High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: ESPNHS Blogger

Purvis' Perspective: The perfect ending

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
10:38
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Rodney PurvisScott Kurtz/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis | Senior | Shooting Guard | Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Purvis Blog 1 | Purvis Blog 2 | Purvis Blog 3 | Purvis Blog 4 | Purvis Blog 5 | Purvis Blog 6 | Purvis Blog 7 | ESPNHS - North Carolina

Rodney Purvis is the No. 5 shooting guard in the ESPNU 100. A senior at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), Purvis ended one of the hottest recruitments of the summer in late September by picking North Carolina State. He's agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his life and chronicle his thoughts in a monthly blog.

Hey what’s going on everybody, it’s your boy Rodney Purvis back with another blog. I know it’s been a long time since my last blog but things have been pretty busy lately.

I just got back from the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend and that was a great time just getting the chance to hang out with all my bros like Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad. I’ve known them for a long time now and we all knew that this would be the last time we’d all be together for a while so we just bugged out and had a good time all week.

We got a chance to tour the ESPNU studio in Charlotte and that was real cool too. I met Jimmy Dykes and Dino Gaudio and both of them are really knowledgeable and gave us some great advice.

Of course we got a chance to see Shabazz and Nerlens (Noel) commit. That was my first time being in a studio and watching someone commit so that was different. I know both of them are gonna do big things at UCLA and Kentucky.

It was a blessing to be able to win co-MVP of the (Jordan Brand Classic). That’s what I wanted coming in to the game because my mom bought so many tickets and my family had a big section so I wanted to give them a good show.

It was the perfect way to end my high school career, I just wish we could’ve won the game!

But I had a great time down there in Charlotte all week.

Of course by now everyone knows that my bro C.J. Leslie is gonna be back with the Pack next year. That’s obviously big for us and I’m just glad because we’re really close. I’ve known him forever.

We made it pretty far this season, but I know that we’ll be able to go even further next season. Coach (Mark) Gottfried didn’t recruit any of those players on that team last year and to get them all to buy in to what he was doing was really impressive to me. I’ve already bought in and I know everyone else feels the same way too.

The sky is the limit for us.

I’m still hoping we can get another guy or two. I’m talking to Amile Jefferson and even Tony Parker, even though we’re late in the game.

You never know what those guys are gonna do though. I don’t crowd them. I give them their space and let them make their own decision.

But I always tell them that I’ll support wherever they go. I do feel pretty strongly about our chances with Amile though.

I also want to say something to younger group that’s coming up behind me: Don’t worry about rankings. Don’t pay attention to them at all. Good or bad. That won’t make or break you. That’s just someone’s opinion and it honestly doesn’t even matter. College coaches aren’t worried about that stuff. They just want good players. So work on your game and don’t worry about stuff like that.

Now that the season’s over I’m just trying to develop stronger discipline headed into college. I’m focusing on my books and my training. I get up at 5 a.m. every day and train. I want to be as prepared as possible for my first year.

OK guys I’m gonna head out now, but I appreciate you guys checking out my blog.

Take care.

Don't forget to follow Rodney Purvis on Twitter: @RPurvis_5

Nerlens' Notebook: Pre-decision thoughts

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
11:35
AM ET
Nerlens NoelESPNHS IllustrationNerlens Noel, the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, blogs about his recruiting experience.
Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center | Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

Read all of Nerlens' Notebooks

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Since then, heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, have scrambled to get him on campus next season. He recently narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.


What’s good, everybody. Like I promised, I’m back to check in with you guys and get a few thoughts out before I make my big decision.

It’s my birthday today, so I’m back home to celebrate with my family but also to sit down with them and talk about these schools and come up with a decision.

Before I get into that, I know everyone was talking about the game we lost the other night against the World Team in the Nike Hoop Summit.

We were all feeling pretty down after the loss. It was tough. I thought we competed a lot better in the second half because coach [Kevin Boyle] made some good adjustments. He wanted us to pick it up defensively and we definitely did.

They missed their first 12 shots and that allowed us to get back in it, but they made some big shots in the end and got the win.

The locker room was a little quiet at first, but we had good leaders that spoke up and made us all feel a little better. Like Mitch [McGary], he just talked about how we were a family and that we were all brothers and that we played our hearts out. It made a lot of us feel better.

OK, so back to the announcement. Like I said, tonight we’re gonna have a group discussion and write things out and see where we’re most comfortable and what the best decision will be. The rumors about me already being committed are just crazy.

Anyone who knows me knows my mom, Dorcina, has to sign off on any decision and that she will play a major part in any decision. So tonight is when I’ll talk to her about it all.

Any “recruiting guy” who says he has some news from a “source” is funny, too, because the source would have to be me or my mom and they’re not talking to her and I don’t talk to anyone. Like I always say, only believe what you read here.

This is such a tough decision, though. I look at Syracuse and I love the way that the coaches say they’ll use me in their offense. I really like the family atmosphere there and I feel really comfortable there. Syracuse has been on me the longest of all three schools and that is big for me.

Then you’ve got Georgetown, and I really just like everything about them. When I went down there with my mom, it really opened my eyes to what they were all about. I have to factor in what a school like that can do for me, even away from being a basketball player. It’s just a great school and they have a history of developing big men. Georgetown is definitely a great option for me.

Then there’s Kentucky.

Of course they’re coming off the national championship, but I’d look more at how I’d be able to fit in and how I’d be used there. I’d factor in what my role would be offensively, like Anthony Davis with a lot of lobs and catching it at the high post and things like that. Defensively, I think it’ll take care of itself.

So as you all can see, this thing won’t be easy. Of course, me and Shabazz (Muhammad) will be deciding at the same time and I talked to him about that at the Hoop Summit, but we didn’t talk about schools at all. We never have.

I read the story where all the players gave predictions on where me and Shabazz would go. That was pretty funny. Man, they were sleeping pretty hard on the other schools, but everyone’s entitled to his own opinion.

Well, I’ve definitely got some celebrating to do and some discussing to do with my family, so I’m gonna head out now, everyone. Definitely check out the decision (7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday on ESPNU) -- and again, I have 100 percent not made any decision yet because I really don’t know.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

I'll holler at y'all later.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Nerlens' Notebook: G'town visit, Jordan game

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
7:01
AM ET
Nerlens NoelESPNHS IllustrationNerlens Noel, the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, blogs about his recruiting experience.
Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center | Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

Read all of Nerlens' Notebooks

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s up everybody!

Of course you know it’s Nerlens Noel and I’m back with a brand new blog entry.

By now a lot of you know that I made the Jordan Brand Classic game. I’m really excited to be playing in that game with all of my boys from AAU and high school. Just to be a part of that game is special and I gotta give a big shoutout to Jordan and Nike for allowing me to be a part of it all.

I also got picked to play for the East in the All-American Championship tournament in New Orleans on April 1. I’m excited about that too. Both are gonna be a lot of fun.

I actually just got back from another recruiting visit, this time I went on an official visit to Georgetown. It’s official now because everything’s been processed and I’m officially a member of the 2012 class.

I’m really excited to be a senior.

OK so back to my visit, I got there in the morning and checked into the hotel and that evening we went out to dinner with the coaching staff.

We ended up going to a Caribbean place because they were asking my mom what she wanted to eat and that’s what she picked. That spot was good too. They brought out the sizzling hot skillet for me and I loved the food.

It wasn’t as good as my mom’s food, but it was good. That night I ended up hanging out with some of the players and we ended up playing NBA 2K.

Most people may not know this but I’m a master at 2K, but these guys at Georgetown had all of these updated rosters and I’m not used to playing like that so I ended up losing by two to Jabril Trawick.

That was my first "L" in a while. I wasn’t happy about that.

Sunday I got to watch the team practice and I sat down with Coach John Thompson Jr. That was cool just to sit down with a man like that who’s accomplished so much. He was really knowledgeable. I learned a lot from him in our talk.

That night we all watched Selection Sunday and that was pretty live. Some of the students there had made posters about me and they started chanting “We want Ner-lens!” I thought that was pretty cool.

The best poster was “Bring the flattop to the Hilltop!”

Then when they saw their seeding they all went crazy of course.

Monday I took a tour of the campus and went to all the shops with my mom and we got to eat at the famous Georgetown Cupcake. The line was wrapped way around the place, but I’ve got to tell you guys that those cupcakes were real good!

I had a chance to talk with Coach John Thompson III and he talked a lot about how successful the program had been with big men. He said that they had the blueprint to develop players like me and I’ve got to say that I was definitely feeling what they were saying.

Georgetown was definitely a great visit.

It’s looking like North Carolina will be my next stop and I’m not sure, but I think that I’ll be visiting there March 19-20, but that’s not definite just yet.

After that I’m thinking about taking an official visit to Kentucky. My first visit to Kentucky was an unofficial one so I may take the official visit there this time.

Before I forget, I just want to say that there are definitely a lot of untruths to a certain article that was written about me recently in the New York Times. I don’t really want to even feed in to the negativity.

All I will say is that the negative things in that article just aren’t true. I’m a positive guy and I want to move forward in a positive direction with positive people. That’s it.

On another note, people ask me all the time if I have plans to cut the high top and I’ll let you guys know here and now there are no plans to cut my hair any time soon. I don’t plan to grow it any higher either. I’m just gonna leave it like it is.

OK everybody I appreciate you reading my blog and like I always say, if you don’t read it here directly from me on my blog then it’s not true.

Thanks again everyone, I’ll be back with my next entry real soon.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Rappin' with Randle: Final Four looms

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
7:00
AM ET
Julius RandleKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius Randle
Julius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

Randle Blog 1 | Randle Blog 2 | Randle Blog 3 | Randle Blog 4 | Randle Blog 5 | Randle Blog 6 | Randle Blog 7

Julius Randle is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.

Hey what's up everybody!

The biggest thing, by far, that’s going on with me is that my team plays St. Thomas (Houston) in the Final Four of the state tournament today. We’re so focused right now on winning states and it’s even bigger because St. Thomas is the team that beat us last year in the title game.

We feel like they took something from us and we’re really hungry to get this win. Last year we came into the game a little overconfident because we were blowing teams out. We got a big lead on them and didn’t keep playing hard. They hit a few threes and took the lead and beat us.

I haven’t forgotten that. It was definitely a learning experience.

If we win today we’ll play Saturday for the state title. So hopefully this will be a big weekend for us.

Of course we don’t have the only big game this weekend. It’s Duke-UNC part two and you guys already know I picked Duke to win this one.

I picked UNC in the first game and they let me down, and I just can’t pick against Duke twice. Especially at home.

I expect a really competitive game, but I just think that Austin Rivers is gonna be too much again this time and he’ll go off again. That guy is just crazy. He’ll probably drop a 30-piece or something.

I won’t say that Carolina doesn’t have a chance because Duke has lost twice at home this year, but in their last home game I don’t see them losing. I just can’t see that.

Last week I went to the Mavericks-Lakers game and that was a good time because I’m a big time Kobe Bryant fan. I just try and watch his mannerisms to pick up tips from his game. I’m a fan but I’m a student first. His footwork is just crazy and his attention to detail on the court is even crazier. He plays every possession like it's his last.

I sat courtside for that game and that’s a great experience.

Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are just huge. I look small compared to those guys, and the game looks a lot slower than it does on TV. It’s weird.

As far as my recruitment things are still going pretty good.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski called me yesterday and wished me luck in the Final Four. I also talked to coach Orlando Early from N.C. State, I talked to TCU and Coach Roy Williams talked to my mom the other day too.

I’m thinking about coming down to visit N.C. State again in the spring. I’ve really been building a good relationship with Coach Early and the staff there and he wants me to get down there to meet my mom and show us both around.

N.C. State is kind of new to me, but I’ve definitely got some interest in them with my bro Rodney Purvis there and I had a good time when I visited there a few months back.

If I do come I would probably visit UNC and Duke too, but I don’t know for sure if I’m coming yet. I’ll keep you guys posted on that.

I don’t have a recipe this time guys. I gave up fried food for Lent so I haven’t been cooking a whole lot.

I definitely want to remind everyone to go and vote for me for the Fans Choice Player of the Year award too.

OK guys, well hopefully the next time I write I’ll be telling you about my state title.

Thanks again for reading, and I’ll holla at you all later.

Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle

Player Diary: Kansas visit on tap for Parker

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
9:01
AM ET
Tony Parker | Senior | Center | Miller Grove

Parker Blog No. 1 | Parker Blog No. 2

Tony Parker, a senior at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), is the No. 21 player in the Class of 2012 and one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation, with UConn, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky and Kansas all in the running for his services. He has agreed to chronicle the remainder of his final season and recruiting experiences leading up to his decision through a blog with ESPNHS.

Wassup.

Since my last blog, I have won another region championship -- the third I've won out of the four years in my career under head coach Sharman White. The game was extremely tough. Both teams really came to play. Southwest DeKalb played really hard and they have two big-time players in Auburn signee Jordan Price and Memphis signee Shaq Goodwin.

This time, with it being the region championship and SWD having lost the last two times we played, they came in with a huge chip on their shoulders and played like it. We came out with a chip also because SWD beat us the year before in the region championship. So both teams had a huge chip and felt like we had something to prove, and to me, both teams proved that SWD and MG are two of the best teams in Class 4A. And when we come to play, we are very hard to beat. SWD came out strong, but in the end we came out and finished strong so we were able to escape with a close win.

My Kansas visit

Kansas is a great school and they have produced very good post players. Right now they have a dominant big in Thomas Robinson, and a commitment from Brannen Greene, who is also from Georgia. Brannen and I are cool and he makes Kansas sound great. The Kansas game this weekend is where I might use my last official visit simply because that game will have one of the best -- if not the best -- atmospheres in college basketball. With Missouri being highly ranked and coming off a loss and Kansas still trying to prove themselves as a dominant team, I think it would be a showdown between two hungry teams.

On Hearing Negative Things About UCLA...

It really doesn’t affect my decision to go to UCLA. Everyone has a bad experience with every school on their list and how they don’t like the coach and what he does and does not do. ... You have to filter out the reasonable stories and the outrageous ones. It really won't faze me because I've been to UCLA and I know what it's about. It's like when everyone says Coach K is "stuck up," but I've met him and know him. I know what is true and what is not. That talk doesn't matter to me.

Thanks again, ESPN and ESPNHS

Oh, and congrats to coach White (who had a baby) on his new addition.

Make sure to follow Tony on Twitter: @Tonyparker32.

Nerlens' Notebook: Kentucky, Cuse visits

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
9:00
AM ET
Nerlens NoelESPNHS IllustrationNerlens Noel, the top-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, blogs about his recruiting experience.
Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center | Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

Noel Blog 1

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s up, world!

This is Boston’s own Nerlens Noel and I’m back with my next blog entry. Things have definitely picked up since I reclassified, but it hasn’t been too bad. I don’t let it get too crazy.

I’ve taken two visits since I reclassified, first to Syracuse, and I’m actually just getting back from Kentucky now. Both of the visits had to be unofficial because I have to get a lot of paperwork processed at my school before everything’s final, so until that happens all of my visits have to be unofficial. I think everything will be final by around early March.

I went to Syracuse on Feb. 10 and I had a really good time there. Their fans were great, and I spent a lot of time with the coaches and the players. When I first got there I met up with coach Jim Boeheim in the Carmelo Anthony Center and we had a good talk. He talked to me about how he would use me in their system and things like that.

After that we went to their game against UConn. It was crazy. They had 30,000 fans in there screaming, so it was really loud. It was a really good game, too. Syracuse won, so the fans were obviously happy.

I looked in the crowd and I saw that one of the fans had a Fathead of me. That was crazy. I couldn’t believe that they had that, but it just goes to show how dedicated the fans are there. That night I hung out with the players and had a good time. The next morning I went to their practice before they headed off to Louisville.

This past weekend I went to Kentucky.

I got there Friday morning and went to their practice for about an hour. I really liked the way they practice there. I just like the momentum they have in their practice. The practices are short, but they get everything done that they need to get in. It’s really productive.

I went to the game the next day and the fans most definitely lived up to the hype. They were just real live and they chanted my name about eight times. It was so loud in there.

One of the fans came up to me and said “SEC girls love flattops!” I thought that was pretty funny. I really liked watching them play, and sitting behind the bench I got a real feel for how they do it. Coach John Calipari really gets on them when they make mistakes so they won’t make them again. I was impressed.

I got a chance to talk to Coach Cal a lot during my visit. He talked a lot about how I could come in there and work hard and succeed. He talked a lot about playing at the NBA level and things like that. I thought we had a really good talk.

I did notice that Coach Cal’s and Coach Boeheim’s recruiting styles are very different. Coach Boeheim is way more laid back. He lets you know that he wants you, but he doesn’t press it too much. Coach Cal tells you everything about how he’ll use you, where you’ll fit in, everything.

Both visits were a lot of fun and I took a lot from them.

I’ve had a few schools call me more since the news broke about me reclassifying. I actually talked to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski the day after my first blog. That was pretty cool, just talking to him. I like Coach K a lot. He was telling me about the situation down there for next year.

I talked to him twice after that, but I ended up telling them that I wasn’t interested in Duke. I like Coach K, but I just didn’t have any interest in them.

I’m excited about my next few visits, to Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown, but I don’t know what order those visits will be in and I don’t have any dates on those yet. I’ll definitely let you guys know, though.

I’m gonna visit Providence and UConn too because they’re so close to me. I’ve been hearing from all of the coaches from those schools for the most part.

Other than that, we’ve got the big game against Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) today. We’re all ready for this game, of course. This will be the third time we’ve played them this year and they took the first two. We’ll be a little short-handed with my man Wayne Selden out. He’s got a really bad sprained ankle and we’ll miss him a lot, but I think we’re capable of pulling out the win. We’ve got a good game plan, and as long as we play hard we should be OK.

I do think that we’ll see them again in the championship, though. Either way, I just want to win.

I was happy for all the guys who made the McDonald’s All-American game. I really wished I could’ve made it, but I understand about the rules and all. I probably should’ve tried to reclass a little earlier, but I understand.

Well, that’s it for now, everyone.

Oh, you guys remember: If you don’t read it from me here on my blog, in my own words, then it’s not true.
Thanks again for reading, and I hope you guys come back for my next blog real soon.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Julius Randle: Coaches' calls and playoff time

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
10:46
AM ET
Julius RandleKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius Randle
Julius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

Randle Blog 1 | Randle Blog 2 | Randle Blog 3 | Randle Blog 4 | Randle Blog 5 | Randle Blog 6

Julius Randle is ranked No. 2 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.

What’s up world!

It’s your boy Julius Randle again and I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine’s Day. I actually had a game on that day, but it was fun because we played well and we won.

I feel like I played really well, and the cool thing was (Kentucky) coach (John) Calipari was there watching. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him after the game but my coach talked to him. I’m supposed to call him this week so I’m looking forward to talking to him.

It’s a lot different when a coach comes to your high school game because you know he’s coming just to see you. When he comes to a big event or AAU tournament he’s coming to see a lot of different guys, but when he’s in your gym you know he’s there just watching you.

That definitely meant a lot to me that he came down.

The day before that, Coach (Orlando) Early from N.C. State came to my practice to check me out. State’s been coming at me harder since I visited there the last time I was in North Carolina.

I’ve talked to a lot of the coaches on the phone recently too and a lot of them had birthdays so I got to wish them a happy birthday. I talked to Coach (Jeff) Capel from Duke and Coach Cal on their birthdays and I talked to Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski on his birthday too.

Coach K told me he had a relaxing night on his birthday, but he did say that that was a good way to end his birthday, getting a phone call from me. I thought that was pretty cool.

I will definitely say that I’m thinking more and more about my recruitment as the season starts to come to an end. I just keep thinking that soon enough I’ll be making a decision. Not like in the next few months, but with my junior season coming to a close I can’t help but to think about it more.

I haven’t really thought about when I’ll narrow my list down, but I’m thinking it will be at the end of the summer.

As most of you know my prediction on the Duke-UNC game got messed up last week. I picked UNC to win, but they just gave the game away at the end. Those last two minutes were just crazy. That shot by Austin Rivers was just great though so I’m not mad at that.

But I’m still sticking with what I said about the second-round game; I said Duke would win. I’m not picking against Duke twice.

Other than that, I’m just getting mentally prepared for our first playoff game this Friday. We play Houston Christian in the first round and that’ll be a tough game no question. They’re no slouch so we’ll have to come out prepared. It will help that we’re a No. 1 seed so we get home court advantage for the first two rounds.

I know this is the part where I usually give you guys one of my famous recipes, but, to be honest, I’ve been eating a lot healthier these days so I want to wait until I can give you a healthy recipe next time. I’ve been eating more baked chicken and salads and, even though I don’t really like the taste of vegetables, I’ve been eating those too.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now guys.

Thanks, as always, for reading my blog and I hope you’ll check back soon for my next entry.

Take care.

Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle

Player Diary: Tony Parker, All-American

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
5:03
PM ET
Parker MG 1Ryan Gibson/ESPNHSMiller Grove center Tony Parker is the No. 21 player in the ESPNU 100.
Tony Parker | Senior | Center | Miller Grove

Parker Blog No. 1

Tony Parker, a senior at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), is the No. 21 player in the Class of 2012 and one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation, with UConn, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky and Kansas all in the running for his services. He has agreed to chronicle the remainder of his final season and recruiting experiences leading up to his decision through a diary with ESPNHS.

Wassup!

I’m coming off a great week of basketball!!! I made the Jordan Brand Classic roster for the East team. This is a great accomplishment for me and my family, and it really shows what hard work and character can do for a basketball player. A lot of great players and NBA stars have played in this great event, so I’m extremely excited to represent my family, school, community and state.

I have also been so blessed to make the leader of all high school All-Star games as I was also selected as a McDonald's All-American. It’s a big honor. I’m blessed for this accomplishment and my parents, family, coaches and teammates are very proud of me for making such a prestigious event.

Last Friday, we played against Southwest DeKalb. This game is probably the biggest game in Georgia. We have played twice (this year) and it has sold out both times. The rivalry is big time! It's a great basketball environment and the atmosphere is a great representation of one of the best rivalries in Georgia history.

Everybody wants to see the matchup with me and Shaq (Goodwin), which has been compared to the Dwight Howard-Randolph Morris matchups (in the early 2000s). Plus, our schools absolutely have no love-lost between each other, so it was trending on Twitter the night before!

There was so much hype around the game. It’s crazy and we all love the atmosphere and the support from the community. We won the first matchup by six in a very hard-fought game that went down to the wire. This game didn’t go into overtime like the last one because we finished this one in regulation (59-53).

My teammates really came out strong and played a really good game. Christian Houston, Justin Colvin, Tony Evans, and Brandon Morris really came to play and it showed. We look forward to possibly seeing Southwest again in the region tournament They beat us in the championship last year, so we have to come ready to play.

Southwest has a really good team and a short memory because they forget every loss and come out like they have won every game. We really have to match their intensity (if we meet again).

Thanks again, ESPN and ESPNHS

Make sure to follow Tony on Twitter: @Tonyparker32.

Purvis' Perspective: Jordan Brand bound

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
11:15
AM ET
Rodney PurvisScott Kurtz/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis | Senior | Shooting Guard | Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Purvis Blog 1 | Purvis Blog 2 | Purvis Blog 3 | Purvis Blog 4 | Purvis Blog 5 | Purvis Blog 6 | Purvis Blog 7 | ESPNHS - North Carolina

Rodney Purvis is the No. 6 shooting guard in the ESPNU 100. Purvis, a senior at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), ended one of the hottest recruitments of the summer in late September by picking North Carolina State. He's agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his life and chronicle his thoughts in a monthly blog.

What’s up world.

It’s your boy Rodney Purvis again, and as you probably already know by now I’m a Jordan Brand All-American! I’m really excited about making this game because it’s been a dream of mine for a long time now.

My bro John Wall played in this game and my bro Dezmine Wells did, too. When I told them about making the game they both said that they were proud of me and that they wanted to see me do my thing.

I’m honored and blessed to be a part of this game. Michael Jordan is the greatest so I’m looking forward to meeting him.

I was at school when I got the text from one of the Nike guys saying that I was picked for the game. I was so excited for the rest of the day I couldn’t even think straight.

I was shocked. I’ve never been the type of player to think I automatically will be given things because I’ve always had to work for it. I just thanked him and called my mom immediately. Of course she was excited too.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the guys down there at Jordan. I haven’t really seen most of the guys since the summer in AAU. I know we’ll have a good time together.

My bros Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are coming so I already know we’re gonna be buggin’ out the whole time.

I know that a lot of people will come out to watch the game and I’m hoping a lot of N.C. State fans can make the game too. I would love to see guys who have played in this game in the past like John and Kemba Walker come back and watch us. That would be cool.

I don’t really have any expectations about stats or anything like that. I just want to make an impact on the game and leave my mark.

That’s it.

As always, thanks for reading my blog and check back soon for my next entry.

Take care y’all.

Don't forget to follow Rodney Purvis on Twitter: @RPurvis_5

Nerlens' Notebook: Back to 2012

February, 3, 2012
2/03/12
8:43
AM ET
Nerlens Noel | Senior | Center| Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100. Now heavyweight programs like UConn, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. That makes him the most sought-after player in the country. Noel has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access into his world by chronicling his thoughts in a blog.

What’s happening everyone, this is Boston’s own Nerlens Noel, and I’m excited to be starting my blog.

Noel
Steve Johnson/ESPNHSNerlens Noel said he wants to decide around the time of the McDonald's All-American game.
By now most of you know that I’ve reclassified from 2013 to 2012. It was official as of Wednesday night. It was something that I had been thinking about for months, and I talked it over with my family and we came to the final decision. I really just felt like I was ready to come back to my original class.

Most people don’t know that I was always supposed to be in the 2012 class, but during my sophomore year I cracked my growth plate in my left knee and that kept me out for around six weeks. I played the first five games of the season and then I missed the rest of the season.

At the time, I thought the best option was to reclassify to 2013 because of all the time I missed, but I worked really hard and I felt like I was ready to come back to 2012.

Basically, I checked on things academically and I made sure that I had all of the credits to reclassify and I have everything lined up now.

I’m really excited about it. It’s weird because now I’m gonna be in college next season. That’s kinda crazy when I think about it.

When I came into the season I wasn’t sure that I was gonna do it, but after playing really well against all of the big time guys last summer and this season it kinda put my decision to come back to 2012 over the top. I know that I’ll be able to contribute right away to whatever college I decide to go to.

Of course everyone wants to know about my recruitment even more now and I’m gonna clear something up; I don’t really have an “official” list. The list I put out is of the schools that I’m really interested in and schools that I’m gonna take official visits to.

Those schools are Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown. I’m visiting Syracuse on Feb. 11, but I’m not sure if that will be an official visit since it’s closer to me. I’ll decide that in the next day or two. I don’t have dates for the other visits. I’ll set those up soon.

I’ll also visit Providence and UConn unofficially, but there could be other visits.

There are things I love about all of the schools.

With Syracuse I love the environment over there. It’s so live. I like the players there and I’ve built a great relationship with the coaching staff. With Kentucky, I really love the fan base. They’re crazy supportive, especially on Twitter. I’ve been building a solid relationship with the coaches there too.

Florida is one of the first schools that started recruiting me. I like the coaches and I like the school. Georgetown has a history that speaks for itself, and I just love their offense. They really do a great job with their big men.

North Carolina has a great history and a great coach in Roy Williams. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I like the school and I like what they do. They just came in with me recently.

Providence has been on me for a while. I just love what they’re doing there and I’ve got a great relationship with Ricky Ledo, he’s been recruiting me really hard to come there with him. UConn is another one of those schools that speaks for itself. They produce really strong big men, and I think a lot of coach Jim Calhoun and his staff. They really know how to develop their players.

As you all can see this won’t be an easy decision.

I’ve definitely had some players hitting me up since I reclassified. The first player to hit me up was Rasheed (Sulaimon), who’s going to Duke. He was basically just talking about how there would be an open spot for me to come to Duke and how he wanted me to come join him. That’s definitely something I would look at. Duke has been in contact with me, but I haven’t heard from them in a little while.

Archie (Goodwin), who’s going to Kentucky, hit me up too. We didn’t talk directly about Kentucky. We were just talking about video games and talking about the summer.

Things of course have been crazy in the last 24 hours. I think I’ve gained over 1,000 followers on Twitter since last night. It’s funny because I must get about 20 mentions on Twitter every five minutes.

One of the things I thought about was whether I would miss out on postseason all-star games like the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American games. I feel like I’m just in time so hopefully I’ll have a chance to make those two games.

We’ll see what happens. I would love to have a decision around the McDonald’s game after I visit all the schools that I want to see.

I know by now there are a lot of rumors popping up about me and my recruitment, but I just want to say that I have no favorites at all. There’s no official list because I’m open to different schools.

Basically, if you don’t read it from me here on my blog, in my own words, then it’s not true.

Well, I want to thank everyone for reading my first blog. I hope everyone liked it, and I hope you guys come back for my next blog, which will be after I visit Syracuse on Feb. 11.

I’ll catch you guys next time.

Don't forget to follow Nerlens Noel on Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Player Diary: Meet the other Tony Parker

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
1:08
PM ET
Parker MG 1Ryan Gibson/ESPNHSMiller Grove center Tony Parker is the No. 21 player in the ESPNU 100.
Tony Parker, a senior at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), is the No. 21 player in the Class of 2012 and one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation, with UConn, Duke, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky and Kansas all in the running for his services. He has agreed to chronicle the remainder of his final season and recruiting experiences leading up to his decision through a diary with ESPNHS.

Wassup!

I’m Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9 senior center at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.). I play for the Sharman White, a great high school coach who has really pushed me to be a great basketball player. I love the game of basketball. It has given me a ton of recognition and attention to my community and school. This sport has made me grow as an athlete and as a man. It has allowed me to travel all over the world, and I’ve won two gold medals (Argentina and Germany) while playing for my country. The gold medals were and still are the best achievements in my career.

I have a great support system in my dad, Virgil, my mom, Hazel, and my sisters Jasmine and Kelsey Parker. I also have a great girlfriend in Destinie Gibbs, who attends McEachern [the No. 3 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS girls' basketball rankings]. She is currently committed to Ole Miss and, yes, she is a good basketball player who has never beat me in shooting (although she claims she hasn’t lost, ha ha).

OK, time for what you all have been waiting for: My recruitment.

So far it's going great! My schools are pretty consistent, and I have great coaches and staffs recruiting me in Ohio State, Duke, UCLA, Georgetown, Memphis, Kentucky, UConn and Kansas. Those are all great programs with a lot of championships and NBA players to boast. These schools have all seen me play numerous times. Recently, Coach K was at our game vs. St. Anthony. I played absolutely horrible without question. St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley did a great job of making sure there was more than one player (sometimes more than two) around me to keep me at bay. It really worked! But I watched film and learned from my mistakes, so in the near future I won’t have to worry about that problem because I’ve seen it before. Duke and Ohio State coaches make it a point to come see me during the season and I do appreciate them coming. It doesn’t faze me much because I know I still I have to play hard regardless.

My coaches said Big John (former Georgetown coach John Thompson Sr.) was at my game last Saturday versus Dunwoody. Having him at one of my games is an absolute honor because he is a great coach and man. He has done a lot for basketball, and my family really appreciated him coming because they grew up watching Georgetown in their neighborhood. If you were a good basketball player, Georgetown was the place to be.

UCLA is a great place and L.A. is a great city! They have two recruits in Jordan Adams (Oak Hill Academy) and Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony), both of whom I've known since seventh grade. We all have good chemistry and are close friends, so they do try to recruit me. I know I would have two close friends there if I were to choose UCLA.

Kentucky is a great basketball state and they are crazy about the Wildcats in Lexington. I'm also very close with UK commit Alex Porythress, who was my AAU teammate this past summer on great Georgia Stars. He also tries to recruit me to Kentucky of course and I have played with him a lot, so our chemistry is unbelievable which gives them a good shot.

Memphis is close to home and they have signed Shaq Goodwin, a close friend who has been playing with and against me for years. We know each other like the back of our hands. Memphis, the city is absolutely crazy about the Tigers, which is also a plus.

In my spare time I love NBA 2K12. I am an absolute beast with the new Clippers. I enjoy playing point guard with Chris Paul because I’m a point at heart. I am very close with my young bro "little" Julius Randle. He is a great kid and was my roommate at the Nike Global Challenge. I have had a lot of success in high school (three consecutive state championships and currently working on No. 4) simply because I feel like success is in hard work and without hard work you will never be successful. God has blessed me with knowing the difference between working hard and hardly working. Thank you ESPNHS. Until next time!

Make sure to follow Tony on Twitter: @Tonyparker32.

Purvis' Perspective: All-Star aspirations

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
7:00
AM ET
Rodney PurvisScott Kurtz/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis | Senior | Shooting Guard | Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Purvis Blog 1 | Purvis Blog 2 | Purvis Blog 3 | Purvis Blog 4 | Purvis Blog 5 | Purvis Blog 6 | ESPNHS - North Carolina

Rodney Purvis is the No. 5 shooting guard in the ESPNU 100. Purvis, a senior at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), ended one of the hottest recruitments of the summer in late September by picking North Carolina State. He's agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his life and chronicle his thoughts in a monthly blog.

What’s up world, it’s your boy Rodney Purvis and I’m back with my latest blog entry.

Right now we’re well in to our season and things are going great because we’re winning. We’re in a good spot right now. Everyone’s playing together as a team and we’re really starting to click.

We had one of the biggest wins in our history recently against Ravenscroft here in Raleigh. I was really proud of the way that we played. We were really well prepared for that game because we watched a lot of film on them coming into the game and we really executed our game plan perfectly.

I had 25 in the game and I’m averaging 27 points, six rebounds and five assists this year. I feel like I’m playing well, but I’m never satisfied. I want to raise my level of play from this point on out.

I know the McDonald’s Nominees list came out recently and I just feel so honored to even be nominated. That’s a historic game that every high school player wants to be a part of so I’d feel really honored if I’m picked to play in that game.

That goes for the Jordan Brand Classic too. That’s right here in my state and it’s grown so much over the last few years. It’s a game that John (Wall) was a part of and I told him that I want to have the chance to play in every game that he was a part of. It would be an honor to play in a game that’s endorsed by the greatest player to ever play the game.

Of course I’ve been watching my boys at N.C. State play this season a lot and I feel like they’re playing great. I think they’ve all bought in to what Coach (Mark) Gottfried is trying to do. The one thing that I notice when I go to games and when I watch is that the chemistry is at a high level. All the guys love playing together and that’s helped out a lot.

Another big reason that we’re playing better is that Lorenzo Brown has really transitioned to the point guard position well and he’s got the team rolling. He just does whatever we need him to do in order to get the win.

That’s the kind of attitude you need from your point guard.

I’m excited about where we can finish this year in the ACC. I think that we can definitely finish in the top three and I’m predicting that this is definitely the year that we get to the NCAA Tournament.

I truly think that we’ve got a chance to win the conference this year, and you just never know what happens when you get to the NCAA Tournament. I wouldn’t overlook my boys though, I’ll tell you that.

Of course we’re still trying to add to our class for next year and at the top of that list is Amile Jefferson. I think we’re close with him and I know that a lot of good schools are trying to get him so we’ll have to wait and see.

I don’t really talk to him regularly. I’m the guy who gives recruits their space to make their own decision. I hope he comes to join the Pack though.

Of course by now you know that I made it to the ESPNHS Fans’ Choice Final Four and I’m going head-up with Nerlens Noel.

I need you guys to click here and vote for me as many times as you can.

I love that my other two bros Julius Randle and Shabazz Muhammad are in the other bracket. It’s hard to decide who I’m throwing my support behind. I know that Julius will definitely be in the running again next year though.

I kind of want to go against Shabazz anyway. Plus we’re both seniors and it would be cool to see two seniors go head-to-head to see who wins it all in their last year.

If it comes down to me and Shabazz, I don’t know who wins that one. We’ll just have to see.

But again go vote for me here.

Of course I try to catch my NBA games when I can. I love watching my bro John, of course, Chris Paul, Mo Williams and Derrick Rose.

I think the Miami Heat have the best chance to be the champs in the end though.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now everyone. Thanks, as always, for reading my blog and be sure to check back soon for my next entry.

Take care.

Don't forget to follow Rodney Purvis on Twitter: @RPurvis_5

Julius Randle tours North Carolina colleges

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
10:31
AM ET
Julius RandleKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius Randle
Julius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

Randle Blog 1 | Randle Blog 2 | Randle Blog 3 | Randle Blog 4 | Randle Blog 5

Julius Randle is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.

What’s up world.

It’s your boy Julius Randle and I’m kicking off my first blog of 2012.

First, I want to talk about how proud I was that my team and I were able to go down there to the City of Palms Classic and come away with the title. That was a great field and to end up on top was really big for us. Not many people knew about our team nationally, but it really put us on the map.

But then we went to the Beach Ball Classic and we didn’t do too well there. I think we were a little fatigued, but I also think that it had a lot to do with us not being used to playing with a target on our backs. After we won the City of Palms, we got ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50 and now that we’ve gone through what it’s like playing with a target we’re more prepared.

We know that we have to bring it every single game. We all understand that now, and I really think we’re in a good place headed into the Hoophall Classic next week.

I can’t wait to get down there and play against Oak Hill Academy. This might sound crazy, but I’m happy that they haven’t lost yet because we’ll be able to give them their first loss. I’m really confident about our team when we’re playing the way that we’re capable of playing I really don’t see a team in the country that can beat us.

***

After we lost in the Beach Ball Classic my teammates and I went down to North Carolina a day early. I had planned to go down there anyway, but since we weren’t playing anymore we decided to go early and visit N.C. State. I had a great time there with Coach (Mark) Gottfried and Coach (Orlando) Early.

Most of the students weren’t there but those fans still packed the place out. One fan made a really cool sign saying how bad he wanted me to come to State. Just stuff like that was pretty cool to see.

I got a chance to sit down with Coach Gottfried and his message was really simple. He just kept saying “We want you.” He talked about the ways they’d use me there and I liked that he came across really direct.

My boy Rodney Purvis came out to the game with me and that’s always fun to hang out with him. We’re real tight and we had a great time together. I know he wants me to come join him there at State.

That night after I left I went over to Duke and talked with Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) for a good little while. It was a great talk about a lot of different things.

We ended up practicing at Cameron Indoor Stadium that night around 10 p.m. and we had a great time just being on that court. I felt really comfortable playing there and I swear I didn’t miss hardly any shots. It was similar to the way I felt when I was at North Carolina practicing for the Beach Ball Classic.

I was making a lot of shots. So the fact that I couldn’t miss at either Duke or UNC won’t make my decision any easier, Ha ha.

The next morning I went to UNC’s shoot around because they had a game that afternoon. It was cool just to be there and see their routine.

I got a chance to sit down and talk to Coach (Roy) Williams and that’s always fun. He just reiterated how much they wanted me there and he said he was gonna give me the highest praise he could give a high school player by telling me that I work as hard as Tyler Hansbrough did on the court.

I know Tyler was a great player so to be compared to him was awesome. I like Coach Williams’ approach. He doesn’t call all the time, he gives me space and he always says he’d much rather talk to me in person. Coach Williams is just a really cool guy.

I came back later for the game and that was fun. The fans were different there. They were really in to their team, but in a different way. It was really loud and really live. It was really interesting to see how different the fan bases were.

I had a great time at the game. It’s hard not to be impressed with UNC and its fans.

I ended up leaving at halftime to get to Duke for the start of their game. That place wasn’t just packed, it was sold out. Of course their place is smaller, but that place is just crazy.

If I had to compare the environments, I’d have to say that Cameron is the most live. It’s so true what people say about that place and this is with the students not even being there. It was just insane. It’s another level. They chanted my name so loud and their fans knew all about me. I was just like wow.

After the game I got the chance to sit down with Coach K again and we had a long talk. He gave me so many things to think about like getting lower and wider in my stance and being in great -- not good -- shape and how much that could help me.

He showed me clips of LeBron James when he was with Team USA and how they worked with him on getting lower and how much that helped him. I have started using that these past couple games, and I can already tell the difference in how I’m playing.

That night when we got to the hotel I felt like getting some shots up so I ended up going to UNC since my hotel was right near the campus. I shot around with Kendall Marshall and James McAdoo and we had a good time there at the gym.

Kendall took me to his room after that and showed me the famous shoe collection that I hear so much about. I’ve got to tell you all, it definitely lives up to the hype! It made me want to get my shoe game together immediately. That’s the first thing I wanted to do after seeing his shoes was come home and get my shoe game up, Ha ha.

I left that next morning.

All in all, I had a great time in North Carolina visiting all three of those schools. Loved the weather and everything about that area. I may get back down there to see the Duke-North Carolina game. I can only imagine that atmosphere.

I definitely plan to get down to Kentucky and Ohio State too. I can’t wait to visit those schools so I hope those fans are ready to see me.

Well, I don’t have a recipe this time people. I’m sorry about that. I’ll definitely have one for you guys the next time.

I got a chance to read ESPNHS' story on predictions for 2012 and that was interesting what they predicted about me ending up at Duke. I’m not saying that it will or won’t happen, but there’s a good chance they could be right. Who knows, we’ll have to see.

Oh and I also read the Recruit X story at ESPNHS too. Wow, his visit was just like the movie “He Got Game.” I was shocked at how real he kept it, and no I’m not Recruit X.

That will be an interesting series to follow to say the least.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now everyone. I appreciate you reading my blog.

Until next time.

Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle

Rappin' with Randle: Season starts

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
9:47
AM ET
Julius RandleKelly Kline/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Julius Randle
Julius Randle | Junior | Forward | Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

Randle Blog 1 | Randle Blog 2 | Randle Blog 3 | Randle Blog 4

Julius Randle is ranked No. 3 in the ESPNU 60. As a junior, Randle, a forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is one of the most sought after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Texas all pursuing him hotly. Randle has agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to cooking recipes in a monthly diary.


What’s up everyone, it’s your boy Julius Randle and I’m back with my latest blog entry.

First off, I want everyone to click on this link and go vote for me in the ESPNHS Fans’ Choice Player of the Year award. I need your votes.

So far our season has been going really well. We’ve gotten off to a good start and we’re really playing together as a team and winning games. It’s been really fun.

I played against my boy Rodney (Purvis) at the Thanksgiving tournament and we got the win. There was no way I was gonna let him beat me in my home state. That was fun playing against him, but it was just a payback game for when his AAU team knocked my AAU team out in the Final Four of the Super Showcase when I was a freshman.

I was supposed to be visiting Kentucky last weekend but I had to take the SAT so I wasn’t able to go. I’m definitely gonna get there soon. I did get a chance to visit Baylor about three weeks ago and that was a really good visit. I got a chance to hang out with Quincy Miller and we had a good time together. Q is real cool to hang out with.

I got to see their practice and tour the campus and I had a good time with that. To top it all off I got to see a great football game when they beat Oklahoma so that was pretty exciting.

Also, I visited Kansas a little over a month ago and that was one of, if not the best visit that I’ve been on so far. The fans there are just crazy and they’ve got a lot of energy so that was just great.

I know that I’m gonna visit Duke after I leave the Beach Ball Classic later this month. My plan is to go to the Duke game then go to the North Carolina game in the same day so I know that will be a crazy experience. I’m really looking forward to getting down there.

Me and Rodney have been talking about me staying an extra day and visiting North Carolina State with him. I liked N.C. State before he committed, but now with him definitely going there along with what else they’re bringing in is attractive. I don’t know a whole lot about the new coaching staff but they’re definitely on my radar.

I know most of you guys know that my boy Matt Jones committed to Duke recently. I’ve been tight with Matt since the fifth grade and I was so excited when he committed to Duke. He’s come such a long way and I know he’ll fit in really well there.

Of course Matt is my teammate during the AAU season with the Team Texas Titans so everyone wants to know if that makes Duke more attractive.

Well, first they were pretty attractive anyway. I can’t say that it doesn’t make them more attractive, but I can’t make my decision based off the fact that my boy is there. It’s all about being the right fit. I’ve got to do what’s right for me. Duke is definitely one of the schools I’m taking a strong look at.

I know I’ll hear a lot more about Duke all summer when we start AAU though. I’m sure Matt will be coming on strong.

I also liked North Carolina’s pickup of Nate Britt. North Carolina kinda recruits the same type of guards. Nate, Marcus Paige and Kendall Marshall are all past-first point guards so that’s something that I noticed about them.

They even look alike, Haha! I love the way they play.

I definitely have been watching a few college basketball games too, but not for anything besides fun.

I was really impressed with Ohio State. They just have great spacing and they get up and down the floor really well. After they beat Duke, I talked to Coach (Thad) Matta and he was telling me that I wouldn’t have a set position there, I could just play.

Recently, I spoke with Coach (Steve) Robinson and Coach (Roy) Williams at North Carolina and they just keep telling me about how much they’d like me there. I spoke to Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski too. It’s funny; lately we haven’t spoken very much about basketball. He just makes sure everything else is going well with me and keeps me up to speed about what’s going on at Duke. That’s a little different.

Well, I know this is usually the part of the blog when I give you guys one of my famous recipes, but I’d like to get the word out about the Team Connor Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Connor Cruse was a young guy that went to my school who was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 4 years old. He fought hard, but he eventually died of cancer on July 10, 2009.

It hit pretty close to home for us and this year we’re wearing his foundation’s symbol on the back of our jerseys. We just want to get awareness out there. If you want to learn more about the foundation please visit TeamConnor.org.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now everyone.

As always, I appreciate you reading my blog. Definitely check back soon for my next blog entry.

Until next time.

Don't forget to follow Randle on Twitter: @J30_Randle

Purvis' Perspective: Signed, sealed, delivered

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
7:41
PM ET
Rodney PurvisScott Kurtz/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis | Senior | Shooting Guard | Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Purvis Blog 1 | Purvis Blog 2 | Purvis Blog 3 | Purvis Blog 4 | Purvis Blog 5 | Purvis Blog 6 | ESPNHS - North Carolina

Rodney Purvis is the No. 5 shooting guard in the ESPNU 100. Purvis, a senior at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), ended one of the hottest recruitments of the summer in late September by picking North Carolina State. He's agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his life and chronicle his thoughts in a monthly blog.

What’s up world!

It’s your boy Rodney Purvis and I’m happy to say that I’m I officially part of the Wolfpack family! I’m really excited about that. Obviously, this is the early signing period for us and it’s a great feeling to put all of the recruiting stuff behind me for good.

It’s a goal that I’ve accomplished so that’s definitely something that I’m proud of.

Since I committed to North Carolina State things have been so crazy. The whole city of Raleigh, N.C. has really gotten behind me and supported me even more than they had been before. And I had a lot of support anyway.

I’m definitely seeing a lot more N.C. State paraphernalia on cars now, so that’s really cool. I’ve gotten even closer with the coaches and players that are there now and the fans too.

The fans are pretty crazy, I love them. They’ve got a group of fans that they call the “Purv-erts.”

I went to the scrimmage game the other night and a guy came up to me and pointed to a section in the arena and said that was where the Purv-erts are gonna sit. It was pretty funny.

The fans will have a lot to cheer about because we’re bringing in a great class. ESPN has our class ranked No. 2 right now with me, Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren. I hope that we can get Amile Jefferson too. I’ve been working pretty hard on him. He was at N.C. State last weekend and I feel like he had a good time so we’ll see.

We know that the expectations will be really high for us when we come in and we’re OK with that. We’re all really close so that will help with our chemistry when we get here. I think we’ll be ready to step right in and make a difference.

Other than that, our season kicked off and we’re looking pretty good. We’re still young, but we can’t keep saying that. We’ve got to step up and finish strong this year, and I think we’re capable of doing just that.

Well, that's all I've got for now everyone. Check back soon for my next blog entry.

Until next time.

Don't forget to follow Rodney Purvis on Twitter: @RPurvis_5

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