1.Former Mississippi State center Arnett Moultrie said his one-time teammate Rodney Hood will be a one-and-done player when he plays in 2013-14. Hood, who is leaving the Bulldogs after his freshman season, is likely deciding among Ohio State, Memphis and Duke. (He also visited Baylor.) Hood would have to sit out one season before playing for one of those teams. “His skill level is really nice,’’ said Moultrie. “He’s athletic and gets inside when he needs to. He’ll be one-and-done wherever he goes.’’ Moultrie said he talks to Hood multiple times a week and expected him to make up his mind shortly.
2.Purdue coach Matt Painter planned an August trip to Italy at the perfect time. A school can go once every four years and the cycle has worked out for the Boilermakers. Painter, who was in Chicago last Thursday and Friday to watch former forward Robbie Hummel at the pre-draft combine at UIC, said this is the first time that he’ll have a massive group of newcomers that needs that summer preseason push since Hummel’s freshmen class that included former stars JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore. The Boilermakers bring in four key newcomers in center A.J. Hammons, shooting guard Raphael Davis, point guard Ronnie Johnson and power forward Jay Simpson.
3.Former UNLV assistant Mark Warkentein (under Jerry Tarkanian) was camped out next to UNLV assistant coach Heath Schroyer during the Chicago draft camp on Friday at the UIC Pavilion. Warkentein is one of many Tark-era personnel who are now fully on board with the Runnin’ Rebels’ program after an extended period where there was not as strong of a connection. Of course it helps that his daughter Kreigh is the director of basketball operations for the men’s basketball program. Former coach Lon Kruger finally offered stability but he didn’t have the same connection that current coach Dave Rice now holds with his one-time teammates and coaches. “The collection of leadership in men’s basketball is at its highest level that it’s ever been,’’ said Warkentein, who has worked for Seattle, Denver, Cleveland, Denver and now New York in the NBA. “The president, Neal Smatresk, is the best they’ve ever had. Jim Livengood, is the best athletic director they’ve had since Brad Rothermel (1981-90 as AD), and Dave Rice is a running version of Brad Stevens.’’