|High School||Roman Catholic|
Of the three Roman Catholic players heading to Penn State in 2016, Lamar Stevens is a player whose game will translate to the college level right away, with a ton of room to grow. 247's #88 player in the nation, Stevens committed back in September, the final piece of Pat Chambers' puzzle for the class. Stevens is the #19 small forward in the country despite his game being post-based at present, which shows his incredible upside.
Along with teammates Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick, Stevens helped lead Roman on its historic run to both the Catholic League title and PIAA titles in 2015. With AAU's Team Final, he averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds, plus a block-and-a-half and a steal in 22.9 minutes per game. That line shows Stevens' all-around game potential, as someone who attacks the basket with authority and has an excellent feel for his mid-range game, coupled with a high motor and rebounding skill. City of Basketball Love agrees:
Stevens is a tough, physical wing who excels in transition and attacking the basket. Has a very good mid-range game, especially working off screens and finding space around the foul line extended. Not afraid of contact on either end of the floor, and will fight for rebounds against bigger forwards. Does a good job of taking advantage of mismatches, posting up smaller defenders and using his favorite spin move to get to the rim.
ESPN analysts also agree (Insider's required to view the full report), especially praising his game near the rim:
His bread and butter move is to attack at the elbow area and utilize a solid 1st step and excellent footwork to finish off moves in the paint area. Despite not having great lift he knows how to use his thick frame (strong physique) and overall good length to score through and over contact.
Stevens' biggest areas for improvement will be what you'd expect from a super athletic wing who has great slashing ability: he needs to continue to expand his game to the three point line, both in catch-and-shoot situations and off the dribble (he attempted just three shots from deep in AAU ball, missing all three). From 12 feet and in, he's an absolute monster, though, and has the talent and work ethic to continue to take his game to the next level. A Lamar Stevens with a reliable outside shot would be one of the best all-around offensive threats in all of college basketball. As it stands, his floor and ceiling are both very high.
Stevens was recruited by a cavalcade of high-level programs, including Indiana, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Marquette, Maryland, Pitt, SMU, Temple, Villanova, and Xavier. Oh and also Rutgers. His obvious talents and the chemistry built up with Carr and Bostick already will be one of the biggest factors in taking Penn State to new heights in the program's history. Also, his mixtape's soundtrack is Ape Shit by Mr. Grey, which is one of the best beats possible to use in a hoops mixtape.