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5-Star SF Airious 'Ace' Bailey Commits to Rutgers; Top Recruit Ever for Rutgers

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

Photo credit: 247Sports

Airious "Ace" Bailey has committed to Rutgers, becoming the highest-rated prospect to ever join the men's basketball program, per Brian Fonseca of NJ Advance Media.

Associate head coach Brandin Knight posted a locker room video to social media with Bailey hugging head coach Steve Pikiell, who yelled, "He's coming," to cheers from the team:

PikeiStan @kyk1827

Brandon Knight posted the video of Ace Bailey breaking the news to pike that hes committing. Pike genuinely is the best man on earth! Look at how happy he is! <a href="https://t.co/Jevit8LV2d">pic.twitter.com/Jevit8LV2d</a>

The Scarlet Knights were celebrating a 68-64 overtime win over Ohio State on Sunday to improve to 13-5 on the season.

Bailey is a 5-star recruit and the No. 6 overall player in the 2024 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

The 6'10" forward plays for McEachern High School in Georgia, showcasing his excellent length and athleticism to make an impact inside on both ends of the court.

He earned scholarship offers from top programs across the country, including Kentucky, Kansas, Texas and Oregon, but decided to forge a new path with Rutgers.

Bailey joins 4-star Dellquan Warren in the Scarlet Knights' 2024 class, continuing an impressive recruiting trend for Pikiell. The program's previous highest recruit was 2023 4-star Gavin Griffiths.

Pikiell has also found plenty of success on the court, leading the team to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances after breaking a 30-year gap between bids. The squad is red-hot this season with seven wins in the last eight games, including a road victory over then-No. 1 Purdue.

The 5-2 conference record is also good for second in the Big Ten.

With the addition of Bailey, it's clear this program is heading in an exciting direction.