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Rutgers Basketball Recruiting Updates: A Dozen New Offers Made This Week

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We profile all the recruits that were offered this past week.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Northwestern vs Rutgers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers men’s basketball staff has been relentless on the recruiting trail since the season ended about two months ago. UConn transfer and former 4-star recruit Vance Jackson is currently visiting the program this weekend, which I previewed here. While the staff is hard at work to fill the remaining two scholarships available for next season, they have also been everywhere scouting prospects for future classes as well. In fact, there were a dozen reported new offers doled out by Rutgers this past week. Here is a breakdown of all twelve players they offered.

Class Of 2018 New Offers

Marcus Zegarowski

Ratings: 3-star 247 Sports, 4-star ESPN

Notable Offers: Penn State, Pittsburgh, UMASS, Minnesota per 247 Sports

Zegarowski is one of the top recruits in the New England prep circuit in the 2018 class. He is the brother of former Syracuse star and current NBA player Michael Carter-Williams. He made the First team All-NESPAC Class AA this past prep season, along with incoming Rutgers commit Geo Baker. NERR ranks him the 9th best player in New England in the class of 2018. As has always been the case, Baker is helping the cause with Zegarowski, as the two know each other from the New England prep circuit.

He recently held his own against Darius Garland, who is the top point guard in the 2018 class, per Mike Yagmin of the New England Recruiting Report. It took place last weekend at the Nike EYBL Tournament in Indianapolis. A major need for Rutgers is landing a point guard that can be a rock for the program moving forward. Pikiell is looking for a player who is tough, smart and can be a leader on the court. Zegarowski checks all of those boxes and can shoot the three, is an excellent passer, and can rebound well for a guard. He would be a great find for Rutgers and expect him to become a priority for the program in the class of 2018.

Aaron Wiggins

Ratings: 4-stars by all major services

Notable Offers: Kansas, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Arizona, Virginia per 247 Sports

The 6’6” wing who plays for prep power Wesleyan Christian Academy in North Carolina has quickly become one of the most sought after players in the class of 2018. Maryland has been pursuing him the hardest and a day after Rutgers offered him, Kansas did as well. It’s good to see Rutgers get involved, but their chances of gaining much traction with Wiggins is unlikely, based on the other schools involved.

Samba Diallo

Frankie Policelli

Diallo’s Ratings: 3-star 247 Sports, 4-star ESPN

Diallo’s Notable Offers: VCU, UMASS, Iona, Monmouth per 247 Sports

I covered Diallo’s visit to Rutgers for the Michigan game this past season here and has been on their radar since last year. The 6’7” wing from Pope John is rated the 9th best player in New Jersey in what is an absolutely loaded 2018 class. While Rutgers is the first high major to offer, it’s likely he will garner more interest as the summer progresses. He is a balanced player who can shoot, pass, and dribble that would be a solid addition on the perimeter for Rutgers. I think they certainly have a legitimate shot at landing him.

Policell’s Ratings: 3-stars from Rivals & 247 Sports

Policelli’s Notable Offers: VCU, UMASS, Iona, Rhode Island per 247 Sports

Diallo and Policelli are teammates for the NY Jayhawks, who play on the Adidas AAU circuit. The 6’8” Policelli also plays wing, but saw his high school junior season in upstate New York cut short due to a knee injury. He has garnered interest from Syracuse and took an unofficial visit their during the season. Policelli should see his recruitment pick up this summer, so it’s a positive Rutgers has gotten in the mix ahead of other high major schools.

Saddiq Bey

Ratings: 4-star Scout

Notable Offers: Miami, Georgetown, NC State, Northwestern per Verbal Commits

Bey is a 6’3” shooting guard who plays high school ball in Washington D.C. and broke out playing for DC Premier on the Under Armour AAU circuit with strong performances the past couple of weeks. All of his notable offers have come this past week, including Rutgers. Bey also had a very good junior season for Sidwell Friends and was profiled by the Washington Post in March here. He is a versatile playmaker who can run at the wing position as well. He is an intriguing prospect and it will be interesting to see if Rutgers makes him a priority.

2019 New Offers

Alexander Rice

Ratings: None currently

Notable Offers: Pittsburgh per Verbal Commits

The son of former North Carolina star and current Monmouth head coach King Rice played his sophomore season of high school at St. Anthony’s for legendary coach Bob Hurley. With the school sadly set to close, it remains to be seen where the 6’2” point guard will land. He is playing for WE R1 on the Under Armour circuit this AAU season and should see more high major offers come this summer.

Ismael Massoud

Ratings: 4-stars Rivals

Notable Offers: Xavier, Wake Forest, Yale, Monmouth, St. Louis

Massoud is a 6’6” wing from the Bronx and plays for local AAU power the PSA Cardinals on the Nike EYBL circuit. He has played well in April and has picked up all of his high major offers in the past week. Massoud plays high school ball in Massachusetts for the MacDuffie School after beginning his career at New York City power Cardinal Hayes. He is rated the 5th best prospect in New England for the class of 2019 by NERR. More high major offers are likely to come this summer, but Rutgers is starting to focus on many underrated prospects in future classes like Massoud.

Jalen Gaffney

Tariq Ingraham

Gaffney’s Ratings: None currently

Gaffney’s Notable Offers: St. John’s per 247 Sports

While Rutgers is just the second high major after Chris Mullin and the Johnnies, Gaffney is garnering interest from Temple, Wake Forest, Xavier and Florida. The 6’2” point guard from Pennington, NJ plays for AAU power Team Rio, which is the same program that two of the top recruits in the country, Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis, play for. It’s smart of Pikiell and the staff to continue to build a relationship with players from Team Rio, who play on the Under Armour circuit. Gaffney starred at Lawrenceville Prep in New Jersey as a sophomore and was named First Team All-Prep by the Trentonian. He will likely see his recruitment blow up, but it’s good to see Rutgers in the mix early on.

Ingraham’s Ratings: 4-stars 247 Sports

Ingrahams’ Notable Offers: Robert Morris

Ingraham also plays for Team Rio, as well as the Ranney School alongside Antoine and Lewis. The 6’8” forward received his first high major offer from Rutgers, but has received interest from Seton Hall, St. John’s, Maryland, Villanova, and Temple, according to 247 Sports. The Delaware native is assured of being watched by many high major programs who are tracking both Antoine and Lewis. Credit Rutgers for offering first, as Ingraham should have plenty of offers on the way this summer.

Kyle Sturdivant

Ratings: 3-stars 247 Sports, 4-stars Rivals

Notable Offers: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Miami, Xavier

The 6’2” point guard from Georgia holds double-digit high major offers, according to 247 Sports. Being from the south, the SEC is all over him, but Rutgers is the first Big Ten school to target the floor general. This shows how the staff is doing a tremendous job of identifying talent all over the eastern seaboard, even two cycles away.

Eric Dixon

Ratings: None currently

Notable Offers: Georgetown, Oklahoma State per 247 Sports

The 6’7” forward from Abington, Pennsylvania has also been on Maryland’s radar, as he visited their midnight madness event before last season began. He is a teammate of Alexander Rice on WE R1 and is a true post player. City of Basketball Love has an in-depth profile on Dixon here and they cite his polished skills near the rim. He should be an interesting player to track, as he is a bit undersized, but could develop into a versatile player at the next level. Former Rutgers star Rashod Kent comes to memory as a player Dixon reminds me of. He was invited to train with the USA Junior National Team last fall, so he has a bright future.

2021 New Offer

Trey Patterson

No offers or national rankings as of yet.

Yes, Patterson hasn’t even made his high school debut, but has shown promise for Team Rio and Rutgers has taken notice. He has been mentioned by multiple recruiting sites as one of the best players in the 2021 class and has a chance to be ranked in the top 10 in the future. He is from Somerset, New Jersey and it appears is set to attend Rutgers Prep. The staff have to be all over such a promising talent in the backyard and no surprise, they already are. I believe Rutgers is the first school to offer the 6’7” wing and for more info, read a good profile on him from Future 150 here.

In Closing

Without a doubt, the current staff has done a tremendous job in recruiting across the east coast and within future classes. While it’s necessary that they land two solid players with the two current open scholarships to keep positive momentum going from last season, laying the groundwork on the recruiting trail for 2018 and beyond is so important as well. While New Jersey has an absolutely loaded 2018 class, the staff is wisely targeting talented recruits from all over. The fact is the staff is involved with many intriguing prospects and patience is needed.

Recruiting is a numbers game and Rutgers is playing it well, but also seems to be targeting players that fit their style and culture. Don’t expect any 2018 targets to start making decisions until after the July live recruiting period this summer, but the staff continues to position themselves well. Landing UConn transfer Vance Jackson would be a coup for the program and trigger more interest from recruits they are currently targeting. We will wait to see what develops there. While pessimism and doubt are easy thoughts to have regarding Rutgers, based on past history, especially in this ultra competitive recruiting climate within college basketball, the staff has me brimming with optimism. It’s only a matter of time before a major upgrade in talent arrives on the banks.

Update:

Rutgers hosted five top recruits and offered them all on Saturday. For a full recap, click here.