- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Rodney Hood had to pull out of the World University Games trials in late June due to an Achilles injury. The fear was that the Mississippi State transfer could have some sort of lasting injury. But the removal from the trials was just precautionary and Hood has been fine all summer at Duke. "He is completely recovered," said Duke associate coach Steve Wojciechowski. "He has participated in summer workouts." Hood could end up being the most important transfer at any major Division I school. He has the chance to be an all-ACC guard and a first-round draft pick. He should thrive playing at Duke. The most notable newcomer for the Blue Devils is Jabari Parker, but Hood may outshine him at times with his play on the perimeter. Meanwhile, Parker has been all Duke has asked for so far this summer. While Hood is being termed as being very versatile, Wojciechowski describes Parker as "an extremely talented player who has fit in very well." Duke will be the favorite in the ACC, likely a bit over new league member Syracuse.
2. La Salle coach John Giannini wasn't thrilled that the Explorers will play Saint Joseph's twice this upcoming season, watering down the Big Five rivalry and making it more of a traditional A-10 game. "We used to play Saint Joe's once at the Palestra and it was special," said Giannini. "Now, we may just move it to home sites and it will become just like every other (league) game." This is not out of the norm for Big Five/conference games. Temple and Saint Joe's would play twice when both were members of the A-10. Now Temple is off to the AAC, making a Saint Joe's-Temple and a Temple-La Salle game more unique, much like the single Philadelphia Big Five games against Villanova for all three of those teams and of course the same for Ivy League member Penn. (Even though I'm not a native of Philadelphia, I would like to see the Big Five expand to include Drexel).
3. Kansas State transfer guard Angel Rodriguez hasn't applied for his waiver to play immediately for Miami yet, according to a Hurricanes' spokesperson. Rodriguez is expected to do so after football season starts when the NCAA waiver office can focus on the winter sports. The NCAA traditionally gets backlogged at this time of year in clearing players for the fall sports. The Hurricanes desperately need some experience after losing the majority of last season's contributing players and the early entry of point guard Shane Larkin. Rodriguez wanted to transfer back to Miami to be closer to his family in Puerto Rico.