Postgraduate shooting guard Omari Grier has decided to transfer to Rutgers from Bradley and will be eligible to play immediately in 2015-16.
"Excited to be a part of the Rutgers family for my graduate year!" Grier tweeted. "Anxious to see what God has in store for this next chapter in my life!"
This will be the third college that the Erial, NJ native has attended. After starting his collegiate career at Florida Atlantic, Grier spent the last two seasons in Peoria playing for Bradley, where he averaged 9.2 points per game. He is comfortable starting or coming off the bench, and started 11 of 30 games last season for the Braves.
Grier brings some much-needed offense to the Scarlet Knights. On last year's team, only Myles Mack posted an offensive rating of 94.4 or better, and Rutgers as a team only knocked down 29.5 percent of its three point attempts (only 17 teams shot it worse). The addition of Grier will improve both of those marks. Grier had an offensive rating of 99.4 last season, which would have been good for the second best rating on the team after Mack. Grier shot 31.8 percent on three pointers last season, which may not seem like that great of a number. But compared to the outside shooting numbers of Kadeem Jack (31.3 percent), Junior Etou (31.1 percent), Malick Kone (28.6 percent), Bishop Daniels (28.3 percent), and Mike Williams (24 percent), Grier looks like Ray Allen. Teams were content to pack the paint and force Rutgers to shoot jumpers last season, but with Grier the Scarlet Knights should be able to space the floor and find more success offensively. Although Grier doesn't get to the foul line often (never averaged more than 3 FTA per game at Bradley), his 81 percent clip at the charity stripe should make him valuable in late game situations.
Rutgers will be a very young team after the departure of its four seniors and Grier's biggest contribution could end up being his leadership. With all that he brings to the Scarlet Knights both on and off the court, Grier is an excellent addition for Rutgers.
Overall Impact of Transfers on Rutgers
College basketball off-seasons are starting to resemble free agency more and more. Players at mid-major schools parlay a good season into a transfer to a more prestigious program. High-major players upset with a lack of playing time immediately transfer to mid-major programs. And graduate transfers are now more coveted than ever, as they can transfer without having to sit out a year.
Eddie Jordan definitely understands how much roster turnover can be created by players transferring in and out of a program. Besides Grier, Nigel Johnson transferred in from Kansas State, though Johnson will not be eligible until the 2016-17 season . Redshirt wing Ryan Johnson, starting forward Etou, and reserve guard Kerwin Okoro all elected to transfer out of the Scarlet Knight program, meaning that Jordan will have quite a bit of roster turnover to deal with--seven newcomers in all. Assimilating all of the new players into the existing core of guys like Daniels and Williams is of the utmost importance if Rutgers hopes to improve. If chemistry becomes an issue, it could be another long winter in Piscataway.