The search for a full roster continues for Rutgers basketball coach Steve Pikiell, but he has his first three recruits finally on campus as a part of the program.
“We are very excited to welcome Matt, Candido and Issa into our program,” Pikiell said in a statement. “They are character young men who will work hard and make us better. They possess different qualities, which strengthen our roster in the frontcourt and on the wing. Having them in the weight room and in workouts this summer is significant in the development of a winning team culture.”
Thiam, who initially committed to Eddie Jordan, comes from the Canarias Basketball Academy with other stops on the Jersey Shore and in Jacksonville before he joined the program.
Bullock comes from one of New Jersey's top high school programs – Roselle (N.J.) Catholic. He also played for the Sports U AAU program before his enrollment.
“I’m going to try my best to get them back to the top,” Bullock said before his enrollment. “I see us in the tournament in the next year or so and I’m going to go graduate in four years. I’m excited to get on the court. … I can play the two through the four but I’m most comfortable at the three or in the post.”
Both Thiam and Bullock bring freshman eligibility while Sa joins with three years to play two.
Rutgers has room for more late additions but will not force bad fits for the sake of a full roster.
“I think it’s important that we do have open scholarships right now,” said assistant Jay Young during a spring conference call. “This is going to be built brick by brick, so there are no quick fixes here. You’ve got to find the right people, the right students, the right players to fill these positions. Honestly, if you can’t , you’re better off leaving them open right now and making sure we get these people.”