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Wednesday / November 14.
  • Harper Jr., Carter sign with Rutgers, Mathis to sign Thursday

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    Rutgers inked two players in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday when Don Bosco Prep guard Ron Harper Jr. and junior college big man Shaq Carter of Eastern Florida State College both signed their National Letters of Intent.

    The 6-foot-6 Harper is son of the former NBA standout Ron Harper who won five NBA championships.

    Harper averaged 10.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and shot 37.7 percent (23-for-61) from beyond the arc in 23 games last winter for a Don Bosco Prep team that won its first New Jersey Non-Public A state title in 47 years last winter.

    “It feels great to sign and it’s also great knowing where I’m going next year,” Harper told Scarlet Nation.

    “Rutgers just showed me great hospitality and their plans for the future impressed me back on my visit. Ultimately, we ended up looking at Coach [Steve] Pikell’s timeline. He always brings teams from nothing to something and I think he can do that with me and Montez’s [Mathis] help.”

    The 6-4 Mathis out of Baltimore (Md.) John Carroll will sign on Thursday.

    “We are excited to have Ron Harper, Jr. join Rutgers Nation,” said Pikiell. “He was a player we identified and loved from the first time we saw him play. His versatility and ability to shoot the ball, along with the fact that he’s an awesome kid from a tremendous family, was really exciting to our staff and me as the head coach. We love the fact that he is from a winning and well coached program at Don Bosco in our home state of New Jersey. Ron has a tremendous upside and we look forward to him having a great career ‘On the Banks.’ Rutgers Nation is very excited to add Ron Harper Jr. to R Family.”

    “He’s been great for us in his progression as a player, on and off the court,” said Don Bosco Prep Head Coach Kevin Diverio. “I think his best days are ahead of him. I don’t think he’s near the kind of player that he will end up being. I think that potential was what Rutgers saw in him that some other people missed out on. He comes from a great family, with both his mom and his dad being Division I players. His game has evolved since last year. He’s been a leader on our team and someone that we look to score, rebound and defend. He’s really embraced his role and run with it.

    “His versatility is his biggest strength,” Diverio continued. “He can play and score both inside and outside, he has great court vision. He passes the ball well. He’s not one dimensional, I think down the line he’ll be able to guard multiple positions. His teammates love him. He is a great teammate and I think that goes a long way in creating team unity. I can’t say enough about him as a person.”

    As for Carter, he provides front court depth going forward.

    “Shaq Carter is a player we identified early in the recruiting process,” said Pikiell. “He’s an experienced, high energy, very skilled player coming from a tremendous basketball program. From the first time I saw him play, I loved his energy, his passion and his toughness. He’s a big, strong post player. He has very impressive skills and work ethic. He’s a quality student-athlete from a great family and I know he’s going to add a tremendous amount to our program.”

    “First and foremost, Shaq is an unbelievable person, not just a great basketball player,” said Eastern Florida State head coach Jeremy Schulman. “Rutgers is getting just a person with great character and personality. Shaq is an unbelievably hard worker, he’s tough, and he’s incredibly coachable. He also has immense upside since he hasn’t been playing basketball that long. He has the strength, the physicality and the toughness to make an impact in the Big Ten from day one. I think he’s an outstanding, ready-made pickup for Rutgers.”

    Rutgers’ three-man class is ranked No. 45 nationally by Scout.com.

    Photo: Varsity Aces

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    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.