Home Text messaging Rutgers basketball welcomes trio of top prospects

Rutgers basketball welcomes trio of top prospects


The Rutgers men’s basketball program has been busy welcoming a trio of top prospects over the past few days.

Most recently, the Scarlet Knights welcomed the transfer of St. Bonaventure Kyle Lofton on Monday, according to NJ Advance Media contributor Adam Zagoria.

The Hillside native is one of the best players left in the transfer market, landing 16th in Bart Torvik’s player rankings currently on the transfer portal.

A three-time All-Atlantic 10 selection at point guard, Lofton had a down year in 2021-22 as he played through an ankle injury suffered in December, averaging 12.8 points in career on a career-low 40% shooting while dumping 5.9 assists and playing a career-high 38.5 minutes per game.

Lofton’s visit to Piscataway comes after he traveled to Gainesville to visit Florida, according to Zagoria. These two schools are among the many schools that contacted him once he entered the transfer portal, along with Xavier, Purdue, Georgetown, Clemson, South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee, DePaul, San Diego, Oklahoma State , Memphis, TCU, Oregon, Arizona State and Seton Hall, by Andrew Slater of ProInsight.

Lofton still has one year of college eligibility left.

Hosting Lofton is the latest move in an offseason with relatively little action for Rutgers, which has been selective in pursuing off-gate prospects. The Scarlet Knights, who are one of 10 programs nationwide that have not had a scholarship player enter the portal this offseason, landed the Loyola-Maryland transfer Cam Spencer in April.

Before hosting Lofton, the Scarlet Knights hosted two elite class 2023 prospects out of Connecticut State from head coach Steve Pikiell over the weekend.

Gavin Griffiths, a 6-foot-7 forward who ranks 37th nationally in his class in the 247Sports Composite rankings, made an official visit to Piscataway May 7-9. It was the first Griffiths is expected to fly this spring, with stops at Virginia Tech and Michigan scheduled for June, by Slate.

Papa Kante, a 6-foot-10 center who ranks 111th nationally in the 247Sports Composite, spent time at Piscataway with Griffiths. It is unclear whether his stop was an official or unofficial visit.

“The visit went pretty well,” Kante told Zagoria. “I like the school, the staff, they are really good people. (Their message is) we want to coach you and help you be the best person you can be on and off the pitch at the next level and help you achieve your goals.

Here is the current composition of Rutgers’ roster entering the 2022-23 season (marked by remaining years of eligibility):

2 years – Paul Mulcahy (L), Aundre Hyatt (L), Cam Spencer (L)

3 years – Cliff Omoruyi (C), Dean Reiber (F), Mawot Mag (F), Oskar Palmquist (F), Jalen Miller (G)

4 years – Derek Simpson (G), Antwone Woolfolk (F)

To note: Rutgers is still awaiting decisions from Ron Harper Jr., Caleb McConnell and Jaden Jones, all of whom are testing the waters of the NBA Draft. Harper’s return to Rutgers is highly unlikely given that he received an invite to the NBA Draft Combine last week. Neither McConnell nor Jones received an invite to the NBA or G-League combines. Each player has until June 1 to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to the NCAA.

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Brian Fonseca can be reached at [email protected].