New Jersey, NCAA Tournament, college basketball

Former New Jersey High School Stars Ready to Compete in NCAA Tournament

March Madness is here! The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament begins Thursday and if you are deciding who to root for, we can help with this guide. While New Jersey will only be represented by one school (Rutgers is in!) this year, there are plenty of former high school players from the state that will be participating their teams.

We've listed the former NJ high school basketball stars now competing on various collegiate programs that have been given a chance to compete for the national championship.

New Jersey, NCAA Tournament, college basketball

Ron Harper, Jr.

Norfolk State

Mustafa Lawrence - Senior - Guard

After averaging 28.9 points and 5.1 assists per game as a senior for Essex County Vo-Tech High School in Newark, New Jersey, Lawrence made stops at Missouri State, Tallahassee CC, and Fresno State before landing at Norfolk State. He is averaging 5.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game for the Spartans this season.

Wichita State

Tyson Etienne - Sophomore - Guard

Starred at starred Dwight Englewood High School in New Jersey before transferring out for his final two years of high school. Etienne is averaging 17 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Shockers.

Drake

Darnell Brodie - Junior - Forward

Newark, NJ native who played high school ball at Newark East Side. Transferred to Drake after spending two seasons at Seton Hall. Brodie is averaging 7.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest.

UC Santa Barbara

Josh Pierre-Louis - Sophomore - Guard

After averaging 14.2 points and 3.4 assist at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, NJ, Pierre-Louis attended Temple University where he played in 27 games as a freshman. He transferred to UC Santa Barbara and was granted immediate eligibility. He is averaging 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.

Virginia

Jabri Abdur-Rahim - Freshman - Guard

A two-year letter winning at Blair Academy where is averaged 31.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in two games during an injury-shortened senior season in 2019-20. He has appeared in eight games this season at Virginia and has scored seven points.

Oregon

Aaron Estrada - Sophomore - Guard

Played basketball at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. Estrada was the MAAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman at Saint Peter's before transferring to Oregon. He is averaging 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in eight appearances for the Ducks.

Virginia Commonwealth

Jamir Watkins - Freshman - Forward

He was Third Team All-State by NJ.com following his senior season at Trenton Catholic, in Trenton, NJ. Now as a freshman at VCU, Watkins has averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

St. Bonaventure

Kyle Lofton - Junior - Guard

Starred at Union Catholic High School before spending a prep year at Putnam Science Academy. Lofton leads St. Bonaventure with 14.6 points per game. He also averages 3.6 rebounds and has totaled 110 assists this season. Lofton scored a game-high 23 points in the A-10 Championship game.

Osun Osunniyi - Junior - Forward/Center

As a senior at Mainland High School in Linwood, NJ, Osunniyi averaged 14.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He spent one year at Putnam Science Academy. This season, he is averaging a near double-double with 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the Bonnies. He has recorded 57 blocks on the season.

Alejandro Vazquez - Sophomore - Guard

Played high school ball at The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey where he averaged 17 points per game. Vazquez is averaging 4.6 points in 20 games this season.

UConn

R.J. Cole - Redshirt Junior - Guard

Union, NJ native began high school career at Newark Tech before playing final three seasons under Bob Hurley at St. Anthony's. Cole spent two years at Howard University where he averaged 22.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists. After sitting out last season, he is averaging 12.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the Huskies this season.

Jalen Gaffney - Sophomore - Guard

A Columbus, NJ native who attended Pennington School and Lawrenceville School before spending two years at Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.). He is averaging 5.8 points and 1.5 rebounds for the Huskies this season.

Adama Sanogo - Freshman - Forward

Sanogo is a Bamako, Mali native who played high school basketball at The Patrick School in New Jersey. The big man has been a force for the Huskies, averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as a freshman.

Alabama

Jahvon Quinerly - Sophomore - Guard

Was a two-time New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year at Hudson Catholic High School. Averaged 3.2 points and 9.1 minutes per game in 25 appearances in his lone season with the Villanova Wildcats. After sitting out a year due to transfer rules, Quinerly is second on the team averaging 12.7 points per game for the Crimson Tide. He is shooting 44% from three-point range.

Jaden Quinerly - Freshman - Guard

Jahvon's younger brother joined Alabama as a preferred walk-on after averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during his senior season at Ramsey High School. He has appeared in one game this season and connected on his lone shot attempt.

Iona

Asante Gist - Senior - Guard

East Orange, NJ native played high school ball at both Roselle Catholic and St. Anthony's. Began his collegiate career at Eastern Kentucky where he played two seasons before transferring to Iona. Gist is averaging 13.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He has started 13 of the Gaels 15 games this season, including 11 straight.

Hartford

Traci Carter - Graduate Year - Guard

Philadelphia native who is a graduate of Life Center Academy in Burlington, New Jersey. Carter spent time at La Salle and Marquette before landing at Hartford. Having started all 23 games this season, Carter is averaging 11.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Hawks.

Austin Williams - Redshirt Senior - Guard

Roseland, NJ native played high school career at Seton Hall Prep. Played first two collegiate seasons at Marist before transferring to Hartford and sitting out the 2019-20 season. Williams is the Hawks leading scorer at 13.9 points per game this season, as well as leading the team with 6.2 rebounds per contest.

D.J. Mitchell - Junior - Guard

Mitchell is an Englewood Cliffs, NJ native. He is averaging eight points and 2.1 rebounds per game this season for Hartford.

Michael Dunne - Junior - Guard

A 1,000-point scorer at Matawan Regional High School, Dunne has appeared in 22 games off the bench for the Hawks this season. He is averaging three points and 1.5 rebounds per game.

Villanova

Kevin Hoehn - Senior - Guard

Scored over 1,000 points in his career at Morristown High School. Has not appeared in any games this season.

Bryan Antoine - Sophomore - Guard

Tinton Fall, NJ native who starred at Ranney School. Antoine ended his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in the Shore Conference. He is averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in seven games this season for the Wildcats.

Trey Patterson - Freshman - Guard

Somerset, NJ native who scored 1,420 points in just three seasons at Rutgers Prep before graduating early. He has appeared in one game this season for the Wildcats, not scoring in his two minutes of action.

USC

Tahj Eaddy - Redshirt Senior - Guard

Eaddy played one college prep season at Covenant College Prep in Belmar, New Jersey. He is the second leading scorer for the Trojans at 13.7 points per game this season.

Colgate

Tucker Richardson - Junior - Guard

Began high school career at Hunterdon Central before transferring to Blair Academy. The Flemington, NJ native has started all 15 games this season for the Colgate Raiders. He is averaging 11.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Florida

Scottie Lewis - Sophomore - Guard

Hazlet, NJ native played high school ball at Ranney School. Lewis is averaging 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Gators this season.

Niels Lane - Freshman - Guard

Freehold, NJ native was a 1,000 career point scorer at Roselle Catholic High School. Has appeared in 13 games this season as a freshman at Florida, averaging 1.2 points.

Alex Klatsky - Freshman - Guard

Colts Neck, NJ native was a four-year starter at Ranney School. Has appeared in four games this season for the Gators.

Virginia Tech

Justyn Mutts - Redshirt Junior - Forward

Mutts is a Millville, NJ native who attended St. Augustine Prep. Spent time at High Point and Delaware where he graduated with a psychology degree. Mutts is averaging 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Hokies this season.

Illinois

Giorgi Bezhanishvili - Junior - Forward

Bezhanishvili was raised in Rustavi, Georgia before moving to Vienna, Austria at age 14. He moved to Hillside, NJ for his senior year of high school at The Patrick School. He is averaging 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for Illinois this season.

Drexel

Tim Perry, Jr. - Redshirt Junior - Forward

Perry graduated from Cherry Hill East High School before spending a year at Phelps School in Malvern, Pa. He is averaging 1.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game this season.

Tennessee

E.J. Anosike - Senior - Forward

A 1,000 point scorer at Paramus Catholic High School. Anosike is averaging 1.8 points and two rebounds per game for the Volunteers this season.

Syracuse

Bourama Sidibe - Senior - Center

A Bamako, Mali native played high school ball at St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey. Sidibe has appeared in two games this season, averaging 1.5 points.

West Virginia

Taj Thweatt - Freshman - Forward

Averaged 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a senior at Wildwood Catholic High School. Thweatt has appeared in eight games this season for West Virginia, having scored two points.

Clemson

Al-Amir Dawes - Sophomore - Guard

Newark, NJ native attended The Patrick School. Dawes is second on the team, averaging nine points per game for the Tigers this season. He has appeared in all Clemson games this season, including making 14 starts.

Rutgers

Nick Brooks - Senior - Guard

A Somerset, NJ native who is in his third year as a walk on with the Scarlet Knights after spending two seasons at West Virginia Wesleyan. Brooks has appeared in three games this season, scoring two points and grabbing a rebound.

Ron Harper, Jr. - Junior - Guard/Forward

Harper is a Don Bosco Prep grad from Franklin Lakes, NJ. Harper leads the Scarlet Knights with 15.9 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds. He has appeared in 25 games this season, all starts.

Luke Nathan - Junior - Forward/Center

Randolph High School grad now in his fourth season at Rutgers. Has appeared in two games and has yet to score this season.

Paul Mulcahy - Sophomore - Guard

Bayonne, NJ native played high school ball at Gill St. Bernards. A pass-first guard who has made some clutch shots for Rutgers, including back-to-back three pointers in the teams' Big Ten Tournament opener this season. Mulcahy is averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. He is tied for second on the team with 72 assists this season.

Clifford Omoruyi - Freshman - Center

Born in Nigeria before moving to New Jersey where he was a prized recruit out of Roselle Catholic. Omoruyi has made an impact his freshman year. He has appeared in 21 games, six starts and is averaging four points and four rebounds.

 

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Gregg has lived in New Jersey is entire life and is a current resident of Somerset County. As a huge sports fan, he is passionate about NJ sports at all levels. The former owner of Double G Sports, Gregg has vast experience in sports media and journalism.