Now that college hoops is over (grudging congrats to Duke), recruiting is back in full swing. After the transfers of Kerwin Okoro and Junior Etou transfers, and the addition of wing Jonathan Laurent, there is still a need for offensive talent on this team.
Improvement from DJ Foreman and Mike Williams will help for sure. Both showed flashes of potential this season, and seeing them back and more in the flow of the offense could be a step forward. Also, the addition of true point guard Corey Sanders could be a bolt of electricity on the court.
But the team will miss Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack.
So, who are they chasing to fill the void?
Deshawn Freeman, 6'7" forward, JUCO
Freeman can flat out score the ball. A forward out of Hutchinson Junior College, Freeman averaged just over 18 points per game and shot over 50% from the floor. He also shot 30 percent from three point range. Freeman is the perfect compliment to Sanders, and would truly bring a form of optimism to the banks of the Raritan. Freeman can also rebound the heck out of the ball, averaging 9.3 per game. He's the perfect fit for Rutgers, and the Scarlet Knights' coaching staff knows it. Zach Braziller of the New York Post tweeted that Rutgers was on him first. Can Eddie Jordan and Greg SHOES Vetrone close the deal?
Keep an eye on the Freeman recruiting story.
Malik Ellison, 6'6" guard, Life Center Academy
Jerry Carino has mentioned that next to Freeman, Malik Ellison is the next target for Eddie Jordan. Son of Louisville legend Pervis "Never Nervous" Ellison, Ellison is the player that Rutgers has been searching for. A long guard who can score the ball. Ellison is being chased by Minnesota, Maryland, and South Carolina as well. If Rutgers can land Ellison, it would certainly be a feather in the cap of Eddie Jordan. He'd finally beat out some top schools for a player. Landing both Ellison and Freeman would have a major positive impact on next season.
Ellison certainly has the look of a player.
Charles Minlend, Jr., 6'4" Shooting Guard, North Carolina
Charles Minlend, Jr. has been on the Rutgers radar since the middle of the season. Minlend is a lanky and long scorer, and he visited with Jonathan Laurent recently. Minlend is another kid who can get buckets, and he can shoot the three. Odds are he'd have to develop over the course of a year or two, as he's a younger player at only 17. But, 17 year olds can still grow, and if the learning curve is high enough, he can contribute early. He currently holds a Rutgers offer and some offers from mid-major schools.
Once Jordan and company fill these scholarships, the focus will turn to the 2016 class, which will be a key one for Jordan. If the facility talk continues to move along at a positive pace, Jordan will have something to sell on the recruiting trail, and maybe the talent level will continue to improve. But for right now, there are some quality targets still available, and Jordan needs to land two of them as soon as he can.
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