While head coach Steve Pikiell has an assistant coach to hire and two open scholarships to fill for next season, he continues to be resourceful in finding help any way he can. On Monday, class of 2019 forward Daniel Lobach announced on twitter that he was joining the program for next season and as first reported by DeAnte Mitchell of Rivals, it will be as a walk-on player.
The 6’7” forward is from Erwin, North Carolina and plays for Moravian Prep, which has several high major scholarship level players on its roster. One in particular, class of 2020 guard Josh Hall, is a player that Pikiell and the staff are actively recruiting. While Lobach didn’t reportedly hold any Division I offers of his own, he has the potential to be a useful addition to Rutgers. Jamie Shaw of the Phenom Hoop Report had this to say about Lobach in this article from January:
“Lobach may have been the most unlikely standout of the day. Lobach has been homeschooled his whole life, until the last month of so when he enrolled at Cape Fear Christian. Since the summer he has added 2 inches and 20+ pounds to put on his already lengthy (6’11” wing span) frame. In this setting, Lobach showcased the ability to score with his back to the basket, to make the pick & pop 3 and to score off the bounce from the high post or wing. He earned an invite to the NC Top 80 so it will be interesting to watch him against the best. However, he is one that D1 schools need to jump on now as he is getting better by the day.”
After playing for Moravian Prep, Lobach has gone against top competition every day in practice. In addition, he has grown in the last year and could continue to do so. He has the potential to be a player who is still developing physically, which could result in steady improvement in his game over time. He can score multiple ways and plays both ends of the floor, as well as play multiple positions due to his size and skill set. While expectations should be kept in check as he is not a scholarship player, a program like Rutgers can benefit from having a guy like Lobach in practice every day.
Rutgers has had a strong group of walk-on’s during the Pikiell era, most notably with former player and current grad assistant Jake Dadika. Lobach will join three rising junior walk-on’s from last year’s team, center Luke Nathan, as well as guards Nick Brooks and Joey Downes. I wrote about them here and adding another big man in Lobach will only help the Rutgers frontcourt get better next season.
The April live period just concluded and I covered several offers, visits, and new targets before last weekend here. I’ll have plenty more on the state of Rutgers basketball recruiting soon,as this crucial offseason for the program is just getting started.