T.J. DiLeo, Rodney Purvis

Former N.C. State guard Rodney Purvis transfers to UConn

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While the decision of N.C. State guard Rodney Purvis to transfer came as a surprise to some, his destination is no surprise at all.

As first reported by Joe Giglio of the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, Purvis has decided to transfer to UConn. Purvis, who averaged 8.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in his lone season at N.C. State, will be required to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Purvis chose to remain in his home state during the recruiting process (in high school), picking the Wolfpack with UConn considered to be a close second by many who followed his recruitment.

In Giglio’s story Purvis acknowledged his relationship with UConn head coach Kevin Ollie as one reason for his decision to join the program.

“I really trust coach Ollie,” Purvis said Friday. “They have a great tradition of producing NBA guards and that’s where I want to be someday.”

Due to APR (Academic Progress Rate) issues the Huskies were ineligible for postseason play this year and that sapped their depth, with two players heading to the NBA (Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb) and three others (most notably Alex Oriakhi) deciding to transfer.

But in Ollie’s first season as head coach UConn managed to win 20 games with guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright leading the way. With those two expected to return, along with rising sophomore Omar Calhoun and a front court that will receive a much-needed boost with the arrival of Kentan Facey and Amida Brimah, UConn should return to the NCAA tournament in 2014.

Purvis will help the guards (which includes incoming freshman Terrence Samuel) in practice, and once eligible the McDonald’s All-American has the talent to be one of the best players in the newly-named American Athletic Conference.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Utah State denies transfer David Collette a release

David Collette Goodluck Okonoboh
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Utah State has denied former forward David Collette a release, saying that his decision to leave the program two days before the start of the season left them without an adequate way to replace last season’s second-leading scorer and was unduly influenced by tampering from other coaching staffs.

“I think there were a lot of factors in play that, unfortunately, have become a trend in college basketball of schools poaching other schools’ players,” head coach Tim Duryea said in a Nov. 11th release announcing the transfer. “I don’t feel good and don’t like how things transpired.”

But that’s not how Collette, who averaged 12.8 points as a redshirt freshman, said things went down. He says he left the team because he and Duryea did not get along. Duryea was a longtime assistant for former head coach Stew Morrill.

The allegations Collette has made range from worrisome to embarrassingly petty. He told Yahoo! Sports and ESPN that the team was told not to tell anyone about a fight in practice, that the school immediately pulled all his athletic aid and that they went as far as to change his measurements on the team site from 6-foot-10, 235 pounds to 6-foot-8, 220 pounds.

Now trying to keep a practice fight off the media’s radar isn’t a huge issue; they happen more than you think and are a bigger deal as a headline than in the locker room. And if Collette is no longer on the team, he is no longer doing the work required to get that aid. Nothing wrong with that, either.

But changing what he’s listed at on the team site? Refusing to release, which prohibits him from being recruited by other coaching staffs and will force him to pay his own way at his new school for two semesters?

Bitter, petty and unnecessary.

This story is now a headline on three of the biggest sports websites. Pretty soon Jay Bilas will be railing against it on twitter, and probably on a broadcast, too; Utah State plays Duke on Sunday on ESPNU.

This is going to be a wave of negative publicity for a Utah State program that A) doesn’t make many national headlines, and B) might actually be pretty good this year.

Is that really worth getting revenge on some college sophomore that doesn’t like playing for you?

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.