Rutgers picked up its first commitment for the incredibly important 2018 class today, when 4-star Power Forward Mamadou Doucoure announced that he was becoming a Scarlet Knight.
Doucoure currently plays at Our Savior New American School (NY) and is listed at 6’9, 220 lbs. He also had offers from UConn, Creighton, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and St. John’s.
Andrew Slater broke the news earlier this morning…
This is a major addition. Doucoure had some top-tier teams interested and chose Rutgers. In his initial interview with 247 Sports, he mentioned how much love he felt from the Rutgers staff, specifically Steve Pikiell and Brandin Knight. They made sure he was a top priority throughout the process and were rewarded for their efforts.
But my favorite quote from that article comes from Doucoure’s high school coach Eric Jaklitsch, “There is no doubt in the metropolitan area that everyone has been impressed with the coaching and development going on at Rutgers.”
Wow. When was the last time we heard praise like that from a local high school coach?
The 2018 class is vitally important for RU. The current top four bigs in the rotation will all be gone (Gettys, Freeman, Sa, Doorson) so we’ll need to reload the front line. Luckily, it’s shaping up to be a really talented class, especially in the metro area. And Pike and his staff, in a very short time period, have already shown they can get it done on the recruiting trail.
There’s still more work to do, but for now, let’s just enjoy the early Christmas present.
The Rutgers staff found out earlier today that they’ve lost the recruiting battle for Makhtar Gueye, a 6’10” Forward from Aspire Academy (AZ). Gueye instead chose UAB.
Gueye is a 3-star rated recruit by Rivals and just took an official visit to Rutgers in early October. He was a top priority for the coaching staff, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. For now, Geo Baker remains the only member of the Knights 2017 recruiting class.
Let’s face it…recruiting is a tough game. Sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose. This one we lost, but the effort we’re putting in on the recruiting trail should not be overlooked. The fact that we’re even on the short list (and by accounts, we were in the final two) for a 3-star recruit is a step in the right direction. But you know the best way to close the deal? Winning.
By all accounts, Steve Pikiell and his staff are going to put in the work to get top recruits on campus and interested in Rutgers basketball. If we can couple their hard work with improvement on the court, we’ll start turning more heads as the recruiting season moves forward.