Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rodney Purvis reflects on loss of his "brother"; takes full accountability for his poor start

As we chronicled back in July, Rodney Purvis lost his longtime friend - the closest he ever had to a real brother - over the summer. Tyrek Coger, who had an enlarged heart, collapsed during the sweltering heat of offseason workouts and died at age 22.

Purvis had been relishing the chance to play against his "brother" at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, when UConn faces Oklahoma State on Monday night. Now, he can only wonder what would have been, as Coger never even got the chance to don the Cowboys' uniform.

"I'm just gonna go out and have fun, and just play like he was on the court," Purvis said on Saturday.

(Purvis also lost his foster brother, LaQuan Anderson, in August. Anderson was found murdered behind a Raleigh, North Carolina home).

Purvis wouldn't blame his slow start this season on the loss of Coger, though he admits he wishes he would have handled the situation differently.

In fact, he addressed his poor start to his teammates in a players-only meeting in Los Angeles the other day, assuming full responsibility.

"I told them myself, I have to play better, and they know that," he said. "I'm taking it like a man. People can say what they want to say, but I'm gonna play better. Trust me, I'm gonna play better."

We'll have a preview of the Oklahoma State game on Sunday.

Meanwhile, while the Huskies were out in Los Angeles for Thursday's bout with Loyola Marymount, assistant coaches Ricky Moore and Dwayne Killings took a look at some local players, including Class of 2018 shooting guard David Singleton, point guard Brandon Williams and 6-11 Fred Odhiambo.





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