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.
NEW YORK –– Whether or not Fred Hill remains as the head coach at Rutgers, the team could be facing a mass exodus of players.
Sophomore shooting guard Mike Rosario is “considering” transferring, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
“He’s considering it,” the source said. “He’s waiting to see what happens.”
The source said Rosario was waiting to see if Hill gets fired in the wake of his profanity-laced tirade at a Pittsburgh-Rutgers baseball game last week that may have violated several behavior clauses in his contract.
“He’s holding off to see who the new coach is,” the source said.
The Star-Ledger first reported the transfer story on Tuesday, citing Rex Durso, a family friend who coached Rosario growing up in Jersey City.
“It sounds like that’s what he wants to do. Florida, USC and Michigan State are places he’s looking at,” Durso told The Ledger.
The Ledger said Rosario, who led the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game last year, and his mother recently met Hill to discuss his future.
During the meeting, Rosario reportedly told Hill that staying at Rutgers was “hindering my chances to play in the NBA,” the Ledger reported.
Reached on the phone by the Ledger, Rosario said “No,” when asked if he was transferring.
Hill did not immediately return a text message seeking comment.
Legendary St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said he was aware of the meeting with Hill and planned to meet with Rosario once he and his wife, Chris, return Sunday from a trip to Dublin.
“I could say that I’ve been aware that there have been some problems,” Hurley said when reached Tuesday evening boarding his plane. “When I get back Sunday, we’re going to talk about the issues.”
Hurley was announced Monday as a member of the 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame.
Rutgers sophomore wing Pat Jackson of Brooklyn already announced his plans to transfer, but has yet to visit any other schools.
Greg Echenique, a 6-9 sophomore big man from St. Benedicts’ Prep who came to Rutgers with Rosario, transferred earlier this year to Creighton. His family was said to be upset with the way his detached retina was handled by the Rutgers coaching and medical staff.
Also on Monday, 6-8 St. Benedict’s Prep senior forward Gilvydas Biruta called Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti to ask to be released from his Letter of Intent.
“He called yesterday and asked to be released,” a source with knowledge said.
Pernetti would have to agree to let Biruta out and he could then opt to pick another school.
(Photo courtesy NJ.com)
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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.