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Rutgers Basketball Recruiting: New Offers & Top Targets

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

This past week was the first of three live recruiting periods in the month of July.  With four open scholarships for the class of 2016, this month is critical for head coach Eddie Jordan and his staff.  Jordan made a strategic move earlier this week, moving Mike O'Koren to a non-recruiting special assistant/advisory role and promoting Dalip Bhatia as the third recruiting assistant.  Adding the energetic Bhatia gave the staff a full deck of aggressive recruiters to cover the multiple tournaments taking place throughout the country this week.  Let's check in on players that received new offers this week, updates on performances by 2017 targets previously offered and review Rutgers top targets for the upcoming class of 2016.

NEW OFFERS

DeAndre Hunter

Deandre Hunter is a 6'7'' shooting wing out of Philadelphia in the class of 2016.  He was offered on Friday by Rutgers at the inaugural Under Armour All-American camp.  He is 3-star recruit with 247sports and a 4-star recruit with rivals and ESPN.  He reportedly has offers from North Carolina State, St. John's, Tennessee, Miami Fla, UNLV, DePaul, Oklahoma State, LaSalle, Rhode Island, TTFP, St. Joseph's and Temple.  Hunter would be a great fit at Rutgers as Eddie values versatility and Hunter can play the 2 or the 3.  Hunter has the size and length to play the wing and can attack the rim but also is a good ball handler with a smooth shot and a good mid-range game.  Hunter could allow Jordan to play a three guard set with Corey Sanders and Mike Williams or another guard from this recruiting class.  Hunter and Kwe Parker together with Sanders would be a scary athletic backcourt and exciting to watch.

Jeriah Horne

Like Hunter, Jeriah Horne was also playing at the Under Armour All-American camp and received a Rutgers offer there.  Horne is a 6'7" power forward from Kansas City in the class of 2016 and is a 3-star recruit with rivals.  He reportedly has offers from Minnesota, Kansas State, LaSalle, DePaul, Richmond, Pepperdine and Boston University.  He is undersized for his position but can bang down low and has good feet  He reminds me of Rashod Kent with the way he plays highlighted by his footwork and athleticism.  This is another offer for a player that is versatile, can offer Rutgers different looks when on the floor and has upside.

Michael Okauru

Michael Okauru has flown under the radar playing in the talent loaded state of North Carolina.  He is a 6'3" point guard in the class of 2017 and Rutgers is his first offer. A recurring theme is versatility with these recent offers.  Okauru is big for a point guard and plays like a bulldog.  If he can continue to develop his shot he could play off the ball more in college.  Okauru is not rated as of yet by the major sites.  Rutgers getting in early with Okauru could be key as he adds offers throughout his recruiting process.

Quentin Jackson Jr

Quentin Jackson Jr is a 3-star point guard from North Carolina who has size at 6'4", plays smooth and under control. After Eddie Jordan watched him play this weekend, he offered Jackson Jr on Sunday.  He also received offers from LSU and Mississippi State this week.  He has a quick first step and plays with a bit of flair.  Corey Sanders and Jackson Jr handling the ball together is an exciting prospect.  Jackson Jr also has reported offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, Northwestern, Harvard, Houston, UCF, Kansas State and DePaul amongst others.  He has also previously visited Georgetown and is on the radar of Florida State.  After this weekend's strong performance, his recruitment should continue to pick up in the coming months.

2017 TARGET UPDATES

Tevin Florent

Tevin Florent plays for Showtime Ballers, the same team that had Corey Sanders and several Rutgers targets for future classes.  He only has offers from Rutgers and Bowling Green, but is playing well this week and should receive more interest soon. Wing is the position of need for this upcoming class so Florent is one of many Jordan and staff are targeting.

Isaiah Washington & Sidney Wilson

Isaiah Washington and Sidney Wilson are both from St. Raymond's in New York City and were offered in late June when they visited Rutgers together.  Washington is a 6'0" point guard with 3-stars from rivals and a 4-stars from 247 with reported offers from St. John's, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Providence and Iona.  Wilson is a 6'6" wing with 4-stars from 247 and ESPN. He also has offers from St. John's, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Providence as well as Indiana, VCU, USF and Fordham.  These two are just several New York City players that Eddie Jordan and staff will battle St. John's and Chris Mullins for in the next couple of years.

LJ Figueroa

LJ Figueroa is a 6'5" wing from Florida has 4-stars from rivals and 247.  Adam Zagoria profiled Figueroa back in January. In addition to Rutgers, he has offers from Miami Fla, UCF, South Florida, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech.  His performance this week should lead to more high major offers soon.  Credit again to Rutgers to offering early in the process.

Terrell Turner

Terrell Turner is another tall guard at 6'4" from Florida who is versatile. Similar to Deandre Hunter, Turner can shoot from 3-point range as well as drive and finish with contact.  Turner has 3-stars from 247 and just received an offer from Minnesota this week.  He is also receiving interest from Syracuse and Ohio State.

TOP TARGETS FOR CLASS OF 2016

Kwe Parker

The Kwe Parker watch continues. It makes sense Parker extended his self-imposed end of June deadline to play through July and see if additional offers come in.  The consensus 4-star guard from North Carolina visited Rutgers in June and appears at the moment to be choosing between RU and Wake Forest.  Parker mentioned previously he had interest in Florida and Louisville but they have not offered yet.  It's possible he ends up at Rutgers, but if more high major schools offer that isn't likely.

Ray Salnave


Ray Salnave is a 6'2" shooting guard from Cardozo in New York City and has been considered a Rutgers lean since they offered last November.  He is a 3-star recruit with 247 and rivals.  He has many local offers from St. John's, Seton Hall, Monmouth, Manhattan, St. Peters and Fordham as well as DePaul and Dayton.  He is less touted than Kwe Parker but Salnave is a hard nosed, physical guard who plays tough defensively and would be a good fit with Eddie Jordan's style.  He was profiled below back in January by SNYtv, highlighting Salnave's career moment, hitting the winning pair of free throws to clinch Cardozo's New York City title in 2014 as a sophomore. He is a gamer would bring a workmanlike attitude to the banks.


Taurean Thompson


    Taurean Thompson has been a player on the rise this past spring and summer before getting hurt at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June.  The 6'9" power forward from St. Anthony's is now a consensus 4-star recruit with rivals, 247 and ESPN and is ranked by all three sites as one of the top 100 players in the country.  He would give Rutgers a physical presence on both ends of the floor and it seems he is only scratching the surface of his potential.  Thompson is a beast with a high motor and is the highest rated recruit in New Jersey that Rutgers is in play for.  He also has offers from Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, St. Joseph's, Temple, and Xavier.  In addition, both sons of Thompson's legendary high school coach Bob Hurley, Danny and Bobby Jr of Rhode Island and Arizona State respectively, have offered.  Thompson should garner additional offers in his senior season as his stock continues to rise.  This recruiting battle is a priority for Jordan and staff as Thompson would be the best big man recruit Rutgers landed in years.  Here are highlights from last season against eventual State Champion Roselle Catholic.




Iran Bennett

    Iran Bennett is another big man target for this class that has been on the rise recently.  He is a 6'9" power forward from North Carolina who weighs 300 pounds, though he has reportedly lost weight.  He has 3-stars from ESPN and 247 with reported offers from Ohio State, Indiana, Wake Forest, Charlotte, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and Xavier.  His nickname is "the bulldozer" and could become an unstoppable force down low as his body matures and grows stronger.  Like Thompson, he should continue to receive offers from high majors as the upcoming season approaches.


Myles Powell

Myles Powell is a 6'1" point guard who I mentioned previously as a Rutgers target who they offered over a year ago.  He has put up big time performances this week at the Peach Jam playing with Playaz, his AAU team.  Powell is rated 3-stars by rivals and 4-stars by 247 and ESPN.  Powell recently transferred from Trenton Catholic to prep powerhouse South Kent in Connecticut.  He has offers from Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, VCU, Marquette, Temple, St. Joe's, Seton Hall and Kansas State amongst others.  Highlights below are from his 27 point MVP performance against St. Anthony's in the Primetime Shootout his sophomore season.  Powell displays the ability to beat defenders off the dribble and get in the lane to finish as well as a solid 3-point stroke.

The Bottom Line

This week Eddie Jordan, along with assistants Greg "Shoes" Vetrone, Van Macon and Dalip Bhatia, have put in a lot of work making new offers and tracking players already offered.  The majority of players with offers are from New York City, North Carolina and Florida.  Eddie and staff continue to target versatile, athletic guard and wing players who can play both ends of the court with energy and toughness.  Low post players with good footwork and a physical presence around the basket have been a focus as well.  Hunter and Horne are athletic players who find a way to the basket and fit Rutgers style well.

While much has been made of top targets Kwe Parker, Taurean Thompson and JUCO All-American Bashir Ahmed for the class of 2016, Hunter, Horne and Jackson Jr would be great additions as well.  A potential class of Myles Powell at point guard, Kwe Parker at shooting guard, Deandre Hunter at wing and Taurean Thompson at power forward/center would be loaded with all 4-star recruits and likely a top ten class in the country.  A program changing class that is a dream scenario for Rutgers.

However, credit must be given to Jordan and staff as they have multiple offers out to several other players with major potential.  A plan B of Rashond Salnave or Jackson Jr at point guard, Bashir Ahmed at the wing, either Jeriah Horne or Iran Bennett at power forward along with Rutgers offeree, 3-star shooting guard Charles Minlend, would be a solid class.  Jordan is at a critical point where a solid class needs to be the minimum standard required. They are off to a good start with the class of 2017 as well and seem to be identifying talent ahead of many high major schools.   If Rutgers is going to make a significant jump in the Big Ten standings, landing multiple 4-star recruits on a consistent basis is a must.  The staff has laid the ground work for it to happen, let's hope a big chip falls in our favor soon.