Purvis transferring to Connecticut

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 05, 2013
North Carolina State freshman Rodney Purvis says he's heading to Connecticut. Four days after announcing he would transfer, Purvis said Friday afternoon in a brief phone interview that he planned to play for the Huskies. The school had granted Purvis a release to transfer to any school outside the Atlantic Coast Conference except Missouri and Cincinnati, which the program plans to add to its nonconference schedule. The ACC ban includes eventual new arrivals Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville. Purvis would have to sit out a year before taking the court for the Huskies. In a statement at the time of his announcement, Purvis said he needed ''a fresh start'' and to ''step outside of my comfort zone'' by going elsewhere. By Friday, he had tweeted he was ''feeling Husky!!!!!!'' UConn athletics spokesman Phil Chardis said the school doesn't comment on athletes unless they're part of a team's roster. Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie had recruited Purvis out of high school while he was an assistant to former coach Jim Calhoun. Instead, Purvis chose to stay home. The guard from Raleigh Upper Room was the Associated Press men's player of the year for North Carolina in 2012 and one of three McDonald's All-Americans to join the hometown Wolfpack before season. He averaged 8.3 points and started 23 of the first 25 games, though his minutes fell off when the Wolfpack elevated freshman forward T.J. Warren into the starting lineup to give the team some size and rebounding. Purvis scored a total of 12 points and averaged just 12.8 minutes in his final four games, three coming in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and the last in the loss to Temple in the Wolfpack's NCAA tournament opener. Purvis' departure was the latest move in a turnover-filled offseason for the Wolfpack, who fell far short of expectations that had N.C. State entering the year as the ACC favorite and with a No. 6 national ranking. N.C. State already knew it was losing seniors Richard Howell and Scott Wood, then juniors C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown announced their expected early jumps to the NBA. Connecticut will be a member of the newly named American Athletic Conference next year after the split of the former Big East's football and basketball schools.
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