It has been a busy summer for the Rutgers men's basketball team and head coach Steve Pikiell.
The Scarlet Knights have been very active in the transfer portal to recruit for the 2024 and 2025 classes. They also took an 11-day trip to Senegal and Portugal. For those who have struggled to keep track of Rutgers' summer activity, here's a look back at its busy summer so far.
Adding graduate student transfer guard Austin Williams
On August 5, graduate student guard Austin Williams announced that he would be transferring to the team for the 2023-2024 season. Williams started his collegiate career at Marist in 2017 and played two seasons for the Red Foxes. In 2019, he transferred to Hartford and, after sitting out his first season there, played two seasons for the Hawks.
Williams then transferred to Florida International University for the year but had to sit out the entire 2022-2023 season due to a knee injury. He will now join the Knights in what will be his seventh collegiate season.
Standing at 6-foot-4, Williams is a tall guard who can take the ball up the court and score. Williams originally hails from Roseland, New Jersey, and will look to make an impact with Rutgers either from the starting lineup or coming off the bench.
Palmquist initially entered the transfer portal on March 24 and decided to commit to Elon on May 5. On July 14, though, Palmquist decommitted and reentered the transfer portal and came back to play on the Banks. Palmquist may serve as a crucial player to Rutgers early in its season, with senior forward Mawot Mag still recovering from an ACL injury.
The Knights take an 11-day trip to Senegal and Portugal
Rutgers started its tour on August 8 in Dakar, Senegal. In Dakar, the team participated in a team workout on the beach, visited Goree Island, hosted a youth clinic and defeated the Senegal Select team on a buzzer-beating putback shot from sophomore forward Antwone Woolfolk.
The Knights then went to Algarve, Portugal, went kayaking, held a practice and saw some sites.
The trip ended in Lisbon, Portugal, where Rutgers took a guided bike tour, hiked, defeated the Portugal All Stars by a score of 119-62 and then played and defeated the Portugal All Stars again, this time by a score of 121-65.
The Knights returned to New Jersey on August 19.
The Dylan Harper saga rages on
Pikiell will be looking to round out his 2024 recruiting class with the commitment of five-star combo guard Dylan Harper. Harper would be Rutgers' highest-ranked commitment, as he is ranked second as a prospect of the 2024 recruiting class in the nation.
Harper has narrowed his commitment down to just five schools and is forecasted to join Rutgers by many experts. Despite this, it has been reported that Kansas is making a late push for Harper's services.
Harper visited the Knights this past weekend and attended Rutgers' football game against Northwestern. Dylan’s older brother and Rutgers men’s basketball legend Ron Harper Jr. was also present with Dylan Harper. Fans of the Knights gave both Harper's lots of ovations and attention. The Riot Squad, the Knights' student section, held up a sign proclaiming the team as "Harper University," and a "We want Dylan!" chant briefly broke out in the crowd.
Gaining momentum in the 2025 recruiting class
Past the 2024 class, Pikiell and his staff have been working on recruiting the 2025 class. There have been 10 players who have reportedly received scholarship offers from Rutgers so far. The Knights don't have any commitments quite yet, but they have been making progress with a couple of recruits.
Five-star forward Trey McKenney is a top priority for Pikiell in the 2025 class. McKenney is currently the 15th-ranked recruit in the 2025 class and is slated to visit campus on October 13. McKenney is also an AAU teammate of 2024 three-star Rutgers commit Dylan Grant.
With the summer coming to an end, practice will begin to ramp up for the Knights as they prepare for their season opener against Princeton on November 6.
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