After the scandal involving Mike Rice at Rutgers, no one would’ve blamed new coach Eddie Jordan for essentially conceding the 2013-14 season, the Scarlet Knights final one with the (now) American Athletic Conference before heading to the Big Ten.
Though it sounds like Jordan won’t be conceding anything, according to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger.
Despite starting with four scholarship players when he was announced as the new coach a few months ago, Jordan has already gotten several players to stick in New Brunswick — including Jerome Seagears (who came back) and Wally Judge — as well as grabbing several high-level commitments from the 2014 class.
The most recent commitment was 2014 shooting guard Mike Williams out of Brooklyn, N.Y. Williams is the third commitment for Jordan for 2014, joining power forward Dwayne Foreman and junior college shooting guard Bishop Daniels of ASA College. He’s also added Pittsburgh transfer J.J. Moore.
For 2013, Rutgers still have three commitments in incoming freshman power forward Junior Etou and JuCo point guard D’Von Campbell and shooting guard Craig Brown.
Jordan’s quick rise at Rutgers isn’t going to put the Scarlet Knights on-par with the elites yet. But Jordan, despite his own recent troubles regarding his educational situation at the school, has at the very least been able to bring the name of Rutgers basketball back to a respectable level in the region — all three of his 2014 recruits are from the northeast — and, even though the athletic department is still sifting through more trouble, he’s been able to keep recruiting at a respectable level.
And while his two assistants — whose contract extensions, with Jordan’s endorsement, are still awaiting approval by the university — helped navigate, they quickly threw the credit back to their boss.
“Eddie closed every kid,” Cox said emphatically. “Eddie. Closed. Every. Kid.”
The most impressive thing Jordan has been able to do is probably the fact that he’s separated the basketball program from the Mike Rice scandal swiftly (the athletic department is still dealing with it, but from a hardwood standpoint, you’re not hearing much from the leftover assistants or players.)
Rutgers isn’t expected to compete with the top teams in the AAC/Big Ten immediately, but they’re back to basketball respectability quickly this offseason. Given the summer that athletic department has had, that’s an accomplishment.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten