On Wednesday evening, a pre-recorded taping of Kadeem Jack's college decision was broadcasted and let the nation know that the four-star power forward has chosen Rutgers. Jack is currently overseas playing in an all-star tournament, but wanted to finally bring an end to his recruitment. Jack is the 33rd ranked player in the nation according to rivals.com and his commitment is a major victory for RU head coach Mike Rice.
The 6-foot-8, 210 pound Jack attends Rice High School in New York City and plays his AAU ball for the New York Gauchos. William Joseph Singleton, the director of the Gauchos, admitted that he could see this commitment coming.
"I had a sense he did not want to go too far away from home," said Singleton. "I think Kadeem could have an immediate impact. He's so willing to learn and he's willing to work."
Jack's commitment is a major victory for Rice, who has been rapidly restoring the RU program even before he has coached a single game.
Taking over a program that has floundered in recent years, Rice continues to gain more and more believers in the metropolitan area.
"I think Rutgers has a very, very rich tradition in basketball," said Singleton. "You look at some of the players they've had in the past, we're probably talking about the early eighties and early nineties. I think with the arrival of Coach Rice and the amazing staff he has put together, they're moving in the right direction. They're moving towards getting Rutgers basketball back."
Rice acknowledged that is exactly what he intended to do when he took over as head coach. And it hasn't taken him long to put that theory into action.
Getting a centerpiece to build around may have appeared to be the most integral part of changing the culture at Rutgers. With Jack now committed to become a Scarlet Knight, the building has already begun.
"Getting a player of Kadeem's stature is very important," said Singelton. "You add pieces to the puzzle that can make your team a powerhouse. I think Kadeem is a player you can start from and you can continue to recruit players on his level. And if you can do that, you're going to have a pretty good program."