High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: North Carolina State Wolfpack

Toasting the Class of 2012

May, 18, 2012
Noel NerlensKelly KlineWe think UK recruit Nerlens Noel is headed toward a bright future both on and off the court.
With graduation right around the corner, it’s almost time to bid adieu to the class of 2012. Before the veteran ballers flip that tassel, we’re going to bless them with some last-second love and immortalize them in the form of senior superlatives. We’ll gaze into our crystal ball to make a few predictions as well as reflect on the myriad achievements of this talented crew.

These are our picks, but feel free to chime in with your selections on Twitter @espnhs.

Most important commitment
Kyle Anderson, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
Sure, Anderson’s commitment to UCLA might have been overshadowed by the subsequent pledges of Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Parker. But who knows if the Bruins would’ve landed those two prized recruits had it not been for Anderson -- the ultimate team-first guy and winner -- jumping on board first. Anderson's versatility will be valuable as the heralded class looks to restore UCLA's lore after a tumultuous last few years.
Runner-up: Baylor lands Isaiah Austin, Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)

Most likely to succeed in the NBA
Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
We’re not the only ones envisioning Muhammad going toe-to-toe with Bron Bron and the rest of the league's heavyweights. The consensus among pro scouts at the Nike Hoop Summit was that ‘Bazz was the most pro-ready domestic prospect in the class. His Kobe-like demeanor and ability to get buckets in a variety of ways should bode well for whatever squad scoops him up in the Association.
Runner-up: Anthony Bennett, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)

Most likely to land an acting role
Nerlens Noel, Tilton (Tilton, N.H.)
The high top fade alone should be enough to land this menacing shot blocker in the reboot of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” or if they ever recast Kid or Play for the next “House Party.” Combine his tight 'do with his affable personality and his ability to take over defensively on the hardwood, and we could be looking at a star both on and off the court.
Runner-up: Justin Anderson, Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)

Read More »

Purvis' Perspective: The perfect ending

April, 19, 2012
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

Rodney Purvis came out on the losing end at last week’s McDonald’s All-American Game, but his hordes of loyal fans nationwide made sure he wouldn’t come up short in the race for the inaugural ESPNHS Fans’ Choice Player of the Year.

The Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) shooting guard was showered with an average of 3,400 votes per round over the three-round event to lock up the 2011-12 award. Purvis amassed 71 percent of the votes in the final to take home the award in a landslide decision over up-and-coming junior forward Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas).

“I want to send a huge shout-out to those guys [who voted for me] and whoever retweeted me to get me more votes,” Purvis said after winning the award. “I just want to say thank you to all of you guys.”

More than 30,000 high school hoops fans logged on to ESPNHS.com/fanschoice to make their voices heard after the eight candidates campaigned via video, Twitter and Facebook for player of the year honors. The election gave the basketball constituents the unique opportunity to crown a people’s champ.

[+] EnlargeRodney Purvis
Jack ArentNC State-bound Rodney Purvis is the ESPNHS Fans' Choice Player of the Year after collecting more than 10,000 votes.
Purvis’ campaign took off soon after he tweeted to his nearly 14,000 followers to head to the ballots during his first-round matchup with fellow ESPNU 100 baller and Virginia commit Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.). Despite falling behind during the first week of voting, the North Carolina State recruit gained steam over the following weeks (with an assist from NBA star John Wall) and wound up edging Anderson by a 62-38 voting percentage.

Purvis encountered the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Nerlens Noel, in the second round, but he too was no match for Hot Rod. Purvis advanced to the finals by nearly 1,500 votes. Overall, he collected 10,237 votes through the three rounds. Noel placed second with 5,386 and Shabazz Muhammad collected 4,203. Randle, the lone underclassman, finished slightly under 4,000 votes and would be the favorite for next year's award should he choose to run again.

In addition to Fans' Choice POY, Purvis dropped 15 points at the McDonald’s All-American Game, and he will suit up for the East squad at the April 14 Jordan Brand Classic in his home state. He also garnered Gatorade State Player of the Year honors after pouring in 26.1 points and snagging 6.7 boards to lead his squad to the Greater Carolina High School Athletic Association championship. Not a bad way to wrap up your high school career, is it?

David Auguste covers high school sports for ESPNHS. Be sure to follow him on Twitter@ESPNHS_Auguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.

Fans' Choice: Purvis vs. Randle

March, 1, 2012
fans 2Kelly Kline/ESPNHSWho will be the last man standing: Rodney Purvis or Julius Randle?

Back in November, we launched the first ESPNHS Fans' Choice Player of the Year award with eight of the nation's top players in the running for the honor. Well, we're down to the final two candidates, so it's time for you fans to really make your vote count.

Wolfpack nation spoke up in the semifinals to help senior Rodney Purvis coast by Nerlens Noel, while junior Julius Randle got an assist from his fans in Big D to take down Shabazz Muhammad.

We caught up with the two good friends one final time for a quick update on their seasons and to get their final campaign speeches.

Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.)
No. 20 in the ESPNU 100
What it would mean to be voted POY by the fans: “I just think it’s different because it’s based off what the fans think and the fans are what’s important. I really love all of my fans. I appreciate them. All of my fans are really loyal and I really appreciate that.”
Highlight of this season: “Making the Jordan and McDonald’s All-American game.”
Final campaign message: “I think people should vote for me because I put God first and I’m a fun kid. Also I like my fans and I just love the game of basketball. Thanks so much for all of your votes guys.”

Julius Randle, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
No. 2 in the ESPNU 60
What it would mean to be voted POY by the fans: "It would mean a lot to me that I have support from all around the country. I'm grateful for that."
Highlight of this season: "The highlight of my current season would definitely be winning the City of Palms. Great team effort. We really came together during that time."
Final campaign message: "Fans vote for me! I've had a pretty good season, and I still have that meal to cook for one of you!"

Discuss this matchup on Twitter #espnhsfans

Check out the players' campaign videos and see the first-round entrants on the player intro page.

The choice is yours

Who will be the last man standing: Rodney Purvis or Julius Randle?

Purvis' Perspective: All-Star aspirations

January, 23, 2012
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
Nerlens Noel, Tilton (Tilton, N.H.)
No. 1 in the ESPNU 100
Maybe it's the litany of blocked shots he records every time he steps on the court. Or the multitude of opposing players who settled for a jumper rather than testing "The Eraser." Or maybe it came down to the high-top fade (don't front, y’all love the hair). Whatever the case, Noel was a hit with fans during the first round of voting. Those lucky enough to see the 6-foot-11 defensive maestro in person witnessed him open the year on a tear defensively and record a statement performance at the City of Palms Classic with averages of 19 rebounds, 8.5 points and 5.0 blocks. With wins over national powers Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) and St. Mark's (Southborough, Mass.), Noel is making a strong push to reach the finals.

Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.)
No. 16 in the ESPNU 100
We billed "Runnin' Rod" as a relentless scorer at the beginning of last round's voting, and the kid has held true to form by pouring in better than 25 points a contest through the first two months of the season. And Purvis has been more than just a scorer. He's also checking in at nearly seven rebounds a game and has increased his role as a facilitator with five dimes a contest. And if that's not enough to merit your vote, Purvis had the Twitterverse on lock after video surfaced of his one-handed posterization of a 7-foot defender during a holiday tourney. And did we mention a certain lightning-quick Carolinian currently shaking NBA cats in the nation's capital is also advocating for Purvis?

Discuss this matchup on Twitter #espnhsfans

Check out the players' campaign videos and see the first-round entrants on the player intro page.

The choice is yours

Who are you rolling with: Defensive-minded center Nerlens Noel (left) or prolific scoring shooting guard Rodney Purvis?

Julius Randle tours North Carolina colleges

January, 9, 2012
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

Rodney Purvis, Upper Room Christian (Raleigh, N.C.)
No. 16 in the ESPNU 100
Wolfpack Nation is thrilled to have Purvis, a relentless scorer who averaged more than 25 points per game last year, heading to NC State next year. Purvis’ strength and knack for getting to the cup makes him one of the nation’s most exhilarating talents to watch and one of the opposition’s toughest players to defend. If you need further evidence the kid can ball, just ask fellow Carolinian Chris Paul, who Purvis claims to have beaten one-on-one this summer.

Justin Anderson, Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
No. 61 in the ESPNU 100
Anderson’s ranking may lead you to believe he’s a dark horse, but his style of play and affable personality certainly endear him to fans. Always quick to rep the DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area), the Virginia-bound forward regularly throws down SportsCenter-worthy dunks and follows it up with a celebration worthy of old-school Chad Ochocinco. Anderson tallied 14 points and 7.2 rebounds to lead Montrose to last year’s ESPNHS National High School Invitational crown.

Discuss this matchup on Twitter #espnhsfans.

Meet the other candidates on the player intro page.

Fans choiceESPNHSCongrats to Rodney Purvis for making it to the Final Four. The next round of voting begins on Jan. 11.

Purvis' Perspective: Signed, sealed, delivered

November, 10, 2011
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

Purvis prefers the Pack

September, 30, 2011
ESPNHS - North Carolina | Purvis Will Rebuild The Pack

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rodney Purvis’ smile said it all.

He’d never envisioned himself going through a long, drawn out recruitment process and Purvis, a senior combo guard at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), certainly isn’t the type of player who craves the massive attention a “where will he go” storyline inevitably brings.

So it makes sense that Purvis’ relief was visible when he grabbed the microphone inside of URCA’s gym Friday afternoon and told a crowd of more than 200 that he would indeed be sticking around Raleigh to attend North Carolina State.

Rodney Purvis
Kelly Kline/ESPNHSRodney Purvis is projected to be an immediate impact player in college.

“I’m gonna be part of the Wolfpack family,” said Purvis, who averaged 27 points, six rebounds and six assists per game last season for Upper Room. “It’s just such a relief to have this over with for good. It’s been such a long process, but in the end it’s been worth it. I feel the most comfortable at State with Coach (Mark) Gottfried and the players really want me there. Plus, it’s home and the fans here are great. I’m really looking forward to helping to turn things around and bringing some excitement back to State.”

Purvis, who is ranked No. 16 in the ESPNU 100, committed to the Wolfpack over offers from Ohio State, Connecticut, Memphis and North Carolina Central. He initially committed to Louisville last December, but decided to reopen his recruitment in early May after assistant coach Tim Fuller, Purvis’ primary recruiter and friend at Louisville, left to take an assistant job at Missouri.

Purvis said that the new conference realignment, which will eventually bring Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC, factored in “heavily” to his decision.

“How could it not?” said Purvis, who added that he plans to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period in November. “I mean the ACC was already one of the top conferences in the country, but with Pitt and Syracuse I think it’s hands down the best basketball conference out there. That was really attractive to me because I want to play against the best.”

Purvis also wants to play with the best, and with Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) point guard Tyler Lewis already in the Wolfpack’s 2012 recruiting haul, Purvis said that he has his sights set on Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) swingman T.J. Warren and Edisto (Cordova, S.C.) forward Brice Johnson.

“Now that I’m committed, I’m really gonna work hard to get Brice and T.J.,” Purvis said. “That’s my goal, and I feel like I’ve got a good shot with them. For now, I’m just happy to be part of the Wolfpack family.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN