Slowdown in Search Has Roster at Risk

Two more impact players are considering transfer from Rutgers with the coaching search dragging in the wake of the Mike Rice scandal. With Eddie Jordan and Rutgers set to continue talks tonight and tomorrow, the level of urgency is on high alert with both Mike Poole and Eli Carter now seeking letters of release.

Rutgers basketball needs to find an answer at head coach quickly or risk losing half of its roster to transfers this offseason.

Rising senior guard Mike Poole is seeking his release from the program, sources said, and rising junior Elijah Carter may now do the same. Carter led Rutgers in scoring last season before breaking his leg midway through Big East play and is now one of at least five players considering transfer.

Malick Kone, Jerome Seagears and Vincent Garrett have all requested and received releases to look elsewhere for their remaining years of eligibility. None of the departures are guaranteed, but the longer Rutgers drags its feet in replacing coach Mike Rice, the tougher it gets to keep the roster intact.

In recruiting, Rutgers already lost Wabash Valley wing Chris Griffin. Griffin committed to Rice and Rutgers after a March official visit and was the first to decommit after Rice's firing.

Griffin was willing to consider Rutgers if the coaching search was resolved quickly, but he could wait no longer and will now sign with Auburn.

South Kent guard Shane Rector decommitted the same day as Griffin and is set for a Missouri visit this weekend. Should Rutgers still be without a coach by the weekend, its chances at Rector drop significantly.

"He still likes Rutgers and a lot of what the program has, but he wants to make a decision before it's too late," said South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson. "He likes the assistants and Rutgers still has a need for Shane."

Craig Brown of Broward remains committed to Rutgers but has not been in touch with the Scarlet Knights or other schools in the last week, said his head coach Bob Starkman.

Los Angeles Lakers assistant Eddie Jordan is back in New Jersey and expected to begin stage two of job talks with Rutgers tonight, sources told Jordan was at Rutgers over the weekend but no significant progress was made in bringing him onboard and a meeting with president Robert Barchi remains a high priority.

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