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.
Rice Reeling in Rutgers Recruiting Visits; Tyler Harris Talks Carolina, N.C. State
When 6-foot-8 rising senior forward Tyler Harris takes an unofficial visit Thursday to Rutgers, he will be the latest in a list of high-profile recruits to check out the campus in recent weeks.
Consider that in the last two weeks, Mike Rice’s staff has brought in Naadir Tharpe,Jordan Goodman, Jaron Sina, Tyrone Johnson, Myles Mack, Derrick Randall and Kadeem Jack on visits. Baylor transfer Givon Crump also came to Piscataway.
The 6-8 Goodman, considered one of the top players in the Class of 2012, ended up committing after his visit.
Still more recruits — including Mike Taylor, a sweet-shooting 2011 off guard from Brooklyn Boys & Girls — are due to visit in the coming days.
“I was not recruiting at this level for the last three years,” Rice, who left Robert Morris of the Northeast Conference to take over at the Big East school, said in a recent phone interview. “And so the more face time, the quicker the relationships that I build, the better that I think our recruiting class is going to be.”
Rutgers has an incoming class that includes 6-8 forward Gilvydas Biruta, 6-6 wing Mike Poole, 6-3 shooting guard Austin Carroll and 6-2 JUCO shooting guard Tyree Graham. Poole and Graham committed after Rice took over from former coach Fred Hill.
“Getting these guys on campus and starting to build a relationship with them is very important, along with showing them what a wonderful University Rutgers is,” Rice said.
Rice’s staff deserves credit, too. Associate head coach David Cox has deep ties to the DC Assault AAU program and in the Washington, D.C area. Former Hofstra and Fordham assistant Van Macon is well connected in New York City. Jimmy Martelli came to Rutgers from Robert Morris, where Rice already proved he could recruit the talent-rich North Jersey/Philly area. And Hill holdover Jimmy Carr already proved his recruiting chops by landing Hamady N’Diaye, Gregory Echenique, Dane Miller and others.
“My job right now is to help rebuild this program, to help make sure that we are competitive over the next year or two and in the next two or three years making a strong push to set goals in this conference and make that [NCAA] tournament,” Cox said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
Still, Rice said he’s excited to spread his recruiting wings at the Big East level and praised his staff for their efforts.
“It’s all recruiting but certainly the level now is you’re recruiting the best players in the region,” Rice said. “There’s an excitement. There’s certainly much more competition to it. I have a very good staff who’s done a great job zeroing in on the type of players we want and the talent we want.”
HARRIS TALKS CAROLINA, N.C. STATE VISITSPrior to his Rutgers visit, Harris, the younger brother of Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris, visited North Carolina Monday and N.C. State Tuesday.
Here’s a breakdown on the visits from Torrel Harris:
Monday – June 21, 2010
“Tyler had a great unofficial visit at the University of North Carolina. He felt all the coaches that he met were real cool and the campus was beautiful.
Tyler had a sit down with Coach [Roy] Williams and after the conversation he came away very impressed. Tyler was also impress with Coach [Steve] Robinson, who gave us a tour of the university and some history lessons when we visited the UNC basketball museum. It has so much history it was awesome. Tyler had the chance
to play pickup ball with the current and former players, many of them pros. Tyler held his own and after winning some games he was really excited about the experience.”
Tuesday – June 22, 2010
“Tyler has another great day on an unofficial visit at North Carolina State. All the coaches were cool and the campus is beautiful and big. Tyler had a sit down meeting with Coach [Sidney] Lowe in which Tyler came away very impressed. Coach [Larry] Harris was great. He gave us a tour of the whole university. Tyler was very impressed with the school, the practice facility and RBC center where the basketball team plays all of their home games. Tyler had the opportunity to speak with the academic adviser. Tyler had the chance to play pickup games against current and former players, even some of the top name players who played at Duke were in the gym. The game was popping. Tyler’s team won 6 straight game. He held his own playing against these great players.”
6-6, 220-pound former Manhattan and Fordham commit Joel ‘Air Jamaica’ Wright will visit Hofstra this wknd and Robert Morris next…Seton Hall will host 6-2 point guard Aaron Cosby of Northfield Mount Hermon and 6-3 wing of Jarrod Davis of Lakewood (NJ) in the coming days…2011 PG Naadir Tharpe says Rutgers visit “went well.” He’ll “maybe visit BC tomorrow [Thursday] and decide in the fall.”…6-11 Malcolm Gilbert of Academy of the New Church visited Ohio State and Pittsburgh unofficially and says he’s also “trying to visit Duke.”
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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.