The Rutgers men’s basketball team has had three scholarships available for next season and Steve Pikiell quickly found an intriguing player to fill one spot with. 3-star guard Caleb McConnell visited campus this weekend and wasted little time in committing to the program. He announced on Sunday night from his twitter account:
The 6’5” guard from Ohio is rated a 3-star recruit by 247 sports, who list offers from West Virginia, Wichita State, UMASS, St. Bonaventure, Akron, and Ohio, among others. McConnell played this past season at the SPIRE Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a versatile guard who can handle the basketball, score in multiple ways, defend multiple positions and rebound, making him a good fit in Steve Pikiell’s backcourt. With no true point guard on the roster at this time, Rutgers needs to add ball handlers and McConnell should certainly help in that area. Players who can create off the dribble and get to the rim are a major need and he has that ability. To be successful in that area in the Big Ten, he needs to bulk up his 175 pound frame. That’s typical of any incoming freshman and was the case with another under recruited 3-star guard Rutgers found last year in Geo Baker. He will benefit greatly in working under the direction of strength and conditioning guru David Van Dyke.
Rutgers made McConnell a top priority in the past month and it paid off. His skill set, along with his potential to develop over his four year career, make him an intriguing prospect. In the short term, McConnell gives Rutgers another ball handler for next season who is willing to defend and rebound. He will need time to develop as a player, but he could help at both the 1 & 2. However, his ability to buy into the culture of being a gym rat, something Pikiell has emphasized, McConnell could turn out to be a key player for the program in the years to come. Here is the current roster of scholarship players for next season:
Frontcourt: Shaq Doorson, Mamadou Doucoure, Eugene Omoruyi, Shaq Carter, Myles Johnson
Wings: Issa Thiam, Ron Harper Jr.
Backcourt: Geo Baker, Montez Mathis, Peter Kiss, Caleb McConnell
There are now two more scholarships available for next season. To read about grad transfer possibilities, click here.
Here are recent highlights of McConnell from the past year.