Going into this offseason, it was well known that Penn State was one scholarship over the limit for the 2013-14 season, even with the "early" graduation of Sasa Borovnjak. It was assumed that one player would be leaving, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to find both Patrick Ackerman and Akosa Maduegbunam on Jeff Goodman's annual transfer list. Hoops SID Brian Siegrist responded to BSD's inquiry with the following: "We have no official roster changes to report at this time."
Ackerman, a sophomore who averaged 0.6 ppg in 2012-13, was one of two remaining members of the 2011 recruiting class (Trey Lewis, Matt Glover and Peter Alexis all transferred before the start of the 2012-13 season) on this past season's roster. Ackerman's departure would leave Ross Travis as the only member of Ed DeChellis' final recruiting class still on the roster.
Maduegbunam (whose name I had just learned to spell by heart) played sparingly as a freshman, sitting below two walk-ons (Kevin Montminy and Nick Colella) on the depth chart. Akosa would leave Penn State with just 53 minutes and six points under his belt, but he will always hold the distinction of being Pat Chambers' first commit at Penn State.
Looking forward, the departure of two current scholarship players will open up one 'ship for the coming season. Here's what the matrix currently looks like (with Ackerman and Akosa still included):
|1||Tim Frazier||DJ Newbill||Brandon Taylor||Geno Thorpe|
|2||Jermaine Marshall||John Johnson||Donovon Jack||Julian Moore|
|3||DJ Newbill||Ross Travis||Akosa Maduegbunam||Payton Banks|
|4||John Johnson*||Jon Graham||Geno Thorpe||Graham Woodward|
|5||Ross Travis||Pat Ackerman||Julian Moore||Isaiah Washington|
|6||Jon Graham||Brandon Taylor||Payton Banks|
|7||Pat Ackerman||Donovon Jack||Graham Woodward|
|8||Brandon Taylor||Akosa Maduegbunam||Isaiah Washington|
|9||Donovon Jack||Geno Thorpe|
|10||Akosa Maduegbunam||Julian Moore|
|11||Geno Thorpe||Payton Banks|
|12||Julian Moore||Graham Woodward|
|13||Payton Banks||Isaiah Washington|
*Eligible at the conclusion of the Fall 2013 semester
If Goodman's report holds true, there would be one more scholarship available to fill for the 2013-14 season. We've discussed the ramifications of filling an open spot with a late freshman addition (which ED was a fan of doing), but the possibility of a one-year postgraduate transfer into the program (especially a big man) would be a big help for a team with serious postseason aspirations next year. A postgrad transfer would also open up a scholarship for the 2014 season, where PSU is involved with a number of recruits at this stage.
The offseason is starting to heat up, folks. #BuckleUp
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