Posted: 4/14/2012 5:18:15 PM
The word floating around Twitter is that Duke is making a hard push for Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood. There had been some speculation, and I wrote about it last week, that Duke may go after Hood who announced he'd be leaving Miss. State following the dismissal of its head coach.
And that was prior to the decision of class of 2012 No. 2 prospect Shabazz Muhammad. The Blue Devils were hoping to get a commitment from their top target but he chose UCLA instead.
Hood would fill the role as an athletic and lanky forward if he were to choose the Blue Devils as his next team.
With Muhammad out of the mix, a roster spot is open for a potential transfer, even if Duke lands any of their remaining targets from the class of 2012.
Wayne Gooch of Blue Devils Reign.com tweeted yesterday that the Blue Devils looked to be pretty interested.
@Bluedevilsreign: Duke is all in on Miss St transfer Rodney Hood.
Clint Jackson, ACC Basketball Analyst for Rivals.com also tweeted that Duke was actively pursuing Hood.
@clintjackson1: Looks like Duke is pursuing Rodney Hood with some intensity
While there has been no verbal confirmation from Hood that he is interested in Duke, apparently he did an interview with BlueDevilNation.com in 2009 where he said that he had grown up a fan of the Blue Devils.
Now anyone who follows recruiting, even a little bit, knows that a player's childhood team doesn't necessarily become their college team even if they are good enough to go there. It has to be a good fit.
So would Hood be a good fit at Duke? Well at 6-foot-8 and currently listed at about 205 pounds, Hood isn't going to be a low post banger, which is what a lot of Duke fans feel the Blue Devils have been missing.
He is more of a tall small forward but again he is athletic and could create some match up concerns. As a freshman at Miss. State Hood averaged 10 points and almost 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game while playing about 33 minutes per game.
He obviously would have to sit out the 2012-2013 season but would provide a valuable, and talented player in practice and allow him a year to acclimate to the Duke system.
Now there are a lot of ifs and it isn't really known how interested Hood is in Duke. The Blue Devils are recruiting Jabari Parker and Julius Randle from the class of 2013 hard and both are forwards that Hood might have to compete with.
There could be some risk and reward for the Blue Devils by going after and landing Hood if Randle or Parker see him as fulfilling a similar role. It could turn one or both off or of course it could have no affect at all.
It is still early and no time table for his decision has been announced but it is a situation worthy of keeping an eye on. And even if it won't affect Duke on the court in 2012-2013 he potentially has an affect on the recruitment of Randle and Parker and what goes on on the court in 2013-2014.
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