Metro Basketball Notes

Big Apple Sports has completed compiling the early school lists for the top
100-150 JUCO's in the Class of 2004. At this point, Rutgers does not appear
in the mix with any of these players but this may change as the season
progresses. There have been relatively few verbal commitments made by this
group thus far and most have stated they will hold off signing until the
spring. So Rutgers may still get involved late.

It is interesting to note that while the point guard position has been a big
question mark for the Scarlet Knights for the upcoming season, two of the
nation's better JUCO playmakers hail from New Jersey and are wide open in
their recruitment.

Jihad Muhammad, a 6-0 native of Plainfield (NJ), guided San Jacinto (TX) to
the NJCAA national final as a freshman, where they dropped a 76-68 decision
to Southeastern Iowa. An All-Tournament selection at the nationals, he
averaged 15.8 points and 2.9 assists during the season while shooting 44%
from the field, 40% beyond the arc and 79% from the foul line. Muhammad has
received early interest from Georgia, Providence, Clemson, Nebraska,
Colorado and Florida State.

Travis DeGroot, a 6-3 native of Montclair (NJ), is returning to action at
New Mexico Military after sitting out the 2002-03 season due to personal
issues. As a freshman in 2001-02, DeGroot averaged 13.1 points, 5.1 assists
and 3.8 rebounds, earning both All-Conference and NJCAA Region V first team
honors. Before opting to sit out last winter, DeGroot was rated #1 among the
nation's JC point guards by The Sporting News and was recruited by such
schools as UNLV, Fresno State and New Mexico. He recently took an official
visit to Georgia State.

Speaking of JUCO point guards, Farleigh Dickinson picked up a late addition
in Tamien Trent, the NJCAA Region XV Player-of-the-Year who led Suffolk (NY)
to the D3 national JUCO title last season. The 6-1 Trent averaged 22.2
points, 7.7 assists and 7.5 rebounds while leading the Clippers to a 32-1
record and the school's first national championship.

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