Rutgers men’s basketball received good news on the recruiting trail on Thursday, as 3-star forward Braedon Moore committed to the program.
Moore is a top 250 recruit per the 247 Sports composite rankings where they list him as the no. 7 prospect in Tennessee and no. 47 power forward in the 2022 class. The Nashville, Tennessee native holds almost three dozen offers overall and from over a dozen from high major schools. They include Kansas, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Arkansas, Georgetown, Auburn, Arizona State, St. John’s and Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-8, 210 pound big man appeared to have narrowed his decision down to offers from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Rutgers, as he visited all three schools over a two week period in late June.
It was clear that head coach Steve Pikiell made a big impression on Moore following his visit to campus. He told Brian Fonseca of NJ Advance Media about how different Pikiell was from other coaches in recruiting him in this interview following his visit:
“I talked to coach Pikiell for hours on hours on hours and he is awesome. He drove me around a little bit for some one-on-one time with him. He really took initiative to be with me and my family and letting me know he wants me to come here. He’s a little different than every other coach and I love that. It’s unique. He really wanted to have a relationship with me instead of BSing me. I learned a lot about him and he learned a lot about us. They’re all about the right things.”
“He was telling me he’s never had a player like me,” Moore said. “He knows I’m a shooter but I’m as versatile as any 6-foot-8 guy out there. He wants to develop me as not only a shooter but he wants to create me into a three-level scorer. He is really, really excited about that. The biggest thing he said was ‘I want to coach you.’ He said that probably 10 times. There’s not many coaches who have said that to me. That’s different, it’s not normal and I thought that was pretty special.”
Moore has the skill set to develop into an impact wing at Rutgers. In 32 games, he averaged 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 37% from three-point range in his junior season at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville. He also shot 45% from the floor overall and 72% from the foul line. The big man was named to the Main Street Preps All-Midstate boys basketball team following his junior season.
In two varsity seasons, Moore has made 188 of 498 attempts from behind the arc for 37.8% and has been incredibly consistent. He has the potential to develop into a much needed sharp shooter at Rutgers.
This is a big win on the recruiting trail for Pikiell and the coaching staff. Moore is a national recruit with no local ties and Rutgers beat out two other Big Ten schools in the process. The fact that Wisconsin made him a priority is a great endorsement for the type of player that Moore can become. Having a skilled big man who can shoot and create scoring chances from the perimeter can really open things up for the offense. With the current roster shifting towards positionless basketball with its size and depth, Moore has the opportunity to fit right in beginning in the 2022-2023 season.
Pikiell has distinguished himself as a recruiter at Rutgers by identifying players he covets early in the process that he then prioritizes the entire way. The Scarlet Knights were the first high major program to offer Moore last fall. Pikiell made his intentions even more clear by attending Moore’s first AAU game on opening night at the Adidas Gauntlet event during the live period earlier this month.
Finding the right fits with players that have potential to develop into major contributors has been the key to Pikiell’s success in elevating Rutgers to an NCAA Tournament team. While Moore is only a 3-star commit, his offer list reads of a higher ranked recruit. That shouldn’t be surprising during a a recruiting cycle impacted by COVID-19 where AAU events were minimal and recruiting services had limited opportunities to evaluate. The bottom line is that Moore could be a major contributor in his career on the banks.
This is the first commitment in the class of 2022 for Rutgers. With the extra year of eligibility and the new reality that is the transfer portal, it’s hard to know how many spots the staff will ultimately fill in this recruiting cycle. With Geo Baker, Ralph Agee and Luke Nathan in their last year’s of eligibility, there is at least two more scholarships to fill. Securing a commitment from Moore before the school year begins is a good start and will allow them to focus on other priority targets the rest of the summer.
You can watch additional highlights of Moore’s junior campaign here and from AAU ball this spring below.
6’8 @braeden_moore_ 30+ Offers Does damage a few ways..moving off of screens, spotting up, or getting open in transition... Runs the floor well & gets to his hot spots in transition..Lights OUT from 3pt range @Next_PageForce @ArRecruitingGuy @PaulBiancardi @ARHoopScoop pic.twitter.com/yDTIv5ic82— FAB44TV ❌ (@FAB44TV_) May 28, 2021