Senior guard Caleb McConnell of the Rutgers men's basketball team declared for the 2022 NBA Draft on Monday. McConnell is the second Scarlet Knight (18-14, 12-8) to declare for the draft, following in the footsteps of senior guard Ron Harper Jr.
McConnell enters the NBA draft following an illustrious career on the Banks. Coming to Piscataway before the 2018-2019 season, McConnell was a key member of the turnaround of Rutgers basketball.
Throughout his Knights career, McConnell has been known for his defense, as he is always willing to take on the toughest defensive assignments on any given night. This is exemplified by his battles against Big Ten Player of the Year Johnny Davis and the backcourts of Purdue and Iowa.
McConnell’s efforts all culminated in winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year this season. He is the only Rutgers player to win a major award since joining the conference in 2014.
“(McConnell) has been the ultimate ambassador for our program on and off the court," said head coach Steve Pikiell. "I want to congratulate (McConnell) on what he has given the Rutgers program in his four seasons as a Scarlet Knight. He is an unbelievable person and has one of our best all-around players on both sides of the floor.”
The senior made his mark primarily in the steals category this season. McConnell ran away with the Big Ten steals lead, accumulating 70 steals for 2.19 steals per game. His 70 steals this year are fifth all-time for a single season in Knights history.
McConnell stated in his announcement post that he is exploring all options as he enters the draft, including using his fifth and final year of eligibility.
“I’m so grateful to have been blessed with this group of teammates. I have so much love for them, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them,” McConnell said in his announcement. “The brotherhood, the culture and the friendships we built with each other are going to last forever.”
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