Rice is off to a good start

Updated: May 17, 2010, 11:50 AM ET
By Adam Finkelstein, ESPN Recruiting
It was less than two weeks ago that Mike Rice was announced as the new head coach at Rutgers University.

There is no sugarcoating that the program Rice inherited at Rutgers was in shambles. While the previous year's 15-17 record (including 5-13 in the Big East) certainly wasn't good, the bigger problem was how bare the cupboard was with only six scholarship players set to return next season. Among the departed, was last year's leading scorer Mike Rosario, who opted to transfer to Florida weeks earlier, and Big East Defensive Player of the Year Hamady Ndiaye, who is set to graduate.

Small forward Mike Poole (Springfield Gardens, N.Y./St. Benedict's), power forward Cleveland Melvin (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep) and shooting guard Antoine Myers (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep) all visited the Rutgers campus last week. Poole was a teammate of Gylvidas Biruta (Newark, N.J./St. Benedict's) this year. Biruta is one of two incoming freshmen who previously signed with Rutgers under former coach Fred Hill, but is still expected to honor the commitment. Melvin and Myers have starred together in the Cecil Kirk AAU program in recent years as well as at Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts this past year. Poole and Melvin have scholarship offers in hand from Rutgers and are expected to make their decisions in the near future. Poole is considering Boston College as well as Seton Hall, while Melvin is also considering Seton Hall in addition to Depaul and Marshall.