It’s a little know fact that Bob Dylan actually wrote that song in reference to the current basketball recruiting class; as the Lions are beating out teams like Texas A&M, WVU, Butler, Syracuse, Florida, and many other big names schools for some highly regarded recruits. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting somebody who knows that Talor Battle’s younger brother Taran Buie is headed to Penn State this coming year and he was recruited by nearly half the country. Since the team has no scholarships available outside of the one given to Buie, it is very likely that he’ll be the only member of the 2010 Class. Since the team is bringing back all of this years starters and adding Buie, there is quite a lot of excitement about what that season will bring. A lot of which will depend on the success of the upcoming Big Ten season just a week away.
Since everybody and their brother (well, 4 guys and Taran’s brother) will be leaving after next year, the quality of recruits coming into the program will be critical to maintaining any sort of success that has been built on a span of the 2 seasons post-NIT. So far the success has been pretty staggering in Penn State regards. On the Ohio State weekend alone the program had visits from:
• Malcolm Gilbert C #10
• Desmond Hubert C #2
Either of these recruits committing to Penn State would be a huge step forward for the program and a greatly improve the chances of continued success. Currently Desmond Hubert looks to be the closest chance we have at nailing a top recruit as Maclome Gilbert is teammates with Rakeem Christmas; a highly reguarded recruit is being sought after by a good third of the country. Hubert currently has Penn State in his Top 4 and values academics as well as basketball, I guess that takes Ohio State out of the picture. His current top 4 include, Delaware, Georgia Tech, and LaSalle. The current convention around the program is that a solid season this year could cause Hubert to fall to the Lions, but as a young player and a ESPN ranking at 92, it isn’t hard to see the top 4 change to some more familiar names.
He does have offers from/interest in the following–Villanova, Pittsburgh, Miami, West Virginia, Penn State, Cincinnati, Xavier, St. Joe’s, Virginia Tech, Providence, St. John’s, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, Harvard, Princeton, Texas, Connecticut, Kansas, Georgetown, Kentucky, Rutgers, Purdue, Indiana, Clemson
That is a whole lot of future, but what have you done for me lately ED? Well so far ED has picked up two solid players in Trey Burke (Scout Grade- 89 and ESPN Top 150 #105) and most recently Peter Alexis (Scout Grade–87)
Most recently Burke who plays for Northland high school, played live on ESPN where he held Avery Bradley (Scout.com’s #1 Shooting Guard) well under his average in the 1 point victory over ESPN Rise #1 ranked team Findlay Prep. Burke is a skilled player and one of the fastest rising stars in the Junior class, and could end up being a huge steal. Peter Alexis is one of the bigger Centers the Lions have recruited and is coming into the program at the perfect time. The 6’11 Junior has made his name for good post moves, solid defense and an ability to get to the rim. An actual go-to-in-the-post player would be a huge help for the Lions and a much-needed position to fill. Alexis will be asked to learn on the fly as he will be almost have to start being the only player on the roster with his skill set and height.
All in all the basketball program could be setting itself up for a pretty respectable recruiting class, one that could not only turn heads in Happy Valley, but help turn heads around the country.
Targets of Note for 2011-2012: 3 Scholarships remain. All rated in the ESPN 150 and have expressed interest in program ( “*” Indicates “Offer made”)
- Malcolm Gilbert Center (#130 National)
- Rakeem Christmas Center (#4 National)
- *Desmond Hubert Center(#54 National)
- *Darious Perkins Shooting Guard (#143 National)
- *Dai-Jon Parker Shooting Guard (#17 National)
Other Notable Targets: