Steve Pikiell Formally Completes All-Star Assistant Staff with Brandin Knight

A former New Jersey star is back home, and new Rutgers basketball coach Steve Pikiell put the exclamation mark on his coaching staff Monday with the formal announcement of Brandin Knight.

If actions truly speak louder, then Rutgers basketball at an 11 on the Spinal Tap scale.

It is one thing for athletic director Pat Hobbs to say he is more committed to basketball than past regimes. Steve Pikiell’s latest moves, however, proved it.

Former Pittsburgh assistant and New Jersey high school star Brandin Knight is the final piece of Pikiell’s coaching staff, officially announced Monday afternoon.

“I am thrilled to welcome Brandin to the Rutgers basketball family,” Pikiell said in a statement. “He is one of the premier young coaches in the country. Brandin has developed an excellent reputation as a high-level recruiter and a tremendous teacher of the game. He brings a passion and expertise in developing players that will be infectious to our program.”

Knight’s homecoming caps off an impressive first three weeks for Pikiell. Knight played his high school ball at West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep before a brilliant college career and eight coaching seasons with Pittsburgh.

“The opportunity to join a Big Ten staff in my home state under the leadership of coach Pikiell is very exciting,” Knight said. “I can’t wait to help bring winning back to Rutgers.”

Knight joins Karl Hobbs and Jay Young on Pikiell’s staff with Greg Vetrone returning in an advisory capacity, sources said.

Pikiell first announced Jay Young as an assistant coach. After Stony Brook went elsewhere in its search for Pikiell’s replacement, Young immediately came aboard at Rutgers.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to help build a winning program at Rutgers,” Young said  “Coach Pikiell does things the right way and makes people better. There is so much potential here. Coach Pikiell’s vision, the Northeast recruiting corridor and the Big Ten Conference provide for a very bright future.”

Like Karl Hobbs, Young brings a decade of head-coaching experience between stints at New Haven and Newbury College.

“Jay is one of the finest people that I have had the privilege of working with in my 25 years of coaching,” Pikiell said. “He was our recruiting and defensive coordinator. Jay was instrumental in the development of our frontcourt players. He brings a wealth of knowledge and recruiting contacts to Rutgers. We are extremely pleased that he has joined our staff.”

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