Purnell disagrees with Oglesby's decision

CLEMSON — Clemson coach Oliver Purnell had no idea guard Terrence Oglesby was going to leave the basketball program to pursue a professional career in Europe, until he got a call from the young man during breakfast Tuesday morning.

Purnell was at the Isle of Palms near Charleston on vacation before heading to Myrtle Beach last night for an IPTAY rally when he received the call. The Clemson coach said he did not understand why Oglesby did not involve him in a decision as important as this.

"I can't be a mind-reader," Purnell said. "The reason why it's hard is because I haven't really had a chance to think about it. It is really one of those things that you mull over after a while, but I really haven't spent a lot of time focusing on this.

"I'm sure over time I will think about it and I'm sure I will probably come up with some idea I believe, but I necessarily will not know if I believe it its true. I don't really know. I will say this, he is pretty close to his family and his father played basketball and so forth so obviously his father and his family were closely involved and there is nothing wrong with that."

Purnell doesn't believe Oglesby's exit has anything to do with rumors that there were chemistry issues with teammates or problems in the locker room.

"I do not know, but there is nothing that I am aware of," he said. "We are not allowed to be with our players when school is over. We are only allowed to be around our players a few hours a week when school is in session.

"I don't know of any, but that doesn't mean I know what the players are thinking because I didn't find out until 11 o'clock (a.m.) and I was not involved in the process coming to a conclusion on his decision to go or to stay."

Purnell he wishes Oglesby the best with his decision and he appreciates what he brought to the team and the Clemson program the last two years, but now he says it's time to put that behind them for the betterment of the team and move forward.

"I'm disappointed that he will not be with us, but at the same time it is a decision he made with his family. It is what it is," Purnell said. "At this point, after today, it is very important to focus on the young men in our program that will be back.

"I'm very excited about next year's team, the returning players as well as the incoming players and bringing that combination together as we move towards the fall."

As for Oglesby's decision to play pro ball in Europe, Purnell doesn't necessarily agree with it, but at the same time he has not had the time to sit down and think about it either.

"I haven't had the chance to think about it a whole lot in terms of all the pros and cons," he said. "I have always been in a situation where a young man is thinking about his college eligibility. Playing college basketball can lead to a lot of things, particularly if you are talking about teaching them how to play basketball.

"I think we have the best environment for a young person to position himself to be asked about (going pro). Just based on that and the fact I was unable to give him as much information I would like and gather information because I don't want you to think I know everything about this model because I don't. But I certainly know enough and would do some investigation and weigh in on the decision.

"My gut reaction, I'm certainly not agreeing with it."

CUTigers.com Top Stories