Rutgers basketball hosts trio of high profile prospects

The Rutgers men’s basketball program has been busy hosting a trio of high-profile prospects over the last few days.

Most recently, the Scarlet Knights hosted St. Bonaventure transfer Kyle Lofton on Monday, According to NJ Advance Media contributor Adam Zagoria.

The Hillside native is one of the best players remaining on the transfer market, landing at 16th in Bart Torvik’s rankings of players currently in the transfer portal.

A three-time all-Atlantic 10 selection at point guard, Lofton had a down year in 2021-22 while playing through an ankle injury sustained in December, averaging a career-low 12.8 points on a career-low 40% shooting while dishing 5.9 assists and playing a career-high 38.5 minutes per game.

Lofton’s visit to Piscataway comes after he took a trip down to Gainesville to visit Florida, per Zagoria. Those two schools are among the many who reached out to him once he entered the transfer portal, along with Xavier, Purdue, Georgetown, Clemson, South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee, DePaul, San Diego, Oklahoma State, Memphis, TCU, Oregon, Arizona State and Seton Hall, per Pro Insight’s Andrew Slater.

Lofton has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

Hosting Lofton is the latest move of an offseason with relatively little action for Rutgers, which has been selective in pursuing prospects out of the portal. The Scarlet Knights, who are one of just 10 programs nationally who have not seen a scholarship player enter the portal This offseason, landed Loyola-Maryland transfer Cam Spencer in April.

Prior to hosting Lofton, the Scarlet Knights hosted two elite class of 2023 prospects out of head coach Steve Pikiell’s home state of Connecticut over the weekend.

Gavin Griffiths, a 6-foot-7 forward who ranks 37th nationally in his class in the 247Sports Composite rankings, took an official visit to Piscataway from May 7 through May 9. It was the first that Griffiths is scheduled to take this spring, with stops at Virginia Tech and Michigan scheduled for June, for Slater.

Papa Kante, a 6-foot-10 center who ranks 111th nationally in the 247Sports Composite, spent time in Piscataway with Griffiths. It is unclear whether his stop was an official or unofficial visit.

Here is Rutgers’ current roster makeup entering the 2022-23 season (labeled by years of eligibility remaining):

2 years – Paul Mulcahy (G), Aundre Hyatt (G), Cam Spencer (G)

3 years – Cliff Omoruyi (C), Dean Reiber (F), Mawot Mag (F), Oskar Palmquist (F), Jalen Miller (G)

4 years – Derek Simpson (G), Antwone Woolfolk (F)

Note: Rutgers still awaits decisions from Ron Harper Jr., Caleb McConnell and Jaden Jones, who are all testing the NBA Draft waters. Harper’s return to Rutgers is highly unlikely considering he received an invite to the NBA Draft combine last week. Neither McConnell nor Jones received an invitation to the NBA or G-League combines. Each player has until June 1st to decide if they will remain in the draft or return to the NCAA.

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Brian Fonseca may be reached at bfonseca@njadvancemedia.com.

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