Since Mike Krzyzewski took over and built an empire at Duke, he had just three transfers into his program — until Rodney Hood came along. The left-handed prospect who played at Mississippi State last year makes No. 4 for Krzyzewski and Duke.
When Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury indicated in March that he was retiring, Hood decided he would leave Starksville, too. As one of the top freshmen in the SEC, Stansbury had many suitors. It was hard for him to pass on Duke, which took in Seth Curry in 2009 as a transfer from Liberty.
Hood will sit out the upcoming season, but he will have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013-14. Said Coach K in a statement: “We are very happy to add Rodney to our program. We recruited him out of high school and followed his progress at Mississippi State, where he had an outstanding year. We believe that with him sitting out a year and getting prepared he will have a huge positive impact on our program.”
Hood is a left-handed wing player who, at 6-foot-8, and averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists per game in his first college season. For Duke, he will be like an incoming freshman when he is eligible, adding to what promised to be another strong class for the Blue Devils.
But if Michael Gbinije had not transferred to Syracuse, a spot for Hood might not have been available at Duke. that’s where it opened the position for a guy like Rodney to come in and have a big impact right away,” assistant coach Chris Collins said.
Added Collins: “We recruited him to be an impact player,” Collins said. “He’s got a very smooth game – very skilled, great feel. He can pass, he can finish, he can score. Talking to people in their league, they felt like he was a super-talented guy who had a chance to be a big-time player as he got older and got stronger.”