Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rutgers sophomore guard Corey Chandler will likely transfer after the season ends, according to multiple sources.
“He called me about 11:30 [Tuesday] night and said he wanted out. He wanted me to get him out of there,” Alif Muhammad, the head of the Alif Muhammad NIA School in Newark, said Wednesday by phone. “I’m going to prepare a letter for him today [Wednesday] asking for an unconditional release from his scholarship.”
Two other sources close to the former Newark East Side guard confirmed that he was strongly considering transferring.
Chandler would have to sit out a year per NCAA regulations and would be eligible to play beginning in the 2010-11 season.
Rutgers had no official comment on the matter. Chandler, ranked the No. 10 point guard and the No. 62 prospect in his class by Rivals, committed to Rutgers after his sophomore season of high school and was Fred Hill’s first major recruit at the school.
Muhammad helped Seton Hall guard and fellow Newark native Keon Lawrence meet his academic requirements during high school. Since then, he helped negotiate Lawrence’s transfer from Missouri to Seton Hall.
Muhammad said that Chandler actually wanted Lawrence to come to Rutgers, but it didn’t work out.
“He was real disappointed because he wanted Keon there with him,” Muhammad said.
A 2007 graduate of Newark East Side, Chandler averaged 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 25.2 minutes as a freshmen, but is averaging 7.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 20.9 minutes as a sophomore. His role has diminished as the team has relied more on its talented freshmen, shooting guard Mike Rosario and forward Greg Echenique.
Chandler played just 5 minutes and went 0-for-3 from the field in Rutgers’ 70-40 loss at Syracuse Tuesday night.
Chandler has had a tough year on several fronts. He suffered a personal tragedy when someone close to him was killed last year, and that led to depression this season.
“In beginning of the school year I had lost a person in my life, somebody passed away who was close to me. And recently one of my friends passed away too,” Chandler told the Courier News in November. “I’ve been going through a lot of things, but I’m still here.”
Chandler also ran into problems with Hill, who suspended Chandler for a preseason game for disciplinary reasons.
He has also shifted positions several times, playing point guard, shooting guard and on the wing.
Rutgers is 10-20, 1-16 in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights’ lone league win came over a winless DePaul team. They close the regular season Saturday against South Florida on Senior Day and will open the Big East Tournament on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Chandler would become the fourth player to transfer in the past two years, following Justin Sofman (Monmouth), Courtney Nelson (William Paterson) and Christian Morris. Morris announced his transfer earlier this year after playing in just eight games.He will suit up at Norfolk State next season.
Chandler’s departure would leave Rutgers with just two pure guards for next year, Rosario and sophomore combo guard Mike Coburn.
The staff is working diligently on landing a point guard to replace the graduating Anthony Farmer and has targeted James Beatty of Miami Dade College, among others.
(Photo courtesy US Presswire)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.