With nothing but bad news seeming to swirl around the basketball program this offseason in the form of a pair of recruits decommitting and Rasir Bolton’s leap into the NCAA transfer portal, the team finally received some excellent news tonight, as the school officially announced that Mike Watkins will come back for his fifth and final year as a Nittany Lion via the program’s Twitter page:
It goes without saying that this is huge news, given how shaky the frontcourt depth is. John Harrar is the only other forward on the roster capable of playing significant minutes in the Big Ten at this point, so getting a proven rebounder and shot-blocker (Watkins averaged over seven rebounds and over a block per game) who can also put up points down low when necessary is absolutely clutch.
Assuming Lamar Stevens decides to return for his senior season after testing the NBA Draft waters, and with St. Bonaventure transfer Izaiah Brockington now eligible to play, what was looking like an unofficial farewell tour for Pat Chambers not too long ago is suddenly (on paper, at least) looking like a newfound shot at redemption for failing to make the NCAA Tournament these last couple of years with squads that were capable of doing so. Time will tell if the third time’s the charm, but for today at least, let’s enjoy some good news for Penn State hoops while we have it.