We are just 2 days away from the start of official practice for the basketball team. But before that kicks off, it's time to take a look at the latest happenings in basketball recruiting. Ever since Brandon Taylor's commitment, things have calmed down quite a bit in the 2012 class.
Quenton DeCosey was the lone remaining target at the time, but PSU lost the battle for his services to Temple. A lot of other names associated with PSU at some point have also committed elsewhere - Donovan Jack to Duquesne, Jelon Hornbeak to Oklahoma, Dallas Anglin and Jimmy Hall to Hofstra, Jevon Thomas to Dayton, Zach Auguste to Notre Dame, Charles Cooke to James Madison, Mike Zangari to East Carolina, and Eron Harris to West Virginia. A couple of former Ed targets, who are both Pennsylvania SFs, are still available in Terry Turner and Sheldon Jeter, but I haven't seen any interest in these guys from the new coaching staff.
There hasn't been any new moves from the staff on any 2012 prospects since DeCosey announced his decision. It seems the staff has put that class on the backburner for now. That certainly doesn't mean it's finished, since plenty can happen from now until May, but they seem to be content with where they are now with Akosa Maduegbunam, Brandon Taylor, and DJ Newbill on board (or on campus, in Newbill's case). Maduegbunam and Taylor will make it official in a month during the November early signing period.
That said, the staff has been all over the place in the 2013 class. They have been after recruits in California, Arizona, Alabama, Tennesse, North Carolina, Florida, and Wisconsin, along with the expected states of OH, PA, MD, DC, NJ, and NY. They were evaluating countless prospects during the last contact period that just finished, but they have also lured many recruits to campus for unofficial visits. This past weekend was a huge recruiting extravaganza for the program, as they had as many as 15 prospects visiting. As usual, we probably never would've known if David Jones didn't get the scoop.
As Jones alluded to in his article, just getting a 5-star PG in Nate Britt to campus is an achievement. The credit clearly goes to assistant coach Keith Urgo, who was once a coach at Gonzaga High School in DC. It's always hard to gauge how interested Britt and Kris Jenkins really are in Penn State when the entire basketball world wants Britt. But they've expressed a desire to go to college together, which could give PSU an advantage if they offer Jenkins, a 3-star undersized PF (sound familiar?). Some of the big guns might not be willing to do a package deal, but PSU likely will have at least 2 scholarships available for them. Jenkins had a great trip, so we'll see if PSU sticks around in their recruitment.
Here's a lengthy list of 2013 recruits PSU is after:
|PG||Nate Britt||Washington, DC||UNC, GTown, MD, Nova, Pitt||10/8|
|PG||Terrence Samuel||Brooklyn, NY||Pitt, ISU, Cin, Louis||9/1|
|PG||Geno Thorpe||Pittsburgh, PA||Wisc, KSU, SHU||10/1|
|PG||Jaren Sina||Lake Hopatcong, NJ||SHU, Rut, SJohns, GTown, Bama|
|PG||Rysheed Jordan||Philadelphia, PA||Pitt, Nova, SHU, Rut, Syr, GTown, MD|
|PG||Kavon Stewart||Paterson, NJ||SHU, Rut, UMass, Xav, WVU, Pitt, Mia|
|SG||Josh Hart||Washington, DC||NC St, VCU, GTown, Xav||10/8|
|SG||Davon Reed||Princeton, NJ||VCU, SHU, Rut, WVU, Xav|
|SG||Steve Vasturia||Philadelphia, PA||ND, NW, BC, Temp, SJoes||9/10|
|SG||Detrick Mostella||Decatur, AL||UGA, Bama, Aub, Mia, NC St, WVU|
|SG||Jaron Hopkins||Chandler, AZ||Col, WSU, Boise|
|SF||Jared Nickens||Elizabeth, NJ||VCU, SJoes, SHU, Nova, ND||10/8|
|SF||Reggie Cameron||Paterson, NJ||SHU, NW, Rut, Xav, Mia, Nova, ND|
|PF||Mike Young||Paterson, NJ||Rut, Mia, WVU, Pitt, SHU, UF, Bay, WF|
|PF||Kyle Washington||Champlin, MN||Wisc, Xav, ISU, ND, MN, Marq||9/3|
|PF||Jordan Washington||Queens, NY||Nova, ND, TN, Mia, Cin, Xav||9/3|
|PF||Kris Jenkins||Washington, DC||Rut, VT, Mia, GW, GM, Rich||10/8|
|PF||Schuyler Rimmer||Orlando, FL||Clem, VT, Butler, UCF||9/24|
|PF||Devin Williams||Cincinnati, OH||UC, USC, ILL, IND, WVU, Xav, Pitt||6/28|
As you might imagine, there are plenty of other names out there, but this is my subjective opinion of the biggest targets right now. Also, as a disclaimer, not all of these school lists are complete, and undoubtedly some of this information is wrong, but that's the nature of the beast.
The fact that so many of these guys have visited already is a testament to Chambers and the staff changing the culture. Most of these kids would've never taken PSU seriously under the previous regime. The former staff would've had to put in months of work just to get some of these type of talents to campus for a big football game (which is exactly how the recruits seemed to treat those visits, like a free football game). These guys seem genuinely interested in the program when they come visit for Indiana State or when the football team is out of town. Then they talk about coming back (Terrence Samuel) or how they believe Chambers can turn it around (Geno Thorpe). Most, if not all, of these guys are still a year away from committing, but that gives the staff plenty of time to form relationships.
Maybe it isn't far-fetched to think PSU can be a viable option for Top100 basketball recruits after all.