With football season here, now is the time for basketball prospects all over the nation to make their final visits and orally commit in preparation of the November signing period (Nov 9-16). Most prospects desire to make their school decisions before their senior season in high school, so when you see all those football recruits on the sideline at Beaver Stadium this fall, keep in mind that not all of them are there for football.
PSU landed Brandon Taylor's verbal yesterday, explaining Devin Thomas' abrupt decision to Wake Forest. His addition to the scholarship table would indicate that PSU's 2012 class is complete.
|#||2012-2013 Roster||Elg.||Pos.||#||2013-2014 Roster||Elg.||Pos.|
|1||Tim Frazier||SR||G||1||Sasa Borovnjak||RS SR||F|
|2||Billy Oliver||RS SR||F||2||Jermaine Marshall||RS SR||G|
|3||Sasa Borovnjak||RS JR||F||3||Matt Glover||SR||G|
|4||Jermaine Marshall||RS JR||G||4||Jonathan Graham||RS JR||F|
|6||Jonathan Graham||RS SO||F||6||Trey Lewis||JR||G|
|7||D.J. Newbill||SO||G||7||Ross Travis||JR||F|
|8||Trey Lewis||SO||G||8||Peter Alexis||JR||C|
|9||Ross Travis||SO||F||9||Patrick Ackerman||JR||C|
|10||Peter Alexis||SO||C||10||Akosa Maduegbunam||SO||G|
|11||Patrick Ackerman||SO||C||11||Brandon Taylor||SO||F|
GoPSUSports has been listing Billy Oliver's eligibility under the assumption that he will qualify for a 6th year of eligibility. While I have no doubt he would qualify, he still has to apply for the NCAA to approve it. I highly doubt Billy would be interested in a 6th year anyway. In fact, I'm not even sure he's a lock to return next year...
Yesterday, it was reported by Alex Kline that Quenton DeCosey will be taking an official visit this Friday. Quenton is a 6'5" wing with great scoring potential from New Jersey. The four schools he is looking at are Temple, Penn State, Seton Hall, and Richmond. He unofficially visited all four schools in early August. There have been rumors about DeCosey being a PSU lean and even a verbal at one point, but the word now is he's down to Temple and Penn State. He's taking his official visit to Temple today, so for all we know, he could commit to them before Friday. But if he does make the PSU trip and subsequently verbals in the future, that will undoubtedly open discussion on whose scholarship is going to open up.
Hence the point I brought up yesterday and just mentioned about Billy Oliver. Billy is a very bright guy, who has always stressed his desire to graduate while being a 'contributor to the basketball team' as his main goal at PSU. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I'd guess he would be ready to move on after he gets his degree. His unfortunate injury history certainly puts him at risk for permanent damage every time he steps on the court. Of all the returning players that could be heading out early, I'd say Billy has the greatest likelihood. All jokes aside, Billy has plenty of career options outside of basketball with his business degree or even his piano playing (Don't you love how you make a case for something, then find something completely obscure on the internet that shows greater evidence to disprove your point? Damn you, music minor).
But this is all moot if DeCosey doesn't come to PSU. For all we know, maybe DeCosey hasn't been informed of the scholarship situation and will cancel his visit. The timing of Kline's tweet leaves that possibility open. Jevon Thomas, the St. John's decommit, is still out there as well. He has visited campus last month and received an offer, but that came before DJ Newbill's transfer was announced. With Tim Frazier, Trey Lewis, and Newbill at the point guard position for 12-13, I would say that if PSU does indeed take someone else, it won't be a 5'11" PG.
But then again, if Chambers is focused on building a 4-guard system, maybe any guard is an option. I realize I'm hypothetically contradicting all of my points, but the reality is nobody has a grasp on the landscape for this program right now. We're just going to have to sit back and watch what unfolds. I don't think Chambers will fall into any oversigning drama, as I'm sure it would upset the fan base (and rightly so). I'm not too keen on pulling scholarships from players when they did nothing to deserve it taken away.
In other news, there are plenty of 2013 targets who have been lured to campus by Chambers and his staff. There might only be one (or two) scholarships open, but Chambers seems to be giving himself plenty of options.
Terrence Samuel - 6'3" PG - Brooklyn, NY - HS: South Shore AAU: New Heights
Samuel is highly regarded PG prospect from NYC (4-star, ranked #62 in 2013 class by Rivals). He unofficially visited campus last week for the first time, and the visit seemed to go great. He was quoted as being treated like a king and that he already believes Coach Chambers is going to be successful here. He told NBESports that Iowa State, Penn State, and Pittsburgh were recruiting him the hardest. Cincinnati and Villanova are also after him. NYPost.com allowed Terrence to blog about his summer experience on the AAU circuit. Here are his entries: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.
Davon Reed - 6'5" SG/SF - Princeton, NJ - HS: Princeton Day School AAU: Team Final
Davon is another guy who has been hearing a lot from the new staff over the summer. He's been offered by PSU, VCU, Temple, Xavier, Rutgers, La Salle, West Virginia, St. Joseph's, and Seton Hall. He's planning to visit many schools this fall including PSU, but there hasn't been any concrete dates announced. He's been rated a 4-star prospect and comes in at #78 on Rivals150.
Schuyler Rimmer - 6'9" PF - Orlando, FL - HS: Boone AAU: Florida Rams
Schuyler has offers from Penn State, Virginia Tech, Central Florida, Miami Fla, Stanford, and UAB. He's getting interest from Butler, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, and a bunch of other high-majors. He's planned an unofficial visit to Penn State on Sept. 24.
Devin Williams - 6'8" PF - Cincinnati, OH - HS: Withrow AAU: Ohio Basketball Club
Williams has a lengthy school list, receiving offers from Cincinnati, Marquette, Southern Cal, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Xavier, Tennessee, West Virginia, San Diego State, NC State, and Penn State. Coach Chambers and the staff were in on Devin before the July evaluation period. They got him on campus for an unofficial at the end of June. He is ranked #66 by Rivals.
Kyle Washington - 6'9" PF - Champlin, MN - HS: Hotchkiss School AAU: Howard Pulley
Washington also has a great offer list - PSU, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Marquette, Iowa State, Central Michigan, Xavier, and Drake. He's receiving interest from Arizona and Wake Forest as well. Kyle just visited PSU for the Indiana State game. Bucky's 5th Quarter has a great profile page of Washington.
- Jordan Washington - 6'7" PF - Queens, NY - HS: South Kent AAU: New Heights
Jordan's game has been described as a true banger, who relies on his physicality and aggressiveness inside. The highly-regarded post prospect has been quoted as saying "I will probably go to Villanova," but that was back in April. He is ranked as a 4-star prospect at #84 overall on Rivals. His school list includes Villanova, Notre Dame, Miami Fla, Seton Hall, Louisville, Xavier, Tennessee, Cincinnati, and Rutgers. I'd say it's likely the PSU staff has offered. He was on campus unofficially visiting for the Indiana State game.
- Jalen Jenkins - 6'6" PF/SF - Yonkers, NY - HS: Cardinal-Hayes AAU: New Heights
Jalen is one of the more unheralded players on the New Heights 16U AAU squad. The 6'6" forward prospect has some mid-major offers and interest from Dayton and Iowa State. The staff had him on campus for a visit this past weekend, too. He loved the staff, campus, and atmosphere.
NOTES: Some other names to keep an eye on for 2013: Rysheed Jordan (Top50 Philly PG), Steve Vasturia (Philly SG), and Reggie Cameron (NJ SF). 6'4" wing Shamiek Sheppard also visited with Samuel this past week, since they are teammates. I'm not certain what PSU's interest in Sheppard is and he does not have an offer.
Looking at that current 2013 roster, I'd have to say the staff will look to land backcourt players with those last 2 scholarships. It's a shame considering they will have had 4 highly recruited posts on campus by the end of the month (I wonder if their offers are still on the table). If DeCosey is in the picture, PSU will likely look for a PG to replace Frazier. Terrence Samuel and Rysheed Jordan would be two of the best options, but there will be plenty of high-major competition from the big boys for those guys. PG Geno Thorpe from Pittsburgh has been linked to PSU before, but there hasn't been much mutual interest reported. Bo Ryan is hot after Thorpe, along with Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Seton Hall.
There is a positive side to the lack of scholarships now. The situation gives the staff some time to work on getting a jump on the 2014 and 2015 classes. Hopefully Chambers can make PSU a player for some of the biggest young prospects in the state like Shep Garner (2014 SG - Roman Catholic), Ja'Quan Newton (2014 G - Neumann-Goretti), and Horace Spencer (2015 F - William-Tennett).
The big picture will become a little clearer once Quenton DeCosey decides, which is likely to happen in the next week.