Corey Chandler stated to me the news that all Rutgers fans have been waiting to hear: that when the signing period this November rolls around and he has a chance to make his commitment binding by signing a national LOI to attend Rutgers, that is indeed what he will do. "Definitely", said Chandler. "I'm loyal. Coach Hill and I have a strong relationship". While Chandler stated that he certainly intends on trying to persuade other top players to follow him to RU, he stressed that the additional attention he might garner from being the big-time recruit whose lead others followed to put Rutgers back on the basketball map doesn't interest him: "If I and the team play well, the spotlight will come", he said.
When asked about his game and how it has progressed over the past year, he said that it has improved significantly. "My ball handling has gotten much better", he said. He also added that his passing skills and his ability to see the court have also improved, in addition to his jumping ability. He added, not surprisingly, that his defense is the weakest part of his game, but that he is working diligently to improve it.
While Chandler added that so far other coaches have seemed to respect his decision to attend Rutgers, he did state that when this year's ABCD camp takes place next month, and he plays well in it – as he said he expects to – he believes that he will begin to hear from those coaches intent on changing his mind. Still, he added, Rutgers fans have nothing to worry about. "I want to stay close to home", he said.
Rutgers fans – especially those can that pack the RAC and make it one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to play – should take note that Chandler had some very positive things to say about them: "I love Rutgers fans!", he said. "They bring a lot of momentum to the game, and help knock off a lot of teams. They've shown me a lot of respect".
When this very special young man shows up at the RAC this year after having signed his letter of intent to attend RU, the love that he has received so far will pale in comparison to what will be bestowed upon him then.
Corey Chandler will be playing at the ABCD camp in July. I will be there to cover him and all the other top players, and to see who else might be considering RU. In addition, I plan on covering Corey throughout the upcoming season, and bring to Scarlet Knight fans periodic updates on a player who seems destined to occupy a very unique and revered place in Rutgers basketball history.