The recruitment of New York City point guard Jose Alvarado is heating up, right as the summer winds are coming to a close. The Christ The King point guard has been the top target for Rutgers in the class of 2017 for months, ever since Steve Pikiell was hired back in April. The hard work has put the program one step closer to landing what would be Pikiell’s highest rated recruit since coming to the banks. Tonight, Alvarado named the program on his list of the final three schools that he is considering.
Alvarado has visited Rutgers twice since Steve Pikiell took over in April. He first visited back in June and then again in August. Pikiell and his staff also tracked Alvarado through the entire July live recruiting period, following the floor leader in action with his AAU team the NY Rens. Rutgers continues to develop a good relationship with that team, as they recently hosted several younger players from the Rens as well.
Alvarado spoke to Pat Lawless about his final three schools and had this to say about Rutgers:
“I have found that Rutgers is a great fit for me,” he said. “They have a great new coaching staff and I feel like they are going to do a lot better going forward. There is a lot to like about them.”
Seton Hall has been recruiting Alvarado longer than Rutgers and Georgia Tech, simply because their staff has been intact for more than just a few months. Former Pirate star point guard Shaheen Holloway is the lead recruiter for the Hall. While Seton Hall has more depth and have other point guards they are targeting within the class of 2017, they have obviously made a strong impression on Alvarado.
Georgia Tech emerged in the last couple of months with new head coach Josh Pastner, formerly of Memphis. Alvarado visited the Atlanta school in late August, just a few days after his last trip to Rutgers.
Friday is the first day that college coaches can visit recruits and as Alvarado released his final three tonight, Pastner and Pikiell were already scheduled to visit the gritty point guard.
The good news for Rutgers is their only commitment so far for the class of 2017, New England combo guard Geo Baker, continues to court Alvarado on twitter. This was Bakers response this evening after Alvarado’s final three announcement.
You already know bro ⚫️ keep doing your thing out there ✊ https://t.co/kr4e7ng4sC— Geo Baker (@Geo_Baker_1) September 9, 2016
For what it is worth, all 13 recruiting analysts for 247 sports who have made a prediction on where Alvarado will ultimately end up, selected Rutgers. There is no denying how important landing the city tough point guard would be for the program. True point guards are hard to come by and he elevated his game this summer playing on the loaded Nike EYBL circuit. He is a winner, a leader on the court, and makes the unconventional pass look easy. His ability as a lockdown defender, in addition to his ball skills and court vision, make him a complete player. His style of play fits what Pikiell ultimately wants for the program, and he would be a major foundation in recruiting New York City players moving forward. It's also a chance to make a statement winning a recruiting battle against their blood rival.
With Seton Hall looking at other PG's in addition to Alvarado, he is an important recruit for Steve Pikiell. #rhoops— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) September 8, 2016
Alvarado is choosing a commitment date shortly, so it’s reasonable to expect his decision before the end of this year. Alvarado was still gaining new suitors this summer, as he received an offer from Dayton in July and was generating interest from Syracuse. The fact that he decided on a final three now bodes well for Rutgers.
Coach Pikiell and his staff have done a phenomenal job making progress and grinding it out on the recruiting trail this summer. They have hosted numerous top local recruits in the classes of 2018 & 2019, like Naz Reid, Louis King, Scottie Lewis, and Bryan Antoine. While all of those players would be dream commitments for the program, the reality is Pikiell must land a player like Alvarado first. His makeup and skill set make him an ideal player to build the program around. It would help solidify the foundation that Pikiell has worked so effectively to build in such a short time. It’s going to be a battle to ultimately land Alvarado, but for the first time in a long time, Rutgers has a good chance to land one of the best players in New York City on the recruiting trail.