While head coach Steve Pikiell and the staff have been hard at work on future classes, hosting multiple recruits this past weekend, there is still one remaining scholarship available for next season. Rutgers was in the mix for UConn transfer and AAC All-Rookie team selection Vance Jackson, who visited the program back in May. Unfortunately, Jackson is headed out west to play for New Mexico of the Mountain West Conference. It was first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN on Monday afternoon.
UConn transfer Vance Jackson told ESPN he will head to New Mexico. Story: https://t.co/OGnXaiOrfd— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 26, 2017
Jackson is a former 4-star, top 100 recruit from the class of 2016. The 6’8” swingman averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds, while shooting 40% from three-point range as a freshman for UConn last season. He also had the highest adjusted offensive efficiency rating of any regular player on UConn. Aside from Rutgers, Jackson also visited Washington, San Diego State, New Mexico, and TCU over the course of the past two months.
While Jackson would have been a major pickup for Rutgers, it wouldn’t have helped the cause next season, as he is a sit-out transfer. The good news is the Rutgers staff can move on from Jackson now that he is no longer an option. Expect the coaching staff to ramp up efforts in targeting graduate transfer candidates and possibly some remaining JUCO targets as well.
While July 4th is just around the corner, it’s important for Rutgers fans to remember that last season’s starting center and fan favorite, CJ Gettys, didn’t sign with the program until late August. Rising sophomore Eugene Omoruyi didn’t sign until a couple of weeks before Gettys. It’s not an ideal situation to be in, having a scholarship available this late in the recruiting cycle, but it’s a reality early on in this rebuilding process.
The staff have proven they are diligent in their recruiting efforts and they likely have a plan on how to move forward. It’s also possible that Pikiell could choose to roll over the remaining scholarship for the 2018 class, if they aren’t interested in any options available to them this summer.