SG Damien Leonard Profile
Word of Purnell's departure from Clemson quickly travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to 2011 J.L. Mann (Greenville) shooting guard Damien Leonard, who was in Germany for a tournament with several other highly touted American prep basketball players.
"It was on the news, but I didn't see it. One of the coaches that was coaching the USA team, he told me," he said. "I didn't believe him at first. Then, I saw it."
Leonard's spent most of the past two seasons watching games from behind the Clemson bench at Littlejohn Coliseum. The short drive to the Clemson campus from his home in Greenville allowed for him to become a staple behind the Tigers' bench.
He's still interested in Clemson but hasn't kept up with what's happening in the search for a new coach.
Leonard recently told CUTigers that he is comfortable with former assistant coach and now interim coach Ron Bradley and the remainder of Purnell's staff still in Tigertown.
"When I go on visits, it's the assistant coaches," Leonard said. "If they stay there, it's still going to be the exact same way, pretty much."
If new faces are brought in to take over the program, Clemson's position changes.
"They'll have to start over with me," Leonard said.
Along with Clemson, he's considering Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Texas A&M.
A new player has entered the mix: Duke.
The Blue Devils began contacting Leonard shortly before he left for Germany. A scholarship hasn't been extended but it's hard to ignore this year's national champion.
"Coach K, he's a good coach. You can't back out from that," Leonard said.
During the tournament in Germany, he averaged about 12 points a game while playing with Louisville commit Michael Chandler, Marshall Plumlee and Ryan Boatright.
Leonard is ranked by Scout.com as a four-star prospect and the No. 8 shooting guard in the class of 2011.
The latest with Damien Leonard
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