The Penn State basketball community has been buzzing for the past few weeks since Marshall guard Kareem Canty announced his plans to transfer and named the Nittany Lions as a possible destination.
Here’s why you should want Canty to come to Penn State: As a freshman, Canty was one of the most dynamic players in the nation, and if he didn’t play for a pretty bad Marshall squad last year, we’d be talking about one of the most exciting players in college basketball.
Canty averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 assists per game for the 11-22 Thundering Herd. You may remember him as the guy that absolutely shredded Penn State when the two teams met in Happy Valley, going off for 28 points and 5 assists in a 90-77 loss.
That wasn’t Canty’s only monster performance of the season. He scored in double digits in all but two of Marshall’s games, including seven games of at least 20 points during his freshman campaign. In fact, he averaged more points and assists and shot better from three than Tim Frazier did last year, albeit against lesser competition.
Should he decide to transfer to Penn State — which isn’t a guarantee, as South Florida, UNLV, and Auburn are all potential landing spots for the 6’1″ Brooklyn native — he would likely have to sit out for all of the 2014-15 campaign, unless a Jordan Dickerson situation occurs and the Nittany Lions are able to get his eligibility cleared with the NCAA in time for the team’s Big Ten slate of games next year.
However, whenever he would become eligible, Canty would immediately be an impact player and the likely starting point guard for Pat Chambers. That would especially be the case next year, as D.J. Newbill will likely be the team’s starting point guard, with John Johnson, incoming freshman Shep Garner, and junior college transfer Devin Foster chipping in where they can.
In 2015-16, having Canty would let Chambers play small, with a four-guard lineup of Canty, Garner, Foster, and Geno Thorpe. Using four guards was hugely successful when Chambers was an assistant coach at Villanova.
There’s still a long way to go regarding Canty — who squashed reports that he committed to Auburn last week — as he has visits lined up the next three weekends, including a trip to Happy Valley on May 9-11. Canty plans to announce his final decision shortly after his final visit wraps up on May 14.