Lithuanian forward begins RU visit today

Rutgers is looking for to add a wing to its 2010 basketball recruiting class, and will host a 6-foot-8 New Jersey prep player, originally from Lithuania, beginning today. The player talks about where the Scarlet Knights stand, and if he has a favorite. He also talks about whether he will take a trip to Maryland, and says Davidson, Northwestern and few Ivy League schools are after his services.

If Rutgers is going to land a commitment from St. Benedict's of Newark (N.J.) 6-foot-8 senior forward Gilvydas Biruta, ground will have to be made up.

Fortunately for Rutgers, the opportunity to really make an impact begins today when the Lithuanian-born hoopster begins an official visit.

"Right now Rutgers is behind,'' Biruta said. "I don't know much about the school. Coach (Dan Hurley) said I should take a visit there. Coach said it is a good program. I don't have a television on the internet in my room, so I don't know much about the school.''

Biruta came to the United States last summer and enrolled for the 2008-09 academic year, and has been under-recruited, according to Hurley.

At the beginning of last season Biruta was a starter, but an ankle injury in January limited his playing time the rest of the season. And since Birutas played for the under-18 Lithuanian national team in the offseason, coaches weren't exposed to his talents on the AAU circuit.

Biruta said the only other school he is looking to visit before the season is Maryland, which is his leader, and has been recruiting him the longest. He could make the trek south next week.

"I am not sure after that,'' Biruta said. "We begin practice Nov. 15, so I have to do it before that.''

Biruta said Davidson could also get a visit, as well as Northwestern, but only if he delays his decision and signs in the spring. He is also being recruited by Pennsylvania and Harvard, but right now he is not looking heavily at those schools.

"I think maybe I want to go to a bigger basketball school,'' Biruta said. "I think I could improve more at Maryland than at Harvard.''

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