A report from the Newark Star-Ledger has Rutgers deciding to retain embattled men's basketball coach Fred Hill. The fourth-year head coach's job security had been the source of speculation much of this season, which the Scarlet Knights finished with a 15-17 record.

This qualifies as news in these parts, of course, because of one Andrew Nicholas' verbal commitment to Rutgers. Eastern York's 6-foot-6 junior verballed to the school last summer, surprising many by ending the recruiting chase for his services that had attracted schools like Virginia Tech, St. Joseph's and Temple.

At the time of his commitment, Nicholas said the connection with the Scarlet Knights' coaches had a big role in his decision.

"The first time I met the coaches, we had a connection right away," Nicholas told the Daily Record/Sunday News last July. "... It'll be a great challenge, playing the top players in the country."

Hill's job seemed in serious doubt late this season. Rutgers is 47-77 overall during Hill's four seasons at the helm, and just 13-57 in the Big East conference during that time.

According to the Star-Ledger, Hill would have been owed $1.5 million had he been fired.

Nicholas scored 33 points Tuesday in undefeated Eastern's 78-47 second-round state romp against Dobbins. The lefty-shooting wing is averaging 21.1 points per game this season.

Back in July, Nicholas seemed dead-set on eventually ending up in Piscataway.

"I'm not going to leave Rutgers," Nicholas said then. "I have my heart set on that. I guess (coaches) can try (to call). But I'm not backing off from Rutgers."


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