Basktball Practice Notebook Rutgers Back in Action

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Scarlet Report takes a deeper look at newcomer Jonathan Laurent, and brings you the latest practice news from head coach Eddie Jordan following an active Thursday from the RAC.

The Headline – Rutgers searched hard for wing options in its 2015 recruiting class, and coach Eddie Jordan locked in on Jonathan Laurent of Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips High school.

Laurent came on the scene late in recruiting, but is not a late-bloomer on the hardcourt at the RAC. Laurent brings hustle and athleticism to the shooting guard and small forward positions, and could compete for a starting spot this season.

“He gets to the rim, he finishes well around the basket,” Jordan said. “He catches it and goes. He runs the floor well. He gets through every screen like he’s Evil Knievel. That’s good. That’s good stuff. I like that aggressiveness on defense.”

Laurent played in the post for most of his life before he transferred to Dr. Phillips as a junior. At a bigger high school that also produces Rutgers football commit Jonathan Pollock, Laurent moved to the wing.

“I’m still getting into the feel of it, getting the ball handles and a more consistent jump shot,” he said. “I’m still learning it. I’m working hard every day. … Next year, maybe I’ll be playing the two, three and four.”

Laurent is in his second week of practice at Rutgers with the season fast approaching.

“The biggest difference between high school and college is probably creating shots and getting to the basket,” he said. “I would say in high school it’s pretty much easier because you’re bigger and stronger than everybody else. You’re more talented so it’s easier. In college, everybody is the same size, same height … you have to be more creative.”

Worth Noting – Rutgers is a long way from a set starting rotation, and could need the entire preseason to identify the right five guys. One key player, fifth-year center Greg Lewis, did not practice today.

“I tell them almost every day, 10 guys could start,” Jordan said. “They have to convince me doing all of the little things, and I ran down about six things on the list, that you have to do to convince me. We’ll see where it goes. It’s going to be a tough decision.”

Quote of the Day – “[Nigel Johnson and Bishop Daniels] both have bounce, but I would win. I would win." -- freshman Corey Sanders on a potential team dunk contest.


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