Penn State men's basketball projected starting 5: Ace Baldwin Jr. is back

The Nittany Lions have their retooled roster for the 2024-25 season in the revamped Big Ten conference, so let’s project who will be in the starting lineup.
Penn State guard Ace Baldwin Jr.
Penn State guard Ace Baldwin Jr. / David Berding/GettyImages
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Zach Hicks. . 6'8 200 lbs. Zach Hicks. F. . Senior. player. 491. Zach Hicks

Hicks, like Baldwin, seems to be a shoo-in for the starting lineup for next season. He started 33 games for the team last season and provides the Nittany Lions with his exceptional shooting ability and length. Hicks provided fans with many big performances and moments last season, including when he made three consecutive free throws to defeat Illinois 90-89 at Rec Hall last February. He is the best shooter from beyond the arc on the roster, and he spreads the floor so Baldwin, Kern, and the big men can dominate in the paint. He is a great fit alongside Baldwin, as Baldwin’s facilitating abilities created a lot of open shots for Hicks last season.

Undoubtedly, Rhoades and his staff will look for more from Hicks next season. It took him time to adjust to the high-tempo Penn State system, but Hicks played a lot better as the season progressed while becoming more comfortable.

Similar to Baldwin, Hicks shot a lot more efficiently in wins, a near 37.6% from three for that matter. The Nittany Lions only shot 33.4% from three as a team last season. Hicks projects to take a bit of a leap next season, as his role will only grow from here. Rhoades trusts Hicks and lets him shoot freely, and he will certainly be announced in the starting five for the first game this November.