It had been rumored for some time that former Pitt basketball assistant coach Brandin Knight was working on a deal to join the Rutgers staff. On Monday, that announcement became official. I answered some questions for SB Nation's Rutgers blog, On the Banks, which had been anticipating the hiring for some time - you can head over there and see what I had to say on it.
Somewhat interesting here is that this is essentially a lateral move for Knight in terms of stature. It was believed he could leave Pitt to take an Associate Head Coach job as the top assistant on a staff, but Knight didn't get that at Rutgers, as the school filled that position with Karl Hobbs. Some figured that might throw Knight out of the running for the Scarlet Knights, but that wasn't the case.
So why did Knight leave for essentially the same position at a weaker program - especially when he was not only offered a job by new head coach Kevin Stallings, but was rumored to have been offered a raise to stick around? Being closer to home had to play a big part in things here since Knight is from New Jersey. My guess is, too, that he was also disappointed in not landing the head coaching job here after some of the bigger names that were thrown around during the coaching search didn't come here. No inside knowledge at all on that, but I have to imagine that there was some disappointment in not getting the job, especially after Jamie Dixon's reported backing.
It was disappointing that Pitt couldn't hold onto him, but entirely understandable that he didn't want to stick around. He had the chance to go to Rutgers in the past and if he turned it down this time, who knows if that chance would have come up again.
Plus, as I said in the Q&A linked above, Knight is almost a perfect fit at Rutgers - arguably even a better one than he was here. It's not only closer to home for him, but he's been recruiting that area for Pitt during his time here. In a nutshell, it's a very good opportunity for him. Knight's impact here as a player and coach was undeniable and you hate to lose great ambassadors like that - particularly when they're not even leaving for a head job. But at the same time, the move also made a lot of sense for him and he's in a good situation.