Fans of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are doing a little dance tonight, as their one true superstar — Corey Sanders — will be back with the team next year.
Following the 2016-17 season, Sanders elected to explore his NBA Draft stock for the second straight year, doing so without hiring an agent. By rejecting representation, Sanders was allowed to return to the program if he saw fit.
On Tuesday night, the 6-foot-2 guard finally made his official decision — electing to return to Rutgers for his junior season.
Unfinished business. pic.twitter.com/7m9qIW9GMk— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) May 24, 2017
Sanders made the announcement after working out for the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week. He was one of the several players at the workout, but even afterward it seemed like his Rutgers’ career was over with.
Speaking with media after his workout, Sanders said he was “leaning towards coming out.”
Kings Draft Workout: Corey Sanders - Rutgers Guard https://t.co/VVLSwKk9Io pic.twitter.com/QELVllAJ3q— ABC10 (@ABC10) May 22, 2017
Obviously, the feedback from the Kings wasn’t what he wanted to here, prompting him to choose a junior year of college over a potential year in the D-League. In my opinion, it is 100 percent the right move, both for him and for the Rutgers’ basketball program.
His decision to come back to school is the biggest news to hit Rutgers since the hiring of Steve Pikiell, as Sanders was the leading scorer two seasons in a row and the only true playmaker on Rutgers’ roster. In addition, Sanders is known to guard the best player on opposing teams and has developed into one of the best on-ball defenders in the Big Ten.
Big picture wise, the announcement is also good for the conference. I mean, Rutgers-without-Sanders would have been a punchless team, making them a pure outlier in a league full of competitive teams. With Sanders, they aren’t a true top-of-the-line contender but at least they can compete on a nightly basis.