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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C. 491. . Yanic Konan Niederhauser. Yanic Konan Niederhauser. Yanic Konan Niederhauser. player. . Junior. 6'11 255 lbs

Niederhauser is the wild card of this starting lineup. It is slightly difficult to forecast how he will perform, due to him making the significant leap from the Mid-American conference to the Big Ten. However, I believe he fits in better with the other starters than the rest of the big men on the roster.

Niederhauser has the playstyle that Rhoades covets, as he showed his ability to stretch the floor on offense, and his extraordinary shot blocking abilities. Niederhauser averaged 2.1 blocks last season on just 19.6 minutes per game. He is unlike the traditional big man, however, as displays great athleticism and will have no problem running the floor with the fastest paced team in the Big Ten last season.

I have him over big men Kachi Nzeh and Miles Goodman here, because I believe Rhoades will go with the length and versatility of Niederhauser. I trust him to work well with Baldwin off the pick and roll. With Goodman, I struggle to see him starting due to his inexperience. Centers in college basketball need time to adjust and develop more than any other position, and Niederhauser has played more minutes of college basketball than Nzeh and Goodman. Unless Nzeh or Goodman shine in training camp, I see Niederhauser getting the nod. 

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