Rutgers lands first five-star commitment
General view of the Rutgers overhead scoreboard Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers men's basketball lands first five-star commitment

The Rutgers men's basketball program landed a surprising and monumental commitment on Sunday. 

Five-star recruit Airious "Ace" Bailey, rated the No. 6 overall recruit in the class of 2024 by 247Sports' composite rankings, committed to the Scarlet Knights. He's the highest-ranked recruit in school history.

Bailey, a 6-foot-10 small forward from Powder Springs, Ga., chose Rutgers over several big-time programs, including Kentucky, Auburn and Kansas. He's a versatile, explosive, multilevel scorer who handles the ball well for someone his size.

The Scarlet Knights moved to 13-5 on the season (5-2 in Big Ten) following Sunday's 68-64 win over Ohio State. Bailey attended the game and delivered his commitment in the locker room afterward. 

Rutgers head coach Steve Pickell continues to build a tough, hard-working program that is now reaping the rewards through recruiting. Pickell has now landed the program's top recruit twice. Before Bailey, 2023 four-star signee Gavin Griffiths was the school's highest-rated recruit. 

Last month, Rutgers also earned the commitment of Bailey's AAU teammate, 2023 guard Jamichael Davis.

While Bailey is still a junior, he was keen on getting his future plans in order as soon as possible, telling 247Sports, "I just want to grind, get this decision out of the way and just work."

Bailey's commitment moves Rutgers to the No. 3 spot in 247sports' 2024 team rankings. Rutgers previously earned a commitment from four-star PG Dellquan Warren and could soon add another top-10 2024 recruit. The school is reportedly pursuing Dylan Harper, the younger brother of former Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr. and son of five-time NBA champion Ron Harper Sr.

As long as Bailey honors his commitment, he could become the first Scarlet Knight selected in the NBA Draft since Hamady N'Diaye in 2010.

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