One might say it has been an eventful past year or so for Penn State men’s basketball. There was making the NCAA Tournament that never happened, there was the departure/firing of coach Pat Chambers after nearly a decade on the job. There was a coaching search. There was a hiring.
Then there was the departures of Myreon Jones, Jamari Wheeler, Trent Buttrick, DJ Gordon, Abdou Tsimbila and Izaiah Brockington. There was the return of John Harrar and Seth Lundy as well as the never-departed Myles Dread. There were decommitments on the recruiting trail and new names adding themselves to the recruiting ledger.
So a lot has happened, and that open roster space has led to quite a bit of movement for new head coach Micah Shrewsberry who has now signed four new players from the transfer portal.
“The model for this league has been to get old and stay old,” Shrewsberry told StateCollege.com. “And those [that do] are the programs that have been the most consistent. We need to try and do that, and we need to try and do it through recruiting the right kids, bringing in the right kids, treating them the right way, making sure that we’re putting everything that we have into them and investing into those guys. Then I feel like they are going to want to stick around and that allows you to stay pretty consistent.”
So far Shrewsberry has been able to do that, all four of his transfer portal acquisitions juniors or older, giving the Nittany Lions plenty of guns for hire in an always physical and demanding Big Ten. Of course having players and having them play well together are very different challenges, but you can’t work on one without the other.
None of the following four signings are new developments for those who follow the program closely. But with press releases firing off in every direction – often well after a player has committed to the program – here is a chance for “This is what he said” about all four players set to join the Nittany Lions this fall. Time will tell if more are set to follow.
Graduate forward Greg Lee: “Greg is going to be a great addition to our program,” said Shrewsberry. “He will provide a veteran presence and add more experience to our front line. His versatility and ability to score the ball in a variety of ways will be really helpful in our system. More importantly, he is a gym rat who will constantly push himself and his teammates to become better.”
Junior forward Jevonnie Scott: “Vonnie is going to be a great addition to our Penn State Basketball family,” said Shrewsberry. “He is a high-energy, fun-loving kid who will be a terrific fit for our locker room. His versatility on the court is something I am looking forward to using on both the offensive and defensive ends. He has a great basketball background and has been well-coached growing up and at South Plains. Coming from a successful program, he will bring a winning attitude and work ethic with him to State College.”
Graduate guard Jaheam Cornwall: “Jah is an experienced guard who will be a great addition to our program,” said Shrewsberry. “He has played in a lot of college games, so some of our younger guys can lean on his knowledge. He is a big-time shooter, but he’s also a great decision maker. I’m looking forward to using him in a lot of different ways.”
Senior guard Jalen Pickett: “We are excited to add Jalen to our family,” said Shrewsberry. “He is a versatile guard who will help us on both ends of the floor. Jalen’s basketball IQ is off the charts, and he uses it to make everyone around him better. He is driven to be a good player and we are looking forward to helping him achieve his goals.”