While Beachwood (Ohio) wing Maishe Dailey did not see the best effort from Rutgers basketball on an official visit, a seat behind the bench Saturday evening showed him an opportunity for early playing time.
Dailey spent the weekend at Rutgers, his first official visit, and received a message about instant impact from the coaching staff.
"They're recruiting me as a wing, guard," Dailey said. "It's interchangeable for them. They see me coming in and making an impact right away. They love my ability to shoot the ball and my skill level and my decision making on the ball, off the ball, on offense and on defense."
Rutgers lost 90-56 to Nebraska with four forwards out with injury and a fifth that may miss time moving forward.
"I think it was just a lot of bad luck and a lot of injuries at the wrong time," Dailey said. "They have seven, six scholarship players available right now. Nebraska just got off to a hot start. [Andrew White III] just got really hot and Rutgers got open shots but they weren't falling. It was tough to watch but I understood."
Rutgers showed Dailey a fun weekend that included a campus tour, meals with the team, academic meetings and a front-row seat to the Nebraska game and honors for the historic 1975-76 Final Four team that included head coach Eddie Jordan. The vibe during shootaround specifically stood out for Dailey.
Jordan and lead recruiter Dalip Bhatia are both Rutgers graduates, and that conversation hit home with Dailey.
"I really got to know coach Jordan as a coach and as a person," Dailey said. "He talked to me like a friend and a lot about the program. I liked getting to know everyone. ... They talked about their student life and how much fun they had here. It would be the best four years of my life and it was the best years of their lives. They said Rutgers was the best choice for them and they wouldn't take it back."
Bhatia is in his first year as a full-time assistant after a key role in basketball operations.
"He talked to me the same way coach Jordan did," Dailey said. "He really wants to have me on his team. He got to know my likes and dislikes as a person, and he didn't talk to me as much about basketball. He just got to know me as a person. He was really helpful on this visit. There's nothing not to like about him. I really like coach Dalip."
Dailey took multiple unofficial visits last year but has no more official visits planned during his senior season. He wants to make a decision after his season concludes with Dayton and Xavier pushing the hardest alongside Rutgers. Maryland, Michigan and Iowa State are also recruiting Dailey.
"The most important things are player development," he said. "I want to be sure that the coaching staff can help me get better while I'm there. I want the ability to make an impact my freshman year. If there's an opportunity there, I want to have to go get it. I want to make sure that the coaching staff and the team makes me feel welcome and I'm comfortable with them. I feel that way with Rutgers."