April 30, 2008

Peggau considers his options

Like the auto insurance commercial tells us, life comes at you fast. Rodrigo Peggau is proof of that.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward from The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., has experienced many changes over the past few months and he's handled them all very well. Early in the fall he was targeted by many of the major college basketball programs including Texas A&M, Maryland and Arizona. Ultimately, he signed with James Madison of the Colonial Athletic Association.

After that he transferred from the Calverton School in Huntington, Md., to The Patterson School and played in five games before suffering a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

"I jumped and the ball was under me and the floor was wet," Peggau said. "I fell on the ball and then the floor and my knee cracked; it hurt. I tried to play but I went to the doctor's again and he said if I don't' stop I was going to tear my ACL, so I stopped."

During those first five games at Patterson, Peggau averaged about 10 points per game. That's impressive considering his team rotated in about 15 players per game.

The injury was tough enough on Peggau, but then he learned James Madison head coach Dean Kenner had resigned Feb. 22. Matt Brady was hired Mar. 26 and shortly after that he released Peggau from his signed letter of intent.

Now Peggau holds offers from the College of Charleston, Marshall, St. Louis, Kent State and Ole' Miss. He made an official visit to Charleston last weekend and he hopes to visit more schools in the near future.

"Charleston was wonderful. The place was nice and there were lots of girls; it was good," he said. "I'm going to try and visit Kent State, it will probably be the next one; I'm going to see what happens. My schedule is kind of tough because I have a lot to do with school and have to catch up. I'm missing lot of class because of doctor's appointments and the visit last weekend."

Adding to Peggau's scheduling difficulties is impending knee surgery. He's scheduled to have his torn meniscus repaired on Monday, leaving him with four weeks of rehabilitation that could affect his travel schedules.

Wherever he lands, Peggau knows he can be an instant contributor, but not because of his basketball skills alone. He said the greatest attribute to his game is his willingness to sacrifice his body to make a play.

"I'm more hustle than technique," he said. "I'm the guy that sees a dead ball and it's not dead for me; I'll jump on it. I don't care if I bust teeth; I'm going to jump on it. A lot of college coaches tell me that they appreciate how I play hard."

Peggau said he developed his work ethic playing in his native Brazil where he started playing basketball in the third grade and played the European style of basketball until he left for the United States after his eleventh grade season.

"Playing in Brazil, it's different," he said. "Basketball in the states is a lot faster. We played more five on five in Brazil and had a lot of plays and set up plays. I love the US especially the physical part of the game. There's more contact; I like that."

Peggau will have four years of eligibilty when he chooses a college.

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