Can Rutgers women’s basketball team crack Top 25?

After a nice 73-68 victory over Hofstra University last night, are fans slowly starting to hope that this season is a bounce-back year for the Rutgers women’s basketball team? Can head coach Coquese Washington return the Scarlet Knights to their once powerhouse form?

After a nice 73-68 victory over Hofstra University last night, are fans slowly starting to hope that this season is a bounce-back year for the Rutgers women’s basketball program? Can this team begin to stack wins in not just out-of-conference play but in a deep Big Ten?

Granted it is only one victory but getting off on the right foot is an excellent confidence booster. The next test for the Scarlet Knights will be this Friday night, November 11, 2022, against the Seton Hall Pirates. The last time the two local New Jersey universities faced off was back in December 2017, when the Scarlet Knights defeated the Pirates 70-45. The Pirates are going to give the Scarlet Knights more of a challenge than Hofstra, especially since Hofstra hasn’t had a winning season in the last six years.

After the retirement of legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer, the Rutgers women’s basketball program was left wondering. Wondering if the once-successful program can return to the top. With the victory over Hofstra, the women Scarlet Knights ushered newly head coach Coquese Washington to the win column.

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Can Washington return the Scarlet Knights to their once powerhouse form? Watching the game last night, it was nice to see the Scarlet Knights put up points, something they lacked all last season.

Hopefully, Washington can carry on Stringer’s defensive mindset, something she implemented in her program for many years. In the years leading up to Stringer’s retirement, Rutgers had issues scoring, but would win games because of their strong defense. Stringer always made a case that a strong defense is a good offense, but nowadays that doesn’t work, since many teams have elite scoring. If Washington can get her girls to play tough defense and continue to run an efficient offensive scheme, Rutgers can make a tremendous improvement from last season, possibly cracking the NCAA Women’s Basketball top 25 rankings.

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Rutgers women’s basketball lands class of 2023 commit

Rutgers women’s basketball lands 2023 commit in point guard Jillian Huerter

Rutgers women’s basketball season may not start until November, but the recruiting efforts don’t have an offseason. The Scarlet Knights landed a class of 2022 commit in the form of point guard Jillian Huerter.

The 2022 Shenendehowa High School grad took to social media to make her announcement, sharing her excitement to commit to the program. She is currently playing for the Kent prep school. Her recruiting profile took a small hit due to pandemic-impacted seasons, and she spent the early part of her senior season rehabbing from a torn meniscus. The Saratoga County native fills an immediate need for the Scarlet Knights as many of the guards from last season’s squad have either graduated or transferred.

Huerter is no stranger to high level basketball as her family is basketball royalty in Saratoga. Her father Tom and brother Tom Jr. both played Division I at Siena College, while her older sister is currently playing for Providence College heading into her sophomore season.

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Let’s not forget about older brother Kevin who is currently in the NBA, signed with the Sacramento Kings and previously played for the Atlanta Hawks.

Back in May, she spoke to local media about how life was growing up with so many high level basketball players:

“We had a lot of two on two games growing up. Now we’ll probably do more shooting competitions but we keep the competitiveness up with other games. We play a lot of cards or just anything we can do to compete with each other.”

Rutgers women’s team struggled last season to a 11-20 record – a steep drop off from a strong 2020-2021 campaign where they finished 14-5. Under the guidance of new head coach, Coquese Washington, they are looking to rebuild the program into a Big Ten power. Washington’s history of winning in the Big Ten with Penn State should pair perfectly with someone with the acumen and basketball family such as Huerter.

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Arella Guirantes dominating in FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

Former Rutgers women’s basketball star Arella Guirantes is leading all scorers at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

Former Rutgers women’s basketball star Arella Guirantes is playing for team Puerto Rico and putting on a show at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Group play has wrapped up at the World Cup and the Puerto Rico star is leading all scorers with 18 points per game. Guirantes is playing for her national team for the first time and making an immediate impact. Puerto Rico finished in dead last in their last two international competitions, but the former Scarlet Knight has led them to two victories and the team’s first ever trip to the World Cup Quarterfinals.

The former Scarlet Knight also leads all players in total points with 90. Guirantes has twice scored over 25 points – once recording a double-double with 10 rebounds and the other falling just short with nine boards.

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The 24-year-old rising star is honored to represent her heritage and the country where her grandfather is from. She spoke to media about this when first joining the team:

“It’s a great experience. It’s a blessing to finally put on this jersey,” said Guirantes. “I was just thinking before the [Belgium] game. It kind of hit me right during the national anthems. I felt like I had more pride wearing this jersey and I owed it to more than just myself to play hard.”

“So, it’s a beautiful feeling. It’s great to play with these girls and be coached by these coaches here, and I’m just grateful for the experience.”

Prior to joining Puerto Rico, Guirantes was drafted in the 2021 WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks and is currently a free agent. In her senior season with Rutgers, she averaged 21.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 2.2 steals per game and was named to the First Team All-Big Ten team.

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Four-star Skylar Jones includes Rutgers basketball in her top five

Rutgers women’s basketball is in the top five for Skylar Jones.

Skylar Jones has Rutgers women’s basketball in her top five as the national recruit released her top schools on Monday night.

According to ESPN.com, Jones is a four-star recruit. Last month, she was offered Memphis, Illinois, Missouri, and Pittsburgh. In August, she received an offer from Rutgers.

Apparently, the Scarlet Knights and new head coach Coquese Washington made an impression.

Jones is one of the top players in the nation, coming off a season for Whitney Young High School (Chicago, IL) where she had 16.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for a program that went 27-6.

Rutgers is one of two Big Ten programs to make the cutdown from Jones. Mississippi State, Missouri and Syracuse round out her top five.

 

A 6-foot wing, Jones is a complete prospect. She is able to shoot from distance and has the ability to dribble and penetrate. A good rebounder, she runs the court fluidly and with good vision.

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Her length is an asset as well defensively as she can guard the perimeter or down low.

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Rutgers women’s basketball hosts four-star Jasmine Brown

Jasmine Brown, a four-star guard, takes an unofficial visit to Rutgers this week.

Rutgers women’s basketball got one of the top players in the country on campus this week with four-star Jasmine Brown making an unofficial visit. The Illinois class of 2023 standout was one of the first offers made by new Scarlet Knights head coach Coquese Washington.

A 5-foot-9 guard, Brown is a four-star according to ESPN.com. She plays for Example Academy (Frankfort, IL).

She has a very strong offer list that includes Michigan, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Alabama, North Carolina and Penn State among others.

In late May, Brown was offered by Washington, who had recruited her at Notre Dame where she was previously associate head coach.

 

Brown is a complete guard and has a skill set that would fit in well in Washington’s system. She is confident on the dribble, can take the ball to the basket but has some good range to her game and is an impressive passer.

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She is tough defensively as well as a very solid rebounder.

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Khamil Pierre offered by Rutgers women’s basketball

Rutgers women’s basketball offers four-star forward Khamil Pierre.

Rutgers women’s basketball sent out an offer this week to one of the top players in the class of 2023, four-star Khamil Pierre.

In the past weeks, Pierre’s recruitment has really taken off with offers from Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Colorado, Oregon, Kentucky, Clemson and Penn State all coming within the past two weeks.

According to ESPN.com, she is a four-star and the No. 93 recruit in the nation.

A standout at Perry High School (Gilbert, AZ), Pierre put out an impressive 21 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last season.

Last season, the Pumas went 22-10. She also plays for the Arizona Elite Girls Basketball Club, a top-tier developmental program.

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Pierre tweeted about the offer on Wednesday afternoon:

 

 

Rutgers is in the first year of a rebuild under new head coach Coquese Washington. A former head coach at Penn State who had significant success in turning the Nittany Lions into a consistent postseason team, Washington was most recently associate head coach at Notre Dame.

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A former WNBA player, Washington takes over for the legendary C. Vivian Stringer, who retired this offseason as one of the most successful and impactful head coaches in college basketball history.

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New Jersey four-star guard Zoe Brooks is NC State bound

Zoe Brooks commits to ACC powerhouse North Carolina State.

Zoe Brooks, one of the top class of 2023 recruits in the country and a standout on the New Jersey prep basketball scene, announced on Friday that she is committing to North Carolina State.

A star at powerhouse Saint John Vianney, Brooks had a final three that included Boston College and Miami in addition to North Carolina State. According to ESPN.com, Brooks is a four-star recruit and the No. 33 player in the country. She is ranked as the second-best player in New Jersey.

Last week, Brooks broke down her recruitment including her thoughts on Rutgers women’s basketball. She said that the communication from the Scarlet Knights has died down significantly in recent weeks.

In the interview, Brooks said:

“I never heard from Rutgers. Maybe the new staff believed it was too late in the recruitment process to offer me. I’m not really sure, but I know they will build a successful program if they go after the top players in New Jersey.”

North Carolina State is a juggernaut women’s basketball program. The Wolfpack went 32-4 last year and lost in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament to UConn.

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*A source close to the situation says that new Rutgers women’s basketball head coach Washington did make contact with the AAU coach for Brooks and had made plans to recruit her within her first week on the job. Brooks had already made her college decision by then.

 

What’s up with four star Zoe Brooks and her commitment this week? What programs are in the mix?

Zoe Brooks breaks down what programs did and didn’t make her final three ahead of Friday’s announcement of her college decision.

Four-star guard Zoe Brooks is announcing her college decision on Friday. One of the top women’s basketball players in the nation is set to draw a close to her recruitment.

The phenom had been heavily recruited by former Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s staff. Two weeks ago, the Scarlet Knights announced Coquese Washington as the new head coach, replacing the recently retired Stringer.

Brooks has been a starter Saint John Vianney High School (Holmdel, N.J. since her freshman season for what is one of the top programs in the nation. According to ESPN.com, she is the No. 33 player in the nation.

She’s been all-state for three straight seasons and last year was named a junior All-American by MaxPreps.

Last week, Brooks was a part of the USA Basketball Camp ahead of this summer’s U17 Women’s World Cup.

Brooks is a high-character young person and isn’t the type to miss class, holding a 3.5 G.P.A. Her announcement will be made in the afternoon on-campus at Saint John Vianney.

Check out what Zoe Brooks had to say about her commitment and what programs are in the mix for her final decision.

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Four-star Zoe Brooks, a Rutgers basketball target, set to announce this week

Rutgers women’s basketball recruit Zoe Brooks will make her college announcement mid-week.

Zoe Brooks will announce her college decision on Thursday, the four-star guard set to wrap up her national recruitment.

The decision draws a close to Brooks’ recruitment where she was one of the most heavily pursued guards in the nation. A class of 2023 standout at Saint John Vianney High School (Holmdel, N.J.), Brooks has been a multi-year star and starter for one of the top programs in the nation. According to ESPN.com, she is the No. 33 player in the nation.

She’s been all-state for three straight seasons and last year was named a junior All-American by MaxPreps.

Last week in an interview with RutgersWire, Brooks provided an update on her recruitment:

“I have 10 schools that I hear from on a consistent basis. They are Boston College, Georgetown, Miami, Mississippi State North Carolina State, Penn State, Seton Hall, USC, Syracuse and West Virginia. Rutgers would be considered. It’s a good school.”

It is unclear if Rutgers is in the mix as one of her finalists.

 

It has been a whirlwind month for the Rutgers women’s basketball program. Legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer announced her retirement in May, drawing a close to a hall of fame career where she turned the Scarlet Knights into a national program that consistently made deep runs into the NCAA Tournament.

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Two weeks ago, Rutgers announced that [autotag]Coquese Washington[/autotag], most recently associate head coach at Notre Dame, will be the new women’s basketball head coach.

In 12 seasons at Penn State, she led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament four times and the NIT on three other occasions.

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Four-star Zoe Brooks updates her recruitment, talks Rutgers basketball and Coquese Washington

Zoe Brooks provides an update on her recruitment as well as her thoughts on Rutgers women’s basketball.

Zoe Brooks has been making some noise for quite some time, but one of the top-ranked girls’ basketball players in New Jersey isn’t slowing down, not even for the summer.

She is a name to watch as Brooks is a standout at Saint John Vianney High School (Holmdel, N.J.), one of the top programs in the nation. And Brooks is a major reason why her school is so dominant; she is a four-star recruit and the No. 33 player in the nation according to ESPN.com.

At 5-foot-10, she projects as a guard at the college level. She’s been all-state for three straight seasons and last year was named a junior All-American by MaxPreps.

Brooks has good range and can hit the intermediate shots as well as from 3-point range. She is a solid rebounder and outstanding defensively both on and off the ball. She handles the ball well and is comfortable scoring or playing provider.

Last season, Saint John Vianney’s final record was 32-1. They finished the season ranked fourth in the nation by MaxPreps. 

Check out what Brooks had to say about her recruitment, where things stand with Rutgers basketball and her recent experience with USA Basketball!