Biruta talks about his visit to Rutgers

St. Benedict's Prep of Newark, N.J., forward Gilvydas Biruta took an official visit to Rutgers over the weekend. He went into the trip knowing very little about the Scarlet Knights, or the school, and said an impression was made. However, was it a good one or a bad one? He also talked about being hosted by former St. Benedict's Prep star Greg Echenique, and what is next in his recruitment.

St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) forward Gilvydas Biruta wanted to spend the weekend at the University of Maryland, but at the urging of his coach, Dan Hurley, he took an official visit to Rutgers.

And Biruta is glad he did because it changed how he viewed the school.

"I liked it a lot. It changed my mind about Rutgers in a positive way,'' said Biruta, who is from Lithuania. "It's a good academic school. I like the team chemistry a lot.''

Biruta, a 6-foot-8, 220-pounder who is a good passer and, in the classic European mold, can jump out to the perimeter and shoot the ball well.

"One thing I noticed is they don't have the forward who can step out and shoot the three,'' Biruta said. "That is something I can do.''

It was no surprise Biruta, who arrived in the United State in the summer of 2008, was hosted by sophomore center Greg Echenique, who also prepped at St. Benedict's Prep.

During the visit, Biruta met with the coaching staff, watched the pregame scouting videos, got a tour of the campus, met with academic advisors, had dinner with some of the players and watched the season-opening win against Marist from directly behind the bench.

He also spent plenty of time sitting at the hotel talking with Echenique.

"He said I would be prepared for Rutgers, the way they practice, because of coach Hurley,'' Biruta said. "He said I would be able to make the transition.''

Biruta said he talks weekly with Maryland's staff, but is yet to talk with head coach Gary Williams. He is trying to set up a visit, which he says could come during the season. He also said he has not ruled out Harvard.

"Basketball, I think, is more important than studies, but I want to get a good education,'' Biruta said. "I could take some visits during the season. Those three (are at the top) and I don't know about the others. I am saving that space.''

Previously, Biruta said Northwestern and Davidson were also involved in his recruitment.

He added he will not make a decision until late in his senior season.


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