It has been a somewhat eventful last 2 and a half weeks or so for Patrick Chambers and the Penn State men’s basketball. Players are coming, players are going, and players we thought were graduating are, but will still be playing, albeit after leaving Happy Valley. If you have missed any of it, here is a recap:
- Just over 2 weeks ago, Miami (Ohio) guard Allen Roberts announced he was transferring to Penn State. Because Roberts has graduated from Miami, he is eligible to play immediately, and will presumably slide into the backcourt slot vacated by the graduating Jermaine Marshall, at least until John Johnson is eligible in mid-December. In his final year with the Redhawks, Roberts averaged over 12 points a game.
- Speaking of Marshall, it has been known for at least some time that he was departing the program, presumably to pursue a professional career. After investigating his options, Marshall has instead decided to finish out his college eligibility. The problem with that is the scholarship situation, notably the lack of one available for this coming season. Instead, Marshall will be using the same NCAA rule that is allowing Roberts to play immediately to do the same thing.
- Sticking with the transfer theme, the Lions are adding a big one (physically, that is), in Brooklyn native Jordan Dickerson, who will join the program from SMU. Dickerson played sparingly in his freshman season with Larry Brown, but coming out of high school, he held offers from the likes of Auburn, Providence and South Carolina. He will have to sit out the 2013-14 season, but will also have 3 years remaining when he becomes eligible in 2014.
- Dickerson’s transfer takes on some additional significance with the news earlier this week that Jon Graham announcing his transfer out of Penn State. In his two years on the floor for the Lions, you saw flashes of the potential in his 6’11” frame, but it remained just that, flashes. Despite not reaching his potential in the blue and white, his departure leaves PSU with just 1 returning player over 6’8″ (Donovan Jack), and one more over that size in incoming freshman Julian Moore.
- There was plenty of good news on the recruiting front, as Chambers landed his first commitment in what will be a huge 2015 class, both in importance, as well as quantity, with Philly big man (6’8″) Mike Watkins giving his verbal commitment to PSU. Watkins has no other known offers, but expect that to change soon, after a strong showing at several camps. Watkins won’t sign until the fall of 2014.
- For the 2014 class, which can sign as early as this fall, another top Philly player, 6’2″ Shep Garner has joined the fold, picking PSU over the likes of Florida, Maryland, Texas, Rutgers, Memphis, and others. He joins the already verbally committed Isiah Washington as the 2nd member of the ’14 class.
- Finally, Chambers is hosting two of the top prospects in the country this week. Terry Larrier, a 6’7″ forward from The Bronx was on campus Tuesday. Larrier, a member of the class of 2014, is ranked as high as #59 on ESPN.com, holds offers from Florida State, Miami, Maryland, and Memphis. It’s not known how seriously the Lions are being considered, but getting a player of Larrier’s caliber on campus is a another positive sign as Chambers continues to work on building the profile of the PSU program.
- This coming weekend, another top 2014 player, Mikal Bridges out of Philly, will be making the trip up to State College. Bridges told Ben Jones of StateCollege.com earlier this week that Shep Garner has been in his ear about joining him at Penn State. Mikal is another top 100 player, with offers from Florida, Villanova, LaSalle, and others.
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