A Revolution In Recruiting

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 22, 2010
CONNECTICUT (BASN) — There is a revolution going on in college basketball recruiting.

No, it isn’t the fact that Kentucky has the No. 1 class with the best player in Mike Gilchrist from New Jersey. Nor is it the fact that the North Carolina Tar Heels has the No. 2 class.

Both schools always have top five classes and numerous Final Fours. It is the fact that Rutgers of the Big East has the no.

3 class. Yes, Rutgers. Last in the NCAA Tournament in 1991 under coach Bob Wenzel.

Their last NCAA win in 1983 over Tom Young.

In new head coach Mike Rice, Rutgers has finally found a coach who could sell the academics, the location and the opportunity to play in the Big East to local kids.

And he hasn’t coached a game at Rutgers yet. He has coached at Robert Morris and made that team a winner. So why not Rutgers?

The Scarlet Knights have their best recruiting class since 1972 when then assistant Dick Vitale helped to engineer a class led by Phil Sellers, Mike Dabney and Mike Palko.

Eddie Jordan, Hollis Copeland and James Bailey followed and an undefeated and Final Four team was born. Will Rutgers go undefeated and to the Final Four with this class? Probably not. But they will contend for a Big East crown.

And that will be big news in Piscataway. Young and energetic AD Tim Pernetti could have gone the more conventional route and hired an Al Skinner type-coach.

A guy with significant NCAA experience. Instead he liked what he saw in Rice. He saw another Greg Schiano in the making and pulled the trigger.

The rest will be history.