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Penn State Hoops Recruiting: Now What?

Ever since Pat Chambers resigned more than a month ago, Penn State has lost its entire 2021 recruiting class.

TaQuan Woodley, Houston Mallette, and Elijah Hutchins-Everett have all decommitted from the program. Following their departures, the future looks bleak for the Nittany Lions.

With the early signing period already over, the Nittany Lions have until April 14, 2021, to find a solution. Interim head coach Jim Ferry addressed the issue during media day on Wednesday.

“We’re constantly recruiting,” Ferry said.

The Nittany Lions still have a couple of months to fill the slots left in the 2021 class.

According to 247Sports, the Nittany Lions have already extended offers to five other players around the county who still haven’t committed to programs. The most notable recruits still on the board are point guard Jaylen Blake, a four-star from New Jersey, and point guard Lynn Greer III, a three-star recruit who comes from the recruiting hotbed of Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia.

Even though Penn State doesn’t seem to be at the top of any of these players’ lists, Ferry still sees an opportunity to bring talent into the program that the previous regime already looked at. Another option is to add talent in the form of the transfer portal.

“The rules are changing,” Ferry said. “Some players can now transfer and not have to sit out the season and mess with their eligibility.”

The Nittany Lions have not been shy of using the transfer portal in the past.

In 2018, guard Izaiah Brockington joined the program after transferring from St. Bonaventure. Brockington was a great role player for the Nittany Lions this past season, averaging 8.1 points per game and playing around 21 minutes a night. His electric playmaking skills, especially when driving to the rack, made him a fan favorite amongst Nittany Nation.

Entering this season, Sam Sessoms is another player from the transfer portal that will join the Nittany Lions. Sessoms joins the Nittany Lions from Binghamton, where he averaged 19.4 points a game during his sophomore year and was a name American East Rookie of the Year following his freshman campaign.

It’s difficult to pick out players Penn State can target in the transfer portal, but expect a lot more movement in the portal due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ferry may be able to use the Philly pipeline established by Chambers to lure some pieces from other programs back home to play for the Nittany Lions.

Perhaps the last option is to leave the roster slots and scholarships until 2022. The team Ferry has inherited is young and has depth in most positions. Unlike in sports like football, you don’t need to fill out your recruiting class every year. This is a year of evaluation of both Ferry and the pieces on the current roster.

If you’re Penn State, why let Ferry bring in pieces if he’s only going to get one year at the helm? If you let Ferry recruit, then don’t choose him to be the head coach, the same situation that happened with the Chamber’s departure can happen if Ferry leaves. If Jim Ferry is the guy, let him recruit 2022.

It’ll be interesting to see what route the Nittany Lions chose to go with the 2021 recruiting cycle. On the court, the 2020-21 Nittany Lions have a season ahead of them where they need to answer a lot of questions.

The Nittany Lions begin their season on November 25 by hosting Drexel. The time and broadcast destination still have yet to be announced.

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About the Author

Connor Donohue

Connor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He hails from the great state of New Jersey and is proud of it. Lover of the greatest city in the world, New York City, he strongly dislikes the city of Philadelphia and will not hesitate to tell you that. He's also been cursed as a Penn State fan since birth. If you want to call him a bum or maybe go out on a date with him, follow him on twitter @ConnorDonohue00 or email him at [email protected]

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