Nittany Lions news: Andrew Funk signs in NBA, Penn State to host 2026 five-star, men’s hoops stays hot

Andrew Funk was a prolific three-point shooter in his one year at Penn State, and now he might be getting his chance at an NBA debut. Plus, James Franklin is going after the top talent in Texas and Mike Rhoades has salvaged his first year in Happy Valley.
Penn State Nittany Lions guard Andrew Funk (10)
Penn State Nittany Lions guard Andrew Funk (10) / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

This time last year, Jalen Pickett was leading Micah Shrewsberry’s Nittany Lions to a hot finish in the regular season and eventually took Penn State to the Big Ten tournament final and March Madness, but Pickett didn’t do it alone. Shrewsberry’s team was loaded with shooters and the most prolific was Andrew Funk. 

Funk played four seasons at Bucknell before finishing his career averaging 12.5 points on 41.2% shooting from beyond the arc for Penn State. He led the Big Ten in three-pointers made and three-point percentage. 

Funk went undrafted but signed with the Denver Nuggets for the 2023 NBA Summer League, and this season he’s played 20 games with Denver’s G-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold, but did not have a contract with Denver. 

On Sunday, the Chicago Bulls announced that they have signed the 6-foot-5 guard to a two-way contract for the remainder of the 2024 season. He will likely spend much of the season in the G-League, but this opens the door for an NBA debut. 

Penn State football hosts 2026 five-star and top player in Texas

Typically, James Franklin doesn’t do much recruiting down in Texas, but Kevin Ford, the top player from the Lone Star State in 2026, is scheduled to visit Happy Valley on March 26 according to Chad Simmons of On3. 

Ford is rated as a five-star defensive lineman by On3 but is a four-star according to 247Sports. Regardless he is the consensus top player from the hotbed state and the 6-foot-3 225 225-pound edge rusher would be a huge addition to Penn State’s 2026 class which currently only consists of Messiah Mickens, a four-star athlete from Camp Hill Pennsylvania. 

Penn State men’s basketball stays hot

After beating No. 12 Illinois on Wednesday, Mike Rhoades’s team was riding high into a weekend matchup with Indiana at the Bryce Jordan Center. Now, after knocking off the Hoosiers 83-74, Penn State is 2-0 since dismissing leading scorer Kanye Clary.

Ace Baldwin Jr. continues to dominate without another ball-dominant guard on the floor and on Saturday posted 23 points, nine assists, and four rebounds in 40 minutes. That stat line comes on the heels of Baldwin’s 10 points 12 assists performance against Illinois. 

At 14-14 (8-9) the Nittany Lions are ninth in the Big Ten with three games remaining before the Big Ten tournament. Penn State is 97th in the Net Rankings, so winning that tournament might be the team’s only path into the big dance, but regardless, Year 1 of the Mike Rhoades era has been a success.