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Which Prospects Could Be Next For Penn State Hoops?

It’s safe to say Penn State men’s basketball has been off to a stellar start with its recruiting Class of 2022.

New head coach Micah Shrewsberry has gotten verbal commitments from three-star guards Jameel Brown and Kanye Clary, as well as a commitment from three-star forward Evan Mahaffey.

While the start may seem impressive, it’s likely that Shrewsberry is nowhere close to being done on the recruiting trail. There are a lot of high-profile prospects that Penn State is still very much in the conversation on.

The prospects listed are in order of how 247Sports ranks them, not by how likely they are to commit to the program. That said, the Nittany Lions are in play for a variety of players, including one of the best in the country.

Dereck Lively II

Lively is considered the second-best player in the country for the Class of 2022, and the fact that he is seriously considering playing for the Nittany Lions is something that most didn’t think was possible. The advantage for Penn State is that he is a local kid who grew up in Bellefonte and has family working for the university.

The other advantage is that his high school teammate, Jameel Brown, has already committed to Penn State. Having someone who knows him well could be a huge boost in terms of recruiting him to Happy Valley.

The downside is that the blue-bloods of college basketball are also heavily recruiting him. Duke and Kentucky seem to be the favorites to land him, while North Carolina, Florida State, and Michigan also are competing for his services. It would take a lot to bring Lively to Penn State, but his commitment would be a huge shift in how the world views Penn State basketball.

Otega Oweh

If the name sounds familiar to Penn State fans, it’s because it probably is. Oweh, the younger brother of former Penn State football star Odafe Oweh, has the opportunity to continue the family line of star Penn State athletes. This is a very real possibility for the Nittany Lions.

The four-star guard has been attached to Penn State all summer long. He took an official visit with the Nittany Lions back in June and has remained in contact with them ever since. Illinois is the only school that has made a serious push at this moment, hosting him on an official visit last week. However, Penn State has a real shot of getting what would be one of their highest-rated commits in school history.

Chisom Okpara

The four-star forward listed Penn State as one of the six schools he is still considering in mid-August, which is a good sign for the Nittany Lions. Shrewsberry has been hard at work recruiting him since April, and it seems like that work has paid off.

However, Harvard seems to be the leading candidate to secure the commitment. That could change obviously, but Penn State will have to continue to put in a lot of work if they want to lock down this talented power forward.

Daniel Skillings

Skillings is a new addition to the top 100 according to 247Sports, and he’s exactly the kind of guy Penn State would want. He is a Philadelphia native from Roman Catholic High School, the high school that produced Seth Lundy and Penn State great Lamar Stevens.

The 6’5″ guard holds offers from a variety of schools but is nowhere near making a final decision. This gives Shrewsberry and company time to get to know him, develop that relationship, and see how he fits in the program. His stock is rising fast, and he may not be a hidden gem for long.

Kebba Njie

Njie is another sleeper that Shrewsberry seems to be trying to work on. The four-star center holds only two offers currently — Penn State and Kansas State. This gives the Nittany Lions the upper hand when it comes to time, and developing a good relationship takes a lot of time.

Penn State offered Njie in late August, and if he committed, he would be an impact player. All of the big men currently on the roster will graduate after this season, so a commitment from him would be a big deal.

AJ Brown

Brown has been someone that Penn State has wanted since the recruiting period opened in June. He visited campus on June 1, and he is scheduled to make his second official visit later in September. It will be the only school he has visited twice.

The three-star guard plans to make a college decision sometime in the fall, so watch out to see if all the work the staff has put in will pay off.

Robert Jennings

The three-star forward from Texas listed Penn State as one of his top-six schools in early August. It’s a good sign for Shrewsberry, who is in need of some big men to fill out the roster for 2022.

The downside is that Penn State is the only school in his top six that is on the east coast. Three of his six offers are from schools in Texas, and the only other offer east of the Mississippi River is Ole Miss. So, if geography is important in Jennings’ decision, then Penn State may have a tough sell.

Demetrius Lilley

Lilley is one of the most recent offers for Shrewsberry and his staff. The three-star center unofficially visited Penn State in early August and then received an official scholarship offer on August 23. Lilley currently plays basketball at Lower Merrion, the high school the late, great Kobe Bryant played at.

The 6’10” center would fill a huge void left by John Harrar as the big guy in the trenches, so he should become a priority. However, it seems like he isn’t near a decision, giving the coaching staff some time to continue to develop that relationship.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in secondary education and minoring in social justice in education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor", and yes mom, actually doing school work. If you would like to talk about sports or "Survivor", the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to coa5227@psu.edu.

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