May 1, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT
With the hiring of Eddie Jordan as head basketball coach, Rutgers has finally been able to get to work on the recruiting trail in the aftermath of five players deciding to leave the program.
Coach Jordan picked up his second commitment on Wednesday, as 6-7 power forward Junior Etou announced his decision to attend Rutgers.
Etou, who attends Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., also held offers from schools such as Cincinnati, Clemson, Washington and Xavier. Etou played his travel basketball with DC Assault, a program with connections to both Jordan and Rutgers associate head coach David Cox.
And according to the story from ScarletReport.com, the connection between Etou and Jordan played a role in his decision.
“He played for Eddie with one of our programs before [Jordan] went to the Lakers,” said DC Assault coach Damon Handen. “That’s where that relationship comes from. It’s a good start for Eddie, because he’ll play very hard for Rutgers.”
With the five transfers and the graduation of Austin Johnson the Scarlet Knights are in need of players to help junior guard Myles Mack in their lone season in the American Athletic Conference before joining the Big Ten in 2014.
If Etou is cleared to play he will certainly help Rutgers from a talent standpoint, but there are concerns as pointed out by Jerry Carino of Gannett New Jersey.
There are concerns, however, about his academic profile and his ability to qualify through the NCAA Clearinghouse. His age is also unclear; there was controversy within Virginia prep circles in December over whether the Congo native is 18 or 20 years old, although that would not affect his collegiate status.
Etou is the second player to join the Rutgers program since the hiring of Jordan, with junior college point guard D’Von Campbell being the first.
Photo credit: MaxPreps.com
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