Pat Chambers hasn't had much down time in State College this summer. Between the July recruiting live periods, flying around the country to meet the team, and moving into his new home, it's amazing that he's still standing, let alone preaching the importance of recruiting in the Philadelphia region to anyone who will listen.
However, the effort paid off today when Devonte' "DJ" Newbill, a 6-4 swing guard/forward announced that he'll be transferring from Southern Mississippi to play for the Nittany Lions in the 2012 season. Newbill is a Strawberry Mansion High product who averaged 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds last year for Southern Mississippi and made the all-freshman team in Conference USA.
Newbill didn't find his way to Happy Valley via high school recruitment, but he is in fact from the City of Brotherly Love. An understudy of the late John Hardnett, the mentor responsible for the development and maturation of Philly bread players like Aaron McKie, Alvin Williams, Marc Jackson, Mark Tyndale, Mardy Collins, and Dionte Christmas, Newbill had spent many an hour working with one of the most respected men in Philly hoops circles.
Out of high school Newbill attracted the attention of several Big East schools and verbal'd to Marquette. Long story short , Marquette had the opportunity to snag a better player (Jamil Wilson) and fudged their way out of Newbill's LOI. With few options remaining, Newbill made his way to Southern Mississippi
Newbill provides the Nittany Lions with several exciting benefits. With a year of college ball already under his belt, Newbill has already adjusted mentally and physically to the college game. Newbill's size and shooting touch from inside the arc will also be an essential crutch for what will still be a youthful Nittany Lion squad in 2012. It isn't unreasonable to expect Newbill to start his first year of eligibility.
While playing at Southern Mississippi, Newbill shot .535 from the field -- almost all of which were 2-point shots --and while Newbill took only 14 3-pointers, he made 6 (.429 pct) helping lead Southern Mississippi to a 22-10 record.
According to Hoop Scoop's Allen Rubin:
"He's a very good get for Penn State. He's not a pure point but he can play it in a pinch. He really can play three positions because he can definitely play the 2 and the 3. He has a good mid-range shot. His 3-point shot is decent but is getting better. He can handle the ball, gets to the basket well. And he plays not just with confidence but with patience. He doesn't force anything. On top of that, he's a very good rebounding guard. He should start for them right away [in 2012-13 after sitting out a year, per NCAA bylaws]."
For the rest of the summer Penn State will turn their 2012 recruiting efforts towards Brandon Taylor and Devin Thomas, talented players who have their eyes on Happy Valley. After announcing today that Penn State is firmly in his Top-3, don't be surprised to see Thomas pull the trigger first, although he has changed his Top-3 several times this summer, which makes him less than an automatic get for Pat Chambers.
Welcome to the family.