As reported by CBS Sport's Jon Rothstein, Steve Pikiell's attempt to bring former Syracuse big Chinonso Obokoh to Piscataway has fallen short. The 6-9 forward elected to transfer to coach Mark Schmidt and St. Bonaventure. The move keeps Obokoh close to his home in Rochester, NY and reunites him with former teammate Denzel Gregg; the two played together for the Albany City Rocks. Despite the setback, Pikiell remains optimistic as he is still in the market for other impact transfers.
Syracuse transfer Chinonso Obokoh has committed to St. Bonaventure, source told @CBSSports. Immediately eligible.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 7, 2016
Scarlet Knight fans should now focus their attention on Caleb Martin and Cody Martin, 6'7" twin transfers out of NC State. They can't play next season, but will have two years of eligibility remaining at whichever school they choose. They are interested in Rutgers and will visit the school on May 9th, according to Adam Zagoria. They both played over 25 minutes per game last season for a an ACC team last season and Caleb Martin averaged 11.5 ppg. They are a package deal, and any time there are two ACC caliber players with experience available in the transfer market, coaches salivate. The pair is also considering Nevada, ECU, and potentially Cal and Texas.
Why is it so important for Rutgers to bring in another big man?
Currently, Pikiell was only able to retain one big on the roster for next season who played sizable minutes last year, Deshawn Freeman, and he will be a senior. Pikiell has already shown the difference he can make when he gets a talented big who can put the ball in the basket. With 6'8" Jameel Warney at Stony Brook Pikiell was able to turn an under-recruited kid from New Jersey into a mid-major star. The idea of him getting two talented forwards who have already played competitively at the ACC level is a scary thought for the rest of the Big Ten.
How likely is it for the Martin twins to end up in Piscataway? With their hometown in North Carolina, the duo clearly wanted to remain close to home when they made their decision to play for Mark Gottfried at NC State. Now that they are transferring, however, the question becomes how far away from home they are willing to move.
In an interview with the News & Observer, Jared Eure (their step father) cited their inability to find a fit within NC State's offensive scheme as their reason for transferring. Assuming this is true, it would appear they are willing to relocate anywhere as long as their new destination will help them develop themselves as basketball players.
That hurts ECU, whose main recruiting pitch is their location in the twins' home state. For Nevada, they play in a weakened MWC that will likely have a watered down UNLV team for the next few years. While that means the team could win a lot of games, especially with a recent influx of transfers and talented assistant coaches, the Martin twins are used to ACC level competition and the MWC would undeniably be a step down from that. Texas, Rutgers, or Cal could all emulate this level of competition.
When considering Texas or Cal, the Martin twins will definitely weigh the talent that is already there into their decision. While both teams look to be built for the future with coaches who can recruit talented players for years to come, that may not be what the twins are looking for. While their chances of making the NCAA Tournament would be high at either school, the minutes available and set plays designed for them in the offense may be at a minimum. Since this was the reason the two transferred from NC State in the first place, it would be surprising to see them subject themselves to a similar situation.
Taking what every other school being considered brings to the table, Rutgers has a solid chance of landing these two big time transfers, as long as Pikiell plays his cards right. He needs to highlight the high level of competition in the Big Ten and sell the the twins on his ability to develop them as players. The Jameel Warney factor will help nicely with that aspect. Even if Warney was significantly heavier than either twin, Pikiell's skill at developing forwards will still shine through. Finally, the twins need to be sold on Pikiell's plan to bring talented players to Piscataway for upcoming seasons in order to have the school competitive in the Big Ten when the Martins become eligible in 2017-18.
If he can convince them that they will be the centerpieces of a skilled and competitive team for the two years following their redshirt season, then Rutgers could be the landing spot for two of the best transfers available.