Rutgers has landed their third commit for the class of 2016, according to this report:
Issa Thiam is a 3-star recruit who committed to Rutgers in February and had reopened his commitment once Eddie Jordan was fired. Greg "Shoes" Vetrone recruited Issa to Rutgers originally and stayed on him during the entire process. Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell retained Shoes in a support role and his connections with the Canaris Basketball Academy have paid dividends for the new coaching staff almost immediately. JUCO transfer Candido Sa recently committed and played for a time at Canaris, as did returning center Shaq Doorson. Now they have a third CBA alum in Issa.
The 6'9" wing has excellent range from deep and is a legitimate three-point threat. He has a sweet shooting stroke and Issa can be a matchup nightmare on the wing for opponents. He possesses great length with his arms and is effective getting into passing lanes on defense. Issa needs to bulk up and the staff will certainly have a detailed strength and conditioning plan set up for him with the newly hired David Van Dyke taking over that department. He is very thin and a bit raw, so his immediate impact next season is a bit unpredictable.
Issa reminds me of Iowa star Peter Jok, who has a wiry frame and can knock down shots from the perimeter on a consistent basis. Jok averaged 16.1 points and 40.2% from three-point range last season as a junior, after averaging just 4.4 points as a freshman. Like Jok, Issa is a project with unlimited potential that can hopefully perform on a similar development track as the Iowa star.
This is the third commitment for the new coaching staff, as Issa joins Matt Bullock and Sa. With Corey Sanders expected back next season, this puts the roster at ten scholarship players for next season.
The staff continues to pursue the transfer market. Last week, Caleb and Cody Martin visited campus and are in the middle of several official visits. Rutgers is likely to hear by the end of the month on the N.C. State transfers. Adding Issa is key, as it makes it more feasible to use two scholarships on players that can't play next season due to transfer rules. Although there are no reports of any graduate transfers currently considering Rutgers, the staff is likely reaching out to certain targets behind the scenes. They continue to pursue the class of 2017 as well, with over 20 offers having been made so far.
For now, welcome Issa Thiam to Rutgers!