Rutgers basketball recruiting: Royce Parham adds multiple offers since mid-June

Royce Parham gets multiple offers since being offered by Rutgers in mid-June.

Pittsburgh power forward Royce Parham pulled in an offer from Rutgers basketball in mid-June. Since then, he has two more offers including one on Tuesday.

A 6-foot-8 power forward at North Hills (Pittsburgh, PA), Parham is fast becoming one of the most highly-recruited class of 2024 prospects in the region.

North Hills went 26-2 last season.

Parham was offered by Rutgers on June 15. One day after, he got an offer from VCU and then on Tuesday, he pulled in a Xavier offer.

He also holds offers from Duquense, George Mason, Penn State, Pittsburgh and TCU in addition to his three offers over the past three weeks.

He plays for the prestigious Team Durant, one of the top AAU programs in the nation. The club was founded by NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

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Parham is a good defender. He drives to the basketball well, is solid on the dribble and has some nice range to his game. Comfortable in the post, he can also step back and shoot.

Rutgers currently has one recruit in the class of 2024. In early June, they landed a commitment from Connecticut forward Gavin Griffiths, a consensus top 50 player in the nation.

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A four-star, Griffiths is the highest-ranked recruit to ever commit to Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell.

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Geo Baker, Taralyn Naslonski awarded Big Ten Medal of Honor

Rutgers men’s basketball player Geo baker receives the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor for his excellence on and off the court

Geo Baker of the men’s basketball team was one of two Rutgers student-athletes who were named recipients of the esteemed Big Ten Medal of Honor.

The Big Ten Medal of Honor is awarded annually to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each conference school who have been strong examples both on and off the field throughout their collegiate careers. Started in 1914, the conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in college athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The other Scarlet Knight to receive the award was grad student Taralyn Naslonski of the women’s lacrosse squad.

Big Ten schools currently feature roughly 10,000 student-athletes across all sports, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In more than 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor being awarded, more than 1,500 student-athletes have earned the distinction.

Men’s basketball head coach Steve Pikiell spoke about Baker receiving this distinguished honor in a press release:

“I am so proud of Geo baker for being the Rutgers recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. He is the first men’s basketball player at Rutgers to win the award and my first player to receive this honor. Geo has been an exemplary ambassador for our program on and off the court and it couldn’t have been given to a better person. I am truly grateful to have coached Geo for the past five seasons at Rutgers and he has a bright future in whatever he decides to pursue in his career after college basketball. Geo will forever be a part of the Rutgers basketball family.”

Baker averaged 12.0 points on 39.1 percent shooting and 3.9 assists last season as the men’s basketball team collected the most wins since joining the Big Ten. He finished his career No. 2 all-time in program history in assists with 496, No.5 in three-pointers made with 237, No. 4 in steals with 180, No. 8 in points 1,654, and No. 8 in total field goals made 599. Baker was the first and only men’s basketball Scarlet Knight to earn two Big Ten Player of the Week awards and earned three all-conference selections during his time at the university.

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Rutgers offers the hardest working recruit in basketball, four-star James Brown

James Brown offered by Rutgers basketball on Sunday.

Holiday weekend? In basketball recruiting, there is no such thing as a break.

Except of course for the dark period.

On Sunday, Rutgers men’s basketball sent out an offer to James Brown, a four-star recruit from St. Rita (Chicago, IL). The 6-foot-9 center is a class of 2024 recruit.

In the past eight days, Brown has gotten offers from Nebraska, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and then Rutgers. He also holds offers from DePaul, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue and Texas A&M among others.

In the 247Sports Composite, he is the No. 27 recruit in the nation and the top-ranked player in Illinois in the class of 2024. He averaged 11.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

Last week, Rutgers offered Latrell Allmond, a class of 2026 recruit who recently talked with RutgersWire about his relationship with the Big Ten program as well as Texas A&M.

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Rutgers has one commit already in the class of 2024, top 40 recruit Gavin Griffiths. The power forward is a four-star and the highest-ranked recruit of head coach Steve Pikiell’s tenure with Rutgers basketball.

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Rutgers basketball recruiting: Elmarko Jackson pulls in offers from Michigan, Texas and Indiana on Friday

Four-star guard Elmarko Jackson picks up three big offers on Friday

Following an offer from Rutgers basketball last week, four-star guard Elmarko Jackson has pulled in several other bigtime offers over the past few days.

On Friday, Jackson was offered by Michigan, Texas and Indiana. Earlier in the week, he was offered by Kansas and LSU. Jackson is rated a four-star and is the No. 72 player in the nation according to 247Sports. He will play for South Kent School (South Kent, CT) this year.

As of mid-June, the class of 2023 guard has been offered by Oklahoma, Tennessee,  DePaul, Pittsburgh and Nebraska as well as an offer from Rutgers on June 22 and Virginia the next day.

Jackson announced the trio of offers on Friday via his social media.

Rutgers basketball does not yet have any commitments for the class of 2023.

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But in early June, the Scarlet Knights landed a big commitment from Gavin Griffiths. A four-star power forward from Connecticut with a number of high-profile offers, Griffiths is a consensus top 50 player in the nation.

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Why are the Toronto Raptors such a good fot for Ron Harper Jr.?

Rutgers basketball star Ron Harper Jr. landed in a good spot with the Toronto Raptors.

Ron Harper Jr. can stick in the NBA and develop with the Toronto Raptors. So says an NBA draft insider in discussing the fit of Harper, a former Rutgers basketball standout, with his new team.

In a recent interview, NBA draft insider Rafael Barlowe told Amit Mann of Yahoo!Sports Canada what he thinks about Harper signing with the Raptors and why he didn’t end up being drafted. Barlowe told Mann that “No I’m not surprised,” in response to a question about Harper not being selected in last week’s NBA draft.

Last season at Rutgers, Harper averaged 15.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was named an AP All-American.

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The Toronto Raptors signed Harper shortly after the NBA draft.

“The biggest knock against Ron Harper Jr. is that he’s not an athlete,” Barlowe told Mann.

“I watched him at the combine, I sat next to some scouts. They liked him a little a bit but they were like ‘He has no explosiveness, he doesn’t have any lift around the rim’ – they think he’s going to struggle.’ …I think that is why he fell out of the top 58…Obviously, he has some value to be signed so fast.”

Harper was instrumental in helping Rutgers to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 1976.

In terms of the Raptors, Mann and Barlowe both agreed that there is a good fit. Harper signed a two-way contract, allowing him to develop and grow but also potentially see minutes in the NBA as a rookie.

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The Raptors have a strong developmental track record which leads Barlowe to think Harper can develop into a role north of the border saying that “They have a pretty good track record of turning nothing into something,”

“He’s a crafty scorer, that is what you know you’re going to get from him, a creative scorer. I think he has to be because he doesn’t have this typical athleticism and elite first step and the natural quick-twich gifts that some of the other guys have that teams value in wings. I think him not being athletic forces him to be a little crafty and creative. I think at the very minimum, he can be a three-point shooter, shot a little under 40 percent from three. I think there can be a role,” Barlowe said.

“I just wonder defensively, the lack of athleticism does it really hurt him more on the defensive end, even though I think he can move his feet.”

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Rutgers’ Aundre Hyatt plays well in Greece for USA Basketball

Rutgers basketball forward Aundre Hyatt played well in Greece this past weekend, playing for USA Basketball’s East Coast team.

Rutgers men’s basketball’s junior forward Aundre Hyatt joined USA Basketball’s East Coast team on their trip to compete in Athens, Greece this past weekend. He helped his squad go a perfect 3-0 against some of Athens’ best professional teams. Slam Magazine writer Matthew Caputo called the experience in Athens, “…college basketball’s version of study abroad…”

Hyatt impressed early, finishing the opening contest as the leading scorer with 14 points. He added four rebounds, three assists, and a block in 20 minutes. Unfortunately, he tweaked his ankle during game 2. The former LSU Tiger averaged 12.5 points during the trip.

Prior to the trip, Hyatt expressed his excitement through a Rutgers press release:

“I am super excited to compete and participate in this experience with the USA Basketball’s East Coast Team. It’s an honor to be selected alongside some of the best collegiate East Coast players in the country. I have been working on my game this offseason with my coaches and staff and look to use this experience to continue to improve heading the upcoming season for Rutgers men’s basketball.”

The junior Hyatt was one of the key pieces for head coach Steve Pikiell off the bench in 2021-22. The Bronx, N.Y. native who transferred to Rutgers in 2020, averaged 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and shot 35.8 percent from the field in 12.8 minutes-per-game last season. Hyatt reached. Hyatt is taking every opportunity to improve as he looks to step into a bigger role in 2021-22 with the departures of Scarlet Knight legends Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker.

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Johnathon Pierce gets an offer from Rutgers basketball

Johnathon Pierce pulled down a Rutgers basketball offer this week.

Rutgers basketball sent out an offer on Monday to Johnathon Pierce, a small forward from Connecticut. The offer came after seeing Pierce play in a tournament in Philadelphia over the weekend.

In the past week, Pierce has been offered by Central Connecticut State, Siena and now Rutgers. He is a 6-foot-7, 165-pound small forward at Windsor High School (Windsor, CT). The Warriors were one of the top teams in the state, going 20-5.

Pierce is a stretch forward who is defensively instinctive and equally committed on and off the ball. He shoots well and with range and is a strong rebounder. He can drive to the basket, squares up well and has the potential to play above the rim.

He tweeted about the offer from the Rutgers men’s basketball program on Monday:

 

Rutgers has been active in Connecticut in terms of recruiting for the class of 2023 and 2024. Gavin Griffiths, a class of 2024 recruit, gave a verbal to Rutgers in early June.

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He is a four-star and the No. 39 player in the nation in the 247Sports Composite.

Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter for Rutgers news, analysis and recruiting info @KristianRDyer

Former Rutgers basketball star Tasha Pointer returns as an assistant coach

Tasha Pointer returns to Rutgers as an assistant coach!

New Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Coquese Washington has made her first move for her coaching staff, adding former Rutgers basketball legend Tasha Pointer to her bench on Monday.

A former standout at Rutgers who went on the play in the WNBA, Pointer most recently was head coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago the past three seasons. Previously, she spent eight seasons at Rutgers as an assistant under C. Vivian Stringer.

As a player at Rutgers, she was twice an All-Big East selection before being a third-round pick in the 2001 WNBA draft.

One of the top priorities for Washington, who was hired in May, is going to be finding assistants who can not only help her on the bench but also on the recruiting trail.

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The Scarlet Knights have struggled the past two seasons in high school recruiting and Washington, who has recruited this area both as a head coach at Penn State and most recently as associate head coach at Notre Dame, needs to have local ties on her staff.

 

Pointer, who played her high school basketball in Chicago, will certainly have local ties to New Jersey given her playing career at Rutgers as well as time spent with the New York Liberty.

Last week in an interview with Michael Cohen of FoxSports Radio New Jersey, Washington was asked about the status of her staff. Washington hinted at some progress being made.

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Her comments are certainly being backed up by Monday’s news.

“Well, it’s a work in progress. You know, hiring always takes a while and you got to wait until HR kind of gives you the thumbs up to move forward,” Washington said in the FoxSports Radio interview.

“But you know, we’re moving in the right direction. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we’ll be able to make some announcements about who’s going to join our staff.”

Watch: Toronto Raptors’ Ron Harper Jr. shows his stuff in a pre-NBA draft workout

Former Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr. showed off during a pre-NBA draft workout.

Ron Harper Jr. is a member of the Toronto Raptors, the former Rutgers star having signed as a rookie free agent following Thursday’s NBA draft. Harper is coming off an impressive final season with the Scarlet Knights, where he showed improvement in nearly every aspect of his game.

What Harper showed in the pre-draft workouts isn’t necessarily what will make him stick with an NBA team. Harper is a solid shooter who is clutch and is also a tremendous defender. He has good length, a good handle and some nice range to his game. It is certainly not easy to replicate that skillset in a workout setting.

The production is certainly there, though as he averaged 15.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season. 

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Harper is a good face-up shooter who is also solid from three-point range, with a career-high 39.8 percent in his final season at Rutgers. The Raptors certainly got a solid player after the NBA draft in Harper.

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So this video of Harper working out prior to the NBA draft is intriguing. He shows off his ability to pop-and-shoot along with his explosiveness in getting to the rim:

Rutgers fans certainly know what Harper brings to the table in terms of his teamwork, hustle and solid offensive game. If he can add and refine to his offensive game, then Harper might end up being a steal for the Raptors.

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Harper had several workouts prior to the NBA draft, including with the Charlotte Hornets.

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Next up, Dylan Harper. How is Ron Harper Jr.’s little brother (a four-star) doing in recruiting?

Rutgers basketball is the slight favorite to add Ron Harper Jr.’s not so little brother.

On Thursday night, Ron Harper Jr. didn’t hear his name called in the NBA draft, but the former Rutgers basketball star ended up signing with the Toronto Raptors. And now, all eyes turn towards the next Harper in the pipeline, Dylan Harper.

A 6-foot-5 guard at Don Bosco Prep, Dylan has the potential to step-up and become an even bigger recruit than his older brother. He already holds a number of top offers .

The class of 2024 recruit is already a four-star and ranked the No. 46 player in the nation by Rivals. He pulled in an offer from Auburn in the middle of the month to go along with programs such as Georgetown, Indiana, Missouri and Rutgers.

So where do things stand right now with Harper? Well, the On3 Prediction Machine has Rutgers as a slight favorite to end up at Rutgers, but things are tight in that regard:

  • Rutgers – 22.2%
  • Georgetown – 19.4%
  • Indiana – 16.7%
  • Auburn – 13.9%

Don’t forget to check out this article about big brother signing with the Raptors after the NBA draft and learn more about the two-way contract he signed with the team.

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