A person with direct knowledge of the Rodney Hood transfer situation has told Busting Brackets that Duke has emerged as the frontrunner to land the former Mississippi State forward.
Hood, a versatile 6-foot-8 wing who averaged 10.3 points and started 29 games last season as a freshman with the Bulldogs, will visit Duke either June 14 or 15 and make an official announcement shortly thereafter.
Hood had to reschedule his trip to Durham—originally set for last week—to accommodate a scheduling conflict.
Ohio State, the other major player in the Hood sweepstakes, is currently hosting the Mississippi State transfer on an unofficial visit. At Ohio State, Hood would get to reunite with former AAU teammate and fellow Mississippian LaQuinton Ross. Ross, hoping to leverage his connection with Hood to lure him to Columbus, volunteered as Hood’s player host on the visit.
Hood has already made a trip to Baylor and had previously expressed interest in visiting Florida State. Both schools are long-shots, however, at this juncture. Hood also made a stop in Memphis on Tuesday for an official visit.
According to my source, Duke and Ohio State remain the two frontrunners to land Hood, with the Blue Devils momentarily in the lead. Of course, that can change at any time given the fickle and fluid nature of the decision process.
Although Ohio State can pitch Ross while making its last-ditch recruiting efforts, Duke has a few advantages working in its favor as well.
Hood grew up a Duke fan, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski never extended him a scholarship offer while he was in high school. Duke also has the added bonus of being Hood’s last visit. That means Coach K and his staff will have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression before Hood makes his announcement, presumably in the days to follow.
A former McDonald’s All-American in high school and All-SEC Freshman honoree at Mississippi State, Hood will have three years of eligibility remaining wherever he chooses. He would have to sit out the 2012-2013 season in accordance with NCAA rules regarding transfers.