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Probing The Portal: Penn State After Former Top 50 Prospect (4.7.23)

It’s a good Friday for a probing the portal.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Memphis Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Over the last few days, Penn State has been named as a team with interest for a trio of prospects.

School/Hometown: Auburn (Harrisburg, PA)
Eligibility Remaining: 3 years
Height/Weight: 6-foot-6, 190 pounds

Westry was a Top 50 prospect from the 2022 recruiting class who originally attended Trinity High School in Harrisburg. Now granted, he ended up playing at multiple high schools — Sierra Canyon, Hillcrest Prep, and Compass Prep — but he’s originally from Pennsylvania and his current list of potential transfer destinations has a northeast flair.

Westry is far from a ready-made player, but he has the tools that Rhoades would want for his program — long arms, quick hands, functional athlete, etc. He’s mostly a dribble-drive player at this point, but he shows some really nice passing chops for a kid with his size. Obviously with Penn State having so much roster space, taking a flier on Westry as a multi-year project makes a lot of sense.

School/Hometown: Niagra (Houston, TX)
Eligibility Remaining: 1 year
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 195 pounds

Thomasson is a powerfully-built scoring guard, who looks like he could make the move over to strong safety in the fall if James Franklin and Co. need it. Obviously, he’s a heck of a scorer at the MAAC level, but I do wonder how it would translate to the Big Ten. His game is mostly predicated on bullying guys en route to scoring around the rim, but he’s not a top-tier athlete which could cause issues in the Big Ten.

School/Hometown: Idaho (San Francisco, CA)
Eligibility Remaining: 3 years
Height/Weight: 6-foot-7, 222 pounds

Burris looks all of 6-foot-7, 222 pounds, and when you combine that with his shooting profile — 44.8% from three and 87% from the line — and you have the makings of a beautiful, versatile big wing/small-ball four. He doesn’t have any ties to the east coast which makes me hesitant as to Penn State’s chances for Burris, but I can see why he entered the portal. A step up in competition is probably warranted for him.


Despite scheduling three visits to Florida, Iowa, and Penn State (again), St. Francis big man Josh Cohen decided to end his transfer recruitment yesterday, choosing Frank Martin and UMass.

As discussed with Cohen, I think there were legitimate concerns as to how his game translates to the upper-echelon of Division I basketball. He’s clearly a maestro with footwork and post scoring, but he’s strictly a below the rim scorer at 6-foot-10. At UMass, my guess is he’ll be a greater focus of the offense than he would have been at places like Penn State, Iowa, or Florida. Curious to see how he does.