Hill lands second commit for 2010 class

Not only did Rutgers get a much-needed win against Massachusetts, it also picked up a commitment from a New Jersey-based prep player during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The player chose Rutgers after being recruited by several schools, including Pennsylvania, Harvard, Northwestern, Davidson and Maryland.

Rutgers men's basketball coach Fred Hill landed his second player of the 2010 class when St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) forward Gilvydas Biruta gave a non-binding oral commitment.

It is quite the turnaround for the 6-foot-8 Biruta, who a few weeks ago said he was favoring Maryland.

But after an official visit to Rutgers he changed his opinion of the New Jersey school. Biruta joins guard Austin Carroll of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) in the Scarlet Knights' class.

St. Benedict's coach Dan Hurley, a former Rutgers assistant, is looking for big things from Biruta this season.

"He plays hard,'' Hurley said. "Kids don't always do that nowadays, but he plays really hard.''

Biruta can step out and shoot the outside shot, and has a good feel for the game.

Last year Biruta beat out Lamar Patterson, who is now at Pittsburgh, for a starting spot, but injured his ankle and never regained the position.

"He was playing at a high level and a little bit after the new year sprained an ankle,'' Hurley said. "When he got back, he sprained it a little more severely and it kind of hijacked the second part of the year.''

The injury was one of the reasons Biruta was not highly recruited. It kept him from being seen by the majority of coaches.

Also, Biruta did not play on the AAU circuit. Instead, he played for the Lithuanian national team at the under-18 European championships.

Biruta was also being recruited by Maryland, Northwestern, Pennsylvania, Harvard and Davidson.


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