Rutgers basketball loses battle for 2025 recruit to former assistant coach

rutgers basketball loses battle for 2025 recruit to former assistant coach

Rutgers center (left) Cliff Omoruyi and assistant coach Brandin Knight (center) speak with recruit four star Class of 2025 basketball recruit Brandon Stores Jr. (right) during pregame warmups before the Rutgers – Virginia Tech football game on Saturday, September 16, 2023 in Piscataway, N.J.

After putting together a historic 2024 recruiting class, Rutgers basketball is off to a slow start in the 2025 cycle: the Scarlet Knights have yet to earn a commitment in the class, and just watched a key target follow a former assistant coach.

Four-star forward Brandon Stores Jr., who Rutgers hosted on an official visit last fall and have been recruiting for months, committed to Georgia Tech on Monday at a ceremony at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx.

The New York native chose the Yellow Jackets — with whom former Rutgers assistant Karl Hobbs is making a good impression in his first year under Damon Stoudamire — over head coach Steve Pikiell’s program and Xavier, his third finalist.

Stores becomes the second four-star recruit that Hobbs nabbed out of Rutgers’ hands: he flipped four-star 2024 commit Baye Ndongo shortly after arriving at Georgia Tech, and the forward is having a tremendous freshman year for the Yellow Jackets thus far (12 points on 58% shooting, eight rebounds in 27 minutes per game).

rutgers basketball loses battle for 2025 recruit to former assistant coach

Rutgers center (left to right) TJ Thompson, Cliff Omoruyi and Brandin Knight (center) speak with recruit four star Class of 2025 basketball recruit Brandon Stores Jr. (right) during pregame warmups before the Rutgers – Virginia Tech football game on Saturday, September 16, 2023 in Piscataway, N.J.

Ranked 133rd nationally in his class on the 247Sports Composite, Stores took an official visit to campus on the weekend of September 18, where he attended the football program’s win over Virginia Tech.

Rutgers now pivots to other 2025 targets, including four-star forward Jaylen Harrell (who took an official visit to campus last month) and four-star point guard Nigel James.

Rutgers currently has one open scholarships for the 2025-26 season, but there should be plenty of changes to the current outlook by the time that season rolls around. It is highly likely that five-star 2024 commits Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper, who are ranked second and third nationally in their class respectively, will be in the NBA ranks when the 2025-26 season rolls around. And of course, in the era of the transfer portal, there is constant player movement.

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Brian Fonseca may be reached at [email protected].

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit nj.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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