Trouble could be a-brewing for Rick Pitino yet again this summer. Fortunately, at least this time the problem is basketball related.
Rodney Purvis, a five-star recruit and ESPN’s 10th ranked player in the class of 2012, decommitted from Louisville on Monday, leaving Pitino and his staff in quite a bind.
This makes the second major loss for the Pitino camp over the past week, as the Cardinals also lost top assistant and recruiting genius, Tim Fuller.
Fuller, who recently took a job on Frank Haith’s staff at Missouri, was the key to Purvis’ recruitment at Louisville and it looks like the shooting guard’s commitment was ultimately swayed by Fuller’s decision to move on.
Purvis has gained notoriety as a superior wing player and is best known for his rebounding and strong finishes at the rim. At 6’4″ and almost 200 pounds he presents a Dwyane Wade type build that could be a tough assignment for any defender hoping to slow him down on the perimeter. He’s really a transition player with tons to offer in terms of athleticism.
However, the biggest knock on his game has to do with his lack of a perimeter jumper. He is good with his mid-range but scouts seem to be a bit weary about having a shooting-guard on the floor, who essentially can’t put it in the rim from farther than 15-feet.
With his recruitment back open and schools surely salivating at the thought of having the beast slashing in from the wing for their squad, he is sure to be a hot commodity throughout his senior season.
As for possible destinations…
Purvis has referenced Missouri as a possible landing spot (following Fuller there) as well as a few other schools – North Carolina State, Duke, Kentucky, Florida, Baylor specifically – as places of interest as he moves forward.
Louisville is apparently still in the running for Purvis and it appears that Pitino will make a run at the kid, but don’t expect much in return as the North Carolina native seems to have his mind pretty well made up on the Cardinals.
The 6’4″ combo-guard could be a huge addition to any team across the nation but I think no coach would be more grateful of his presence than Haith at Missouri. The Tiger’s new man has some big shoes to fill, following Mike Anderson’s successful tenure, and he’ll need a top-25 recruiting class in 2012 to help build a solid framework if he hopes to make a name for himself in Columbia.
As for Louisville, losing Purvis is a big subtraction but Fuller’s departure could be the biggest loss. The recruiting guru’s absence could lead to more trouble for Louisville with the 2012 class, as Fuller had a hand in many of the possible commits for the Cardinals and without the presence of a superstar like Purvis other recruits may be less likely to join in.