The Rutgers basketball program has rounded out its 2023 class with a commitment from a big target at a key position.
The Scarlet Knights landed three-star forward Baye Ndongo, who announced his pledge to head coach Steve Pikiell’s program on Monday in a ceremony at his school that he live streamed on Instagram. The 6-foot-10 prospect out of Colorado Prep chose Rutgers over fellow finalists Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado and San Diego.
Ndongo becomes the third and almost-certainly final commit of the Scarlet Knights’ 2023 class, joining four-star forward Gavin Griffiths and unranked guard Jamichael Davis. Ranked 190th in his class in the 247Sports composite rankings, he can make his decision official by signing a national letter of intent in April.
“They tell me they can help me grow my game and achieve my goals,” Ndongo told NJ Advance Media ahead of his public announcement. “The way I play the game and how they play, the coaches told me they’ll help me get better.”
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Ndongo was on campus on Dec. 30, taking an unofficial visit that included a front-row seat to watch his future team crush Coppin State in its final game of the 2022 calendar year. He sat behind the Rutgers bench alongside four-star class of 2024 guard Dellquan Warren, who announced his commitment to the Scarlet Knights during the game.
“It was good,” Ndongo said of his visit. “I like the campus, I like around the campus. As a basketball player, they have everything you need. I like how they play the game, how they coached it. I thought it was all very good.”
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Ndongo’s commitment means that Rutgers’ 2023-24 roster is currently overbooked.
As things stand, the Scarlet Knights are slated to have 14 players on scholarship heading into next fall, one more than the 13 slots they have to work with. There will need to be some movement in the offseason to accommodate the new additions, whether that is through the transfer portal, the NBA draft or a decision from one of its rising seniors to move on from college basketball.
Here is Rutgers’ projected roster makeup entering the 2023-24 season (labeled by years of eligibility remaining):
1 year – Paul Mulcahy (G), Aundre Hyatt (G), Cam Spencer (G)
2 years – Cliff Omoruyi (C), Dean Reiber (F), Mawot Mag (F), Oskar Palmquist (F), Jalen Miller (G)
3 years – Derek Simpson (G), Antwone Woolfolk (F), Antonio Chol (F)
4 years – Gavin Griffiths (F), Baye Ndongo (F), Jamichael Davis (G)
Guards (5): Paul Mulcahy, Cam Spencer; Jalen Miller; Derek Simpson; Michael Davis.
Wings (5): Aundre Hyatt, Mawot Mag, Oskar Palmquist; Antonio Chol; Gavin Griffiths.
Forwards/Centers (4): Cliff Omoruyi, Dean Reiber; Antwone Woolfolk; Baye Ndongo.
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Brian Fonseca may be reached at [email protected].