Rutgers announced the official addition of two players to the men’s basketball program on Thursday, as both incoming freshman Junior Etou and former Iowa State win Nkereuwem “Kerwin” Okoro are now Scarlet Knights.
Okoro, a 6-5 guard who played his high school basketball at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx, played in just nine games last season and averaged 3.6 minutes per contest. The Cyclones were an experienced group on the perimeter this past season, and two personal tragedies Okoro had to endure didn’t help matters either.
Okoro lost both his father (stroke) and older brother (colon cancer) during the 2012-13 season, resulting in his having to miss 14 games to be with family. According to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger, Okoro will petition the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
If Okoro’s petition is approved he’ll give Rutgers some much-needed depth on the perimeter as the program has lost a great deal of depth in that area.
Eli Carter (Florida), Mike Poole (Iona) and Jerome Seagears (Auburn) all transferred in the chaotic weeks following the end of the season, leaving first-year head coach Eddie Jordan with returnee Myles Mack and not much else.
In addition to Okoro, Rutgers has also signed wing Craig Brown and point guard D’Von Campbell for the 2013-14 campaign.
With one season remaining before entering the Big Ten, the July recruiting period will be an important one for Jordan and his staff as they look to rebuild the Rutgers program.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.