Checked out the GHPA on Saturday and had nice conversations with Rodney Purvis, Daniel Hamilton and Sam Cassell, Jr. Purvis played in the late game and looked pretty good.
He certainly looked a bit Ferrari-like on this driving lefty layup:
And on this nifty spin move (the second of the two moves in this clip):
Purvis, who had played in a few pro-am games back in Raleigh, N.C. over the past month, said his surgically-repaired shoulder is 100-percent.
He's an even better interview. Here's some of what he had to say:
(on how he's helped Amida Brimah through his own, similar shoulder surgery)
"Any questions he had, I answered all his questions for him, helped him get through whatever he needed as far as helping him. The day of his surgery, I went to go see him, just to make sure he was in great spirits. Because it is a long process, with a six-month recovery. That's my brother, so I had no choice but to be there for him."
Brimah was also at Crosby High on Saturday and reported that his shoulder is coming along fine.
(on just how difficult it was sitting out an entire season as a transfer from NC State)
"I heard from different guys that it was rough on them. Of course it's rough, having to sit out, but I really couldn't play anyway because of my shoulder. It is what it is. I was around a great group of guys, they always kept me in the loop and never made me feel like I was outside. The only thing I didn't do was play in games. Everything else, I did. I felt a part of the team."
(on Kevin Ollie's constant references to him last season as a "Ferrari in the garage, that I can't use")
"I can't believe he said that. I took advantage of everything, going against guys like Shabazz and Boatright in practice every day. I was in Shabazz's ear all the time, trying to pick up different things -- in the room, watching film with him. He really gave me a lot of great feedback before he left."
(on what was the key to UConn's national title)
"We stayed together, no matter what. Any time you saw one of us, there were probably five or six of us. We stayed together. I don't think people understand how far being close off the court carries you on the court. We don't put on a front for Twitter or the media or anything, we're really brothers. We take our relationship seriously among each other."
"I'm really strong on brotherhood, because that's just how I was raised. I saw what a brotherhood could do last season, and we want that same thing this year."
(on how excited he is to play alongside Ryan Boatright this season)
"I honestly feel like, just having the relationship we have off the court, that'll carry onto the court. That was my roommate last year, he kind of took me under his wing, helped me learn a lot of things. Not many people know this, but the whole entire year, me and 'Boat were in the gym every single night playing one-and-one, basically beating each other up, going back to the room not speaking to each other because one of us got the better of each other that one day. I just appreciate Boatright. He's a great guy, I can't wait to play alongside him."
Purvis added that he and Sam Cassell, Jr. are now roommates. He also noted that he checks in at about 205 pounds and noticeably more toned than when he first arrived last year at about 215.
Hamilton and Cassell, Jr. didn't play because they weren't able to get a ride to their scheduled 3 p.m. game. Both believe they'll definitely play next Saturday.
Here's some of what they had to say:
"It's good to get on campus, just working out with the coaches and being able to adjust to the college life."
He said he'll head home to Los Angeles on Aug. 8 for a couple of weeks before returning to Storrs to start classes.
(on his new teammates)
"The funniest dudes I've been around. I just like hanging around them, because it brings joy to me. It reminds me of my brothers. That's why I like the atmosphere. It's just fun to hang around with these dudes and fun to be around this program."
(on how good the team can be this season)
"We are loaded with talent, all we've got to do is play for each other and not worry about what other people have to say. If we just play for one another, we're good enough to be able to repeat."
(on what position he'll play this season)
"I'm not sure where he's going to put me, but I just know when I get out there, he wants me to make plays and contribute to the team. Not just scoring, but rebounding, passing, facilitating, playing defense. Much more than just scoring."
(on DeAndre Daniels, who he knew from growing up in L.A.)
"I'm a little disappointed I couldn't play with him, but I'm happy for him at the same time, to be able to see him make it to the NBA and accomplish that goal. That's big."
"I"m definitely ready to step on the court and put a UConn jersey on."
"I want to be a point guard, but I can play point and two-guard, a combo. I can bring shooting to the team, leadership, defense keeps you on the floor. Whatever it takes for us to win, that's what I'm going to bring."
"It's a guard-oriented offense. K.O.'s a good guy, he knows what he's doing."
"Hard practices make easy games."
(on rumors that his dad was in the running for some NBA head coaching jobs recently)
"That's his goal. He's always wanted to be a head coach."
(on how tough it was being an academic non-qualifier and spending two seasons at Chipola Junior College in Florida)
"It was real tough, just because a lot of my friends went on to play college basketball and I had to take a longer journey. But, in the long run, I'm at the place where I want to be."
Labels: Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Rodney Purvis, Ryan Boatright, Sam Cassell, Shabazz Napier