Rutgers picks up 3 recruits
With winter break rapidly approaching, the Rutgers men's basketball team will have three recruits going into the new year.
Incoming freshmen forwards Oskar Palmquist and Dean Reiber were the first recruits that head coach Steve Pikiell signed back on Nov. 18. Then just last week on Dec. 5, Pikiell announced that incoming freshman forward Mawot Mag will join the program, along with the two other forwards.
Palmquist, a Kinna, Sweden, native, competed for Central Pointe Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Florida, for the 2019-20 high school season. The Sweden native starred on the Sweden U-20 national team and has competed for the national team since he was 16.
Palmquist, a 6-foot-8-inch forward, was named a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. Playing in the U-20 European Championships, Palmquist scored 6.2 points per game while averaging approximately four rebounds per game through six contests.
He had offers from consistent top collegiate basketball programs like Florida and Big Ten rival Iowa. Western Kentucky, Kansas State, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati rounded out the list of schools he held offers from.
"The combination of his skillset and work ethic excites us greatly," Pikiell said. "His athleticism and ability to shoot the ball are really exciting to us with his ability to score at all three levels."
Reiber is an out-of-state commit, hailing from Greensboro, North Carolina, but he has ties to the Scarlet Knights (6-3, 0-1). His grandfather is an alumnus from Rutgers.
Like Palmquist, Reiber is also a three-star recruit at forward, standing 2 inches taller than the Swede. In his third year competing at Northwest Guilford High School, Reiber helped the high school compile an 18-8 record.
Reiber was a consistent scorer, averaging 16.8 points per game as a high school junior. Playing a role in the paint, Reiber grabbed an average of approximately nine rebounds per game, almost averaging a double-double during his junior season.
Some schools Reiber had offers from were Penn State, as well as High Point and Appalachian State, according to 247Sports. He is listed as a power forward on the site.
Reiber brings a versatility in scoring and rebounding to the Banks, something that Pikiell thinks will help him transition into the Big Ten as a consistent big man.
"Dean is a player that we identified early in the recruiting process as someone we knew we had to have," Pikiell said. "His rebounding ability and toughness will translate well in the Big Ten, a league where those two things are crucial."
A Juba, South Sudan, native, Mag is the second international signing for Pikiell this semester. Like Reiber and Palmquist, Mag is also a three-star recruit.
The 6-foot-7-inch, 215-pound forward clocks in at No. 41 on 247Sports' overall rankings. He split his high school time with Victory Rock Prep in Florida and his current school, Prolific Prep, in California's Napa Valley.
With Prolific Prep, Mag scored 10 points through six games during his junior season while averaging approximately seven rebounds per game.
Mag has been limited due to several sustained injuries the last few seasons. But, when he is healthy, Mag can stretch the defense, most likely seeing time on the wing once he arrives on the Banks in the summer.
"(Mag) fits the mold of another long, athletic and versatile player that can play multiple positions for us," Pikiell said. "He is an outstanding shooter who competes extremely hard on both ends of the floor."
At the moment, there are only three forwards on the Knights' roster — senior Shaq Carter and sophomores Mamadou Doucoure and Ron Harper Jr. — along with sophomore center Myles Johnson joining the big men in the paint.
Harper Jr. has transitioned from a guard to a wing this season, emerging as a skilled rebounder already. He is averaging approximately six rebounds per game, with his highest so far at 10 against Pittsburgh on Dec. 3.
Once Carter leaves, there will be more room for the new recruits to see time in the rotation. Johnson, standing at 6 feet 11 inches, will most likely stay at his center position. He is averaging approximately eight rebounds per game, with his season high of 14 coming against the Panthers (7-3, 1-1) on Dec. 3.
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