PEMBROKE — Rahu Purdie is all about team success.
That’s why, despite his individual accomplishments with the Lander men’s basketball team, the 2017-18 season has been frustrating for the White Oak native.
As a freshman, Purdie experienced success right out of the gate in Greenwood, S.C., helping Lander earn a Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship.
Now, one of just five upperclassmen on the roster, the junior guard is keeping things in perspective as he continues to grow in a leadership role with the Bearcats (7-13, 3-11 PBC).
“This time last year, I’d probably be ready to kill somebody,” said Purdie, who is averaging a team-best 16.5 points per game this season.
“It’s just about having faith in my teammates no matter what and remaining confident in myself. I know I’m a good player. I know there will be brighter days so I just try to stay even keel about it.”
Known for his work ethic dating back to his days as a standout at West Bladen High School, Purdie continues to impress with his offensive prowess. The 5-foot-9 guard is a top-10 scorer in the PBC and leads the league in made free throws.
He only went to the charity stripe once in an 87-77 loss at UNCP on Tuesday, but he displayed his ability to knock down freebies in Lander’s 110-106 overtime win at North Georgia on Jan. 24.
Purdie knocked down 17 of his 18 free throws against the Nighthawks in a 30-point performance for the Bearcats.
He credits a relentless mentality when discussing his ability to get to the free-throw line.
“As far as free throws, there’s only a few things (defenders) can do,” he said. “I just try to stay in attack mode as much as possible.”
Purdie scored 16 points and dished out four assists against the Braves on Tuesday night. After dropping just two points in the first half, Purdie tallied 14 after the break to give his supporters — who were littered throughout the Jones Center — something to remember.
“It’s always good coming back home,” he said. “I always try to play hard and put on a show for my family whenever I come home. Despite my season, it’s always good.”
As a senior at West Bladen, Purdie was named the Four County Conference’s Player of the Year and led the Knights to a conference title.
Lander will be back in action on Saturday at Flagler.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.