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May 13, 2011

Purvis talks to UK assistant; Cats want him to visit

Five-star 2012 guard Rodney Purvis said he called Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua on Thursday and that the Wildcats want him to visit the school.

Purvis, a 6-foot-3 player for Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., recently withdrew a commitment to Louisville and reopened his recruitment.

He said UK, Duke, North Carolina State and U of L are the schools he's considering now, and he said he also spoke with new Duke assistant Jeff Capel on Thursday and with new Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts on Tuesday.

He said he's also spoken with N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried recently.

"Those are the only four schools I'm focusing on," he said.

Purvis said his conversation with Antigua lasted "seven or eight minutes" and they talked about "just us two gaining a relationship and that some time after the AAU season, me and my family coming up there for a visit."

When asked whether UK is a trip Purvis definitely wants to take, he said, "Yeah, it is."

He said he's not sure if that visit would take place late in the summer or in the fall once UK's season has started.

Purvis said he hasn't spoken with UK coach John Calipari since he reopened his recruitment but that Antigua has told him he could fit in with the Cats.

"Just the thing Coach Calipari has with his guards and stuff being one-and-done and coming in and making a huge impact early, they just feel that I could be that type of player," he said.

When asked whether he has a scholarship offer from Kentucky yet, "As of right now, no I don't."

Purvis is a dynamic scoring point guard who can finish strong and also shoot from outside. He's less of a conventional, distributing point guard, and his skills would translate well a wing player.

When asked whether Kentucky likes him most as a point guard, Purvis paused to think, then said, "Um, yes."

He said he'd be willing to play either guard spot in college.

"Whatever is best for the team, I can play the '1' or the '2,'" he said.

UK has no commitments for the 2012 class, but transferring N.C. State freshman point guard Ryan Harrow, who would sit out next season, then have three years of eligibility starting in the 2012-13 season, just left Lexington from an official visit on Thursday.

He, like Purvis, is also considering Louisville. (Harrow is also considering Texas, Georgia and St. John's.)

Purvis said he won't be paying close attention to Harrow's decision and that Purvis' decision won't be affected by it.

"I'm not really going to watch what he does because me and Ryan talked a little bit already that we could possibly be teammates," he said. "Of course he's a point guard, and I can the play point guard. But at the same time, I can play the off guard and do whatever's best for the team. So it's kind of up in the air with that."

Torian Graham, another possible UK 2012 backcourt target from North Carolina, has posted on Twitter recently that he would like to play with Purvis in college.

But Purvis said the friends haven't really about recruiting.

"Me and Torian are pretty close," he said. "We haven't really talked about that yet. We've just been talking about regular stuff."

Duke seems primed to make a push for Purvis, who said he already knows Capel, the former head coach at Oklahoma.

"We're pretty cool, me and Coach Capel at Duke," Purvis said. "He was just telling me (on Thursday) some things I need to work on that he saw and (mentioned) me coming over to play with the guys back when they start playing pickup games."

When asked what things Capel said he could improve on, Purvis said, "moving without the ball. They just feel that I could come in and create and help the team and lead them to a national championship."

Purvis said Duke's Durham campus is about 20 minutes from where he lives and that he plans to take up Capel's offer to play pickup games there sometime soon.

Purvis said he's not sure whether Duke is recruiting him as a point guard or shooting guard but that Capel, a former Duke guard, said backcourt players can succeed under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

"Coach Capel said he was similar to me (when he played at Duke)," Purvis said. "You could play the point or play the 2, and he played for Coach K and that Coach K gave him a lot of freedom and stuff like that. So I'm not sure what they are recruiting me as, just as someone who can help the team win and score and get everybody involved."


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