After a busy and interesting offseason already for the Rutgers men’s basketball program, the biggest question about the future has now been answered. Corey Sanders announced on twitter this afternoon that he is entering the NBA Draft with an intent to hire an agent, effectively ending his Rutgers career. It’s the third time he will have entered the draft early, which automatically foregoes his last year of eligibility.
Sanders had his most complete campaign of his collegiate career this past season, when he averaged 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.1 minutes as a junior. He finishes his Rutgers career with 1370 points, 328 assists, and 136 steals in 94 games. His all-time ranks in program history are as follows: 17th in scoring, 8th in assists, and 10th in steals.
His finest moment on the banks came in the Big Ten Tournament this past month, when he averaged 24.7 points on 32 of 60 shooting from the field, while adding 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three impressive performances. He was named to the All-Tournament team for his effort.
While it’s unlikely Corey Sanders will be selected in June’s NBA Draft, it’s possible. He could also decide to pursue a career overseas or in the G-League, the developmental platform for the NBA. We will be tracking his journey closely. He also left in an upstanding way, giving head coach Steve Pikiell and the staff enough notice to be able to prepare for next season without him.
Here is a statement released by Rutgers basketball from Steve Pikiell on Sanders:
”First and foremost, I’d like to personally thank Corey for his contributions to our program over the last three years. He believed in us as a new coaching staff two years ago and we believe in him now, as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball. Corey has grown tremendously, both as a person and a player. What’s most exciting, however, is how much further he can go. The sky is the limit for this young man and we look forward to supporting his journey.”
It’s been a heck of a ride with #3 and we wish Corey Sanders all the best in his pro career. At the end of the day, he needed to do what was best for him and his family. He will be missed next season and beyond at Rutgers, but Sanders gave every Scarlet Knight fan memories for a lifetime. We’ll have a deeper dive on his legacy at Rutgers later on this offseason.
There are now three open scholarships and to read about the many questions that Rutgers men’s basketball face ahead of next season, click here.