Cards Pull Off Heist

For all the world it looked like the Duke Blue Devils were a machine that couldn't be stopped in college basketball. That was until Rodney Purvis stunned many and selected Louisville. Now it is the Cardinals with the big time recruiting momentum.

It has to go down as one of the best recruiting steals in recent memory. The Louisville Cardinals swooped down to Tobacco Road and grabbed the commitment of five-star class of 2012 guard Rodney Purvis. It isn't just that Louisville got Purvis, but who they got him over which is what is most impressive.

The Duke Blue Devils had all the momentum in the world. They are coming off a national championship, they have the buzz of being ranked No. 1 in the nation, and they just recently inked one of the premier recruiting classes in the country. It seemed like nothing could go wrong in Durham.

Add in the fact that only 15 minutes from their campus lived a kid who is a top 10 talent, had excellent grades, and seemingly really liked what the Blue Devils had to offer. Most felt that Purvis was a lean to Duke. That of course was until Friday night.

Ever since Louisville made the hire of assistant coach Tim Fuller, the Cardinals have been working hard to secure the services of Purvis. Still most felt it would be an uphill battle to pull him away from the powers on Tobacco Road, especially Duke.

That however turned out not to be the case as Louisville hosted Purvis on a visit, and then under a month later was able to reel in his commitment. The commitment of Purvis is one of the most important ones in the class, and one that will be felt for a long time.

Purvis since the beginning had made public comments that seemed to imply that he would prefer to stay close to home, though always leaving the option of going away for college out there. With the fact that Duke was the "it" school in college basketball and the location, many didn't give Louisville a chance, but Fuller and Head Coach Rick Pitino were able to pull it off.

Now that the Cardinals have Purvis in the fold, they will turn their full attention to wing Shabazz Muhammad and scoring guard Ricardo Ledo. Purvis, Ledo, and Muhammad are good friends through their time playing summer basketball together, and at times the trio has talked about going to the same school. Purvis and Muhammad have each made public comments that they could be a package deal.

In most instances talk like that doesn't amount to a whole lot, but who knows, the Cards could be ready to pull off another national top 10 player now that they have recruiting momentum firmly on their side.

All it takes is one or two commitments to really get things going on the recruiting trail, much like the momentum that Duke gained after landing Kyrie Irving. After a somewhat tumultuous off season, Pitino and company now have it really rolling. Who knows, with a beautiful new arena, a top 10 recruiting class in 2011, and Purvis in the fold, the Cardinals could be well on their way to being the new "it" team in college basketball.


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