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Penn State Basketball - Recruiting Big Board 12.17.14

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With no midweek game for the Also Receiving Votes in The AP Poll Penn State Nittany Lions, it's time for an update on the future of the program.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State doesn't have a game until Saturday afternoon in Allentown, but that doesn't mean Pat Chambers is taking the week off. It's a guarantee that he and his staff are using this down time to their advantage by hitting the recruiting trail, and it's also a safe bet that they'll have a presence in D.C. and Philly for a few days before they begin preparing for Drexel. We can't know for sure where they'll be, but here's who we think they're after:

Class of 2015 - 1 Scholarship Available

Targets

PLAYER HOMETOWN POSITION STARS NOTES
Traci Carter
Burlington, NJ
HS: Life Center Academy (NJ)
AAU: We-R-1
Point Guard
6'2"
170
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Kipper Nichols
Lakewood, OH
HS: St. Edward HS
AAU: King James Shooting Stars
Small Forward
6'6"
200
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Khalil Iverson
Delaware, OH
HS: Delaware Hayes HS
AAU: Ohio Varsity
Guard/Forward
6'5"
200
NR

Names to Watch: G Brandon Childress, F Shawntrez Davis, G Malik Ellison, G Milik Gantz, F Tyler Kohl

Gone: Tyler Lydon (Syracuse), Donte Divincenzo (Villanova), Jamil Hood (Long Island), Jackie Davis (Washington St), Justin Jenifer (Cincinnati), Kevin Dorsey (Minnesota), Sam Miller (Dayton), Levan Alston (Temple), Bryant Crawford (Wake Forest), Samir Sehic (Vanderbilt), Matt Holba (Lehigh), Derrick Jones (UNLV), Justin Robinson (Va Tech), Aaron Falzon (Northwestern), Levan Alston (Temple), Kerry Blackshear (Va Tech), Evan Bordreaux (Dartmouth), Samir Doughty (St. John's)

Not a ton of activity here, at least based on the information available. That's because most of Penn State's top remaining targets have committed elsewhere, and partly because of the benefits of having a scholarship available for the upcoming summer, when transfers and late-signees are hot commodities. Of course, any commitment from what's left of the 2015 group would be extra credit for Chambers, who has the top recruiting class in recent program history signed and sealed.

Doughty, who committed to Steve Lavin's St. John's program after a visit last month, was one of the last top targets for Penn State. None of the three remaining prospects on our big board are expected to join PSU's 2015 class, but each had substantial interest from the Nittany Lions at one point. Carter was one of the staff's top targets at the beginning of the cycle, but after a summer away from the grassroots scene due to injury his recruitment remained quiet. It has since picked up with the news that Louisville's Rick Pitino is highly interested in the point guard. The Cardinals are now widely considered to be the frontrunners for Carter's services after a push from Tennessee, where head coach Donnie Tyndall is facing scrutiny from the NCAA.

Now, onto the fun part.

Class of 2016 - 5 Scholarships Available

Commits

PLAYER HOMETOWN POSITION STARS NOTES
Joe Hampton
Hyattsville, MD
HS: Oak Hill
AAU: DC Premier
Forward
6'7"
265
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Committed 8/2/14

The lone commit in Penn State's 2016 class so far, Joe Hampton has made a good start to his career at Oak Hill Academy. After transferring from DMV powerhouse DeMatha Catholic in the offseason, the 6-7 power forward has impressed many with his maturity and improving physique (listed at 280 lbs in Oak Hill's media guide, many who saw him play at this past weekend's National High School Hoops Festival mentioned that he appears to have lost some of that weight). He's slipped to a three-star designation in the 247 Composite, but that should change if he continues his strong play against Oak Hill's national schedule (two games of which you can watch on ESPN networks in January).

Targets

PLAYER HOMETOWN POSITION STARS NOTES
Alani Moore
Hyattsville, MD
HS: Montrose Christian HS
AAU: DC Premier
Point Guard
5'10"
160
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Offered
Visited 11/3/13
Tony Carr
Philadelphia, PA
HS: Roman Catholic HS
AAU: Team Final
Point Guard
6'3"
170
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Visited 9/27/14
Anthony Cowan
Bowie, MD
HS: St. John's College HS
AAU: DC Assault
Point Guard
6'0"
170
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Lamar Stevens
Jenkintown, PA
HS: The Haverford School
AAU: Team Final
Small Forward
6'6"
190
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Nazeer Bostick
Philadelphia, PA
HS: Roman Catholic HS
AAU: Team Final
Guard/Forward
6'4"
175
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
A.J. Wilson
Lanham, MD
HS: Montrose Christian HS
AAU: DC Premier
Small Forward
6'6"
180
NR
Offered
Visited
11/9/13
DeAndre Hunter
Philadelphia, PA
HS: Friends' Central School
AAU: Philly Pride
Small Forward
6'7"
180
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Visited 10/23/14
Amarveer Singh
New Orleans, LA
HS: St. Peter's Prep (NJ)
AAU: New York Lightning
Small Forward
6'7"
180
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium Offered
Ian Sistare
Northfield, MA
HS: Northfield Mount Herman HS
AAU: Rhode Island Hawks
Shooting Guard
6'3"
185
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Visited 6/11/14
Dylan Painter
Hershey, PA
HS: Hershey HS
AAU: Team PA
Power Forward
6'9"
215
NR
Visited 11/16/14

Names to watch: C Abdul Ado, C Barrett Benson, G Jair Bolden, G A.J. Brodeur, G Amir Coffey, G Rakym Felder, C Derek Funderburk, G Daryl Gerald, G C.J. Hedgepath, F Willie Jackson, C Sedee Keita, F Paul Newman,  F K.J. Santos, G Josh Sharkey, G Breein Tyree

Gone: G Randall Broddie (Memphis; Reclassified to 2015)

Penn State is in just about the same position heading into the thick of the 2016 cycle as they were a year ago - a headline member of the class already in tow, and a sandbox of uncommitted prospects and four available scholarships (assuming Hampton will take one). Chambers and staff can be a little picky with eleven months until signing day, and they've already laid a great foundation with many of the players listed above. The Nittany Lions were the first high-major offers for Alani Moore, Nazeer Bostick, and A.J. Wilson, and it seems that they are in very good standing for the former two.

Shep Garner has started every game at the point in his first season, but looking at the positions Chambers is hitting hard in 2016, there could be an eventual move to the two down the road for the freshman sensation. Moore, Tony "Tone" Carr, and Anthony Cowan are all true point guards and all are priority recruits for Penn State. Moore is undersized for the high-major level at 5-10, but he's one of the top pure point guards out there. It certainly doesn't hurt Penn State's chances that he's supposedly great friends with Hampton.

Carr, Garner's former Roman Catholic teammate, is also hearing a lot from Maryland and most of the Big 5. He's already told City of Basketball Love that having Garner around gives PSU "some upside":

"Shep Garner goes there now, so that kind of gives Penn State some upside," Carr said. "I wouldn't say that it's more appealing. I think it would just be easier making the transition there. It would be just like the Roman transition."

Ed DeChellis, if you're reading this, that's what is known in the business as a "pipeline."

Cowan appears to be the point guard of choice for a few DMV-area programs, with Maryland setting their sights on him early in the process.

The best player on the board is likely Haverford swingman Lamar Stevens, who is highly coveted by Indiana and Villanova in addition to Penn State. Chambers was in attendance for the Fords' matchup with Roman a few weeks ago, watching a number of targets. DeAndre Hunter is the other priority recruit at small forward; PC was scouting him at his HS weeks before the season began. Hunter also has offers from Oklahoma State, NC State, and three Big 5 schools.

As always, these big boards are not totally indicative of the staff's actual strategy. BSD's big board in September 2013 had little mention of Josh Reaves and no mention of Davis Zemgulis, both of whom are signed members of Penn State's 2015 class. This is merely a composite sketch of their intentions based on the (free) information available. Thanks for reading. Here's a Scholarship Matrix for your troubles:

2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
1 G - D.J. Newbill^ F - Brandon Taylor G - Geno Thorpe C - Julian Moore^
2 G - John Johnson F - Donovon Jack C - Julian Moore^ F - Payton Banks^
3 F - Ross Travis C - Jordan Dickerson F - Payton Banks^ G - Isaiah Washington
4 G - Kevin Montminy G - Devin Foster G - Isaiah Washington G - Shep Garner
5 F - Brandon Taylor G - Geno Thorpe G - Shep Garner F - Michael Watkins
6 F - Donovon Jack C - Julian Moore^ F - Michael Watkins F - Deividas Zemgulis
7 C - Jordan Dickerson F - Payton Banks^ F - Deividas Zemgulis G - Josh Reaves
8 G - Devin Foster G - Isaiah Washington G - Josh Reaves F - Joe Hampton
9 G - Geno Thorpe G - Shep Garner F - Joe Hampton
10 C -Julian Moore^ F - Michael Watkins
11 F - Payton Banks^ F - Deividas Zemgulis
12 G - Isaiah Washington G - Josh Reaves
13 G - Shep Garner




Left 0 1 4 5
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman

Redshirting
^Used a redshirt year