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Penn State Basketball Summer Recruiting Primer: Class of 2016 in Full Swing

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Pat Chambers finally has his contract extension, but the ultimate success (or failure) of the rest of his tenure could very well be determined this offseason.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It's a big summer for Penn State basketball. Pat Chambers' contract was extended to the 2019 season, but he'll really earn his keep this offseason if he can build on the success of his 2015 recruiting class, arguably the best in program history. There's still time to add to that class, but the future of the program can be stabilized with a strong showing in the class of 2016. To the boards:

Class of 2015 - 1 Scholarship Available

Targets

PLAYER HOMETOWN POSITION STARS NOTES
Jahshire Hardnett
Gulfport, MS
HS: Gulfport
AAU: NTL Red Storm (LA)
Point Guard
5'11"
180
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Johncarlos Reyes
LaGrange, GA
HS: Sound Doctrine ChristianAcademy
AAU: Game Elite (GA)
Center
6'9"
223
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium

Names to Watch: F Kipper Nichols, 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), Khalil Iverson (Wisconsin), Traci Carter (Marquette), Brandon Childress (Central Michigan - Football)

We're down to the wire for the class of 2015, and the pickings have become rather slim. Let us first note that while Hardnett and Reyes are the clear-cut top-2 prep targets, Penn State will not be afraid to dip into the transfer market, be it a standard transfer or a graduate transfer who would eligible next season. Here's Jeff Goodman's transfer list. Enjoy speculating!

Penn State has two areas of concern for the next two recruiting cycles, and they can help fill one of those with their final scholarship in 2015. The Nittany Lions will lose their only true point guard in Devin Foster and three contributing frontcourt players after next season, so landing one of Hardnett/Reyes sets them up for a less tense 2016 cycle. Hardnett will be the more difficult of the two to successfully recruit, as his list of potential suitors includes the likes of UConn, Georgetown, and Murray State. He was reported to have visited State College last Friday.

Reyes, if he were to take Pat Chambers up on that scholarship offer, could be a redshirt candidate in 2015. That's not to say he's lacking talent - offers from Memphis, South Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee suggest otherwise - but with freshman Mike Watkins joining a senior-laden frontcourt, playing time might be limited. But getting Reyes into the fold in 2015 would give Penn State a seasoned body to pair with Watkins and would-be junior Julian Moore for the 2016-17 season.

By the way, with Alan Wisniewski and Kevin Montminy graduating, Penn State is fresh out of walk-ons. It's not necessarily a pressing issue, but the program will be looking to fill two to three bench spots by the time the school year rolls around. Who is the next Nick Colella?

Well guess what.

It's you.

(It's not you. Maybe your kid or your nephew, though!)

Class of 2016 - 5 Scholarships Available*

Targets

PLAYER HOMETOWN POSITION STARS NOTES
Tony Carr
Philadelphia, PA
HS: Roman Catholic HS
AAU: Team Final
Point Guard
6'3"
170
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Visited 2/28/15
Lamar Stevens
Jenkintown, PA
HS: The Haverford School
AAU: Team Final
Small Forward
6'6"
190
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Sedee Keita
Philadelphia, PA
HS: 22 Feet Academy (SC)
AAU: We-R-1
Power Forward
6'9"
225
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
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
Markelle Fultz
Hyattsville, MD
HS: DeMatha Catholic HS
AAU: D.C. Premier
Shooting Guard
6'4"
170
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Nazeer Bostick
Philadelphia, PA
HS: Roman Catholic HS
AAU: Team Final
Guard/Forward
6'4"
175
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Alani Moore
Hyattsville, MD
HS: Montrose Christian HS
AAU: D.C. Premier
Point Guard
5'10"
160
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Offered
Visited 11/3/13
Willie Jackson
Cleveland, OH
HS: Garfield Heights HS
AAU: King James Shooting Stars
Forward
6'6"
210
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
A.J. Wilson
Lanham, MD
HS: Montrose Christian HS
AAU: D.C. Premier
Small Forward
6'6"
180
NR
Offered
Visited
11/9/13
Dylan Painter
Hershey, PA
HS: Hershey HS
AAU: Team Final
Power Forward
6'9"
215
NR
Offered
Visited 11/16/14
Jair Bolden
Norristown, PA
HS: Westtown School
AAU: Team Final
Point Guard
6'3"
190
12998_medium12998_medium12998_medium
Visited 2/14/15

Names to watch: C Abdul Ado, C Barrett Benson, G A.J. Brodeur, G Amir Coffey, G Frankie Hughes, F Mario Kegler, F Paul Newman,  F K.J. Santos, G Josh Sharkey, G Ian Sistare, G Breein Tyree

Decommitted: F Joe Hampton

Gone: G Randall Broddie (Memphis; Reclassified to 2015), Anthony Cowan (Maryland), Amarveer Singh (Seton Hall), C Derek Funderburk (Ohio State)

*Shrinks to 4 if the final 2015 scholarship is filled by an incoming freshman/standard transfer. Stays at 5 if that spot is filled by a one-year graduate transfer

If Penn State can't land Reyes, then Hershey's Dylan Painter might be the next man up. Painter hasn't made much of a name for himself in grassroots ball due to fracturing a bone in his foot last summer, but he's looking to improve his stock by suiting up for Nike EYBL squad Team Final (more on them in a bit). Painter seems to have significant interest in Penn State - he visited the BJC unofficially at least twice this season - so with the PSU staff offering him Tuesday night, it could be just a matter of time before Painter pulls the trigger and commits. He's also got offers from George Washington, La Salle, and a host of PA mid-majors, and the timing of Penn State's offer hints that they believe he could reel in a few more high-major suitors once the AAU season gets going. Here are some highlights of his junior season at Hershey, courtesy Painter's Hudl page:

Of course, the big fish in the class of 2016 are still out there to catch, and perhaps the two of the biggest catches in Pennsylvania will be playing together in 2015. Last night Lamar Stevens announced on Twitter that he would be joining Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick at defending class AAAA state champion Roman Catholic next season. Stevens and Carr still appear to be Penn State's top priorities at the moment, and both (along with Bostick) will be playing for the aforementioned Philly-based Team Final on the AAU scene this summer. Expect Chambers and/or assistant Brian Daly to be present at nearly all of their events in the upcoming months.

Quick hits:

  • Markelle Fultz is one of the latest 2016 prospects to earn a PSU offer, but this is one rare instance where the Nittany Lions are a step slow in recruiting a kid. Fultz was playing JV ball at DeMatha last season, but he exploded last summer and has since become a top target for Maryland, Virginia, and most recently, Kansas. It's safe to say Penn State is a longshot here.
  • Many fans seem to think it's Stevens and/or Carr-or-bust in 2016, but DeAndre Hunter and Sedee Keita would also be class cornerstone-worthy additions. Hunter had a successful and healthy season at Friends' Central after suffering a broken leg in his sophomore season and should be in line for a big summer on the circuit. Keita attends school in South Carolina but is originally from the Philly area. He's got some high-level offers and will have to be made a priority in order for Penn State to land him.
  • Keita could be a litmus test for Syracuse's post-sanction recruiting capabilities. Cuse has traditionally been a destination for Philadelphia-area kids and they lead in Keita's 247 Crystal Ball, but with just ten scholarships to give for the next three seasons and top-50 swingman Matthew Moyer already committed in 2016, there'll have to be some serious carefronting taking place (or whatever Jim Boeheim's version is called) for the Orange to make room for someone like Keita (here's a great breakdown of the situation from Syracuse.com). This doesn't mean blue-chip recruits like Keita will suddenly fall into Penn State's lap, but it's a strange situation worth monitoring.

Scholarship Matrix

2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
1 G - DJ 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
9 G - Geno Thorpe G - Shep Garner
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 5 6
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman

Redshirting
^Used a redshirt year