We may only be a little over three months away from the college basketball season tipping off again, but that has not kept Steve Pikiell from continuing to pursue players and recruits for the upcoming season. Adam Zagoria announced that 2016 recruit Eugene Omoruyi and Baylor grad-transfer Chad Rykhoek were on campus in Piscataway and had received offers.
Rykhoek is a 6-11 big man who has one year of eligibility remaining. After red-shirting his first season in Waco, he was unable to see time on the floor in his next three largely due to injuries. He is a bit of a question mark, but at this point in the recruiting process, adding a question mark to a team is much better than adding nothing, which is presumably why Pikiell chose to give Rykhoek a scholarship offer. There were rumors Rykhoek visited Clemson and Georgia Tech. Those rumors were actually started by Rykhoek himself.
breaking news— Chad Rykhoek (@chadunocinco) May 10, 2016
just spoke with unsigned grad transfer @chadunocinco
He tells me he's taking visits to GA Tech Thursday and Clemson Friday
The fact that Rykhoek is still on the market leads me to believe Clemson and Georgia Tech chose to use their scholarships elsewhere. He also visited Colorado, but that too was some time ago. After checking his twitter, it would appear he enjoyed his visit at Rutgers. However, whether or not this mutual interest turns into a firm commitment is yet to be seen.
Rutgers need for a large body to employ in the paint for 10 to 20 minutes per game is no secret. Simply having a player who can be an imposing presence on the interior and account for the occasional foul is fairly valuable in a league like the Big Ten.
Omuroyi is from Canada and attended Orangeville Prep. According to 247 sports, the only other school that he has received tangible interest from is Loyola-Chicago (link). He is a 6-7 and 220 pound forward who has a number of talents on offense but his ball handling could use improvement. He also has nice timing on shot block attempts on defense.
The decision Rutgers and Steve Pikiell face is to determine whether or not Omuroyi is talented enough to play in the Big Ten. Programs who are in the middle of a rebuild often make the mistake of offering scholarships to recruits who will help the team in the short term simply by giving the team bodies to practice with.
Even though those players may have been decent recruits who are capable of playing a few minutes in their first season or two on campus, they are not able to playing starter minutes in the Big Ten and likely never will be. Despite the fact that these players reaching their ceiling, coaches must fulfill their obligation and keep them on scholarship for the remaining years of their eligibility. Then, years down the line when the coaches are recruiting true Big Ten talent, they do not have enough scholarships available to offer because they spent a number of them on sub-par players when they first took over.
It is an interesting situation that Rutgers is in, and one that Steve Pikiell cannot afford to take lightly. Programs ultimately succeed or fail largely due to the choices a coach makes when they first arrive