Eddie Jordan Excited by First Signed Prospect

Broward County College (Fla.) wing Craig Brown was the first to sign with new Rutgers basketball coach Eddie Jordan. Ready for a busy recruiting weekend at Rutgers, Jordan went in-depth on the first member of his first college recruiting class and what he means to the program.

It takes character to stick with a commitment during times of crisis and that is what new Rutgers coach saw in Broward County College (Fla.) wing Craig Brown. Brown is the first recruit to sign with Eddie Jordan in his Rutgers tenure and was the lone commit to remain solid to the Scarlet Knights during an ugly coaching change.

Brown inked his name on a National Letter of Intent Wednesday night and is set to join the program this summer where he can make an immediate impact.

"It was good that he stayed with his commitment and that's important," Jordan said. "Not because of me or because of Rutgers, but he felt that the school was great for him. The situation was great for him and he was coming. The fact that he said those things. ‘I like the school. I like the atmosphere.' That's important. That's better than liking the coach. It was a good thing."

Jordan centered his Tuesday introductory comments around restoring integrity to the Rutgers basketball program. Looking to build a team based on hustle, loyalty and respect, Brown looks like a good fit to Jordan, he said.

"As far as I know, from what I understand from everybody else, he has terrific character," Jordan said. "He's a terrific student. He plays very hard and he concentrates on defense. That's pretty darn good."

Brown will have junior eligibility upon arrival at Rutgers this summer. On a roster currently whittled down to single digits, Brown will be able to compete instantly for a starting spot at shooting guard or small forward.

Recruited heavily by assistant Van Macon, his retention by Jordan played a role in the decision to stick with Rutgers.

"I went on my assistants recommendations and they see him as a very good fit," Jordan said. "He's got good size. He's strong. He loves to defend and he's got a good personality on the floor."

With the ability to play shooting guard or small forward, Brown brings tremendous value to the Rutgers roster. Though at least one player will return, Rutgers lost three guards and two small forwards to transfer at the end of the season, leaving a significant void at the position.

Brown averaged 20.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 39 percent from three-point range for Broward this season. He was named first team All-NJCAA Region VIII, All-FCSAA and all-conference as a sophomore.

"I think it could be an even better situation for him now," said Broward coach Bob Starkman earlier this week. "It's a position where Rutgers lost some guys and it's a head coach with NBA experience. I'm happy for him and really like the decision."

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