Even though we are a long way from actual Rutgers basketball games, it’s still a very exciting time for the program.
The current Scarlet Knights squad is back in the gym for summer workouts, including the incoming recruits getting their first taste of the RAC. Also, a group of Rutgers’ basketball alumni is getting together to compete in the wildly popular TBT—The Basketball Tournament.
Just a few short weeks ago, I touched in with a BTPowerhouse post regarding the biggest hoops news to hit Piscataway in a long time—Corey Sanders return to the program.
Starting on June 5th, Sanders and his teammates gathered at the RAC for their summer workouts. Judging from the videos uploaded to Rutgers Twitter account, Sanders looks to be in very good shape, presumably from all his preparation for the NBA Draft.
In addition to Sanders return, some of the team’s new faces made their first go of things in the Scarlet duds, most notably, junior college transfer Souf Mensah.
Mensah, a native of France who speaks four languages, is one of the most intriguing players on the squad this year. He came to Rutgers from Marshalltown Community College in Iowa, a place where he displayed a knack for making quality decisions as a pass-first point guard.
With Nigel Johnson leaving the program to be closer to home, Mensah could be in line to get real minutes early in the season. Sanders will be the starting point guard to start the season but this team could be best suited with Mensah at the one and Sanders playing off the ball.
Ironically, the 6-foot-2 Mensah was roommates with Issa Thiam at Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain. This past connection could be a big reason why he joined up with Rutgers this year, so hats off to Thiam.
The Basketball Tournament:
Next week, a group of Rutgers’ alumni will compete in the TBT Jamboree, a qualifier for the 64-team tournament later in the summer.
The group, known as Team uKnighted, will feature a boatload of former Rutgers’ talent and some guys who used to play for current Rutgers’ coach Steve Pikiell. Some of the more notable names for Team uKnighted include C.J Gettys (2016-17), Myles Mack (2011-15), Kadeem Jack (2011-15), Omari Grier (2015-16), and Bryan Dougher—current Rutgers director of basketball operations and all-time Stony Brook leading scorer.
Team uKnighted will play in the Northeast Region of the Jamboree in Philadelphia and will be fighting for one of the final four spots remaining in the 64-team tournament. When all is said and done, the TBT winner will take home a hefty, $2 million grand prize.
You can find the full roster for the team here.
Gettys Pro-Career Taking Shape:
Last year, C.J Gettys was one of the most well-liked Rutgers’ players and proved to be a solid contributor on the court. As it turns out, all the hard work Gettys put in at UNCW and Rutgers paid off, as he signed his first professional basketball contract.
On June 8th, Gettys announced via Twitter that he signed on with the Cheshire Phoenix of the British Basketball League.