RU hoops hosts official visitor

It is homecoming for the Rutgers football team, but the Scarlet Knights men's basketball team is using the big weekend to host an official visit from a New England-based guard. The visit begins today, and caught up with the player to talk about his recruitment, learn how Rutgers became involved and also get insight as to the type of program that interests the player.

Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) shooting guard Austin Carroll will begin his official visit Friday at Rutgers, he said after landing at Newark Liberty Airport tonight.

Carroll is viewing it as an information-gathering visit since he isn't that familiar with the basketball program, although he said he does have a strong relationship with head coach Fred Hill and assistant coach Darren Savino and also knows current Scarlet Knights Mike Rosario and Greg Echenique.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Carroll is currently enrolled as a post-graduate at Brewster after playing at Worcester (Mass.) Academy, where he played much of his senior season with an ailing ankle.

"I'm kind of going down to get a feel for the campus,'' Carroll said while still at the airport. "(Rutgers' recruitment) kind of just started last spring. Coach Savino came up to Worcester Academy and starting recruiting me. They saw me a couple times this summer and gave me a call and asked me to come on a visit.''

Carroll visited Harvard last month and enjoyed it, but could be looking for a higher level of basketball. He does not have an offer from the Scarlet Knights.

"I've been really impressed with what Harvard has done with the players and the coaching staff,'' Carroll said. "I'm looking for a school where basketball matters. It doesn't matter if it's the highest level in the country. It has to matter and have a good coaching staff, and have players that I like to be around.''

Carroll said he went the post-graduate route after his recruitment as a senior lagged on the heels of a fractured ankle during the spring of his junior season. It kept him off the important summer AAU circuit, and he believes limited his exposure.

"It didn't really heal until about a year later,'' Carroll said. "It lingered with me all summer and into my senior year. I thought it kind of hindered me from getting looks I thought I deserved.'' Carroll is considered a 3-point specialist, but his former coach at Worcester Academy, Edward Reilly, said Carroll possesses an all-around game.

"He can really shoot it,'' Reilly said. "He's a smart, intelligent player, has good instinct, a good player. I think his best strength is he can do a little bit of everything. He's a very good shooter. He knows how to play and is a fun guy to play with.''

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