Good news came on Thursday, as Stony Brook grad transfer Akwasi Yeboah announced on twitter that he was committing to play for Rutgers next season. Yeboah was listed as the 36th best grad transfer on the market according to Jeff Goodman of the Stadium. Other reported suitors included TCU, SMU, Marquette, and Clemson. Yeboah will play on the banks next season instead.
Yeboah was the best player on a Stony Brook team that went 24-9 this past season, averaging 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Yeboah shot 41.3% from the floor, 31.6% from three-point range on 209 attempts, and 78.5% from the free throw line on 130 attempts. He shot 45.2.% from the field and 35.5% from three the previous season on less attempts, which is a reason to be encouraged he could achieve those type of numbers with Rutgers, where he won’t be the top offensive target.
He had an efficiency rating of 103.0 last season and is a proven scorer, as he failed to reach double digits in just two out of thirty-two games played. The 6’6” forward plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor and is an effective rebounder, as his defensive rebounding rate of 20.1% was 245th best in the nation last season.
While Yeboah doesn’t perfectly fill the highest priority needs for Rutgers next season (a big man to replace Shaq Doorson; outside shooter), he is a great addition nonetheless and has true versatility to help in both of those areas. Yeboah adds another deep threat and can hold his own in the paint. He can play in the post or the wing, although most of his shots come from the perimeter, so it only gives more options for Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell with his rotations next season.
He was recruited to Stony Brook by Pikiell, so that relationship was key in getting Yeboah to join the program. Their familiarity with each other and Yeboah’s understanding of how Pikiell wants to play will be invaluable in his transition to the team next season. He will add toughness and grit, while being an experienced scorer and rebounder. He also is a good insurance policy in case Eugene Omoruyi misses any time with injury. The previous two seasons when Omoruyi was out, Rutgers had no one to replace him, but Yeboah could fill that void if necessary. That being said, Yeboah is talented enough in his own right to potentially start alongside Omoruyi next season, or could be a valuable sixth man off the bench.
While Yeboah was a First Team All-America East selection, he has also performed well against high major competition in his college career. He scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against South Carolina last season, a team Rutgers will face next season. He also killed his new team in an upset victory at the RAC two years ago, scoring 20 points and pulling down 6 rebounds. He had 22 points and 12 rebounds against Providence, as well as scored 15 points against Michigan State and Maryland that same season. He is a player.
This was a big win on the recruiting trail for Pikiell and the staff. They add an impact player for next season and will now have this scholarship open again for the class of 2020, giving Rutgers three spots to fill in that recruiting cycle. The roster needed added depth in the frontcourt and Yeboah is a welcomed addition. Pikiell continues to add talent to the roster and still has one scholarship available for next season. Expectations will continue to rise for this team.
Here is the current roster as of now heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Frontcourt: Eugene Omoruyi (Sr); Shaq Carter (Sr); Mamadou Doucoure (Jr or RS So); Myles Johnson (RS So)
Wings: Akwasi Yeboah (Sr); Ron Harper Jr. (So)
Backcourt: Geo Baker (Jr); Peter Kiss (RS Jr); Jacob Young (RS Jr); Montez Mathis (So); Caleb McConnell (So); Paul Mulcahy (Fr)
Rutgers returns everyone of significance from a team that won seven Big Ten games and adds Akwasi Yeboah, Jacob Young, and Paul Mulcahy. Nothing will come easy for opponents at the RAC in 19-20.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 2, 2019