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.
Dominique Rutledge’s long journey to Division 1 basketball appears to be coming to fruition.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Newark, N.J. native verbally committed to West Virginia Friday, choosing the Mountaineers over UConn and Utah State, among others. He will have two years of eligibility at the Big East school.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of West Virginia and the way Coach [Bob] Huggins runs his program,” Rutledge said by text.
“He likes the head coach,” added Western Texas College coach Jason Sautter. “He likes their style. He likes what they do.”
Rutledge initially committed to St. Joe’s back in 2007 out of Edison (N.J.) Jobs Corps Academy, choosing the Hawks over Seton Hall, St. John’s, Providence and Auburn.
Since then, he has traveled to numerous schools. He spent 2008-09 at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College and 2009-10 at Miami Dade.
Sautter said Rutledge has been at Western Texas since last August, but did not play games this season. He only practiced with the team.
“He played at Miami Dade and his grades weren’t where they needed to be and so he contacted us and said that he heard I’m not the easiest guy in the world to be around but I stay on top of guys and make sure they do what they’re supposed to do,” Sautter said.
“That intrigued him because he wanted to go Division 1. He took out loans, he used his Pell Grant. I didn’t scholarship Dominique.”
Sautter said he believes Rutledge can step in right away and help West Virginia in the Big East.
“I think Bob Huggins knows what he’s doing,” Sautter said. “He wouldn’t be wasting his time if he couldn’t. He fits into what they’re trying to do. He can run and jump as good as anybody else on that team.”
Asked about his skill-set, Sautter added: “He can handle the ball. He can play the four or the five. He can guard anywhere from a three to a five. If he has to guard a two, he can.
“He’s very consistent from 15 feet in. If he has to shoot a 3 he can hit that as well. He’s not afraid to bang, not afraid to run. He can pass it. He can handle it. He can play a little inside-out. He has good hands and rebounds very well.”
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.