This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Danjel Purifoy's AAU coach: no academic and off-court issues as reason for transfer

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: May 21, 2014 - 11:11 AM

Minnesota is just one of an avalanche worth of schools highly interested in Danjel Purifoy. 

And given the 2015 small forward's anticipated move for his senior year, the attention could continue to grow.

Purifoy, a four-star athlete who is ranked 65th nationally according to rivals.com and 38th according to ESPN, still hasn't reached his recruiting peak if you ask AAU coach, Atlanta Xpress' Chris Williams. 

"He's a top-30 kid in the country and he wants to be ranked higher and get the national attention he should be getting," Williams said.

That, to hear Williams tell it, is why Purifoy decided to leave Bibb County, a rural high school "in the sticks" of Central Alabama and pursue other options for his senior year. According to Williams, Purifoy is considering Monteverde, Oak Hill and Arlington Country Day, among others.

Bibb County coach Russ Wallace has a different story, telling the Star Tribune that Purifoy "has not done the things that he has needed to do to stay in our basketball program," without specifying what those things are. 

Williams insisted Purifoy doesn't have any academic or off-the-court issues.

According to Rivals, Purifoy has drawn interest from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi and SMU, among others. Minnesota offered in the open recruiting period in late April, after seeing him play at an AAU tournament in Pittsburgh. The Gophers' staff extended a scholarship offer to teammate, center Doral Moore the same weekend.

Around that time, Purifoy told 247sports that Michigan, Georgia, Wichita State, Auburn and Alabama were recruiting him the hardest, and then told the Baltimore Sun that Maryland, Kentucky and Wichita State were his top three. Williams told the Star Tribune Purifoy doesn't have any favorites.

Purifoy, a 6-7, 185-pound forward is versatile enough to play the point guard, shooting guard, small forward or power forward, Williams said. 

"He can put the ball on the floor," Williams said. "He loves to defend. That's what he does best. He goes and meets whoever's going to the rim and he's blocking it every time. He just loves to play basketball altogether."

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