Penn State basketball coach Ed DeChellis is celebrating a big recruiting class this evening. Literally.
Nittany Lion recruits Patrick Ackerman, Peter Alexis, and Ross Travis, all forwards, as well as guard Trey Lewis all signed letters of intent today and will join the Penn State program beginning next season. Ackerman and Alexis are 6'11 and Travis is 6'8", which is welcomed news to a program that currently has only one player, departing senior Andrew Jones, 6'10" or taller.
Needless to say, DeChellis had kind words for his recruits on Wednesday.
"We feel very good about the positions we were able to address and the talented players we were able to bring to Penn State in this class," DeChellis said. "We've added some terrific size to the frontcourt in Peter and Patrick. Ross is a long and very versatile player that can do a lot of things for us and we really think Trey can be a tremendous point-guard in the Big Ten.
"It's a great group not only talent wise, but also personality wise," DeChellis continued. "They're all motivated, are hard workers, have great attitudes and families behind them and will be great additions on and off the court for our program."
We've already profiled Ackerman, Travis and Lewis so check out that reading if you'd like information on those recruits. We owe you some info on Alexis, though, so here you go. First, some words from Ed.
"What I like about Peter is he is very hard working, listens very well and his best years are ahead of him," said Holy Redeemer coach Mark Belenski. "His work ethic is second to none. He has a great opportunity at Penn State and I think he'll take full advantage of it. He'll need to get stronger in the Big Ten, but he has a nasty streak no one knows about and he'll take on the challenge of playing against bigger players."Scout ranks Alexis as a two-star prospect. Rivals gives him the cold shoulder with no stars, but he earns a scout's grade of 82 from ESPN, which ranks him No. 51 at his position.
The World Wide Leader also had he following to say about Alexis.
Peter is a big bodied low post player that can score on the low block. He is not a great athlete but has solid hands and can finish in the paint. He is a solid rebounder and shows nice effort on the boards. Defensively he is not a shotblocker but, Alexis knows how to use his body to clog the lane and be disruptive. He is the proverbial "Big Ten" recruit with his size and body. He should be an effective banger in the paint for Coach DeChellis. He is a good get and has a nice upside. The Nittany Lions continue to add solid pieces to their Big Ten puzzle.
Overall, it looks like DeChellis has done a good job of replacing the exiting senior class of Jones, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson and Talor Battle with some taller inside guys. With any luck, guys like Alexis and Ackerman will bring the strong front court presence the team appears to lack right now. It's still early, but give Ed and his staff a solid B for this class.