RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 26: Rodney Purvis #0 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack encourages the crowd to get loud during a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at PNC Arena on January 26, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
NC State transfer Rodney Purvis won't see the court for the Huskies until the 2014-15 season, but he was hoping to keep his skills honed against top-flight competition as a member of the U-19 US National Team. Purvis spent the last week facing off against some of the best guards in the country -- Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Texas‘ Javan Felix.
“With Rasheed he’s really quick off the dribble and he can really shoot and he has a really quick release, and same thing with Marcus,” Purvis told SNY.tv before the final cuts.
“Marcus is more so stronger, so if he feels like he’s a little bit stronger, he will take you to the post. Both of those guys are unique in their own ways, both of them are great players.
By Sunday, when USA Basketball announced the 16 finalists for the 2013 squad, Purvis wasn't on it.
"We had 26 really, really good players and all of the guys made the selection very, very difficult," U-19 and University of Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
For now, Purvis is left to work out and practice with the Huskies, but he'll have to sit out the season as part of the rules governing transfers.
“It’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to it,” he told SNY.tv. “It was my decision to make knowing that I have to sit out. I just can’t wait. I’m around a lot of great guys who just the love the game of basketball. Practices are going to be my games, so I’m just going to enjoy that until it’s my time to play.”
Still, Purvis expects big things from UConn this season.
“I think we can be really good,” he said. “We got 20 wins last year and we couldn’t play any [postseason] tournaments or anything like that, so I really feel we have a great future.
“We have some pretty good young guys coming in, a lot of length and a lot of height. That’s what kind of hurt us a little bit last year. But I feel like this year and in the future we’ll be really, really good.”