Rodney Purvis commits to Louisville

Originally Published: December 11, 2010
By Dave Telep | ESPN Recruiting

The Louisville Cardinals strolled into the state of North Carolina and popped one of the ACC area's best underclassmen right out from the Tobacco Road. Junior Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room) committed to the Cardinals and coach Rick Pitino.

"Coach Pitino told me that I would be the best guard he's ever coached," said Purvis.

The Cardinals beat out the Duke Blue Devils and a smattering of other schools including Xavier for his services. Purvis visited Louisville in the fall and Duke for Midnight Madness. He'll return to Louisville this month.

Purvis is the No. 7 overall prospect in the junior class. He made his mark as a scoring guard but will likely to transition to the point during his career at Louisville. He felt Louisville gave him the best chance to make an impact as a freshman.

"On the defensive end, they play hard and they press. They get steals and easy layups," said Purvis. "On offense they push it in transition and I like how [Pitino] gets up and down and lets his guards play and find open shooters."

John Wall, Ryan Kelly and C.J. Leslie were the last McDonald's All-Americans from Raleigh, N.C. Purvis has the talent to be in that group. His decision to leave the Triangle means half of the elite players the city recently produced bolted the ACC area for the state of Kentucky; Wall went to Kentucky, Kelly to Duke and Leslie to NC State.

"For me, I just wanted to get away where I can meet new people and experience different things," Purvis said.

On the court, Purvis can score. He runs with the CP3 All-Stars and spent time with Chris Paul last summer at his camp training with him. Purvis is exceptional to the rim and looked very comfortable last year at the NBA Players Camp and LeBron James King City Classic.

Programs don't simply stroll onto Tobacco Road and pop commitments from elite players without having a tie to the situation. Louisville had a connection that it used with assistant Tim Fuller. The former Wake Forest collegian is in his first year on the Louisville staff and he's intent on helping the Cardinals make waves in his home state. The Cardinals also hosted both Quincy Miller (High Point, N.C./Westchester) and Deuce Bello (High Point, N.C./Westchester) on official visits, but both picked Baylor during the early period.

"Me and Tim, before he got the job at Louisville, we had a good relationship and we'd speak every once in a while. Since he moved there, we gained a lot of trust with each other and I trust him. That kind of helped me decide for Louisville too," said Purvis.

Purvis was ready to end the process. On Friday, he discussed the pledge with his family and later in the night picked up the phone and told Pitino he was ready to make the decision.

"We just talked about it and came to the conclusion to do it [Friday] night and there's no need to wait anymore."

Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at espndt@gmail.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.