Hood has great UofL visit; Decision looming?

Rodney Hood told InsideTheVille.com Sunday afternoon that he had a great visit to Louisville this weekend. Three schools have emerged atop Hood's list, and the 6-8 forward from Meridian, Miss., says he could announce his college decision in a 'few' days.

Rodney Hood, one of Scout.com's Top 50 2011 prospects, had a great time on his official visit to Louisville this weekend.

Hood, who had a tentative visit scheduled to Georgetown next week, told InsideTheVille.com Sunday that Florida State, Marquette and Louisville have emerged as his leaders and he could make a college decision in the next few days.

"I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I'm going to try to have a decision in the next three or four days because I'm done with all my visits," Hood said. "I'm going to give this visit two days to calm down because I don't want to go off of emotion, but I'm going to sit down and talk with my family and I should have a decision by the end of the week. I want to sit down and make a good decision for me, but right now I don't have a clear decision."

Hood arrived in Louisville Thursday night with his father, and his brother and sister drove up from Chattanooga, Tenn., this weekend to join their younger sibling on his official visit to Louisville.

"They've got a real good shot," Hood said when asked about Louisville's chances to land his services. "I've just got to think about it. I don't want to rush it, but I've got to make the best decision because it's going to...be the one I live with for the next four years."

Rodney Hood could choose between FSU, Louisville and Marquette in next few days.
Hood's official visit began Friday morning. While he was in town, Hood checked out Louisville's practice and living facilities, attended the Cardinals football contest against Memphis, and got to know Rick Pitino and the UofL players.

"It went real good," Hood said. "I got to see a lot of stuff and it was a great environment. I went to the football game and it was almost like we were at a basketball game...they are basketball crazy. I was surprised that the fans knew my name and stuff about me. You don't get that everywhere else. And I got to spend some time with Coach Pitino."

Spending time with Pitino was a key part of Hood's visit.

"I really wanted to sit down and talk to him because it's not every day you get to talk to a hall of fame coach," Hood said. "After talking to him, [I realized] he's a down to earth guy. He cares about what you do on the court and off the court he likes to clown and have fun just like everybody else."

Did Hood have some unanswered questions for Pitino?

"I just wanted to get up there and see the campus," Hood said. "Basketball-wise all the questions had been answered. I didn't just want to say I'm going to Louisville. I wanted to get up there and see where I'd be living and meet some of the people with the basketball program."

Hood came into his visit to Louisville to determine whether or not he'd be comfortable with Pitino and Louisville's players. There was an obvious comfort-level with Chane Behanan and Zach Price, two Louisville commits that were also in town who knew Hood from the AAU circuit. Hood said he also enjoyed hanging out with UofL's current players and coaches.

"I felt a great comfort-level [there]," Hood said. "Me and Chane have known each other since last summer and we're pretty good friends. And me and Zach played together at LeBron. And the [players] were great, they had fun and they're down to earth guys even though they're on the big stage at Louisville. The coaching staff was great. I watched them practice and on the court they are serious and take care of business, but off the court they're friendly."

Hood also toured the KFC Yum Center and was blown away with what he saw inside Louisville's new 22,000 seat arena.

"It's the best arena I ever saw," Hood said. "I was kind of shocked. Coach Pitino told me when he came down to Meridian that I was going to be shocked, and I was like, 'nah, I'm going to be ready for it.' But when I saw it I was in awe. I've never seen anything close to that."

It's obvious Hood enjoyed his visit to Louisville. The big question: Did the visit do enough to move the Cardinals past Florida State and Marquette on his list?

"Louisville has always been up top on my list," Hood said. "They haven't been there for two years [recruiting] but I'm making a basketball decision. It helped [Louisville] a lot. I got to get acquainted with the players and basketball-wise I felt real comfortable. But I had to see everything else because I want to enjoy my college experience."

Now, Hood will sit back, let the Louisville visit subside, then sit down with his family to make a decision. FSU was the leader coming into this weekend's visit. We'll soon find out whether Hood's visit to Louisville convinced him to play for the Cardinals next season.

"I want to go somewhere the coaches are going to push me to get better as a player and person," Hood said. "I also want to go somewhere we're going to win. That's a big thing for me. I love to win and I hate to lose. And a place I'm going to have a chance to go pro. Eventually, that's what I want to do, but most importantly I want to win and enjoy college."

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