Although the Rutgers men's basketball coaching staff has been recruiting hard the past week, they still have their eye on next season as well. Offseason workouts with the new staff are underway and RVision produced a video giving access to a recent workout this week.
As expected, assistant coach Brandin Knight is working with the guards and assistant coach Jay Young is working with the frontcourt. Both units conducted drills separately, and the personality of the coaches came through on the video. Both Knight and Young appear to be all business and bring structure to the session, while also being positive and supportive. The new staff is implementing a lot more structure into the program than what was in place previously. An emphasis on fundamentals was sorely lacking the past, and the coaches are stressing the details in this workout session. Player development is a strength of the new staff.
Another positive sign was seeing Corey Sanders participating with the team during the workout session. Although he declared for the NBA Draft, he did not sign with an agent and has until May 25th to take his name off the list. The likelihood of Sanders officially returning to the program is very strong, and as evidenced in the video, he really never left. By declaring, he opened himself up for evaluations by the league, which is only beneficial for his development in working towards his dream of playing in the NBA. The new staff certainly have goals and areas they want Sanders to improve on, but having an outside opinion from league officials is positive as well.
Rutgers currently has just seven scholarship players on the roster. They include Deshawn Freeman, Ibrahima Diallo, Shaq Doorson, and Jonathan Laurent in the frontcourt, with Sanders, Mike Williams, and Nigel Johnson in the backcourt. For next season, Rutgers has incoming recruits Matt Bullock and potentially Issa Thiam. The 3-star wing committed under Eddie Jordan and although he reopened his recruitment, the feeling within the program is Thiam will ultimately sign with Rutgers. The staff is hard at work to fill at least some of the four additional open scholarships for next season. More to come, including several recruiting updates in the next couple of days. For now, take a look at the video of this week's workout.