Rutgers transfer apparently headed to URI
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
The Jersey connection may already be paying off for Dan Hurley and the URI basketball program.
GoLocalProv.com has learned that 6-8 Gilvydas Biruta, who has played the past two seasons at Rutgers, intends to enroll at Rhode Island and play for the Rams as an eligible junior beginning with the 2013-14 season. Biruta asked for, and received his release from the Scarlet Knights last month, shortly after Rutgers finished their season at 14-18. The 245-pound forward was the only player for head coach Mike Rice to start all 32 of Rutgers' games last season, and averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
As a freshman, Biruta was named to the Big East all-rookie squad, averaging 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and scored 21 points with six rebounds in his lone matchup with Providence. He earned a double-double this past February with 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Friars, in a 78-67 PC win. He also earned Big East all-academic honors with a 3.57 GPA in his first year of college.
As a high school senior at Newark, NJ powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep, where he played for Dan Hurley prior to Hurley's move to Wagner, the Lithuanian native was the last player to commit to former Rutgers coach Fred Hill. He publicly stated his desire at that time to leave after Hill was forced out in April of 2010, but athletic director Tim Pernetti convinced him to stay as the search for Hill’s replacement played out. New URI assistant coach Jim Carr was directly involved in recruiting Biruta to attend Rutgers.
Several published reports also have Biruta considering the University of Maryland as a potential landing spot.