It's been nearly 10 months since Akosa Maduegbunam verballed to Coach Chambers and Penn State. When he committed, Chambers had been on the job for all of four weeks. So much has changed since then that it almost seems like Akosa is a forgotten man around these parts. He didn't have many offers or the glitz and glamour that comes with coveted prospects.
Now that he signed his letter of intent yesterday, many still don't know what to expect from the 6'3" guard from Boston.
If you've been reading my commit updates this winter, you should know that Akosa spent this past season at Winchendon Prep. While their basketball team was undermanned, Maduegbunam made the most of his year working hard both on and off the floor to ease his transition to college. There wasn't a lot of basketball coverage since his team struggled at 9-23, but when he returned to his old high school (Charlestown) yesterday for his signing ceremony, some old friends at various Boston media outlets were on hand and provided some great coverage.
Akosa: 'Worth the wait' signing with Penn State - Brendan Hall, ESPNBoston
On tracking the higher-profile Big Ten recruits: "In terms of profile, I'm not a high-profile player, as many of you in this room already know. I was underrated then, I'm underrated now, and I think I will continue to like being underrated. It always shows that I will be able to prove myself better to people."
Former Charlestown guard Maduegbunam signs with Penn State - Justin Rice, Boston Globe
After averaging 22.3 points per game as a junior for the Townies, Maduegbunam decided to complete his senior year at Winchendon School despite receiving an athletic scholarship to Boston University. He repeated his sophomore year at Charlestown after transferring from Cushing Academy halfway through the year but was eligible to graduate from Charlestown after his junior year.
Former Charlestown star Maduegbunam makes it official signing with Penn State - Danny Ventura, Boston Herald
I was blown away by Coach Chambers' campaign. I think Coach Chambers could run for President to be honest. He has the student body excited about his campaign and what's yet to come.
Maduegbunam signs with Nittany Lions - Brian Siegrist, GoPSUSports
"I'm looking forward to Akosa joining our Penn State family," Chambers said. "He is a great young man, and his ability to make long range shots and his athleticism will make an immediate impact in our program."
From all of the quotes and interviews, you can tell Akosa is a humble kid who is grateful for where he is today. He has a tremendous relationship with Coach Chambers and will have a great chance to make an impact on and off the floor right away. To put it simply, Akosa is the kind of kid you root for. I am very excited to see what he can do on the court next season. Welcome to the Penn State family!
I just wanted to follow up on Monday's update. I threw out some names that are now off the board. JuCo Nick Wiggins committed to Wichita State shortly after his visit there on Tuesday. Also, Penn State isn't on Tony Chennault's, Josh Gray's, or Darrick Wood's lists.
A new JuCo option has emerged in former UAB signee Jerome Harris. Harris is a 6'3" PG from Chicago who has two years of eligibility remaining. He got his release from UAB after they fired coach Mike Davis after the season. Brad Winton tweeted this school list - Penn State, Seton Hall, Maryland, UCLA, Pitt, and UConn. He also tweeted that most schools on that list have been in to see him and he's in the process of setting up visits.
The staff seems to be looking at possible transfers. There's good reason to believe PSU is a serious option for WKU's Derrick Gordon. Gordon wants to play closer to home and somewhere he can be a combo guard. PSU fits the bill on both accounts. He averaged 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds in his freshman year and was a RSCI Top100 recruit last year. His profile is similar to former PSU transfer Juwan Staten from Dayton last year before Staten left after DeChellis. The two have different games, but are near equals on the hype scale. Gordon would be a great get on the floor, but he would also make a nice splash in New Jersey recruiting circles after starring alongside Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at St. Patrick's last year.
Jeff Goodman of CBS released his comprehensive D-1 transfer list this week. It included Terence Jones, a transfer from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, who will be graduating this May and eligible for the post-graduate transfer rule. Jones, a Baltimore native, scored 13.7 PPG while making 68 threes at a 36% clip. Goodman listed Penn State, DePaul, San Francisco, UAB, and Tennessee Tech as having interest in Jones.
The Sheldon Jeter sweepstakes continues to drag along. He still has those two official visits available to use, but his recruitment has seemingly been on hold the last few weeks. Vanderbilt apparently has entered the picture, while there is still talk of visiting Florida State. What we do know is South Carolina and Wisconsin are still in the picture. Bo Ryan is visiting the Jeter household on Sunday. The longer this goes on, the less confidant I am in PSU's chances. Chambers has already had his in home visit, and there's not much else PSU can do to influence the decision. Unless Jeter does take an official visit to State College, but that doesn't seem likely. Hopefully this doesn't go until the last day of the period (May 16th), because that indecisiveness almost never ends well no matter where he goes.
The staff is reportedly bringing 6'4" guard Ryan Blumenthal on campus for a workout. I'd file this under no stone left unturned, since he's garnered low major and D-2 interest. If Blumenthal shows what the staff is looking for, I'd imagine he'll receive an offer and accept it, but I'll be surprised if this develops.
Lastly, Trey Lewis is going home to Cleveland State to play for Gary Waters. I think that's a great fit for him and he'll do well there. We wish him all the best.