The ex-Seton Hall and former Villanova assistant wasted little time after becoming an assistant under Gary Waters at Rutgers, getting a commitment from the 33rd-ranked player in the Class of 2007, Corey Chandler.
Chandler was a virtual unknown to almost everyone other than Hill and a few other northeast coaches when he was en route to Eastern Invitational and got the call as a last-minute replacement at ABCD Camp. The Newark East Side (N.J.) junior guard played well enough to warrant attention from some high-major schools, but at the end of the day, loyalty won out for Chandler and he committed to the Scarlet Knights in a major coup for Waters' program.
``It's close to home so my mother, brothers and family can see me play," said the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Chandler. "I like Coach Hill. He turned Seton Hall around, turned Villanova around and I know he can turn Rutgers around."
Hill, who came over from Villanova after last season and is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the country, has been recruiting Chandler shortly after former East Side star Randy Foye landed in Jay Wright's program.
Chandler averaged 19.5 points per game and has drawn plenty of comparisons to Foye, who enters his senior campaign this year at Villanova.
``He's a very good scorer and is a combo guard," East Side assistant Anthony Tavares said of Chandler. "We're trying to make him a point guard, which could make him lethal. He's improved his passing ability and decision-making, but he can really take it at you and has a very good handle. He's a good athlete and plays defense."
``He reminds me a lot of Randy," Tavares added. "Randy made his teammates a little better at this stage, but they both have fluid jump shots and are both very athletic. It's scary how similar they are to each other. It's almost like Corey is Randy's little brother."
Chandler doesn't quite see the mirror images in their games, but he takes it as a major compliment.
``Not really. He was a better passer at this stage and in high school, maybe I'm a better scorer," Chandler said. "He can handle the ball better than me."
Chandler, 16, said he received interest from St. John's and Kansas shortly after his performance at the ABCD Camp, but it didn't really matter because his mind was already made up.
``There were other schools, but they waited until I did well at ABCD Camp," Chandler said. "Coach Hill has been there since I was a freshman."
``I'm really close to my mom because I don't have a father," he added. "She's been there for me all my life and that's why I want to stay close to home because she really wants to see my games."