The Rutgers men's basketball program has been stuck at ten scholarship players for next season for about a month now. With the best graduate transfers taken, it seemed unlikely Rutgers had much of a chance to add a quality player for next season. Today, former Ole Miss commit and JUCO transfer Tyrek Coger announced he scheduled four visits in the next ten days. Rutgers will be one of the schools he is considering.
I will go 26-27 Oklahoma state, 27-28-29 Kansas state, Rutgers 29-30, Charlotte July 1,2. Make decision and report to school that Monday— Hungry and Humble (@Tyrek_coger) June 23, 2016
UPDATE: Coger Cancelled on Rutgers....UUUGGGHHH...Cancel This Blog!
Coger was set to enroll at Ole Miss this summer, but due to an SEC transfer rule he was unable to. The conference requires that JUCO transfers attended the same junior college for three consecutive semesters. Coger did not meet that requirement. He attended and played at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina this past year. He was originally committed to Missouri out of high school in 2013, before switching to Middle Tennessee State. He ultimately attended Eastern Florida State College in 2013-2014, before transferring to Cape Fear Community College. Coger then redshirted the 2014-2015 season due to academic reasons. The SEC doesn't count it as attending Cape Fear for three consecutive semesters, as he wasn't enrolled as a full-time student his redshirt year, according to this article. It goes on to detail that Ole Miss expected to receive a waiver on this rule, as Coger was dealing with two deaths in his family around this time. However, the SEC denied the request this past Monday. That is the reason for Coger having to scramble so late in the process now.
However, Ole Miss's loss could be Rutgers' gain. Coger is a 6'9" forward who averaged 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last season for Cape Fear. Here is a link to his full stat line for this past season. He also shot 52.6% from the field. He has broad shoulders and is an athletic player in the post, with the ability to be a defensive force around the rim. As a JUCO transfer, Coger would be able to play right away and he has two seasons of eligibility remaining. According to this article, 247 sports rates Coger as the #21 JUCO player in the country.
Rutgers would greatly benefit from adding a scholarship player who can contribute next season. While the frontcourt depth is actually six deep right now, you can never have enough big men. With assistant coach Jay Young hard at work developing the frontcourt, adding Coger would mean Rutgers would have five players 6'9" or taller for next season. That would give them more size than most of the Big Ten and allow head coach Steve Pikiell to rotate fresh bodies down low throughout the game. It would be a significant asset to have in conference play.
Coger visits Rutgers next Wednesday and Thursday, sandwiched in between visits to Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Charlotte. He expects to make a decision soon after and to enroll the week of July 4th at the school of his choice. No matter what happens, give the Rutgers coaching staff credit for being in the mix on a quality player so late in the game. They are doing their due diligence and perhaps this will be the break they need to add an 11th player for next season.