Satchel Pierce joined the Penn State roster in 2016 following two seasons at Virginia Tech. The 7-foot tall, 258 pound center has the body to contribute for Pat Chambers after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
We got a brief look at Pierce over the summer when the Lions traveled to the Bahamas for two exhibition games. Pierce had a double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds in a game versus the NPBA All-Stars. He followed it up with a ten-rebound performance in the second game of the trip, showing that he should be able to provide a solid post presence off the bench for Pat Chambers.
Here is a look at Pierce in action over the summer. This is an exhibition game versus smaller competition, but it is nice to see the ease with which Pierce is able to catch the entry pass and then go into a low-post move, getting to the foul line.
His athleticism and ability to hold position on the low block is better than players such as Jordan Dickerson or Julian Moore. He will not be expected to contribute regular points this season, but his minutes will allow Mike Watkins a chance to get a break.
The statistics from his time at Virginia Tech and this summer will not be important once the team takes to the court in a little over a month. For what it’s worth, he averaged 2.6 points and 2 rebounds during 10.8 minutes per game of play with the Hokies. If Pierce can answer the call, providing 10-15 minutes of low-post defense per game, it could provide a huge boost for the team. Players like Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens will benefit from the presence of another capable low-post body, when the pounding that takes place in the Big Ten begins.
Pierce played on two state championship runner-up teams while at the Kiski School in southwestern Pennsylvania. Former Penn State football players Curtis Enis and Daryll Clark were also products of the Kiski School, so that can’t be a bad thing, right?
While Pierce saw time in 31 games as a freshman at Virginia Tech, starting 7 games, his production fell off as a sophomore. It is hard to tell where his skill levels are at currently since we have not seen him versus B1G caliber competition in over a year. Players do not always develop at a constant rate, especially 7-foot centers. If his second season with Virginia Tech was a blip in his development, a sophomore slump, then it is possible that Chambers is getting more than just a role player.