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Hoops Happenings: Austin, Thorpe Shine at Pangos

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(Ed.'s Note - Hoops Happenings will probably (hopefully?) turn into the weekly offseason feature on everything with Penn State basketball. I literally came up with this idea today so we'll see how it goes. )

2012 Pangos All-American Camp

As I mentioned last week, Penn State's two 2013 hoops verbals were invited to and attended the famed Pangos All-American camp this past weekend in California. The annual event is one of the biggest on the grassroots scene and kicks off the summer. There were plenty of renowned national scouts in attendance to watch more than one hundred of the country's best prospects compete against each other.

The camp offered a great opportunity for Brandon Austin and Geno Thorpe to prove themselves on the big stage while working on their games against top notch competition. It certainly didn't hurt that their PSU commitment status was all over the roster packets. Not only were they proving themselves, but they were representing the new foundation of basketball under Pat Chambers.

Brandon Austin made the biggest impression as he was selected to the Top-30 all-star game while scoring 12.3 PPG (8th in the camp) and shooting 83% from 3 in 4 camp games. Geno wasn't too shabby himself, earning a selection to the Top-60 game while scoring 11.3 PPG in his 4 games (stats found here). Both Austin and Thorpe played on the same team together. Keep an eye out for a rumored mixtape of both players' highlights from the camp.

Neither garnered any substantial press, but plenty of tweets and blurbs were written about the two during the camp. Brandon seemed to be listed at least once as one of the top performers by nearly every major scout in attendance. One ESPN scout was reminded of Penny Hardaway while watching Austin. Five-Star basketball had him listed with just two other players after Day Two's action. And in case you missed it, BSD's own hbeach08 had an awesome live report from the gym.

Coaches vs Cancer

Last Friday we learned Matt McGloin had been named the starting quarterback. The news seemed to overshadow PSU's 16th annual Coaches vs Cancer golf tournament. The first-class event has been the jewel of PSU's CVC fundraising efforts and this year was no different, even if it was Pat Chambers' first tourney as head coach. Many former players and coaches returned to Happy Valley once again for the event. Over $105,000 was raised to fight cancer, pushing PSU's 17-year total very close to two million.

While the media was enthralled in Bill O'Brien's appearance and golf game, a new film production company captured a pretty amazing video with the basketball staff of the event. It showcased some of the other personalities on the #doworkPat staff. Now this ain't your old Guido D'Elia video, so be warned. I personally enjoyed the profanity and outtakes.


Penn State is still entertaining potential prospects that could join the program as early as next season. I threw out two names last week who were scheduled to make visits. Unfortunately Kaza Keane never made it to State College as he signed with Illinois State shortly after his visit there. However, Roderick Lawrence from Florida did make his official visit to State College. He's been silent on his experience and is currently on another visit to Miami OH. I wouldn't expect Lawrence to become a Nittany Lion.

Another visitor was in town last week in UTEP transfer guard, Michael Perez. The Arizona native is leaving UTEP after two seasons. He has to sit out a year per NCAA rules but will have two years of eligibility remaining. After getting his release two weeks ago, he narrowed his options to PSU, Purdue, and Nevada. He is currently visiting Nevada and will visit Purdue this weekend then make a decision. He tweeted he had a 'great visit at Penn St'.

Obviously there is much more going on in the 2013 and 2014 classes, but we will get to that in more detail later as the July period approaches.

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Field Announced

It is finally official. There was a little blip with what was reported back in April, as UNC-Asheville has replaced Southern Mississippi. But the rest of the field is still stacked with Providence, NC State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Akron, and UMass. It will be a great opportunity for PSU to raise some eyebrows to start the year.

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