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Top 35 wing Gavin Griffiths commits to Rutgers

The second highest rated recruit in modern program history is one of the best shooters in the class of 2023.

Lehigh v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Rutgers men’s basketball has landed the highest rated recruit of the Steve Pikiell era with consensus Top 35 prospect Gavin Griffiths committing to the program on Thursday.

The 6’7” Griffiths, who is from West Hartford, Connecticut and attends Kingswood-Oxford School, is one of the best shooters in the class of 2023. His national rankings by major recruiting services includes No. 15 by On3, No. 26 by ESPN, No. 29 by Rivals and No. 62 by 247 Sports. His composite rankings for the class of 2023 are No. 32 by On3 and No. 33 by 247 Sports. He’s listed as the 5th best shooting guard in the class by On3 and 5th best small forward nationally by 247 Sports.

Griffiths’ recruiting grade of 0.9853 makes him the second highest rated recruit in modern program history. His rating is just below former McDonald’s All-American Mike Rosario’s grade of 0.9855.

The heralded wing took an official visit to Rutgers in mid-May and was scheduled to take two more official visits to Virginia Tech and Michigan in June. However, he cancelled both trips and committed to Steve Pikiell in recent days. Based on rankings and potential, this is the biggest recruiting win of his coaching career and is the second top 50 recruit he’s brought to Rutgers. The first was Cliff Omoruyi.

The 4-star recruit and Simsbury, Connecticut native is one of the best shooters in the 2023 class and his stock continued to rise during the recruiting process. He has been a standout player since last summer in the prestigious EYBL on the AAU circuit playing for Elite Expressions. In between, the sharp shooting Griffiths won NEPSAC Player of the Year this past season after averaging 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He did miss about two months this past spring due to a back injury but has been performing at a high level since his return. His recruiting grade and composite rankings have improved in the past month because of it.

Rutgers was just the second high major to offer Griffiths last June before his recruiting profile became elite. Steve Pikiell has been excellent in this regard during his tenure at identifying top talent early on and being one of the first high major coaches to offer. It doesn’t always result in landing those targets, but it does apply in this case. Griffiths held offers from other Big Ten schools Michigan, Iowa and Penn State as well as other high major offers from Providence, Xavier, Creighton, UConn, Pitt, Alabama, LSU, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Kansas State.

This is a tremendous addition to the program as Griffiths is a dynamic offensive player who can score in multiple ways. He is an elite shooter that has range, a quick release, good form and shoots with confidence. Griffiths is also a good passer with solid court vision that has the versatility to play the 2 or 3. His body control and ability to use his length to get to the rim is impressive at this stage of his development. Adding muscle to his athletic frame will help him hold up in a physical conference like the Big Ten. Other than needing to develop physically, Griffith is as polished a recruit as you could expect at this stage.

On3 national recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw has compared Griffiths to former Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas of Michigan. Shaw called him “a “stud,” and “he’s really got some stuff to him.” Shaw continued, “He’s got that type of mentality to him that Stauskas had — that ‘it’ factor. He might not be the most athletic, but it’s ‘just give me the ball and I’ll make something happen. He shoots the heck out of it. He’s two or three inches taller than Nik, though. Nik had a little more wiggle to him and more off the bounce. But Gavin has some stuff off the bounce, too. He just plays a little bit upright.” Shaw concluded Griffiths is “the type of guy that will grab a rebound and pull up on a fast break from 30 feet, bury it and talk [crap] to you.”

Aside from his immense potential as a player, Griffiths also fits the program’s culture and Pikiell’s desire to have “gym rats” throughout the roster.

Griffith’s high school coach Brad Seaman previously stated, “His greatest strength is his attention to detail and work ethic. He is that definition of hard work pays off. He’s in the gym in the summer and it’s 100 degrees in the morning and he’s working out before camp starts, then he’s doing yoga during the day and then he’s playing at night. That’s just his summer workout regimen.”

Adding a player of this caliber at this stage of the 2023 recruiting cycle is a major benefit for Rutgers. They now have a huge piece to show other recruits and this can help the program gain momentum not just with this class but also withthe 2024 class.

After three consecutive winning campaigns that would have resulted in NCAA Tournament berths if not for Covid-19 in 2020, Steve Pikiell has built a legit top half Big Ten program. With stars Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. gone, he’s reloading with a player that is as highly ranked a recruit as the school has ever landed. This is a breakthrough moment and the program has their next star to build the future around. Rutgers men’s basketball is entering another stage of the Steve Pikiell era and the future is brighter than ever.

To watch Griffiths discuss his commitment with Adam Finklestein of 247 Sports, click here.