Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell has landed his first commitment since taking over the program on Tuesday.
"He committted to Rutgers this morning." Dave Boff on Matt Bullock to Rutgers.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 26, 2016
It didn't take long for an answer, as Bullock was offered yesterday.
From Adam Zagoria's report confirming Bullock's commitment, this is what his high school coach Dave Boff had to say:
"He committted to Rutgers this morning," RC coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv. "I think Matt is a guy who's what Coach Pikiell is looking for according to our conversations. He's lookiing for a guy who's ready to come in and roll up his sleeves and help him build something special at Rutgers. According to Matt, after their meeting [Friday], he said it sounded a lot like what he heard about what we were trying to do at Roselle Catholic and he felt that that was something he wanted to try to do at Rutgers."
This is what Bullock said to Zagoria this morning, who was on campus yesterday when the offer was made:
"I made a verbal commitment to Coach Pikiell and I'm excited to stay in Jersey," Bullock told SNY.tv.
"Coach Pikiell told me he wants workers, guys that are going to buy in to his program. He need winners on his team. He said he's going to push me to the limit. He wants overachievers on his team."
After offering Bullock yesterday, the Roselle Catholic star quickly committed to coach Pikiell, who has had success with another under recruited player from the same high school. America East player of the year Jameel Warney, who has a legitimate chance to make the NBA, was in a similar boat as Bullock four years ago. Enter Pikiell, who saw something in Warney and helped develop him into a star. Rutgers fans can only hope Pikiell can do the same with Bullock. It is also a smart move of Pikiell's to continue to build a pipeline with one of the best high school programs in the northeast, not just the state.
Matt Bullock is one of the best high school players in New Jersey but Rutgers was his only high major offer. He is not highly rated due to his size and speed, as the 6'4" guard is considered a "tweener". The thought is he isn't quick enough to excel at guard at the next level, and he isn't tall enough to play the frontcourt in a power conference. However, Bullock has done nothing in his high school career but win. At Roselle Catholic, Bullock won four state sectional titles, three state group championships, and two tournament of champions titles. He was a key role player as a freshman and the veteran leader as a senior. He is physically strong, hard to stop in space, and has a relentless motor. He has a sweet stroke from behind the arc but can also finish around the rim, using pump fakes to create open shots.
Matt Bullock is a bad man. Can shoot it and slash to the hoop and score inside. Throws down mean dunks, too. https://t.co/N8M9OVN9fq— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 26, 2016
Matt Bullock's high school coach Dave Boff had this to say previously about his recruitment process, among other things, to Jeremy Schneider of NJ Advance Media:
"People just get all caught up in what position is he. Is he an undersized four, is he a three?" Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff said. "My thing with Matt is, if you want to win basketball games and you're a college coach, you give him a scholarship. Because that's what he does, he helps you win basketball games. You don't have to tell you what position he is. You just tell him, 'We need to win this basketball game,' and he goes out and does what it takes to help you win. That's what he does, he's a winner, and at the next level he's going to be a winner. Somebody's going to get a real steal by picking Matt up."
"He's a kid that people are going to say, 'Size-wise can he play in the Big Ten?'" Boff said. "Well, the kid that he just played against (Bridges) is going to play in the Big Ten, and Matt looked pretty good against him with 22 and 12, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Miles Bridges is 5-star small forward headed to Michigan State. And Bullock just outplayed him last month.
From Adam Zagoria's interview with St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley Sr. earlier this month, he had this to say on Bullock:
"Bullock is a unique high school player," Hurley said of the uncommitted guard who has been RC's best player in recent weeks. "He's a matchup nightmare because he can take bigger kids out, face them up, and score when he's away from the basket. He's ridiculous the way he can get his hands on the ball and just secure it. If you put a small on him, at the end of the day he can bench press 400 pounds.
"He can certainly be an outstanding mid-major player. Maybe his size, he's kind of a tweener and his body type maybe people think he's not agile enough, so they're missing the boat. He passes the eye test because every time I see him matched up against somebody who's talented, he seems to be the best player on the floor."
Hurley added this comment about Bullock to Zagoria this week:
"[Pikiell] certainly has to look at Matt because Matt is a winner," St. Anthony's coach Bob Hurley said this week. "And he can make plays. Now what posiiton does he play? I don't really see him as a guard, I see him as an undersized three who can make plays."
Bullock played against former Rutgers coach and now Patrick School coach Mike Rice this season. This is what he had to say about Bullock and his future playing college basketball:
Bullock's teammate this season, class of 2017 4-star wing Andre Rafus, was a top target of Eddie Jordan's and is likely to stay one with coach Pikiell. Rafus has seen his own recruitment blow up this season, as Kentucky head coach John Calipari visited him at Roselle Catholic this past week. This is what Rafus had to say about Bullock, after playing with him for the past several months:
Another great tidbit about Bullock:
RC Senior Matt Bullock had 4 wins as a player vs Bobby Hurley. Did anyone have any more? pic.twitter.com/1kHDV7UL4Y— John M. Cerra (@johnmcerra) March 13, 2016
This was a big get for coach Pikiell, as he attempts to build relationships with local high school and AAU coaches. Amazingly, Bullock is the first New Jersey player to commit to Rutgers since 2011 when Rice landed Myles Mack. If he can develop Bullock into a top player at Rutgers, he will be a prime example of what Pikiell has said is key in improving the program. This is what Pikiell said earlier this week at his press conference:
I think people are underestimating evaluating players and developing them. I think what my staff and myself have done a great job of is getting a guy that may be a little under-recruited. We saw something in our work with him and diligence that other schools didn't, and we made him better.
Let's hope Pikiell just found his next Warney, and is on his way to remaking the Rutgers basketball program! With Bullock on the way, a true winner and team first player is joining the effort.
If Pikiell wants to build relationships in NJ, having a star from the hottest program in the state as your first signing is a good start.— Jeremy Schneider (@J_Schneider) March 26, 2016