Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:54 am

Rodney Purvis: Duke, N.C. State sit atop his list

By Jeff Goodman

Rodney Purvis has been busy since his de-commitment from Louisville last month.

The top-ranked shooting guard in the Class of 2012 spent last weekend at the Chris Paul Camp and followed it up with an unofficial visit to Missouri – where ex-Louisville assistant Tim Fuller is now on staff.

Purvis will also head to the NBA Camp this week and plans to attend LeBron James’ Skills Academy in early July.

``If Tim Fuller had stayed at Louisville, I’d still be committed,” the 6-foot-3 guard admitted.

Purvis said that he is in the process of compiling a definitive list, but he did admit that two schools that stand at the top right now are Duke and N.C. State.

``Those are probably the two that have been on me the hardest,” he said.

Purvis also told Scout.com recently that Kentucky, Louisville and Memphis comprised the remainder of his top five
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 12:05 pm

Kansas appears set to host ex-Louisville pledge

By Jeff Goodman

After missing on DeAndre Daniels, Kansas has focused on another potential late addition.

Former Louisville commit Ryan Taylor is expected to take an unofficial visit to Lawrence this weekend, according to his uncle/high school coach, Paul Handley.

Handley told CBSSports.com that Kansas coach Bill Self called and offered a scholarship on Monday.

Handley also said the 6-foot-6 Taylor is just a couple points shy on his test score – and took another shot at it this past weekend. Louisville coach Rick Pitino, according to sources, did not feel as though Taylor would qualify academically - and also wasn’t quite as high on his abilities as he was a couple years ago.

Taylor, who transferred to Louisville Western High prior to this past season after three years at Lawrence North in Indianapolis, also has offers – per Handley – from West Virginia, Indiana and South Carolina.

However, a source close to the Indiana program told CBSSports.com that the Hoosiers have not offered Taylor.  

``He still loves Louisville, but I don’t know if they have a scholarship now,” Handley said. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:31 am

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

By Matt Norlander

Rick Pitino's capability for a good quote has too often gone overlooked. Thankfully, in the doldrums of June, college basketball's second-worst month of the year (only August is worse), Pitino has delivered some fighting words. Words that will have some lasting impact by the time Kentucky and Louisville play each other around New Year's Eve.

And the words aren't even directed at Kentucky -- they're a shot at the SEC. The Louisville coach sent a verbal barb flying Wednesday in the direction of the conference, a clear response to something John Calipari said last week.

After the SEC ditched its two-division format, opting to have one league with 12 teams, giving the league a better chance at more NCAA tournament teams, Cal said, "This is no knock on the Big East but they’ve had 19 teams in the tournament the last two years and how many have made it by the first round? How is this happening? When they start playing each other they say the 11th team is really good. What? We have to figure out how you play the best schedule you can play and still win. That’s different for all of us. I think that’s more important than 16 or 18 (conference) games." 

Card Chronicle also brings up the fact Calipari, in March, said the Big East is a product of "media hype." So Pitino, the former Kentucky coach who led them to a title in '96, clearly knew what he was doing when he said this:

The coach jabbed back just a bit tonight at a Cardinal Caravan event in Shelbyville. When introducing his son, Richard, to the crowd, he said:

"(Richard) went away for a couple of years to learn how to do things in a second-rate league, then get back to the big time."

Richard Pitino spent the past two seasons in the SEC as an assistant under Billy Donovan, a Pitino disciple. It's as much a playful jab as it is an under-the-surface shot. And a truthful one. The Big East has been a better league than the SEC for most of its existence. Undeniable. And Kentucky, you'll remember, saw its 2011 season end in the Final Four at the hands of Connecticut, a Big East team.

Photo: AP
Posted on: June 9, 2011 7:39 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 7:41 pm

George Goode returns home to Missouri

By Jeff Borzello

George Goode apparently didn’t want to waste much time with his transfer decision.

On Wednesday, the Louisville graduate told CBSSports.com he was down to Kansas State, Missouri and Morehead State for his next destination.

Thursday night, the Raytown, Mo., native tweeted that he was returning home.

“Next year I will be takin my talents to the University of Missouri,” Goode wrote.

The 6-foot-8 forward will provide a frontcourt boost immediately for the Tigers, who only have three inside players on the roster.

Goode averaged 2.9 points in 8.0 minutes last season with Louisville. He will be eligible immediately due to an NCAA rule that allows players to transfer for a final year of eligibility if they graduate in four years and their current school doesn't have their desired graduate program.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 9:52 pm

Louisville grad George Goode considering three

By Jeff Borzello

It's been a whirlwind four years for George Goode.

When he first arrived at Louisville, Goode was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and had to sit out his entire freshman season after the minimum on core-curriculum requirements was raised. Now, Goode could be on the verge of taking advantage of a different NCAA rule that gives him the opportunity to transfer for a final year of eligiblity at a different school.

On Wednesday, Goode told CBSSports.com he was down to Kansas State, Missouri and Morehead State for his next destination.

While Goode has not yet visited any of the three schools involved, he has the ability to provide a frontcourt boost to whichever program he chooses.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Raytown, Mo. averaged 2.9 points in 8.0 minutes per game last season for the Cardinals.

Posted on: June 8, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 4:01 pm

Three Louisville players give up scholarships

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Despite its loss to Morehead State in last year’s NCAA tournament, there will be an embarrassment of riches in Louisville next season. Need proof?

On Tuesday, head coach Rick Pitino announced three players, including top returning scorer Kyle Kuric, would give up their scholarships and become walk-ons in the fall.

Joining Kuric, who averaged 10.6 points last season, will be Chris Smith and Elisha Justice. All three were originally taken as non-scholarship players, but were put on scholarship at various points during their Cardinals’ careers.

“We’ve been very up front with everybody,” Pitino said. “Those guys weren’t supposed to be on scholarship but they were.”

Smith is the younger brother of NBA guard J.R. Smith and Kuric’s father is a brain surgeon. Justice turned down scholarship offers to walk-on at Louisville. While I don't know for a fact, obviously, money doesn’t look like it will be much of an issue.

Of course, the primary reason for removing scholarships from these three players is the scholarship issue. At times, Louisville had up to 19 listed scholarship players. Since then, George Goode left and Tony Woods and Ryan Taylor have decided not to attend Louisville.

With Kuric, Smith and Justice giving up their scholarships, Pitino is now down to 13 players on scholarship (the number does include George Mason transfer Luke Hancock, who will sit out this upcoming season).

Yes, it’s conceivable that Louisville can go three-deep at each position with scholarship-caliber players.

Like I said, embarrassment of riches.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Tags: Louisville
Posted on: June 7, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:26 pm

Younger Pitino will not head for Boston U.

Louisville assistant Richard Pitino during his days at Florida.

Posted by Eric Angevine

Richard Pitino is one of the hottest young names in coaching. The son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino is just 28 years old, but he's been mentioned as the top candidate for the open Boston University job, which was vacated when Patrick Chambers headed off to Penn State.

Boston's Daily Free Press blog Full Court Press followed up on a tweet by CBS Sports hoops pundit Jon Rothstein, which stated that the Pitino progeny was not a candidate at BU:

The 28-year-old Pitino rejoined his father Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville in April after a two-year stint as an assistant at the University of Florida under Billy Donovan. His arrival was part of an overhaul of Pitino's staff after former assistant Steve Masiello left to become the head coach at Manhattan College and former assistant Tim Fuller left for a similar position at the University of Missouri after just one season on the Cardinals' staff, a departure that prompted Pitino to consider a two-year commitment contract from anyone he brings on to his staff.

"Richard is under contract for two years," the elder Pitino said in a press conference today. "If the greatest job in America came up next year, he is not going anywhere."
If it seems rash to offer a head-coaching job to a 28-year-old with a big name, consider this: Pitino the Younger was also considered for the job in 2009, when he was just 26. At that time, it was Chambers who ended up getting the job, leading to his brief reign over the Terriers.

Louisville AD Tom Jurich has denied rumors that Richard Pitino was brought aboard as the eventual successor to his father. The elder Pitino is only 58 years old, makes more money than anyone else in college hoops, and seems to be in good health, so it seems more likely that his son will eventually get his head coaching career started at another school around the time he turns 30.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:58 am

2013 big Kennedy Meeks with plenty of interest


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – He may go by “Baby,” but Kennedy Meeks is a grown man on the basketball court.

Meeks is listed at 6-foot-8 and 260 lbs., and dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him in the paint. He has great hands and knows how to finish at the rim with post moves and a soft touch. Meeks can pass out of a double team, and is also a very solid rebounder. The West Charlotte (N.C.) product is improving all facets of his game.

One of the top centers in the class of 2013, Meeks is receiving tons of college interest.

“Everybody in the ACC besides Duke and Georgia Tech,” Meeks said. “Also, Georgetown, Louisville and North Florida.”

North Florida? “North Florida.”

Meeks said his favorites are Georgetown and Maryland, and he wants to check out the campuses of Maryland and Miami (Fl.) at some point in July.

The exceptional campaigns by Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and Maryland’s Jordan Williams over the last two seasons are part of the reason Meeks is drawn to those two programs – they utilize their post players.

“They feed the big man,” he said. “I want to go to a place where they use their big man.”

Despite his nickname, Meeks certainly fits the profile.

Photo: Charlotte Observer
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com