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Penn State Basketball: Big Weekend Ahead As Top Targets Head To Town

by on April 16, 2015 11:00 AM

Penn State basketball coaches are taking full advantage of the large crowds and great weather on Blue White weekend, hosting several of the program's biggest recruiting targets.

With perhaps the best recruiting class ever set to land on campus in a few short months, coach Pat Chambers and his staff are looking to build on that success in the 2016 cycle.

In many ways the ability to establish unprecedented recruiting success is as crucial as winning.

So while the Nittany Lions won't be taking the court anytime soon, this weekend is as big as they come.

In total, seven players will be making the trip up to Happy Valley for a visit. One player, John Carlos Reyes, will take an official multi-day visit, the NCAA's regulated form of recruiting trip that allows schools to roll out the red carpet. The rest will be on unofficial visits, a nice way to spend a Saturday but with a few less bells and whistles attached.

Official visit or not, just getting top-rated talent on campus isn't something to be overlooked. The program has come a long way on the recruiting trail, especially in Philadelphia and the hard work is starting to pay off.

Penn State will either have four or five scholarships to fill for the 2016 recruiting class depending on what happens to the final scholarship available for 2015. Either way Penn State stands just a few commitments away from pulling in another nationally-ranked recruiting class for the second consecutive year.

And these players might be the ones to do it.

Official Visit: (Starts Friday)

  • (***) John Carlos Reyes: The only 2015 prospect of the weekend comes in at 6-foot-10, 223 pounds, from LeGrange, Georgia. Offers from George Mason, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Tennessee.

Unofficial Visits: (Saturday)

  • (****) Tony Carr: A guard out of Philadelphia, weighing in at 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, with offers from Georgetown, Indiana, Maryland, Temple, Iowa, Pitt and many more. Ranked No. 77 on the Rivals 150 list. It is widely believed that Carr and Lamar Stevens will commit to the same school, and both are high on what Penn State has to offer.
  • (****) Lamar Stevens: A forward out of Philadelphia, at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. Offers from Indiana, Villanova, Temple, Iowa, La Salle and many more. Stevens is ranked No. 95 in the Rivals 150. (A program source indicated to StateCollege.com on Thursday that Stevens would make the visit this weekend. Stevens later said in an interview on Thursday with the City of Basketball Love that he was visiting Villanova.)
  • (****) Markelle Fultz: From Hyattsville, Maryland, Fultz is a 6-foot-4, 180 pound shooting guard and ranked No. 25 in the Rivals 150. He holds offers from all over the country including Arizona, West Virginia, Maryland, Miami, Georgetown and many others.
  • (***) Nazeer Bostick: The 6-foot-5, 175 pound shooting guard out of Philadelphia will make the trip this weekend as well. Bostick holds offers from Drexel, FIU, James Madison, Long Island and a few other schools. He has long been favored to eventually land at Penn State, but recruiting is often unpredictable.
  • (Unranked) Dylan Painter: The Hershey native and 6-foot-10, 215 pound power forward will make the short drive to State College on Saturday as well. Painter has seen his stock steadily rise and that trend should continue this summer and fall.
  • 2017 (Unranked) Lonnie Walker: A Reading, Pa. prospect, the 6-foot-4, 170 pound shooting guard is Penn State's first real look into the 2017 class so far. Penn State's ability to recruit into the future (beyond just the next incoming class) has been key to establishing long term success on the recruiting trail. Walker is no exception.

While these are far from the only players Penn State is recruiting, if Chambers is going to put together another nationally-recognized class it will likely come from the players listed above.

Carr and Stevens have long been targets to make Happy Valley home while Fultz could headline any program's class. Bostick would be a positive addition while Painter and Walker are a look at the future.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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