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.