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4/21 Big Ten Morning Power Bar: Rutgers’ Recruiting Splash

The Scarlet Knights hit the recruiting trail, Archie Miller visits a top 2018 recruit, and Maryland lands a high profile graduate transfer.

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NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Northwestern vs Rutgers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the high school basketball season concluding, the AAU circuit has just started gaining steam. Prospects now have a chance to grow, gain national traction, and prove their skills amongst the best in the country. Coaches too have turned up their focus and intensity in an effort to land the top recruits available.

Let’s take a look at this week’s recruiting headlines.

-Rutgers Visits Three Class of 2018 Recruits.

The Scarlet Knights aren’t playing around on the recruiting trail. The past week saw Rutgers and coach Steve Pikiell take visits with three top flight prospects out of the 2018 class.

Pikiell and his staff made their way to Ashbury Park, NJ on Wednesday to pay a visit to 5-star center Nazreon Reid. The Scarlet Knights, who have already offered the big man a scholarship, will certainly have stiff competition for his services.

The 14th ranked player in the 2018 class, Reid already has a slew of offers from schools like Kansas, Louisville, Syracuse and Villanova, among others. As early as it is in the process for the 2018 class, it’s only a matter of time before schools like Kentucky, Duke join the party and extend an offer themselves.

The 6’9” big often punishes the rim with an effortless tenacity, but will also employ finesse when advantageous. More impressively, though, is Reid’s smooth outside jumper and ability to put the ball on the floor.

The day before their visit with Reid, Rutgers took another trip to see heavily recruited shooting guard Montez Mathis. The Scarlet Knight staff has been all over Mathis, and according to those around the 4-star prospect they have put the most work into landing him.

Check out BT Powerhouse’s full profile on Mathis here.

On Saturday 3-star shooting guard Wynston Tabbs took a visit to Piscataway and came away with a scholarship offer. Already with offers from Penn State, St. Louis, St. Joe’s, and LaSalle, Tabbs came away from Rutgers impressed.

“It was great. I loved the campus. It was quick since I had to come in but I loved the campus. Coach (Steve Pikiell) is very energetic and he told me what he wanted me to do if I were to come in,” Tabbs told Rivals.

Overall, Tabbs pairs an elite scoring skillset with a keen playmaking ability. He can score at all three levels, finds open teammates, and plays with a smooth and instinctual demeanor.

Regardless of outcome, the manner in which Pikiell and his staff are fearlessly pursuing prospects like Reid, Mathis and Tabbs bodes well for the programs future. If they emerge as victors of any of the sweepstakes, Rutgers just may be forever altered. After all, what do they have to lose?

-Archie Miller Visits 3rd Ranked Prospect of 2018 Class.

Fresh off the heels of securing final commit Clifton Moore after Tom Crean’s firing, Indiana head coach Archie Miller headed to New Albany for a visit with 5-star recruit Romeo Langford. In addition to an offer from Indiana, Langford has offers from Duke, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Purdue and UCLA.

After his hiring, Miller wasted little time in reaching out to Langford.

“(Miller) introduced himself and we had a quick conversation,” Langford told IndyStar. “He said I’m their main focus. He said they are going to be following me around the whole summer with the whole coaching staff. He said they want to get me up there to meet the new coaching staff.”

After winning an Indiana state title his sophomore season, Langford has become a bit of a legend. This past season, the 6’4” shooting guard averaged 28.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

-Maryland Lands Duke Graduate Transfer Sean Obi.

NCAA Basketball: ACC conference tournament-Duke vs Notre Dame Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, Duke grad transfer Sean Obi decided to play for Mark Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins. Maryland beat out finalists Georgetown and Georgia Tech to acquire the services of the big man.

In his freshman year at Rice, the 6’9” forward averaged 11.4 points and a Conference USA leading 9.3 rebounds. Following his success, Obi decided to head to Durham and sit out his sophomore season. His junior year was riddled with injury, resulting in just 27 minutes in 10 games. An offseason surgery prevented Obi from playing his fourth year.

"I am very appreciative to have the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland," Obi said. "I want to thank Coach Turgeon and the staff. I immediately created a unique bond with the coaches during my visit. Maryland is a place where I am confident I can make a major impact.”

If Obi can return to form he will be a tremendous addition to the Terrapins. After losing Damonte Dodd, as well as Michal Cekovsky returning from a fractured left ankle, Maryland could certainly use the frontcourt help.


Check back next week for more Big Ten recruiting headlines.