FILE - Multiple reports Saturday night have former Mississippi State guard Rodney Hood deciding to transfer to Duke University. The former four-star recruit out of Meridian High School was reportedly down to the Blue Devils or Ohio State University. Photo by: MSU athletics
June 30, 2012 9:39:27 PM
STARKVILLE - Multiple reports have former Mississippi State guard Rodney Hood heading to Duke University.
Both Dave Telep of ESPN.com and Fox Sports' Evan Daniels have reported Saturday evening the former Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Mississippi is headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse coached by college basketball's all-time leader in wins Mike Krzyzewski.
As late as last week Hood had narrowed his choices down to Duke and Ohio State University and a decision from the Hood family was expected in the coming days.
Multiple attempts Saturday evening to verify the reports with Hood by The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog via phone messages and text messages were not successful.
At the time of Hood's announcement that he would not be continuing his college basketball career in Starkville, new MSU head coach Rick Ray downplayed the news saying the decision "was made before" he was hired as the school's 19th men's basketball coach to replace Rick Stansbury. Stansbury, the school's all-time leader in wins, retired after 14 seasons as head coach in late March.
Hood was named to the All Southeastern Conference freshman team after averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds this past season. He suffered a deep bone bruise to his left knee in a 73-64 loss to the University of Kentucky on Feb. 21 in Starkville and the injury caused him to miss the next game against the University of Alabama and then didn't play more than 21 minutes in the next three games. In what would be his final game in an MSU jersey, Hood had eight points in 45 minutes in a season-ending 101-96 double-overtime loss to the University of Massachusetts in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on March 13.
According to NCAA transfer rules, Hood must sit out the upcoming 2012-13 season and can't travel with the active Blue Devils players but will be able to practice once he enrolls in school.
Hood will be joined on Duke's inactive roster this season by guard Andre Dawkins after Krzyzewski announced his intention to redshirt on June 21 in his summer media teleconference.
The Blue Devils finished last season with a 27-6 record and earned a two-seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. However, Lehigh University upset Duke 75-70 in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
Hood's departure back in April means Ray will have a Bulldogs roster this season that lost six of its top seven scorers from a team that averaged 63.8 points per game in the 2011-12 campaign.
The loss of Hood, the 16th-best recruit in the country two years ago according to Rivals.com, means sophomore forward Roquez Johnson (3.2 minutes per game in 14 contests last season) is the only remaining member of five-man 2011 recruiting class under Stansbury.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. Freedom Creek Festival: Still deliverin' the blues ENTERTAINMENT