As part of BSD’s celebration of a decade of existence, we are taking a look back at some of the best players to grace the Penn State hoops universe. You certainly may not agree with all of the choices on here, but here’s our best crack at what would comprise of our starting five (plus a few guys from off the bench):
Talor Battle (Guard, 2007-2011) - PSU’s all-time points leader whose sheer athleticism and ability to practically shoot from anywhere on the court made him an opponent’s worst nightmare. His talents and leadership helped guide PSU to an NIT championship his sophomore year and later, the NCAA Tournament in his senior season, which saw him averaging over 20 points a game.
Tim Frazier (Guard, 2009-2014) - The all-time leader in assists (641) was a backcourt mate of Battle’s his first two years on campus. Tim later became the bona fide star and leader of this program, averaging just slightly below 15 points and over five assists per game his final year in the program. Timmy as you know, has since taken his talents to the NBA, where he recently signed an extension with the New Orleans Pelicans.
D.J. Newbill (Guard, 2012-2015) - DJ’s natural leadership, Philly toughness, and “give me the damn ball, I’m taking over this game” attitude were vital towards keeping the program competitive while Pat Chambers and staff continued to try and upgrade the depth and talent surrounding DJ. During his final season in 2014-2015, with Tim Frazier gone, it was clearly DJ’s team and he carried the way, averaging 20.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Although he is no longer on the team, the success of DJ likely played a role (even if a small one) in helping to entice the Roman Catholic trio (Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, and Nazeer Bostick) to Happy Valley.
Jamelle Cornley (Forward, 2005-2009) - Whatever Jamelle lacked in height (6’5” and that’s probably being generous) for his position, he more than made up for in strength and plain old grit. CORNLEY SMASH became one of the first popular BSD memes as a result. Averaged 14.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during the NIT championship season in 2008-2009.
Geary Claxton (Forward, 2004-2008) - One of first recruits of the Ed DeChellis era, Geary brought a different dynamic to a floundering program at the time as an athletic small forward who had the ability to play down in the paint or hurt you with mid-range jump shots. Averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game his senior season before it was abruptly cut short with an ACL tear. He also threw down one of the sickest dunks I’ve ever seen, a reverse alley-oop in the famed upset at Illinois in 2006 (skip to the 4:20 mark of the video)
A FEW KEY RESERVES
Stanley Pringle (Guard, 2007-2009)
Jeff Brooks (Forward, 2007-2011)
Shep Garner (Guard, 2014-Present)