Penn State should target these five players in the transfer portal

There are now well over 1,000 players in the transfer portal, so which ones would fit Penn State’s up-tempo offense and aggressive defense?
Utah State guard Ian Martinez battling with Purdue center Zach Edey
Utah State guard Ian Martinez battling with Purdue center Zach Edey / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Last spring, head coach Mike Rhoades came to Penn State and brought his basketball philosophy. In a one-on-one interview with Brian Tripp, right after he was introduced as the new head coach of the Penn State men’s basketball team, Rhoades stated, “we’re going to play fast, we’re going to be aggressive all the time, and we’re going to do it by being different." Per Kenpom, out of 362 Division I basketball teams, Penn State ranked 68th in tempo and 35th in steal percentage. Their tempo and steal percentage both ranked 1st in the Big Ten.

The transfer portal has been very busy since it opened a few weeks ago, and players have already begun committing to schools. Penn State did pick up a commitment from former Xavier center Kachi Nzeh, however, they still need to fill a couple more roster spots with transfers.

The Nittany Lions have a four-player recruiting class coming in, including Miles Goodman, Jahvin Carter, Dominick Stewart, and Hudson Ward. Factoring in Nzeh, that is currently five new players that will be on the roster next season. Kanye Clary, Jameel Brown, Demetrius Lilley, Favour Aire, and Bragi Gudmundsson entered the transfer portal for Penn State, and Qudus Wahab, Leo O’Boyle, and RayQuawndis Mitchell all graduated.

The Nittany Lions, currently, have three open scholarship roster spots for potential transfers, so here are five potential targets in the transfer portal that would fit well for the Nittany Lions next season:

Jahnathan Lamothe. player. Jahnathan Lamothe. Eligibility remaining: 3 years. G. . 6’4 192 lbs. Jahnathan Lamothe. 439.

Lamothe is a combo guard from Maryland who is transferring after his freshman season. He only appeared in 16 games for the Terrapins and is currently ranked 148th in 247sports’s transfer portal rankings. He was recruited by Rhoades at VCU, and he extended him an offer while he was coming out of St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. Lamothe can handle the ball well and brings toughness to the court, and he could be a key backcourt piece for the Nittany Lions.

G. 547. Ian Martinez. . Ian Martinez. Ian Martinez. Eligibility remaining: 1 year. . 6’3 185 lbs. player

Martinez is a guard who played for Utah State last season. He does have ties to the Big Ten, as he played for Maryland from 2021-2023. He started 29 games for Utah State, who made the second round of this year's NCAA tournament. He averaged 13.3 points per game and shot 38.1% from three last season. Martinez has proven in his four-year college career that he can score at all three levels and play tough defense. He contributed to Utah State’s 2nd fastest tempo and best opposing three-point percentage among Mountain West teams last season. Martinez would be a great fit in Penn State’s style of play.

player. . . 488. Jamarques Lawrence. Jamarques Lawrence. Jamarques Lawrence. G. 6’3 185 lbs. Eligibility remaining: 2 years

Lawrence is a guard who played his first two college seasons at Nebraska. He started 23 games for the Cornhuskers last season, averaging 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Lawrence has proven to be a consistent shot-maker, shooting 36.4% from three in his college career. Rhoades and staff have seen first-hand in the Big Ten how impactful Lawrence is on the floor, as he showcases his talents on both ends of the floor. He would fit very well in the high-tempo offense, and Nittany Lions fans should want the team to reach out to the New Jersey native in the portal.

Jahlil White. 6’7 210 lbs. G/F. Jahlil White. player. 454. Jahlil White. . . Eligibility remaining: 1 year

White is a wing who recently entered the portal after three years at Temple. He is a slasher who does his scoring inside the arc, averaging 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with the Owls last season. Notably, he played with current Penn State forward Zach Hicks at Temple for two years. Rhoades got to see White play when VCU visited Philadelphia for a non-conference game early in the 2022-23 season.

White, similar to Lawrence, also hails from New Jersey, and he played for former Penn State associate head coach Adam Fisher last season. He would be essential in the help of Penn State’s interior scoring and rebounding for next season.

F. . 6’9 225 lbs. Eligibility remaining: 2 years. player. Trey Patterson. Trey Patterson. . Trey Patterson. 479

Patterson is a forward who has spent the past four seasons at Villanova. Due to a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss all of the 2023-24 season, along with a Covid year, he has two years of eligibility remaining. He appeared in just 40 games for the Wildcats, but he showed flashes of being an impactful forward. He can stretch the floor with his willingness to shoot the three, and he provides size that could help Penn State next season.

Next. Transfer portal players Mike Rhoades and Penn State have contacted. Transfer portal players Mike Rhoades and Penn State have contacted. dark