It's mid-June and we are five months away from the start of the next college basketball season. However, there is plenty to keep track of in the off-season. May I present the first installment of the RAC & Roll report, covering news, notes and updates on everything Rutgers Basketball:
NBA hopes for Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack:
Kadeem Jack worked out for the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, taking the spot of Penn State's DJ Newbill for the scheduled pre-draft group session. He participated alongside Arizona's Brandon Ashley and TJ McConnell, St. John's Sir'Dominic Pointer, UCONN's Ryan Boatright, and Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr. This was Jack's first workout for a team prior to next Thursday's NBA draft. Jack entered his senior season with legitimate hopes of being drafted, but lacked consistency and never made the leap that was expected. However, he has NBA size and has been deemed a hard worker by many in the past, so it's likely he will get an opportunity with a NBA franchise this summer. Worst case, he should have an opportunity for a solid career playing overseas.
Re Kadeem Jack: Depending who you ask, sounds like his pro future is as a combo forward. Has length, size and can shoot it some.— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) June 15, 2015
I would be surprised if Jack's phone didn't ring in nine days with a UFA offer from some team. He'll get a shot to see what he can do.— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) June 15, 2015
Myles Mack also worked out for the Brooklyn Nets on June 3rd alongside Quinn Cook of Duke, JP Tokoto of North Carolina, Jonathan Holmes of Texas, Jesse Morgan of Temple and JayVaughn Pinkston of Villanova. It was also the first and only pre-draft workout for an NBA team thus far. The biggest issue with Mack's NBA hopes is his size. At 5'10 he is undersized and while he is a well rounded and very skilled player, Mack is not considered elite in any particular skill by NBA standards. I do think he will get an opportunity in a summer league with a team and from there who knows. The odds are against him but at a minimum, like Jack, Mack should have a opportunity to play for a long time overseas.
Recruiting updates on Class of 2016 targets Bashir Ahmed, Taurean Thompson and Kwe Parker:
Bashir Ahmed, a JUCO All-American who visited Rutgers in May, received good news this week. He was invited to a premier JUCO event in July.
Confirmed for @JUCOShowcase Elite 80 East (ATL/July 18-19) from Hutchinson CC Bashir Ahmed 6'6/G Moataz Aly 6'10/F Akbar Hoffman 6'1/G— Brad Winton (@JucoRecruiting) June 15, 2015
Ahmed is one of top 2016 JUCO prospects in the country. Heavily recruited by numerous high majors https://t.co/XnlJXKuSHM— JucoRecruiting.com (@JucoBasketball) June 15, 2015
Ahmed is a top target of Rutgers and was discovered by Greg "Shoes" Vetrone while scouting Deshawn Freeman last season at Hutchinson CC. According to 247sports.com, Ahmed also has offers from St. John's, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, Houston and USC as well as interest from LSU and Arizona State among others. His stock should continue to rise next season as the star at Hutchinson, one of the top JUCO programs in the country. It would be a major victory for Eddie and staff if Bashir lands at Rutgers.
Taurean Thompson has seen his stock blow up after a recent performance at the Pangos All-American camp in late May.
Last week, Thompson was elevated to 4 stars and named the 91st ranked high school prospect for the Class of 2016 on ESPN's top 100 list released last week. He has also been invited to participate in the NPBA top 100 camp starting Thursday, which is helped run by NBA veteran player and coach John Lucas. He is blossoming at the right time heading into his senior season. In addition to Rutgers, 247sports.com indicates he has offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma, PITT, Seton Hall, Temple, Xavier and Rhode Island. There also has been interest from Arizona and Syracuse as his profile continues to increase. Landing Thompson would be a major win for Eddie Jordan both for the type of player he is and the fact that he is a top in-state recruit from high school power St. Anthony's.
Kwe Parker visited Rutgers this past weekend and for now all we can do is wait, and hope. His visit created a lot of talk on twitter this weekend with many individual tweets from fans attempting to sell Parker on why Rutgers is the right choice for him. Some recognized how dynamic his pairing with Corey Sanders would potentially be.
I made my own attempt last week to highlight the dream scenario and what it would mean for the program. It does appear that we have a legitimate shot to land Parker, who has indicated he would make a decision before July. 247sports.com predicted as recently as two weeks ago that Parker would unanimously land at Wake Forest. As of this week, the Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer switched his prediction to Rutgers and now 64% favor him landing in New Brunswick. Obviously predictions are educated guesses but there are so many variables it is impossible to truly know. However, recent events are enough to make our friends at Blogger So Dear nervous enough to now consider Rutgers a serious threat. Losing Parker would have a potential double whammy effect for Wake Forest, as they have dreams of landing Parker alongside his HS teammate and #1 rated recruit in the ESPN top 100, Harry Giles. It's possible Parker will make his decision in the next two weeks but for now the wait continues.
Corey Sanders to arrive at Rutgers this Saturday:
In late May, Corey Sanders played in a pickup game in Florida with Los Angeles Clipper Austin Rivers and 5-star guard and fellow incoming freshman Antonio Blakeney, who is headed to LSU. Video is below, Corey is in the white tanktop and grey shorts:
Just yesterday, NBA All-Star and former 1st overall pick John Wall announced his thoughts on Corey Sanders via twitter:
With Corey Sanders arriving at Rutgers this Saturday, the time is now for him to join the program and lead from day one!
Non-conference schedule & 13th Roster spot:
For next season's non-conference schedule, Rutgers still has two open slots to fill. St. John's, Creighton, Wake Forest, George Washington and of course, Seton Hall highlight the schedule so far.
And finally, no word on the 13th scholarship that is still open for next season. It's possible this late in the game that it will not be filled and rolled over for the Class of 2016. If Eddie and staff can continue momentum on the recruiting trail, that extra scholarship could help produce a program changing class.
Not saying it's going to happen, but best-case scenario for the #RHoops 2016 class would be Kwe Parker, Bashir Ahmed and Taurean Thompson.— RHoops247 (@RHoopsRecruits) June 16, 2015