Jonathan Laurent Earns Start in Rutgers Debut

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Jonathan Laurent became the first Rutgers freshman to start a season-opener since 2011 in Friday's 72-59 victory over Rutgers-Newark. Laurent spoke 1-on-1 with Scarlet Report in the locker room after his first big night at the RAC.

Rutgers was in desparate need of a wing when coach Eddie Jordan locked in on Jonathan Laurent out of Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips late in the recruiting period. Jordan locked up a commitment with the liklihood of early playing time, and Laruent received exactly that in his Rutgers debut.

"He was the three-man that we liked," Jordan said. "He can run the floor, he can get to the basket very easily. He showed a lot of good signs, driving to the basket, making jump shots, playing some good defense. The athleticism comes so easy to him, that we like what he did.” 

Laurent earned a starting spot with a stellar preseason camp.

Rutgers-Newark was a wake-up call for Laurent, who committed four turnovers and four fouls in 17 minutes, but he considers himself ready to build off of the experience.

"[A starting spot] is what I was coming in to fight for," Laurent said. "I kind of knew that I wanted to start, so I was going to come in and work every day for that starting spot, and I earned that with hard work in practice, hard work in scrimmages. It was kindof rough in the first game, but I'll bounce back."

Laurent likely comes off the bench for Jordan tomorrow when DeShawn Freeman and Corey Sanders become available to start the game.

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