Although Penn State has not yet made any serious postseason push since Pat Chambers took over as head coach in 2011, optimism abounds for the Nittany Lions. Fans are hopeful, coaches are excited, and for the first time in years, it truly feels as though Penn State has a chance to make some noise on the hardwood.
Undoubtedly, much of that excitement comes from the program’s success on the recruiting trail. Despite just a 72-91 (.442) record since taking over, Chambers has found a way to engage high school prospects and convince them to commit to his program. In particular, his ability to land local talent has been a huge difference maker.
Here’s a look at how Penn State has recruited over the last few years and what the Nittany Lions need to add in 2017 in order to put together a quality class.
Penn State’s recruiting has improved immensely over the last few years. The program took a major step forward from some underwhelming classes and is now competing with the top of the conference for major prospects.
Penn State added not only a 2016 recruiting class that ranked No. 26 nationally, but also two four-star recruits in 2015. Sure, there have been some hiccups along the way, but the Nittany Lions are finally bringing in the talent needed for the program to compete at a nationally relevant level.
Primary 2017 Recruiting Needs
With no traditional seniors on its roster for the coming season, there aren’t any pressing needs for Penn State to address in the 2017 cycle. With no open scholarships, Penn State would need attrition (or a fifth-year non-renewal) for Chambers to have the option of adding someone in the 2017 class.
Even with no projected departures, however, it’s hard not to expect at least one or two spots to open up. With plenty of underclassmen projected to compete for starting roles (especially in the backcourt) this fall, it’s pretty likely that at least a player or two will transfer.
2017 Recruiting To Date
At the time of publication, Penn State has no commitments in its 2017 recruiting class, despite issuing nine offers to 2017 prospects. This isn’t too worrisome considering the scholarship situation.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many prospects that look like realistic options at this point. Penn State is pursuing major in-state prospects Mohamed Bamba, Quade Green, and Lonnie Walker, but none of these seem to favor the Nittany Lions. On the other hand, lower-rated guys such as Josh Carlton and Sean Mobley could add frontcourt depth.
There won’t be much pressure on Chambers and his staff to put together an outstanding 2017 class, given Penn State’s current depth. However, with a few spots likely to open up in the coming months, Chambers’ ability to add a few valuable prospects could indicate where things are headed down the line in State College.