Today was an active day for the Scarlet Knights basketball team.
Early this morning, Jerry Carino broke the news that there was going to be more reshuffling on Eddie Jordan's staff than just David Cox being fired some months ago. Kyle Triggs and the director of student-athlete services Monte Shubik were being released from their contracts.
And for a few hours, there was plenty of consternation amongst Rutgers fans. But this time, there wouldn't be a three month wait between hires, as news quickly leaked out that Eddie Jordan filled both assistant coach openings, along with keeping stalwart Van Macon aboard.
Former FDU head coach Greg "Shoes" Vetrone and Eddie Jordan pal Mike O'Koren were both hired to fill out Jordan's staff.
Vetrone-who was an assistant at UNLV-was once considered at Top 20 assistant coach in the country. But Vetrone was caught up in some shenanigans and secondary violations while at UNLV and he disappeared for quite sometime. Vetrone resurfaced on Tom Green's staff at Fairleigh Dickinson, before taking the reigns as head coach. Of course, as a head coach, Vetrone was an utter disaster, going 26-95.
That said, Vetrone is here to recruit. He's here to land players and continue helping Jordan adjust to running a college program. And, it appears, part of that is already happening. Jordan received a commitment form ESPN 4 star recruit and 6'11" Center Shaquille Doorson. Some on the Rivals message board are speculating that Vetrone played a hand in that commitment.
Meanwhile, O'Koren, a former NBA player, assistant, and UNC star is considered to be an X's and O's guru. Not much is known about O'Koren, other than he's close with Jordan, coaching with him on the Nets, Wizards and 76ers. O'Koren was rumored to join Jordan last year, but that position was taken by Triggs. Hopefully, O'Koren can bring some defensive wizardry to the bench and help improve one of the biggest flaws on last year's team.
My opinion on all of this? For what has gone on with Rutgers basketball over the past two years, this is a very good staff. While there aren't any home runs (Jerry Carino mentioned Jordan chased Jeff Battle from Wake Forest, who would have been) on the staff, there are two very good recruiters in Vetrone and Van Macon and an extra X's and O's guy. The biggest problem was the length of time it took to fill the spot vacated by David Cox--which allowed fans to dream of the best assistants out there. That wasn't happening.
They have Eddie's trust, so now they have to go out and bring in talent. As constructed, Eddie has put together a very solid front court, but they are very weak at the point guard position. Not because Myles Mack isn't good-he is-but he can't play 35 minutes a night.
Maybe Vetrone, Macon and O'Koren can dig one up (Conrad Chambers, perhaps?). Or, maybe they focus on the 2015 class in order to fill the holes that will definitely be there.
Either way, today is probably the best day of Rutgers off-season, even though it started with a black cloud.
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