Hood considering Louisville's late pitch

Rodney Hood, the No. 12 small forward in the Class of 2011, has narrowed his list to seven schools and is scheduling official visits. With two visits already set, Hood is trying to figure out who else he'll check out. Louisville, which recently has made a strong push for inclusion on Hood's list, is under strong consideration for an official visit.

Rodney Hood, a 6'7, 180-pound small forward from Meridian, Mississippi, says he's considering Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Mississippi State, Marquette, Alabama and Louisville.

A Scout.com four-star prospect, Hood is rated the No. 12 small forward in the Class of 2011. A standout at the NBA Top 100 Camp in June, Hood made a strong impression on college coaches during the July evaluation period, including Louisville's Rick Pitino.

Now, the talented wing prospect is in the process of setting up official visits.

"I've got a couple visits set up," Hood told InsideTheVille.com. "At the beginning of September I'm going to Florida State (9-4) and at the end of September I'm supposed to be going to Georgia Tech (9-25). Right now I don't know about the others."

Hood made unofficial visits to both programs last year.

"Georgia Tech is a good school, they've got a good coaching staff and they have history getting people to the pros," Hood said. "[Florida State] has got a great coaching staff, and Coach [Leonard] Hamilton has coached in the NBA and it's a great atmosphere."

Rodney Hood is in the process of setting official visits.
While FSU and Georgia Tech have been recruiting Hood for a while, Pitino's Cardinals jumped in late during the evaluation period last month. Apparently, Hood's play at the King City Classic in Ohio left a strong impression on the Louisville head coach, who is making a late play to lure the rising prospect.

"They came in kind of late but I've talked to Rick Pitino and they sound like they really have a lot of interest in me," Hood said. "After I went to LeBron's camp they called me and apologized for coming in late because they had never seen me play. They said they wanted to see if they could get in late."

Late or not to the party, Hood said he's interested in Louisville.

"I've got a better relationship with Florida State, Georgia Tech and Alabama because they've been there since the ninth or tenth grade but it really doesn't matter," Hood said. "I'm just looking for a place where I fit."

"I feel like it's [Louisville] a good situation. I've got a lot of interest," added Hood. "I've watched Louisville in the past and I like how they play."

During a recent conversation with Pitino, Hood said the UofL told him he'd fit nicely into the Cardinals' up-tempo style.

"He talked about where he sees me playing in their system," Hood said. "He's got a lot of people to the pros and he's a great coach that's got lots of history behind him."

Louisville is trying to persuade Hood to make an official visit this fall before he makes his decision.

"I'm still trying to figure out [if I'm going to visit Louisville]," said Hood. "They've got a good chance [to get a visit]."

Hood doesn't claim to have any leaders in his recruitment.

"Right now nobody is above anybody else," said Hood. "First of all I'm considering the style of play. That's a big factor. The coaching staff and atmosphere [are considerations]. I want to go to a big time school. I've just got to get a feel for the school on my visit."

Hood said he wants to play for a program that pushes the tempo at both ends of the court.

"I like to get up and down the court and get after it on defense," Hood said. "I like to come off pick and rolls and show of my offensive skills. I got better skill-wise [this summer]. Last year I was pretty much a passer and a distributor. This summer I worked on my scoring and just got stronger and more aggressive."

Louisville's style of offense, which has produced NBA forwards Francisco Garcia, Earl Clark and Terrence Williams of late, is one reason Hood is considering the Cardinals late recruiting pitch.

"I feel like all of them really fit my style of play," Hood said. "Georgia Tech runs a lot of screens for their wing players not just their point guard and I know Louisville does that, too."

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