Wally Judge Talks Rutgers Commitment

Wally Judge

Power forward Wally Judge said he waited to talk to ScarletReport.com for his first interview since it was announced he was transferring from Kansas State to Rutgers. Judge talked about his decision, how he fits into Rutgers, what he likes about the collection of Scarlet Knights and much more.

Wally Judge had two finals to prepare for and take, an apartment to pack up, and a college decision to make.

It was a hectic week for the 6-foot-9, 250 pound power forward, but now that everything is settled, the one-time Kansas State player who committed to Rutgers on Monday finally spoke about his decision.

Judge, who will arrive on campus in late May, said he was giving ScarletReport.com his first interview about his decision now that his life has calmed down. He said Rutgers was his choice because of his fit with the players on the team, and he believes the Scarlet Knights could be NCAA Tournament-bound shortly.

"The thing about Rutgers is all the guys on the team are city kids," Judge said. "We might talk differently, but we're all alike."

During Judge's freshman season, Kansas State made a run to NCAA Tournament's regional final. And he thinks Rutgers possesses many of the same characteristics as that Wildcats squad.

"We weren't supposed to be there," Judge said. "We had a bunch of guys who weren't really highly recruited, we had a lot of freshmen …and we had guys that probably wouldn't be able to play on any other college team, but we were dedicated."

Judge is impressed with Rutgers' current players, pointing to the talents of Dane Miller, Gilvydas Biruta, Austin Carroll, Austin Johnson and Mike Poole, and also knows the talents of many of the new players, including already-enrolled Kadeem Jack.

"We had camaraderie and dedication," Judge said of K-State. "And when I went up to (Rutgers) and saw the guys, I saw how close they are off the court, how when one of them goes out, the rest of them go. It's a unit, and that's what we need to win."

Judge, who will play power forward, will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules and be eligible to play in the 2012-13 season. But the time off will give him a chance to work on several aspects of his game, and showcase the skills that made him a McDonald's All-American pick out of Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.

He averaged 18.5 points, shot 64.5 percent from the floor, and grabbed 17.1 rebounds per game as a senior, but struggled to find his place at Kansas State.

As a freshman, Judge averaged 3.3 points and three rebounds in 36 games. Last season, he averaged 5.5 points and had 3.8 rebounds in 17 games (11 starts), so he is looking forward to taking time off to hone his skills.

"It's a year to get better," Judge said. "Since I haven't been playing for K-State (since late January), I've been getting in any gym I can, whenever I can. I figure if I'm able to stay in shape and better my situation when I really don't have any type of structure, or any time of gym I can always go to, that showed me I'm dedicated.

"Once I get to Rutgers, and I have somewhere I can always be in the gym and always have access, I know my work ethic. I know it's been questioned, but those are people that don't really know me."

And, when Judge is eligible, he believes he will play a large role.

"I feel like any school I went to I'd be able to have a big impact," Judge said. "I always felt if the head coach gives me a chance, and believes in my ability, then I can do anything on the court. If he believes I can bring it up and dribble, I can do it.

"I'm looking for that trust in a coach that is going to believe in me, and believe in my position."

Judge also talked about how the final part of his decision fell into place.

"I had narrowed it down to three schools in Rutgers, Maryland and Washington," Judge said. "I liked Washington a lot because of the type of coach that coach (Lorenzo) Romar is, and the way he handled himself. But I had to cut that off because of the distance.

"(Maryland) coach (Gary) Williams basically gave me the whole thing that he's not going anywhere, and then he said the younger coaches tend to move around. I still like Maryland, and it wasn't a major a thing with him leaving, but I felt like there was no real structure."

Judge will remain in Manhattan, Kansas until next week, then travel home to Washington, D.C., for a week before enrolling at Rutgers on May 31 for the first summer session.

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