Earlier this week, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights got some exciting news as star guards Geo Baker and Ron Harper, Jr announced they would be foregoing the 2021 NBA Draft and returning to Rutgers for next season. They were key parts of snapping Rutgers’ NCAA drought and should be productive starters next year.
Rutgers' Geo Baker is withdrawing from the 2021 NBA Draft and returning to college to use his additional year of eligibility, per his Twitter page.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 7, 2021
During his four seasons in Piscataway, Baker played in 117 games and contributed significantly last season, averaging 10.4 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also scored double-digits in both of Rutgers’ NCAA Tournament games. There’s little debating he will be among the Big Ten’s best guards next season.
Rutgers' Ron Harper Jr. tells me that he's withdrawing from the NBA Draft process and returning to school next season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 7, 2021
Harper was also a key contributor for Rutgers last season, averaging 14.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He didn’t have great performances in the postseason, but still provides valuable contributions on the wing and should again next year. He’s also one of the better players at avoiding turnovers.
With these returns, Rutgers will now enter next season as one of the Big Ten’s favorites and have a viable shot at getting a really nice seed for March. The team has Baker and Paul Mulcahy in the backcourt, Caleb McConnell and Harper on the wing, and Cliff Omoruyi in the frontcourt. That’s a really viable starting lineup and doesn’t even mention the numerous young players who could develop behind them.
We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out, but Scarlet Knights fans have to be excited about these two coming back to campus. Expect Rutgers to once again make some serious noise.