Hershey High School center Dylan Painter, a 6'10" three-star recruit who has been on Penn State's radar for a long time, committed to play basketball at Villanova today. The Nittany Lions had been on Painter early before a terrific run with AAU's Team Final earned him an onslaught of significant offers, the biggest one being Villanova. Painter made it no secret that he had been a fan of Jay Wright's program since grade school, so it is not all that surprising that they were tough for Penn State to compete with.
Beyond excited to announce that I am going to be joining the Villanova Basketball family! Thanks for everyone's support #NovaNation— Dylan Painter (@dpaint4234) September 16, 2015
Painter took an official visit to Penn State this past weekend, just a few weeks after his official visit to Villanova. There were certainly connections to this Penn State program for Painter. Current Nittany Lion guard Shep Garner is a Team Final alum, and current commits Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick play with Painter on the AAU squad. Team Final also boasts Penn State target Lamar Stevens, who has yet to announce his commitment.
"[Villanova and Penn State] were definitely my top two schools," Painter told City of Basketball Love. "I knew beforehand that I wanted to take a visit to both of them for sure, just so I could give them both a fair chance and check them both out ... It took me a long time to decide, but in the end I thought [Villanova] was the best."
It's obviously disappointing for the Nittany Lions to miss out on a talented player from central Pennsylvania like Painter, especially one at a position of need. However, this is still a very strong recruiting class for Penn State, one that they can be proud of as they stand here today. In much happier news, there are indications abound that Penn State may not be done in the 2016 recruiting cycle, so stay tuned.