The job's been terrific so far. Everything has gone very smoothly and according to plan. I put together a great staff and we're happy with the staff we put together. I think we have some tremendous guys. Next, obviously we have to get out and evaluate talent and get kids interested in coming to Rutgers and find the right matches with the kid we are trying to get. We want to get kids on campus and interested in the program and where our program is headed, and them hopefully getting some of those guys.
SOR: Aside from basketball skills, what are some of the qualities you are looking for in the kids you are recruiting?
Certainly, we want guys that have a great passion for the game of basketball and guys that want to be great students. Certainly, at the state university, a great academic institution, we want guys that just want to be the best, guys that want to be well-rounded people. And after they decide to come to Rutgers, they go out as ambassadors for our university for the rest of their life, so those are the types of guys we are looking for.
SOR: About the staff, it really is great to see Craig Carter back on the Banks. I remember when he was a player when RU made the NCAA tournament. It's really good to see him back.
Well, its one of the things I feel really strongly about: family. He's a family member coming back. He was a team captain and had a great career playing for Coach Wentzel and graduated in '91, [leading RU to] the two NCAA tournaments in ‘89 and ‘91. So, we were really excited to get Craig back on the staff and come home, so to speak.
SOR: I know that NCAA recruiting rules prohibit you from commenting on individual players, but how would you say the recruiting process is going so far, in general?
Well, we've received great feedback. I think there's a very high interest level with a lot of terrific young players in Rutgers University. Certainly, we've been very fortunate to receive that type of feedback in a short period of time. I think as you go through the summer process and get a chance to evaluate and kids get a chance to evaluate and see who's interested in them and go away throughout the country and make unofficial visits. Certainly, we feel we are in the ballpark with several great players and hopefully, maybe, in August, September, October some things break our way and some guys decide: Hey [Rutgers] is a great place and it's where I want to go to school.
SOR: With your reputation as a top notch recruiter, a lot of fans have high expectations for you recruiting wise. It seems like fans want you to just snap a finger and have recruits come to Rutgers immediately. How do you feel about that and deal with the expectations?
I love fans and that's what fans are supposed to want and expect. Our job is to go out and attract great people and top quality student athletes that want to come to Rutgers: people that we want to have as part of our Rutgers basketball family. In our mind, there is never a timetable for something like that to happen. But, we certainly respect our fans' opinions. They want everything to happen right away and certainly, we would love to have things happen right away but the reality is that it doesn't always happen the way you want it. The bottom line is that if things happen the way they are supposed to happen, then I feel real good about where we are at. Our fans are going to be very happy with the end result.
Fans should stay tuned for Part II of this interview with the Head Basketball Coach of Rutgers, Fred Hill.