Mike Rhoades adds to foundation with latest transfer portal addition

Penn State basketball has received a commitment from former Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione in the transfer portal. Dilione was a former top 50 recruit in 2022, and he is the fourth transfer portal pickup for head coach Mike Rhoades and the Nittany Lions this offseason, who are evidently looking to add youth to the roster.
Former Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione
Former Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Penn State basketball head coach Mike Rhoades has made another splash in the transfer portal. Former Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione has committed to play for the Nittany Lions, per Joe Tipton of On3 Sports.

Dilione will be a redshirt sophomore next season, and he was a top 50 recruit in 2022 coming out of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dilione enrolled early for the 2022-23 season and used a redshirt. Dilione battled through a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot this past season and appeared in just 18 games for the 2023-24 season. Dilione averaged 1.7 points in 5.1 minutes per game last season for the Vols. 

Dilione will look to find a significant role with Penn State next season. He stands at 6’5” and offers plenty of athleticism while on the floor. He was a highly sought-after recruit in high school, due to his ability to shoot the ball on and off the dribble.

Dilione plays tough defense, which was shown when he was on the floor last season, and he will surely fit well in Rhoades’s system of playing up-tempo and aggressive on both sides of the floor. Rhoades, during his time at VCU, recruited Dilione and extended him an offer out of high school.

Dilione becomes the fourth transfer portal pickup of the offseason for the Nittany Lions. Dilione now joins a group of incoming Penn State transfers that includes Kachi Nzeh from Xavier, Yanic Konan Niederhauser from Northern Illinois, and Eli Rice from Nebraska.

It was paramount that Rhoades prioritized youth in the portal this offseason. According to KenPom, Penn State's roster ranked 64th in Division I experience last season. With multiple players graduating, it gave the Nittany Lions a chance to get younger, which they did. Of the four portal additions, Dilione, Nzeh, and Rice have three years of eligibility remaining, while Niederhauser has two remaining. Alongside these additions, Penn State has a four-player recruiting class, which will also bring more youth to the roster.

The roster retool has gone fairly well for the Nittany Lions. I believe that Rhoades has done a great job at building a younger, fresher roster while preserving the core of the team. The roster contains a fine balance of guards, forwards, and centers while maintaining a solid dose of shooting and rebounding, two areas that will need to be improved for next season.

The most important part of the portal additions is their fit in the Rhoades system. I believe all four additions fit very well into his philosophy and playstyle, as they are all athletic and have the willingness to out-hustle anyone on the court. They certainly added promise to the roster, as fans will be eager to see how the young additions will shape out the rotation.

Rhoades and staff have no open scholarship spots left, and at the moment, have filled out their roster for the 2024-25 campaign. This is where the roster stands:

  • Fifth-year - G Ace Baldwin, F Puff Johnson
  • Senior - G/F Nick Kern, F Zach Hicks, G D’Marco Dunn
  • Junior - F/C Yanic Konan Niederhauser
  • Sophomore - G/F Eli Rice, G Freddie Dilione, F/C Kachi Nzeh
  • Freshman - C Miles Goodman, G Dominick Stewart, G Jahvin Carter, F Hudson Ward

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