The tweet was posted almost too quietly this morning, but it is one that could possibly have many ramifications for the Scarlet Knights going forward.
Leroy Butts has officially de-committed from Rutgers— Brian Snow (@BSnowScout) June 23, 2014
Butts was head coach Eddie Jordan's first 2015 recruit. A wing/power forward that could score, and one that was a top 150 guard, Butts was a David Cox recruit that Eddie was able to close on. But not anymore. Adam Zagoria says Butts is still considering Rutgers, however there will be a lot more competition for him. Combined with the fact that John Crosby, the 2014 guard Jordan was courting, decided to go to prep school; it has not been the best week for Rutgers basketball.
"Fast" Eddie Jordan has taken his time with this team this offseason, keeping the news quiet and every piece of rumor close to the vest. Not one name for the Associate Head Coach position has leaked out. Recruiting information has been few and far between, most of it coming from recruits' Twitter accounts. There have been few moments for fans to get excited for.
But Jordan is apparently being very measured in his approach. And fans have to give him time. The Big Ten is going to be a pressure cooker, and with a team undermanned at ball handling positions, things don't expect to improve rapidly.
There's a give and take here. Losing recruits, and long offseasons can and will be forgiven if the product on the court improves. Jordan does not need to make an NCAA or even and NIT run, but the team needs to be fast-paced and fun. An upset here or there would help.
But losing Butts hurts from a perception level, and with little good news leaking out, it's tough to keep things balanced. Jordan has to hire and assistant and double down on the 2015 recruiting class. At one point it looked as if Jordan was only going to have a scholarship or two open, but now there is one commitment (North Carolina wing Austin Burnette) and likely 4 open scholarships.
Jordan has already begun reaching out to prospects:
Ewing (N.J.) SG Trey Lowe (@Trey_Lowe1) will be visiting St. Joe's Saturday, wants to visit Rutgers "soon"— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) June 18, 2014
Rutgers Offers Matt Bullock of Roselle Catholic http://t.co/EfG39GPtxi— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 19, 2014
And if Jordan can bring on a solid assistant, it will open more doors for him. This decommitment is not the end of the world for Jordan, but it's time to start making some hay.
And, if the team improves, this will all be moot.
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