With Rutgers' best point guard and best power forward graduating in May, Eddie Jordan needed to fill two gigantic holes in his roster.
Last fall, he was able to lock down Corey Sanders, a true blue chip point guard. And this spring, just when things were starting to look bleak, Jordan landed Deshawn Freeman, a four star (from Rivals) power forward out of Hutchinson Junior College. Assistant coach Greg SHOES Vetrone led the recruitment, and the commitment was announced this morning.
Freeman was a beast at Hutch last season, averaging 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. He led the team in their playoff push and was named MVP of the JUCO tournament. Freeman is expected to slot right in at starting power forward, and his scoring prowess is much needed. He is 6'7" and lanky, with an ability to get to the rim.
Rutgers is also chasing Pervis Ellison's son Malik, who plays at the Life Center in New Jersey. Currently, the Scarlet Knights don't have any open scholarships.
But, for the moment, let's assume Rutgers roster is complete, and the 2015 recruiting season is done. Now that Eddie Jordan's first class has been purged either through transfer or graduation, it appears that the coach has the roster in place that fits his vision--at least defensively.
There is a lot of length on this team, including Freeman, wing Jonathan Laurent, wing/guard Ryan Johnson, power forward DJ Foreman, and center Ibrahima Diallo. That is a roster, along with Sanders, that can cause chaos on the court defensively. It is a roster built for pressing and running, a fast paced game that isn't often seen in the Big Ten.
There are also three point shooters in sophomore Mike Williams, redshirt freshman Justin Goode, and possibly Ryan Johnson. Redshirt senior Greg Lewis provides positional defense and Shaquille Doorson is a rim protector. Bishop Daniels and freshman Kejuan Johnson project to bring physicality to the court and an ability to get to the rim. Back-up guard Nigel Johnson will sit out the year as per transfer rules.
Basically, this is a team built for speed and versatility. If Ryan Johnson can shoot, as was projected when he came out of high school, there's potential for this team to be dangerous at nearly every position. And if they can somehow make room for Ellison (should he decided to come here), watch out.
But Freeman was the key, the player to match up with Corey Sanders, and take this recruiting class from an okay one to a very quality get. If this team can put some more points on the board, watch out.
Expect for Jordan and company to start actively recruiting the 2016 scene shortly.
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