Penn State Basketball Owns The No. 8 2016 Recruiting Class
Pat Chambers set the college basketball recruiting landscape ablaze on Friday, landing his third ESPN-100 prospect in the Class of 2016 in Lamar Stevens, who joins fellow Roman Catholic teammate Tony Carr and Oak Hill big man Joe Hampton. Chambers’ recent recruiting success has been something of a revelation for a program that’s struggled to escape the Big Ten’s cellar of mediocrity. But Stevens’ commitment gives Chambers another accolade to add to his program’s resume; as it currently stands, Penn State basketball ranks No. 8 overall in the Class of 2016.
LRT: This is a thing that is real, somehow. pic.twitter.com/QtTQMJEfBk
— Adam Bittner (@fugimaster24) September 18, 2015
Yes, these are not typos. Penn State basketball ranks one spot below Syracuse, a traditional powerhouse, and two spots below Duke, the reigning NCAA champions. Say what you will about Penn State’s unremarkable past, there’s no question that this is a program on the rise. Considering all the variables that go into college basketball recruiting — specifically recruiting on the east coast against the likes of Syracuse, Villanova, etc. — Pat Chambers’ ability to keep up with the big boys is no small feat.
There’s little discrepancy between the quality of players each program is adding, too. While Penn State won’t be adding any Jahlil Okafors or Jayson Tatums anytime soon, that doesn’t mean the program lacks in the talent department. Carr, Stevens, and Hampton — along with the players signed by Chambers for the Class of 2015 — are all unique talents in their own right, and would be warmly welcomed by a number of nationally-acclaimed programs.
Though it’s still early in the process, it’s easy to see that there’s something special brewing within Chambers’ program. Renowned players are beginning to spurn larger, more established programs in favor of Chambers and his upstart Nittany Lions. No, D.J. Newbill won’t be coming back anytime soon, and nor will Tim Frazier. But that’s okay, because the new generation of talented players are ready to build off the precedent set by the likes of Newbill, Frazier, etc., and elevate this program to new heights.
So fans, adjust those Penn State basketball hats, put on your favorite Penn State basketball shirt, and be proud knowing that your team can recruit with the best teams in the country. Once the foundation is established, the wins will follow.