While one of the top point guards in the 2011 class plays in Rutgers' backyard, Plainfield High's Tyrone Johnson was telling many people close to him Georgetown was his leader.
And, finally, Markel Starks, the nation's 17th-rated point guard for the 2010 class, is going to Georgetown.
The common thread between them all is David Cox, the new associate head coach at Rutgers. He was the lead recruiter for each player.
While new Scarlet Knights coach Mike Rice is searching for a few players to fill out the 2010-11 roster, Cox's focus is on recruiting the 2011 class and beyond. In an interview with ScarletReport.com, Cox said his familiarity with the area's best prospects will help greatly.
"The inroads were already established,'' said Cox, who cannot comment on recruitable players because of NCAA rules. "What it will be now is just a different sell. I have a lot of connects with these high-major players in 2011, but now it's a different sell. It's not necessarily come in and join us and be a cog in the wheel for a few years and be a part of this winning program.
"Now, it's come and help create the wheel, be the steering wheel, be the driver, and help us get to the point where we've established a winning tradition.''
Cox is Rice's lead assistant, and the two are familiar with one another.
Before Rice moved to Robert Morris, and before Cox joined the Georgetown staff three years ago, the two worked together for a season on Jamie Dixon's staff at Pittsburgh, where Rice was an assistant and Cox was the director of basketball operations.
The goal is to pair the renovation of the Rutgers Athletic center with the success Rice experienced as a head coach at Robert Morris to bring recruits to Rutgers.
"We feel very good about our chances,'' Cox said, "about this university, about how attractive it can be and will be to recruits, about how attractive this league is, and our track records as a staff, particularly coach Rice's track record. He's a man who wins.
"Those are some of the things we hope will attract some of those big-time recruits. We have five or six scholarships open for 2011, so those guys will come in and play right away.''
Cox's coaching resume includes a heavy dose of Washington, D.C., area of contacts, which could play well when mixed with Rice's ability to recruit Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Cox was an assistant coach for the Washington D.C. Assault AAU program, was the head coach at Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C., and also spent seven years as an assistant principal at St. John's Prep in Washington, D.C.
"Being at Georgetown, it was a school we could recruit nationally,'' Cox said. "So, I've got some strong ties in Texas, some strong ties in Louisiana and I've got some pretty strong ties in New Jersey as well as New York.
"The area where I've been the most successful and where I've had my strongest ties would be D.C.-Metropolitan area extending as far north as Philadelphia and New Jersey.''
And making the move from Georgetown, one of the Big East's marquee programs, to become the lead assistant on Rice's staff made sense to Cox.
On the practice court, Cox's expertise is working with the guards, although he is expected to be involved in planning practices and incorporating strategy as well.
"Professionally, it's a good move for me because I get to be a part of rebuilding a program,'' he said. "There's nothing more rewarding as a coach than being a part of a rebuilding program, other than being able to develop a player. Those things kind of go hand-in-hand. …I believe this is the opportunity to be part of changing the face of a program.
"We are coming in here with major aspirations. We both come here, and I know (assistant) coach (Jimmy) Martelli will agree with us, with a great passion for the game. This school is a diamond in the rough. We truly believe that. It's an outstanding university, it's in the best conference in the country, and we are in a hotbed, truly a hotbed, of basketball recruits.''