The Rutgers men's basketball program hosted several recruits from the class of 2017, 2018 and 2019 last week. The coaching staff continues to pursue potential late pickups for next season's roster, but they also have a firm eye on the future as well. With the July live recruiting period close to beginning, the staff has done a good job getting recruits on campus this past month. Let's take a look at the five visitors from the last week.
Christian Hinckson & Kareem Reid
'18 Christian Hinckson & '19 Kareem Reid of John Bowne-NY will be hosted by Rutgers on an unofficial visit tomorrow.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) June 20, 2016
247 sports and Rivals list Iona as Hinckson's only offer so far, and both sites list Creighton, Siena, Quinnipiac, and St. Peter's as having interest. The 6'6" forward and rising junior teamed last season at John Bowne high school with rising sophomore Kareem Reid, who averaged over 12 rebounds per game as a freshman in New York City's PSAL league last season. Reid doesn't appear to have any offers yet, but the 6'6' forward is establishing himself as a defensive stalwart. He uses his 7 foot wingspan as a weapon to disrupt passing lanes and grab missed shots off the rim. It is smart for Rutgers to get these under the radar players on campus so early in the player's recruiting process. There is a ton of talent in New York City, and Rutgers has not been involved with nearly enough prospects over the years. It's been great to see the new coaching staff pursuing so many city kids so early on in their tenure.
Swider is a lights shooter with marked precision, while also having the toughness and skill to score tough points in the paint. He drives with authority and is fundamentally sound with his jump shot, having a consistent catch and release with the basketball. According to 247 sports, Swider has a solid offer list which includes Creighton, Boston College, DePaul, Rhode Island, and St. Louis. He left campus last week with an offer from Rutgers and he could become a key recruit for the program in the 2018 recruiting cycle. At 6'7" and 210 lbs, Swider should continue to develop physically the next two years and he could be ready to contribute right away his freshman season. He is currently ranked the #3 recruit in his region by the New England Recruiting Report for the class of 2018. Swider's offer list is likely to grow in the next year, so it was big for Rutgers to have him on campus last week.
Brown is pure bulldog and what he lacks in height, he makes up for with a relentless motor and athleticism. On the same list as Swider, Brown is ranked as the #12th best recruit in his region for the class of 2018 by the New England Recruiting report. He is only 5'9", so if he doesn't grow much more, he will likely not be considered an elite guard in recruiting circles. But watching his tape, he has a ton of upside and could end up being a great distributor and pace setter for Pikiell's offense in the future. Even if he doesn't project as a starting guard in the Big Ten right now, he could be the type of player to bring a spark off the bench and be a capable backup.
Rutgers needs shooters and Loewe is a good one. He has a good frame, is athletic, and can score in transition. He is a pesky defender who is not afraid of creating pressure on opposing ballhandlers. Loewe plays with a toughness that Rutgers needs, as coach Pikiell works to improve the culture of the program. 247 sports lists offers from St. Joseph's, Lehigh, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee as his best aside from Rutgers. Loewe also seems interested in Davidson, a program that has succeeded in its transition to the Atlantic 10. While it hasn't been reported that Davidson has offered Loewe yet, they could soon. Tracking Loewe the rest of this summer will be key for the staff, who could be a candidate to commit early in the class of 2017 recruiting cycle. Rutgers needs to land someone of note early in the process to build momentum on the recruiting trail.
The Rutgers staff will continue to work hard to build relationships ahead of the July live recruiting period. We will find out a lot about who their top targets are for the class of 2017 and beyond, based on who they track intently next month. It should continue to be an interesting summer on the recruiting end of things for Rutgers basketball.