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Probing The Portal: MAAC Leading Scorer Sets Penn State Visit (4.26.23)

Things are starting to pick up in the transfer portal.

NCAA Basketball: MAAC Conference Tournament Semifinal - Iona vs Niagara John Jones-USA TODAY Sports


The Nittany Lions have been after the MAAC’s leading scorer since Mike Rhoades took over, and it appears that interest will pay off as Thomasson is scheduled to visit Happy Valley this weekend.

Penn State made Thomasson’s final five list, with Georgia, St. John’s, Pitt, and San Francisco rounding it out.

Thomasson is a powerfully built two-guard who really uses his strength to get into the lane and finish around the basket. I think for Penn State, and his potential fit alongside Ace Baldwin, you have to be encouraged by his numbers — 90th percentile — off the catch. He’ll certainly continue to create his own shot at whatever school he ends up at like he did at Niagara, but just like most low/mid-major players that make the move to a major conference, there’s going to be an adjustment to not having the ball *as* much. The catch and shoot numbers are a good sign that Thomasson shouldn’t be totally reliant on needing a high usage to be effective.


Weekday visits having been taking place this week too, with Penn State hosting two different visitors on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, it was North Carolina forward Puff Johnson, and on Tuesday it was Vanderbilt center Quentin Millora-Brown.

Johnson is originally from Moon Township, PA, but moved out to Phoenix for his senior season when his brother — former Pitt and UNC standout Cam Johnson — got drafted by the Phoenix Suns. He’s spent the past three seasons in Chapel Hill, carving out a role as a forward/big wing off the bench, but he’s struggled to stay healthy. He missed six games this past season and 14 games as a sophomore in 2021-2022.

When he’s on the floor, Johnson is a versatile defender who can play as a wing or a forward, force turnovers, and rebound at a respectable rate. The swing skill is the shooting. Johnson shot just 28.3% on three pointers last season, and is 24.7% from long range for his career. It’s a bit surprising, given the fact that Puff — like his big brother — was a prolific shooter at the high school level. If the shot can ever find some consistency, he’s an ideal 3-&-D player.

As for Millora-Brown, he’s originally from Virginia and started his college career at Rice in 2018-19. While that was after Mike Rhoades had left the Owls, one of his assistants — Scott Pera, a Penn State graduate by the way — took over, so certainly there’s some familiarity with Millora-Brown. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound center only spent one year with the Owls though, opting to transfer to Vanderbilt where he’s spent the last three seasons.

Millora-Brown doesn’t have gaudy stats, but he’s a big kid who has played a lot of basketball the last four seasons. I imagine Penn State would prefer Qudus Wahab from Georgetown, but Millora-Brown can obviously give you a solid 20 minutes a night.


Like we talked about last week, this one was trending in the wrong direction after he officially visited and decided to completely open things back up. Tough one for the Penn State staff to lose, but DeLoach is a Georgia kid and the Bulldogs have started to join the rest of the SEC in making a bigger investment in their basketball program.


Not so fast, Mr. Shrewsberry. Despite hosting Penn State transfer Kebba Njie for a visit last week, it appears that Njie is keeping his options open and will make a visit to UCF.

I don’t have much of a take on this other than the fact that it appears that Shrews is having some issues in the transfer portal at Notre Dame. They’ve yet to land any transfers, despite the fact they have as much room as Penn State does.