By JOHN PAVIA
Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEWARK, N.J. — In the highly anticipated match-up of the Newark Invitational, a crowd including Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan was treated to a thrilling St. Benedict’s Prep 64-58 win over Roselle Catholic.
Jordan was on hand to see Isaiah Briscoe take on a very talented Gray Bees squad with several Division 1 recruits.
The 6-foot-3 2015 guard is considering several schools, including Syracuse, Arizona, Louisville, Providence, Gonzaga, Seton Hall and St. John’s, but some believe Rutgers has the inside track at this point. Briscoe has attended several games at Rutgers this year and last year, and could be the face of the program after they join the Big Ten next year. To read more of this story, click here
Former Georgetown forward Greg Whittington decided to transfer to Rutgers after visiting the campus this weekend.
It remains unclear how much eligibility he has remaining. Sources said he has at least a year and a half, possibly two remaining at Rutgers. It’s unclear when he will suit up.
“Coach [Eddie] Jordan welcomed me as a family and so did the whole staff,” Whittington told SNY.tv.
“Their playing style is kind of like Georgetown, but it’s more open and he likes go get out and run. They will be in the Big Ten next year with a lot of competition. They players were cool. The campus was nice. And their fanbase was good.” To read more of this story, click here
Derrick Randall says he’s in a “better” place now that he’s at Pittsburgh and away from Rutgers and the Mike Rice scandal.
“I have scars, but I am getting better – I smile because I don’t like to show my feelings – but it’s still with me. I get better day-by-day,” the 6-foot-9 Randall told Roger Rubin of the Daily News after grabbing five rebounds in Pitt’s 76-53 win over Texas Tech Monday in the Legends Classic.
Randall, a Brooklyn native and former Paterson (N.J.) Catholic standout, was one of four former Rutgers players who transferred after the Rice scandal in which he hurled basketball and homophobic slurs at his players. All four were granted waivers to play immediately this season. Randall told the Daily News he’s now in therapy with a psychiatrist because of what happened at Rutgers. To read more of this story, click here
Leroy Butts is headed to Rutgers.
The 6-foot-8, 200-pound 2015 power forward from Clinton (Md.) Christian coach picked Rutgers over Miami, Cincinnati and DePaul.
“It’s a great fit for me,” said Butts, the Rivals No. 114 prospect in the Class of 2015.
Asked what skillset he will bring, he said, “Scoring, rebounding, athleticism.”
Said DC Assault coach Damon Handon: “He’s wired to score the ball, has a good mid-range game and is a rebounder.” To read more of this story, click here
Former Rutgers coach Mike Rice is back to work at The Hoop Group.
Rice is listed on the organization’s website as part of the staff, and Hoop Group President Rob Kennedy confirmed to SNY.tv that Rice is the “Director of Hoop Group Headquarters.”
Kennedy said Rice will both work with kids and handle administrative duties.
“I won’t be perfect moving forward, but I’ve changed,” Rice told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts in an interview for ABC’s “20/20″ that he will appear Friday at 10 p.m. “Having that taken away, your dream job…and having it done in such a visible way…and hurting the people closest to me…it changes a person.”
“Mike has acknowledged his mistakes and has worked hard to make positive changes,” Kennedy told SNY.tv. “He has more passion and love of the game than any coach I have ever been around. I’m happy that Mike is able to share that energy with our Hoop Group participants.”
To read more of this story, click here
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Eno Okoro works 16 hours a day, five days a week, in two separate jobs as a nurse’s aid in The Bronx in order to pay her mortgage and other bills.
During the past two years, she has had to endure more tragedy than many people do in a lifetime.
Last November, her husband, Stanislaus, died of a stroke in his native Nigeria.
Two months later, her middle son, 28-year-old Idiongo, passed away from colon cancer.
“It’s been very tough for the past two years,” Eno told SNY.tv by phone on Thursday. To read more of this story, click here
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — New Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan faces a unique situation as he heads into his first year at the helm of his alma mater.
He takes over a program that has just left the Big East and will spend one year in the American Athletic Conference — where Rutgers was picked 10th out of 10 teams — before entering the Big Ten in 2014.
Beginning next year, that will mean a regular slate of games against a powerhouse league that currently has five teams in the Top 25 of the Coaches’ Poll: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 9 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 24 Indiana.
One thing’s for sure: Jordan and his staff must step up their recruiting efforts if they are going to compete with the big boys.
“Recruiting is important and obviously for our recruits, we can sell the Big Ten because they’re coming in for that year,” Jordan said Tuesday at Rutgers media day. To read more of this story, click here