This past weekend might have been a “football weekend” in Happy Valley, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t hugely important for basketball too. Mike Rhoades had VCU-to-Penn State transfer commits in Ace Baldwin and Nick Kern on hand, while two other uncommitted prospects reportedly made the trip as well.
DELOACH TAKES IN STATE COLLEGE
As expected heading into the weekend, VCU big man Jalen DeLoach made his official visit to Penn State. No surprise, but much of visit was spent around and with Baldwin and Kern.
Obviously, no decision yet for DeLoach at this point. He had said at the beginning of the process that he wanted to use all of his visits, and at least for now, that still appears to be the case.
FORMER HOKIES GUARD REPORTEDLY VISITS PENN STATE
It wasn’t just a former VCU-fest in Happy Valley this weekend, as the Ram crew was joined by former Virginia Tech guard Darius Maddox, according to Jon Sauber of the CDT.
VCU F Jalen DeLoach is on a visit to Penn State, along with Ace Baldwin Jr. and Nick Kern Jr., who both committed to PSU in the last week. Per source, Virginia Tech guard Darius Maddox is also visiting this weekend. https://t.co/4Z0iVMqh6c— Jon Sauber (@JonSauber) April 14, 2023
Maddox was a four-star guard in the 2020 class, having played his high school ball at St. John’s in Washington D.C. and Oak Hill in Virginia. He played for the Hokies for three seasons, starting 19 of 20 games for Virginia Tech this past season before leaving the team due to personal reasons.
Maddox would give Penn State a floor-spacer at the two-guard spot. Over his career, he’s hit 42.6% from three on 148 attempts. He saw that percentage dip this past season — he shot just 32.3% from beyond the arc — but the shooting profile is a good one. When you watch his game, it appears it would be a nice fit with Ace Baldwin.
KEBBA VISITING NOTRE DAME
It might have taken a bit longer than expected, but Micah Shrewsberry is finally getting a crack at a former Penn State player. Jon Rothstein reports that Kebba Njie will be in South Bend today.
Penn State transfer Kebba Njie tells me that he will visit Notre Dame on Monday.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 15, 2023
As we’ve talked about, this isn’t all that surprising. If Mike Rhoades and his staff wanted to keep Njie, they were going to have to survive a potential Notre Dame visit. That being said, I personally would be pretty surprised if Njie ends up anywhere else but South Bend. Just seems unrealistic to think Rhoades goes 5-for-5 with all the freshmen.
TEMPLE WING DOWN TO FOUR
Temple wing Zach Hicks is down to four schools, according to Javon Edmonds of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Hicks has canceled his visit with DePaul.— Javon Edmonds (@javonedmonds45) April 12, 2023
Final Four is:
The sharpshooting Hicks took a visit to Penn State over the weekend of April 8, and wrapped up a visit to UTEP this past weekend. Now, the Nittany Lions await his decision, which should come this week. No offense to the Miners, but this one feels like a choice between the three northeast schools. All three programs are breaking in new coaches, with Ed Colley at Georgetown, Adam Fisher at Temple, and of course Rhoades at Penn State. At least on the surface, he should have a big role at any of the three schools.
WATKINS OPTS FOR FLORIDA STATE
Penn State, unfortunately, didn’t appear too involved in this one, but it should be noted that former VCU wing Jamir Watkins committed to Florida State.
Watkins is a nice player that any program would like to have — athletic, can hit threes, rebounds, plays defense, etc. After Baldwin, he was probably second on my list for which VCU players I wanted at Penn State the most. But alas, Watkins chose a different path.