You know something bad has happened to a UofL team when you get four text messages in four minutes, all from Kentucky fans. Yet while Louisville students were embroiled in the heat of finals week, the inevitable happened. Rodney Purvis, Rick Pitino’s blue chip stud for the 2012 signing class has reopened his recruitment.
As expected, Purvis attributes his decision to Tim Fuller’s flee from Louisville to Missouri. Purvis told ESPN.com “It was hard losing Tim Fuller and then having to focus. I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that I would open up my recruitment.”
Purvis did mention that he “just wants to get to know the new Louisville coaching staff,” and that “Louisville isn’t out of the running.” Still, insiders througout the media and team all know that the chances of Purvis playing in a red and white uniform are dwindling.
It was naive to even begin to think that this wasn’t going to happen. Cardinal Nation was quickly soothed by several tweets from Purvis supporting Louisville after news broke about Fuller’s departure. Purvis’ online musings turned out to be just unbinding statements of 140 characters in length, and not a national letter of intent.
When Pitino unveiled his new assistant coaching staff he was quick to say that all three of his new coaches will be involved in recruiting. This of course is to protect Rick from what has happened today, when Fuller left Louisville he took the bond with Purvis with him. Sure, Pitino called Purvis and his mother several times, but that wasn’t going to replace the constant contact that Fuller and Purvis had.
So where does Pitino and company go from here? That’s tough to say. The additions of Wyking Jones and Kevin Keatts are expected to have the bigger impact on recruiting. Louisville fans will be banking on seeing good work coming from those two.
Eric Crawford said today that he stands behind his previous statement that this is the strongest the Louisville Basketball program has been since 1986. Yes, no one player makes up the program. Still, Wildcats fans are laughing in our faces. Pitino has now lost his two prized big shot recruits for 2012 and is left with no commitments for that year. There is no need to pronounce this as the death of Cardinal Basketball, but the loss of Purvis is another domino in a long line of bad news for the Cards in 2011.