N.C. State freshman Purvis won't make exhibition trip to Spain

jgiglio@newsobserver.comAugust 4, 2012 

Rodney Purvis

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

— N.C. State’s basketball team will make its trip to Spain without freshman guard Rodney Purvis.

Purvis, a McDonald’s All-American from Raleigh, has not been cleared by the NCAA, N.C. State announced Saturday. The Wolfpack is scheduled to leave for a five-game trip to Spain and the Canary Islands Sunday.

Purvis’ high school, Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh, is under an extended review by the NCAA. Purvis is a member of the first graduating class from the private school, which is located just south of downtown.

Upper Room, which has classes from preschool through the 12th grade, opened in 2001 and had 54 students in its high school grades this past academic year. Given Purvis’ class is the first to graduate, and he’s the first basketball player to go through the NCAA’s eligibility center, the NCAA Clearinghouse, the review is considered a normal step in the eligibility process.

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said in a statement released by the school that he was hopeful Purvis would be cleared in time to join the team in Spain. The Pack is scheduled to play its first exhibition game Tuesday in Madrid. It will play two games in Madrid and three in the Canary Islands.

Purvis, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, is expected to replace C.J. Williams in the Wolfpack’s starting lineup. State returns four starters from a 24-13 team in Gottfried’s first season.

“Obviously the timing is not ideal,” Gottfried said in the statement. “I’m disappointed he will not travel Sunday. He could join us once the process is completed, but my primary focus is making sure Rodney is ready to pursue his goals at NC State over the next four years.”

All three of the Pack’s freshmen additions – Purvis, point guard Tyler Lewis and forward T.J. Warren – were named McDonald’s All-Americans last March. With junior guard Lorenzo Brown recovering from minor knee surgery, both Lewis and Warren, a highly touted shooter, could start in Spain.

Earlier this summer, Purvis helped USA basketball win the FIBA Americas under-18 tournament in Brazil. Purvis averaged 7 points.

In April, he had 22 points in the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte and was named co-MVP of the game.

In limited practice time at the end of July, Purvis impressed Gottfried with his aggressiveness.

“He’s so quick and strong,” Gottfried said at his summer press conference. “He gets the ball in the open floor and he’s hard to contain.”

Under NCAA rules, LSU transfer Ralston Turner cannot make the trip to Spain, either, which means the only healthy scholarship guards on the trip will be Lewis and senior Scott Wood, who has spent some time at the point in summer practice.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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