Rodney Purvis: I had actually reclassified when I was in 8th grade, but my mom had made sure to keep me on track academically to graduate in 2012 and I just decided to keep the plan going. It was a family decision that we made with the help of my mom, my coaches, as well as we asked Coach K and the Duke staff for some advice and their thoughts on it.
It wasn't so much a basketball decision for me in terms of deciding on a college, I just looked at it as my grades and GPA classes are in order, there's no need to wait, this just helps me get closer and closer to achieving my dreams.
What did Coach K and the Duke staff say in regards to that? They had some recent history with that in the form of Andre Dawkins.
They didn't really talk with me reference his situation, I just called them up and asked what their thoughts were on me reclassifying to 2012 and whether they thought it'd be ok for me to do that. Coach K was really supportive of me with it. The whole staff, they all said that if my classes were in order and my family felt like it was the right decision for me and my future, they said if it was the time to do it, then I should do it and they supported me and my decision.
As a newly minted junior, do you have depth concerns with any of the teams recruiting you?
Not really, because once you get to college and you get practicing as a team, what matters is that you have a group of talented players who are committed to each other to play together, to me, it's important that you have a good team with good players.
Would coming in with other really talented guards - maybe other players with one and done potential - be a positive or a negative?
I'm actually totally fine with it and I see a lot of benefits to playing with some really talented guys. To me, it takes the pressure off the both of us if we have multiple talented guards on the team who can make each other better. If you go to a situation where you're the man as a player, it becomes a lot harder to me because then teams can really focus their defense on just you.
To me I think it's good if you play with another talented guard, because I've seen how guys can average 14-15 points a game, play with some really good players and win a lot of games and they can still make it to the NBA. What matters to me is I want to play in big games in the big moments, and I like the idea of playing with some really talented guys. I'm willing to wait my turn when it comes to the NBA, I want to make sure when I do go pro that I'm ready to be a great player.
It was mentioned this weekend that you were going to be working out with Shabazz Muhammed. How did all that come about?
Well, that actually ended up not working out. We were supposed to hang out, work out, he was even supposed to hang out at my house, but he ended up being really busy on his visit to UNC for their Late Night event. But we are going to be going out to LA coming up this weekend for some tournament that's out there. Shabazz's my boy, we're real cool with each other.
A guy from Las Vegas and a guy from Raleigh are close friends? How does that relationship come about?
Yeah, me and Bazz are like best friends, we talk almost every single day, and we are planning on trying to go to the same school. We played at the Pangos event together last year, Shabazz came up to me and he was like, "you're Rodney Purvis, aren't you?" We ended up exchanging phone numbers and have been cool ever since.
You guys share the distinction of being recruited by Duke and UNC. What have you two discussed in regards to those two programs?
Well, I think we've noticed how both Duke and UNC like to get out and run, they play an aggressive style, they like to play in transition too. With Duke, you're talking about the tradition, Coach K, he's just really great with guards, he's got a great track record in developing guards and getting them to the NBA.
Is being a recruit of both Duke and UNC hard since it's college basketball's biggest rivalry?
I mean, it can be hard if you look at it from a fan perspective, but being a player who is fortunate to be recruited by both, I try to look more at the teams and see who they have, what kind of style they play, who they are recruiting and how I would develop there as a player.
And what are your perceptions of each school at this point?
I think they both have a good track record in what they are doing. With UNC, they have had some really good point guards in their system who have done some good things, and with Duke, you're talking Coach K, he's got a lot of past experience in developing good guards.
Shifting gears to Duke's Midnight Madness, did you have time on campus prior to the event, or did you just go for the event?
Yeah, we just showed up right before the event started, I already had a great opportunity to spend some time on campus with Coach K and the staff. I just really wanted to go to their Midnight Madness to watch the team, see them put up their banner and get their rings. I really wanted to let the other guys there have their moments for guys that Duke is recruiting.
There were a bunch of recruits there. Which guys were you in talking with the most?
I hung out with a lot of the guys, Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Mike Gbinije, Nate Britt, Tony Parker, and I got to hang out with Austin too a lot. All of their reactions were kind of like mine in a way. We were all like, "wow, this is crazy amazing". The guys eyes just had these looks in them like they were just in amazement at everything that was happening. The fans were just really really great, especially when Duke was raising their National Championship Banner, it was so loud in there that I had to cover my ears.
Did you spend anytime with Coach K while on campus?
I didn't spend a whole lot of time with him because I had spent a lot of time with him last time I was on campus, but I did notice he spent a lot of time with Austin and Quinn, which was cool. He seemed to be having a really fun time, but he didn't do any coaching, just spent time with the recruits there and took things in.
A lot has been made of Duke's transition in styles this year. What were your impressions of the new look?
I noticed how much they were going up and down the court, guys were scoring in a lot of different ways and they were playing defense too. Kyrie was the best guy on the court, hands down. Kyrie, straight up, is the best point guard that I've seen in a long time. He's just that good, he made some crazy plays out there.
Looking back, what was the defining experience for you that night?
I really had a chance to interact with the fans a bit, and it was really sweet how they were chanting my name, I'll never get over that, those Duke fans were really live. Just getting to be in moment it was a lot of fun seeing everything.
So, what's the next step for you visit wise?
I know for sure I want to go see a couple of Duke games this season, and I know Coach O from Kentucky wants me to come down soon to watch them play a game, but other than that, I'm not sure, but I do know I want to watch some games this season if I can.