The last few days have been pretty busy, both for Penn State's coaching staff and the recruits they're chasing around the country (both literally and figuratively). A number of offers have gone out to some major prospects during the short "dead period" that began on Sunday night and ends with the start of another "live period" on Wednesday evening.
Deividas Zemgulis hasn't been the most active high schooler on the grassroots circuit, so it was nice to see him take part in a couple of events this past weekend. After being named an all-star at the Hoop Group Skills Camp in Reading, Zemgulis spent the rest of his weekend with DMV-area AAU team Threat 220 at the Elevate Hoops Showdown at Philadelphia University, which had hosted the Reebok Breakout camp just a day earlier. Two of Penn State's coaches were in attendance, and Davis didn't disappoint his audience:
PSU head coach Pat Chambers and assistant Brian Daly here for Zemgulis, who had five points as his team led by one at the half.— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) July 13, 2014
Okay I'm sold on Zemgulis. Great size for a scoring wing, moves well, long arms, quick release though he does a funky thing with his feet.— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) July 13, 2014
Zemgulis finished with 13 points though his team lost in OT. Should be speaking to the PSU commit for a feature story shortly.— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) July 13, 2014
Meanwhile, Josh Reaves finished out day three of the Ty Lawson & Victor Oladipo All-American camp, and final stats from the event show just the type of player he'll be in State College - Reaves finished in the top 20 (out of 60 campers) of every major statistical category, including points (11.0 ppg), rebounding (4.2 rpg), assists (2.2 apg) and field goal percentage (53.5%).
Mike Watkins continued to pick up the plaudits at Elevate Showdown:
Mike Watkins with big time one handed oop jam. PSU here smiling at that one. Big has gotten a bit better with his feet and athleticism— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) July 11, 2014
With his strong play this weekend, Watkins moved up 73 spots in 247 Sports' rankings to 117th overall (not sure how he was ranked 195th before, but I digress), and he'll likely be moving up on the big boards of other recruiting services. The gentlemen over at City of Basketball Love had an interesting discussion about the future Penn State power forward on their podcast this week.
As mentioned above, a lot of scholarship offers go out in the few days between evaluation periods, and Penn State was certainly active on Monday and Tuesday, especially within the class of 2016. Four-star swingman Lamar Stevens of Haverford, PA was the first to report an offer on Monday night, and fellow top 2016 recruits DeAndre Hunter (Philadelphia) and Matthew Moyer (Columbus, OH) each claimed an offer on Tuesday night. All three are high-level prospects that Pat Chambers would do well to get a commitment from, but they'll be battling some elite programs for their services from the get-go.
2016 Massachusetts guard Ian Sistare went on a cross-country campus caravan that rolled through State College and 11 other campuses in June, along with 2015 targets Aaron Falzon and Josh Sharma. The Nittany Lions have offered, along with Xavier, and CoBL has an update on Sistare and the type of school he's looking for (at the bottom of the page).
Nazeer Bostick is a former teammate of Watkins' at Math, Civics & Sciences and has a Penn State offer, but since the 2016 wing decided to transfer to Roman Catholic this summer, there hasn't been much chatter about his recruitment. Bostick's performance at Hoop Group's team camp last weekend might change that:
The Nittany Lions offered him early in his sophomore season so they'll be monitoring his progress, but Bostick's strength and athleticism should make him one to watch for the rest of the live period.
To more pressing matters, namely the lone remaining scholarship in the class of 2015, Samir Doughty had another strong performance at Phiily U on Saturday:
Samir Doughty continues to prove that very few 2015 prospects are better at attacking the rim & finishing. Good body control. #Showdown14— Eric Hampford (@Future150EricH) July 12, 2014
Samir Doughty with back to back slams in transition. One thing is for sure, he enjoys getting to the bucket. #ElevateHoops— Jeff Neiburg (@Jeff_Neiburg) July 12, 2014
Ohio's Kipper Nichols has been planning to visit Happy Valley for a while now, according to this report, and the sooner that happens, the better for Penn State. Nichols was offered by Maryland and Minnesota last month, and he could receive more after averaging 15 ppg at the Lawson/Oladipo camp last weekend. Ideally, the Nittany Lions would be able to find a guard to fill out the 2015 class, but Nichols is certainly a talented player and it's tough to stop recruiting a player when scholarship situations are as fluid as they are in college basketball these days.
The next live period begins Wednesday at 5:30pm. Josh Reaves' Team Takeover will be playing in the Nike EYBL Peach Jam, the finals of which will be televised on ESPNU on Sunday, July 20th. More on Reaves and others later in the week.