UMass transfer Noah Fernandes commits to Rutgers
Following a visit to Rutgers last weekend, UMass transfer guard Noah Fernandes has committed to Steve Pikiell and the program. He announced the news on Thursday afternoon via his Instagram account.
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The Mattapoisett, Massachusetts native spent one season at Wichita State before the last three at UMass. He has one year of eligibility remaining. Fernandes took his first visit to Rutgers and was scheduled to visit Butler this coming weekend. However, they received several backcourt commitments last weekend. In addition, Fernandes was pursued by NC State, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Boston College among several others.
Getting him committed before he took any other visits was a tremendous job by Pikiell and the coaching staff. As a grad transfer, Fernandes is eligible to play right away next season without having to sit out as a two-time transfer.
This is a great addition for Rutgers. It marks the second straight offseason that Pikiell has landed an impact guard through the transfer portal. Last year, RU added Cam Spencer, who went on to have a historic season for the Scarlet Knights. Fernandes offers a different skill set and one that was a priority to add for next season’s roster.
Fernandes is a quick, shifty guard who can score in multiple ways. He is a good ball distributor who can create shots for himself and his teammates. The 5’11” guard is a dynamic offensive player that can take big shots while also having a willingness to be unselfish. With Derek Simpson emerging as a lead guard who can attack the rim this past season, Rutgers was in need of adding a second player who could pair with him. Fernandes will bring another primary ball handler who can push the pace, score in isolation while also generate open looks for teammates off of penetration.
This past season, Fernandes was limited to just 11 games due to an ankle injury. He missed the final two months of the season. The 5’11” guard averaged 13.1 points on 50.0% shooting from two-point range and 45.2% from three-point range. He also averaged 4.1 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.
It was the 2021-2022 season that was Fernandes’ best of his collegiate career. He led UMass with 14.9 points, 5.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 33.6 minutes per game. Fernandes was No. 37 nationally with a 32.4% assist rate and was No. 344 in shooting 79.0% from the foul line. He also shot 48.1% from two and 36.0% from three.
In terms of concerns, Fernandes has suffered multiple injuries through his career. He also will need to prove to be reliable defensively. Jumping up to the Big Ten, Fernandes needs to get stronger in preparation for such a physical league. All of that being said, he has the potential to make a big impact and improve on his efficiency at Rutgers. He also adds a veteran leader to the program.
While the roster for next season remains a work in progress, adding Fernandes strengthens a core group expected to return that includes Spencer, Simpson, Aundre Hyatt, Antwone Woolfolk, Antonio Chol and Mawot Mag. In addition, top 40 recruit Gavin Griffiths will be part of a freshman class that includes 4-star Baye Ndongo and 3-star Jamichael Davis. Both are expected to sign their national letters of intent this week. If Cliff Omoruyi and Paul Mulcahy return for next season, Rutgers will have one scholarship remaining.
More to come on this very positive development for Rutgers men’s basketball.
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April 13, 2023 at 5:42 pm
I’ll feel better once a Ndongo and Davis sign.
But 2023 looks like it can be a great year for men’s hoops.
April 13, 2023 at 6:55 pm
We like to have big guards but these shorter quick guards have given us fits. Nice to get one on our side, and one that can shoot the 3 too.
April 14, 2023 at 3:20 am
Great point and as we all saw yet again in the NCAA tournament, having those guys who can attack with speed while also being able to shoot are invaluable. RU should now have two of them next year.
April 14, 2023 at 3:18 am
This is an exciting move. RU desperately needed someone who can get downhill and attack the basket (check); can help spread the floor more effectively (check); can shoot from deep (check). This addition will make Cam and Gavin better and will even push Derek. A no brainer. Go RU!