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Rutgers men's basketball continues to await Dylan Harper's decision, gains ground in 2025 recruiting class

Five-star class of 2024 combo guard Dylan Harper is nearing his commitment decision, and it could be in favor of the Rutgers men's basketball team. – Photo by @dylharpp / Instagram

The Rutgers men's basketball team began its season with a 68-61 loss against Princeton. Despite the loss, the Scarlet Knights (0-1, 0-0) 2023 recruiting class made an immediate impact, with freshmen guards Jamichael Davis and Gavin Griffiths combining for 43 minutes played.

While coaching in the 2023-2024 season, head coach Steve Pikiell and his staff have remained steady in recruiting the 2024 and 2025 classes as well.

Rutgers currently holds commitments from four players in the 2024 recruiting class that is ranked at No. 8 in the nation. Five-star small forward Airious "Ace" Bailey, four-star center Lathan Sommerville, three-star power forward Bryce Dortch and three-star power forward Dylan Grant make up the class so far.

All four players remain verbally committed, but the early period for high schoolers to sign their national letter of intent begins on Wednesday. This means each recruit can make things official and sign with the Knights in the coming weeks.

As of now, it looks like three of the recruits are ready to make their commitments official. Dortch announced that he will sign his letter of intent on Wednesday, and Sommerville announced that he will sign his on November 15. Bailey reportedly plans to sign sometime during the early period as well, according to 247Sports' Eric Bossi.

Rutgers also continues to await a decision from the No. 2 ranked 2024 recruit, five-star combo guard Dylan Harper. Harper announced his top five back in January, with the Knights being included alongside Duke, Auburn, Kansas and Indiana. Bossi reported that Harper's long-awaited commitment may be coming soon.

"From what 247Sports has learned, Harper’s other finalists — Auburn, Duke, Indiana and Kansas — are pretty much waving the white flag when it comes to the recruitment of the 6-foot-6 combo guard who ranks No. 2 nationally," Bossi wrote.

Harper's commitment to Rutgers has been in the making for a long time, as his older brother, Ron Harper Jr., is a men's basketball legend on the Banks. Dylan Harper also seems to have created a strong bond with Bailey as they've played together, taken a visit together and even made TikTok videos together.

Knights fans' dreams of Dylan Harper and Bailey teaming up at Rutgers could soon come true if Pikiell can secure Dylan Harper’s commitment.

Dylan Harper would likely be the final piece of the Knights' 2024 class before the coaching staff moves their focus solely on the class of 2025.

Pikiell and Co. have already begun working on recruiting the class of 2025, as the team has reportedly extended scholarship offers to 11 players in the class so far.

Of those 11, a few stand out as very realistic prospects for Rutgers.

Atop that list is five-star combo guard Trey McKenney, who seems like the Knights' primary target in the class. McKenney was in town for an official visit the same weekend as Dylan Harper and the 2024 commits.

As The Daily Targum touched on last month, McKenney has some ties to Rutgers already through Grant, who committed back in August, and through assistant coach Marlon Williamson.

Five-star point guard Darius Acuff Jr., five-star combo guard Darius Adams, four-star point guard Nigel James and four-star small forward Brandon Stores are hopeful prospects for the Knights as well.

Acuff Jr., James and Stores have all already scheduled or taken official visits to Rutgers. Acuff Jr. is also an AAU teammate of McKenney.

As for Adams, while he has not scheduled any visits yet with the Knights, it's worth noting that his older sister is junior guard and forward Destiny Adams on the Rutgers women's basketball team.

With the new season upon us, Rutgers is looking to keep its recruiting momentum going while achieving the same type of success on the court.

For more updates on the Rutgers men’s basketball team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Camden Markel's work, follow @CamdenMarkel on X.

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