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Graduate Transfer C.J. Gettys Commits to Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights pick up a huge grad transfer.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Providence Practice Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Pikiell added some much needed height to Rutgers’ lineup for the coming season. UNC Wilmington graduate transfer C.J. Gettys decided to join Pikiell and company in Piscataway.

Gettys was a rotation player while at UNCW, playing about 15 minutes per game in his past two seasons. He averaged 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last year, up from 4.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in the season prior. Despite the stats not leaping off of the page, he was an effective player when he saw the floor and consistently made an impact defensively during his time in Wilmington.

However, as is always the concern with mid-major players transferring to Power Five schools, the skills may not be transferable. In his only game against a major conference school last year, Gettys scored just one point in the opening round NCAA Tournament game versus Duke.

When it comes to accurately forecasting his potential impact, Rutgers fans need to appreciate the vast difference in talent from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Big Ten. Not only will Gettys be playing against better talent, but he will be battling on the depth chart with superior players too. Truthfully, if Rutgers didn’t need to add another piece upfront, he might not have been recruited this year.

It is fair to reference Pikiell’s past success with mid-major talent at Stony Brook, as he helped Jameel Warney blossom into a star by his senior season. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, Pikiell will not have the luxury of time to work with Gettys. With only one season to help develop his talent, it’s unclear what impact Gettys can make.

Gettys’ highest chance of seeing the floor is as a rim protector with limited minutes. Rutgers lacks noticeable height which is why the addition of Gettys is such a necessity, but it is unexpected that he will have any serious impact on the offensive end of the floor.

Pikiell deserves props for his usage of scholarships thus far. I speculated earlier that Rutgers could run the risk of misusing numerous scholarships by awarding too many to incoming prospects who are not Big Ten caliber.

By utilizing one of the scholarships on an available grad-transfer in Gettys, Rutgers avoids essentially burning it if they could not get someone to take it this year, or even worse if they gave it to a freshman with the inability to develop into an impact player. Under this situation, the scholarship will become available again for the 2017-2018 season. Pikiell is basically giving himself an extra year to recruit a player who has Big Ten talent without rushing into a four-year commitment within the next month.

Although Pikiell’s first set of recruits would not be considered a coup by any means, the work he has done in limited time at Rutgers speaks volumes about the new coaching staff’s work ethic and tenacity on the recruiting trail. Rutgers fans will just need to hope that attitude can lead to them landing some big name recruits from the Class of 2017 and if they are lucky, lead to some program defining wins in the near future.