The Rutgers men’s basketball coaching staff had a very busy live period in July. They made many offers and watched multiple potential targets in future classes. I recapped a lot of their activity on the recruiting trail over the last month here.
The next logical step is getting certain prospects that they are interested in to visit the program. August is a prime time to do so before the new school year begins. Rutgers is taking advantage of the opportunity and had an intriguing prospect visit this past weekend, as class of 2021 scoring guard Thomas Notarainni was at the RAC and first reported by Matt Agnoli of Scarlet Nation/247 Sports.
#RHOOPS RECRUITING UPDATE: Rutgers is hosting 6’3 2021 scoring guard Thomas Notarainni of @LVProspects & San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic for an unofficial visit today.— RHoops Recruiting (@RHoopsRecruits) August 10, 2018
Hard-nosed shotmaker is an ideal fit for B1G.
Pikiell is doing work here. https://t.co/mwFrglJXpD pic.twitter.com/w23h3mLMxn
Rutgers offered the 6’3” shooting guard after watching him play during the April live period a few months ago. Getting him on campus this past weekend is a step in the right direction in their pursuit so early in his recruitment process. While Rutgers is the only offer that Notarainni reportedly holds, fellow high major programs Michigan State and West Virginia have shown interest early on. His 247 Sports profile is here.
Head Coach Tom Izzo and Dane Fife of Michigan State have reached out regarding California 1st team all state 6’3 guard Thomas Notarainni @tommynotarainni of San Diego Cathedral Catholic and @LVProspects Nike EYBL 16U team— Steve Wade (@swade20) May 17, 2018
Notarainni is a hard nosed scoring guard who plays both ends of the floor and has a high work rate. The Californian made Prep 2 Prep’s First Team All-State as a freshman last season playing for Cathedral Catholic high school in San Diego. He also plays with AAU outfit Las Vegas Prospects of the Nike EYBL.
College basketball icon and former Rutgers basketball assistant coach Dick Vitale has noticed the talent that Notarainni has flashed this past year.
Here are some highlights of Notarainni in action this past July.
This play shows what makes Cathedral Catholic 6’3 Freshman scoring guard Thomas Notarainni @tommynotarainni so tough— Steve Wade (@swade20) February 10, 2018
Challenges the shot, snags rebound, pushes the ball and finishes in transition. Big time motor and now very good 3 point shooter pic.twitter.com/jE2dGo37Ak
Rutgers Head Coach Steve Pikiell has offered 2021 6’3 195lb scoring guard Thomas Notarainni of Cathedral Catholic (CA) & the Las Vegas Prospects 16U Nike EYBL team— Steve Wade (@swade20) May 1, 2018
Notarainni is a rugged Big Ten type, high motor guard that can really shoot the ball.@RHoopsRecruits pic.twitter.com/eFuS5tB9g2
In watching him in action and from what I’ve heard, he looks and sounds like the quintessential Pikiell type guard. He is tough, can get into the lane in traffic, plays hard on the defensive end and plays at a relentless pace on the court. Notarainni looks like a grinder that would fit perfectly in the program and seems like he will only get better as he develops his game over time. He already has a nose for the rim and his perimeter shot is coming along. The kid from San Diego has the potential to be a true triple scoring threat at the high major level and his grittiness would be an asset in the Big Ten. Although it will be a challenge for the Rutgers staff to keep tabs on Notarainni as well as they would with a local prospect, they obviously feel he is worth putting in the work in for.
The class of 2021 is one Pikiell and the staff have gotten a good handle on this summer, even though it’s three recruiting cycles out. They continue to grind it out for talent to help this program, near or far, as well as for now or in the future. If they can land a player like Notarainni, it would be another piece to the long term puzzle that Pikiell is putting together. Stay tuned for how his recruitment develops over time.