Yesterday, the Rutgers men’s basketball program hosted their top target within the class of 2017 for a second time in two months. New York City point guard Jose Alvarado was tracked constantly by the staff during the July live recruiting period, so it was a great development to get the floor general back on campus just a few weeks later.
2017 PG @AlvaradoJose15 tells me his visit to Rutgers was 'great.' He is top priority for them in 2017.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) August 14, 2016
Rutgers currently has one open scholarship for the class of 2017. With as many as three available less than one month ago, the staff did a great job of landing Canadian wing Eugene Omoruyi so late in the process, who is eligible for this coming season, and 2017 combo guard Geo Baker. The talent level is rising within the program and the hope is Alvarado is the next domino to fall their way, as they have to be holding their only remaining scholarship for him as of now.
Alvarado is the reigning New York City Catholic High School Player of the Year, but got even better this summer while starring for the NY Rens on the EYBL circuit.
Been night and day with Jose Alvarado from May to now. So much more under control and efficient. Decision making on point— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) July 24, 2016
Not only is he the type of player that can become the cornerstone of the rebuild for the program, but landing Alvarado would signal a big win on the recruiting trail in New York City. Rutgers recently hosted several players from the NY Rens from the 2018 & 2019 classes, so it’s a AAU program that is important in establishing a great relationship with. In addition, Rutgers has had little success recruiting top players from New York City in recent years, so this is an area in need of major improvement.
Alvarado is a gritty, smart and playmaking point guard, who head coach Steve Pikiell can build his entire offense around. He can score in multiple ways, but is also a creative passer who can get the ball to teammates in tight spots. He has been the top target for Pikiell and his staff since they took over in April.
Alvarado is rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and a 3-star recruit by Rivals, Scout, and 247 sports.The 6'0" point guard has an impressive amount of high major offers, as 247 sports lists Syracuse, Indiana, Miami, VCU, Xavier, Dayton and Georgia Tech, in addition to local schools St. John's and Seton Hall. One big concern is that Alvarado has indicated he is planning to take a visit Syracuse this month.
A positive development though is it’s not just the staff working hard to secure Alvarado’s commitment. The recently committed Baker, who can play both the point and off the ball, has been recruiting Alvarado as well on twitter:
There hasn’t been any reports of a confirmed visit date with Syracuse for Alvarado, so the staff certainly made a strong pitch again yesterday, in hopes of making a lasting impression. Along with having 2018 5-star recruit Naz Reid on campus this week, the Rutgers staff is doing a great job of honing in on top local talent. Before we can dream of landing a player of Reid’s caliber, a unanimous top ten player in the country, Rutgers must secure players like Alvarado first. It appears the staff is doing everything they can to make Alvarado their top priority. Now it’s an issue of time, with Alvarado committing in the fall before the 2016-2017 season being the dream scenario. It’s likely Rutgers will wait for Alvarado, but the longer time passes, the harder it’s probably going to be to ultimately gain his commitment.
Either way, the new coaching staff is recruiting at a much higher level than the program has experienced in many years. If they can land Alvarado soon, the backcourt of the future would be secure for years to come. and it would be a very talented one for sure. For now, getting the talented point guard back for a second visit was a positive step. Stay tuned. Here is a new highlight reel of Alvarado from this past summer.