great thing about being an independent site is that we can use a myriad of the nation’s best recruiting gurus, whereas corporate sites are generally limited to those who work within their ranks.  In the past, we’ve talked to the best of the best and this time is no different, as we enlist the help of long time talent guru, Van Coleman. 

Coleman is well respected and established in his field and, like our past guest analysts, he  brings years of experience to the table.  And if you’re looking for the best quality coverage around, BDN Premium is “the” place to be.  Without further ado, here is Varand Khachdouri’s chat with Coleman, as we give you a sample of the kind of work you will find inside BDN Premium, our subscription based service. – Mark Watson

Offering a loud and booming voice, long time scout Van Coleman really hammered home his points to the campers about what it takes to really make it. BDN got a chance to pick the brain of the long time scouting guru. Take a look at what he had to say about some current Duke prospects.

Shabazz Muhammad: He’s a tremendous athlete, a guy who can make plays on both ends of the court. He does it off the dribble and uses his hands on defense. Really has worked very hard on improving his jump shot. That’s one of the reasons why I think he’s right up there for the number one player in the country, because of his consistency of play, and the things that he can do kind of offsets what those big guys and all their athleticism. He really is a guy who can win ball games for people.

Rodney Purvis: He’s a tremendous ball handler, a guy that can score off the dribble, improved his jump shot to the point where it now freezes the defense. It makes him a much more effective player. He can play either guard spot. One of the nice things, like Nolan Smith, he’s a guy that in college becomes a guy who can take that spot over (point guard position) if he has to. He’s a scorer first but he’s a guy who can run the show. One of the top 20-25 kids in the country.

Rasheed Sulaimon:The guy can score! He flat out will put points up. Shoots the three, is a tremendous athlete. At the rim he finishes over big guys. Just a guy that’s going to put a lot of points on the boards for the Blue Devils.

Mitch McGary: One of the big surprises of the spring. He’s really had a tremendous spring. He’s improved his skill set away from the basket and face up. He knocks the jumper down now. He has developed the ability to get that 1-2 dribble drive, something he didn’t have a year ago. That’s really lifted his level to where now he’s in consideration for a top 10 spot by a lot of guys. He has become a McDonalds All American I think with that, that’s been the big change for him. He’s a power guy who can score around the basket, defend, and is smart and understands the game. That makes him a guy that Mike Krzyzewski is going to look at.

Julius Randle - BDN Photo

Tony Parker: A rebounding machine. If you love Kevin Love, you’re going to like Tony Parker. He’s a guy that can absolutely dominate on the glass, and finishes around the basket. I’d like to see his face up game get a bit better but that will come with time. Right now, he is a man on the back boards. No better rebounder maybe in high school basketball.

Alex Poythress: Athletic, long, a guy who’s improved his jumper which has made him a more much affective player. I think he has lifted his stock this spring with a lot of folks. As that shot gets better, the more exciting of a player he’s going to become because when it comes to getting to the rim he’s one of those guys who makes highlights.

Julius Randle: Maybe the most skilled big man in the country as far as how he utilizes those tools. He can handle it, he can go to the middle on the break, he can take you off the dribble, he’s long, and he’s got a great shooting touch from 17ft to the basket. He just does a lot of things. He might be as good an all around big man as there is in the country.

Jabari Parker: Takes off 20 lbs and the comparisons to Paul Pierce really start showing up in a hurry. He’s got great skills, he’s really improved the jump shot, he makes people pay if you back off of him, he can get to the hoop with either hand. He’s a guy that right now I think has risen to challenge Randle for the top spot in that class.

Nerlens Noel: He’s long, he blocks shots. Offensively he’s very very raw. At this point it’s mostly right around the basket. The drop step dunk, those kinds of things. But man can he change the game in the paint with his shot blocking ability, and he can run the floor like he’s 6’5, so he gets up and down and creates opportunities. When the offense comes, he’s going to be a special player.

Theo Pinson is firmly on the Duke radar despite his young age.

Theo Pinson: Well we’re talking about offense, I tell you what, we’re talking about a guy that can score a lot of points in a hurry. I think he’s really improved his ability to take people off the dribble with confidence and finish in the lane. He’s always been a guy that can pop that outside jumper and get people to freeze a little bit. Now he has the dribble drive game to go with it. I think he’s a kid that’s on the rise and is really going to be a tremendous talent for whoever he ends up with.

Brannen Greene: He can put it up from the perimeter, a real long range guy. He really bombs it. He has enough handle though that if you guard him he can get that 1-2 dribble pull up jump shot. A kid that’s on the rise, a lot of people hadn’t seen him a lot until this spring, and I think he’s a kid that could surprise a lot of people with that jumper. You know what, there’s never too good of a shooter.

You can visit Van Coleman here – http://hot100hoops.com/

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Getting to know Duke prospect Rodney Purvis

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“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
-Albert Einstein

Last year, Rodney Purvis was a carefree, rising sophomore, who had just finished his freshman year at Upper Room Christian Academy. Sporting braces, he was set to spend a summer as the youngest member of Chris Paul’s 17-and-under CP3 All-Stars and be the only member of the 2013 class attending the King City Classic.  After a successful summer on the AAU circuit, the Raleigh native had a bevy of schools pitching their merits. Last October, Purvis decided to accelerate his recruiting process by reclassifying back into his original 2012 class. In December, he took it a step further by verbally committing to the University of Louisville.

In April, he began playing once again for the CP3 All-Stars and head coach, Tony Edwards. During this year’s Nike’s EYBL season of fifteen games played over the course of three sessions in Virginia, Dallas, and Los Angeles, Purvis played quite well andwas quickly forced to  become the vocal leader of his newly banded squad. Always known as a scorer (entered the final game ranking second in scoring in Nike’s EYBL) and a penetrator, the 6’3″ combo guard worked on his point guard skills over the past two months, while expanding his shooting range. He finished fifth in the EYBL in assists andshot 42% from beyond the three-point line over CP3’s fifteen games. As part of his growing leadership role, one of the young AAU teammates he sought to mentor was Greensboro, NC freshman Theo Pinson, who chose to attend Duke’s Countdown to Craziness and was recently named ESPN’s number one prospect in the class of 2014.

On May 2nd of this year, Rodney Purvis de-committed from Louisville. The action was in reaction to the departure of Tim Fuller, a well-traveled assistant, who was most recently with Louisville and with whom Purvis had developed a relationship over the years. Coach Fuller elected to head out to Columbia, Missouri to join Coach Frank Haith’s staff.

In the City of Angels, Raleigh’s Rodney Purvis spoke with Blue Devil Nation about a myriad of topics.

Can you talk about opening up your recruitment?

Straight ahead is another outstanding in depth interview with a main Duke target from our recruiting analyst, Andrew Slater.  As you can see by the intro alone, Andrew knows his subject matter through and through.  At BDN, our representatives have not only seen these kids play various times in person, they study tirelessly in a effort to bring you the best interviews available on any Duke site.  Join BDN Premium and see for yourself the immense quality BDN brings to the table.  And if you don’t like this interview?  I will give you a full refundwithin 24 hours.  It’s time to join the site that really knows the way around the recruiting trail.  Many more interviews coming your way and we personally think you will not only see the difference in coverage, but you will agree, it is unmatched . Do you think you know Rodney Purvis and his situation?  Then you must already be a member of BDN Premium. [private]

Well, after Coach Fuller left, me and my family felt that it was best for me to open up my recruitment and develop a relationship with the new coaching staff. That’s how that happened.

You touched on it, but what did the impact of Tim Fuller leaving have on your decision?

Oh, it was a huge impact! He’s kinda like a big brother to me and I mean I’ve known him for a really long time. I just felt comfortable going to Louisville… with him being there. So, him leaving was kind of like a setback or whatever.

And how did you first meet him? How did you guys get to know each other a little better? I know of his involvement with Nike.

Yeah, over the Nike stuff and him and Chris Paul was cool and then I was playing for Chris’ team and I got to know him and so..

What was their reaction when you told them the news? Were they cool with it or were they a little angry?

Oh, I’m not really sure. I just spoke with Coach Keatts and the new coaching staff that was there. So, I’m…I’m not really sure.

Alright, we can just move on..

(laughs) Yeah, yeah, yeah

With some perspective, what are you looking for this time, as opposed to when you initially decided?

Oh, I’m definitely trying to get a relationship with every single coach on the coaching staff and, most importantly, the head coach this time. We’ll just go from there.

Now, is that a lot different from when you first decided? You’re a little older and more mature.

Yeah, yeah.

Do you have a timeframe for when you’d like to decide by?

Oh, no, I don’t have anything in mind.

Do you know where you’ll be going to high school next year?

Upper Room Christian Academy

Oh, okay, I was looking at the school’s website and they said they’re only going through eleventh grade this year and likely expanding through twelfth grade next year.

Yeah.

In terms of high school, what are your goals for next year?

Oh, I’m trying to be a McDonald’s All-American next year and finish up, at least, top five in the country. Not that rankings don’t really matter to me, but I just want to set that as a goal for myself.

Before meeting with you, I was re-reading an interview that we had done last summer at the LeBron. You said, at the time, your goals were to get stronger so that you could finish through contact and that you wanted to improve your jumper, both mid-range and three-point shooting. Do you feel like you’ve improved in both of those areas over the past year?

Oh, I think I’m doing pretty good with it, you know. I’m up at five o’clock in the morning and in the gym every day working on my jump shot and different dimensions of my game. I feel like I’ve improved a lot, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

What about in the strength area, how have you tried to improve?

Oh, yeah, I’m trying in that area too. I’m going to an aerobics class and a yoga class.

 I saw the other day that you said on Twitter that the whole family is going to yoga classes now.

Yeah, yeah. (laughs)

There’s a little bit of a downtime in the next month. What are you hoping to improve upon most this summer?

Still my skill work. I want to keep improving my jumper. I want to keep working on becoming a better leader. I want to work on my point guard skills. That’s it.

Are you trying to become more of a pure point or just improve one area of being a combo guard?

Yeah, exactly, I still want to be a combo. I don’t want to take away from my scoring.

Yeah, because, no offense, but your strength is your scoring, particularly off of penetration.

Yes, it is.

You were just mentioning that you wanted to improve your leadership ability. How has your role changed on this particular AAU team versus the one you were on last year?

Oh, well, you know last year I was the youngest on the team, but I guess I didn’t really play a huge part to the team.

Well, you made important contributions. There were games where they needed you to be the second or third option on the team.

Yeah, you’re right. I mean I started every now and then. I just tried to come in and bring energy when I came in the game.

Back to leadership..

Yeah, that’s definitely something I want to work on with this team. They really look at me as the leader.

When I saw you in Dallas, I saw that different dimension, where, now, guys are looking to you and the coaches wanted you to set the tone out there.

Yeah, yeah.

Speaking of your teammates, can you give the audience a little scouting report or run down on Theo (Pinson)?

Oh, yeah, Theo’s long. He’s very athletic. He’s still young and he’s still got some maturing to do. By the time it’s all said and done, he’ll be a really good player.

What kind of advice or guidance do you try to give him?

I just try to stay on him all of the time. You know sometimes he messes up and thinks he’s playing with his age group.

Right.

You know he’ll come in with, like a weak lay-up or something like that.

A little cocky.

(laughs) Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I just try to stay on him. He’s got to know that it’s a different ballgame out here.

Well, you went through it. You were the young guy.

Yeah, but Dez (Wells) and John Wall would stay on me all the time when I’d be playing with them.

Right..

Still, right now, I feel kinda normal. Just playing the game.

Who are some guys that you’ve become close with nationally that you’ve met through AAU basketball or camps?

Shabazz Muhammad, Winston Sheppard, Kyle Anderson, Myles Mack, Rasheed Sulaimon, and L.J. Rose. That’s about it.

Mostly through AAU and Nike…

Yeah, yeah

How have you grown as a person and as a player in the last year?

As a person, you know, I’m always open to talking to everybody.

I can vouch for that.

(laughs) So, everybody pretty much thinks that I’m a pretty good person. That’s what I care about most. That’s what I care about most, you know, being a pretty good person. I’d rather somebody tell me how good of a person I am than that I played well out on that court.

Right, that’s good to hear.

Yeah.

I know you’re down to four or five schools now. What are the positives of each of those programs?

Well, you know, Kentucky, with Calipari, kind of speaks for himself. You know him with guards and stuff. With Duke, same thing, you know, Coach K is a great coach and it’s quite close to home. With NC State, Coach Gottfried and stuff with guards and it’s also close to home and then Louisville.

And you know those guys.

With the four that you mentioned, you common theme was their use of guards.

How important was that in the narrowing down process? Was that something that you were specifically looking for?

Oh, yeah, I’m definitely looking for somewhere where I can go and play free. Just get everybody involved and win games.

So, you’re not looking for too much of a structured offense?

(laughs) Oh, of course, I’m looking for a structured offense. I’m looking for whatever it takes to win, but I mean..

Not too much..

Yeah, I’d like to feel a little free out there.

I don’t think you’re allowed, but are you going to be playing in the NC Pro-Am this year?

No, they said that high school players couldn’t play this year, but, if I could, I would.

For those that want to check you out, what’s your schedule like the rest of the summer?

I’m going to be at the LeBron Skills Academy..

Peach Jam?

Yeah, the Peach Jam too.

Are you going to Orlando or Vegas this year?

Orlando this year.

What’s your favorite event?

Probably the LeBron, but I want to get out and do the Boost Mobile 24 this year… if I can get invited.

Don’t worry about getting invited. Make the plane reservations now.

(laughs)

In terms of Twitter, what do you get out of it? Are you trying to build an audience and get in touch with your fans? As much as any recruit, you’ve seen both the positives and negatives of it. You’ve seen both sides unfortunately.

Oh, yeah, well, with Twitter, I try to keep it as clean as possible. Just talking to everyone. Sometimes, it gets a little out of whack…with some of the comments and things they say about me, but I try not to, um….

Let it roll off of your back ..

Yeah, you know.

Initially, was it a problem for you or did you have thick skin?

Oh, no, it was never a problem. I would just talk about it with my mom and we’d just laugh about it.

Tell the audience a little bit about you mother.  She’s always active and vocal.

(laughs) Oh, yeah, she’s a great mom. She’s a single mother.

Sadly, I know your father died a few years ago.

Yeah, thanks, so, you know, we kind of grew up together. If anything ever happens, I just go to her and we just talk it out.

What kind of person is she?

Oh, she’s great. She just wants what’s best for me at the end of the day. That’s what I like most about her. She stays on me a lot.

Do you have any visits planned? Have you spoken with any coaches lately?

No, I don’t have any visits planned, but I did speak with coaches lately. I spoke with Coach Early at NC State and Coach Jeff Capel and Coach K at Duke.

What do you guys talk about? Let’s start with Coach Capel and Coach K.

Oh, most of those things are just relationship builders.

You getting to know them and them getting to know you.

Yeah, yeah.

What about Coach Early?

Yeah, I talked to Coach Early and Coach Gottfried too. Those two are just great guys. I’m trying to get to know them and they’re trying to get to know me. They’re telling how they’re going to be new this year.

So, I just want to make sure… You don’t have any visits planned over the next couple of weeks.

No, I don’t have anything planned.

How do you feel you’ve played so far this AAU season?

I feel I’ve stepped up and played pretty well. My team’s winning games and, so, that helps everything. I feel like I’m making strides. I just want to continue to get better at each event.
 

Alright, thank you very much for your time.

 Sure, anytime!

More from BDN on Purvis –

Varand checis in with Rodney Purvis

Slaters 1st in depth interview with Purvis

Watzone interviews Purvis [/private]