Men's Basketball: RU loses two from ’13 class

Two of the three members of the 2013 Rutgers men’s basketball recruiting class have wavered their commitments, according to The Newark Star-Ledger.

Shane Rector and Chris Griffin have both re-opened their recruitment in the wake of former head coach Mike Rice’s firing from the University.

Rector, a three-star point guard according to out of South Kent (Conn.) Prep, originally committed to the Scarlet Knights over offers from Providence, Massachusetts, Dayton and Towson among others. At 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, Rector was expected to contribute off the bench for Rice.

Griffin, a 6-foot-7-inch small forward from Wabash Valley (Ill.) Community College, is also a three-star player according to In addition his Rutgers offer, Griffin also received scholarship offers from Auburn, Kansas St., Mississippi St. and Texas-El Paso.

Only Craig Brown, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Broward (Fla.) Community College remains in the fold for the Knights. Brown is an unranked prospect on Rivals, but holds offers from Auburn and NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed Gonzaga. Middle Tennessee State and Murray State also have shown interest.

The wavering of both recruits will not help the Knights’ depth, as three players have already announced their attentions to leave the program.

The biggest loss was sophomore guard Jerome Seagears, who said last week he would be leaving the program. Seagears was part of Rice’s strongest recruiting class in his three years as head coach, as he brought in seven players in 2011.

Sophomore guard Malick Kone announced two weeks ago that he would not rejoin the program next season, and junior college transfer Vincent Garret — who did not receive substantial playing time in his lone year in Piscataway — also transferred last week.

Barring more transfers, Rutgers has just six players returning from last season’s team who saw significant playing time.

Two of them, sophomore guard Eli Carter and forward Greg Lewis, are still recovering from injuries. Lewis redshirted last season because of a knee injury, while Carter fractured his fibula Feb. 16 in the second half against DePaul.

But more defections can come with changes to the coaching staff.

Along with the roster instability, Rutgers still has to name an athletic director and a head coach. Carl Kirschner was named interim Athletic Director on Wednesday by the University. He served in that same capacity in 2009 when former Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy was fired and replaced by Tim Pernetti.

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