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Oh, Hello: Penn State Lands Former VCU Guard Nick Kern

Make it two Rams!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-VCU vs St. Mary’s Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few days after landing their first VCU transfer, the Nittany Lions stayed hot on the Richmond-to-State College trail by picking up guard Nick Kern.

Kern played the last two seasons under Mike Rhoades, but started to come along as a sophomore, when he averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 17.6 minutes per night. Those numbers saw a bit of an uptick when Kern was moved into the starting lineup halfway through the season. In games Kern started, he averaged 7.2 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 21 minutes a night.

Kern’s selling points are simple: he’s a great athlete who is a terrific defender. He can already guard 1-3 with ease, and as he gets older and stronger, can probably match up with 4s depending on the night.

Where Kern needs to take a step is offensively, and specifically, as a shooter. Right now, almost everything for is going towards the rim. Which, to his credit, he’s been quite efficient at — sporting a 62% field goal percentage as a sophomore. But that will only get him so far in a conference like the Big Ten. He was just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc last season, so a lot to work on from not only being a willing shooter but to being one that will also make a few to keep the defense honest.

All in all, a nice pickup though who will certainly help and be in the rotation. How large his role is will likely depend on that shot, but 6-foot-6 defensive-minded athletic wings are always welcomed.

Now, on the VCU front, Penn State waits for Jalen DeLoach.