Seagears, Coach In-depth On Rutgers Decision

Flora MacDonald Academy (Red Springs, N.C.) point guard Jerome Seagears was seeing what Rutgers coach Mike Rice is tyring to built, and he wanted to be a part of it. After his Tuesday commitment to the Scarlet Knights, he talked about the recruiting class and why he chose Rutgers. Meanwhile, his coach gave a scouting report of what Scarlet Knights fans can expect from Seagears.

The influence of landing Derrick Randall, Malick Kone, Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack certainly caught the eye of the latest player to commit to Rutgers.

In fact, a month ago three-star point guard Jerome Seagears was favoring West Virginia, but when it came time to make a commitment, he chose the Scarlet Knights.

Although he had known for a bit he would commit to Rutgers, the Flora MacDonald Academy (Red Spring, N.C.) senior made the decision after a Tuesday visit from coach Mike Rice.

"Mike Rice was telling me they haven't had a top 100 recruiting (class) in about 30 years … and the 2011 class, with me they may jump to the top five," said Seagears,'s No. 19-rated point guard. "That definitely played a part of it. I definitely want to be coming in with a class with more talent, and some great players have been committing to Rutgers lately.

"I would say Mike Rice and the whole coaching staff at Rutgers have been doing their jobs there."

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Seagears joins Mack as point guards in the class, but there is little doubt to Flora MacDonald Academy coach Derrick Bond his player will be ready to challenge for the starting spot next season.

"He's about as pure as a point guard as there is out there," Bond said. "We put him with any guard in the country, and he's going to hold his own. I think he's best at the pick-and-roll game, but when he's in transition, it's something pretty special.

"He'll start for them from Day 1 and have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament in his first year and have a great career at Rutgers."

Seagears averaged 14.7 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range in the regular season. He also added 6.8 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

"He's a stud," Bond said. "He was one of the better players in the state last year. He's going to play 20 to 30 minutes.

"He's got a chance to come in and make a lot of noise at the point guard, not only in the Big East, but in the country."

Like each of the other players to commit to Rutgers, a pre-existing relationship with one of Rice's assistants played a significant role in Seagears' choice. He played his AAU ball in the summer with the D.C. Assault, where Rutgers associate coach David Cox has strong ties to.

"The relationship I have with the coaching staff is excellent, from Mike Rice on down to coach Dave to some of the players on the team, and it was a great experience letting them recruit me."

Seagears said. "I felt like it was a good time and definitely wanted to be part of the program. They kind of stepped up their recruiting process with me more than the other schools, and they did a great job of doing it, too.

Seagears, who is from Washington, D.C., grew up watching Rutgers, but acknowledged he didn't envision himself playing for the Scarlet Knights until a weekend conversation with his family.

And, as it turns out, the tenacity and diligence of Rice and his staff was a big factor.

"We got a thing, the first day those guys got a chance to come out to visit, where are you during that first hour?" Bond said. "They kind of separated themselves during that period, and before you know it, he was getting comfortable and it was a very good transition period with him.

"It was a match made in heaven. They did a great job recruiting him, and he likes everything about it; the community, the school, the athletics, the coaching staff. Everything matches up."

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