Although it was expected, Corey Sanders made his return to Rutgers official late last night.
Yes I'm Returning Back To Rutgers— Iverson Jr (@C_Sanders3) May 18, 2016
Sanders, who was not invited to the NBA combine, continued to workout with the program this past spring and completed his freshman year in the classroom. He led the team in minutes played, points, assists, and steals last season. Corey took advantage of the new draft process rules which allow for player evaluation before having to decide whether to enter the NBA Draft or remove themselves from consideration. The official deadline is May 25th.
This past season, Sanders led all Big Ten freshman in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game, including eight games where he scored 20 or more points. Sanders was second in the conference for freshman with 4.3 assists per game and led the entire conference with 1.8 steals per game. Sanders finished in the top ten for scoring, assists, and steals in the Big Ten overall. Despite that type of production, he failed to make the All-Big Ten Freshman team, a disappointing decision by the conference coaches. The fact that Rutgers had such a bad season and that Sanders was suspended for a four game stretch certainly didn't help his cause. But that is in the past now!
He will be looking for a fresh start with new head coach Steve Pikiell and his staff. Assistant coach Brandin Knight, the former All-Big East guard, will be integral in Corey's continued development. Sanders, along with Mike Williams, have welcomed Nigel Johnson into the fold for the upcoming season. Johnson sat out last season after transferring from Kansas State and is expected to play a big role on the team moving forward.
The roster now has ten players confirmed for next season. The staff is awaiting word from Caleb and Cody Martin, the twins who are transferring from N.C. State and visited Rutgers last week. Florida transfer Brandone Francis-Ramirez is also scheduled to visit in June. All three transfer candidates are former 4-star recruits. Corey Sanders is the only former 4-star recruit on the current Rutgers roster. For now, let's appreciate the official return of Corey and hope that next season he will be even better than his freshman debut. Here is a link to multiple highlight videos of several games last season.