With the book closing on the class of 2012, we turn the page and look forward to the class of 2013, where Pat Chambers has two scholarships available to fill. The past few weeks have seen some offers go out a few different juniors from all around the country, and we’re going to give a rundown some of those targets.
Johnson recently picked up an offer from PSU.
Starting in the Keystone State, Penn State recently extended an offer to Lower Merion (Pa.) High School forward B.J. Johnson. The 6-foot-7 junior has been reeling in the offers lately, with Rutgers, Boston College, Duquesne and Richmond putting their hat in the ring in the last two weeks.
This summer on the AAU circuit, the forward has been playing with Team Final on the Nike EYBL tour, averaging 9.8 points and 4.8 boards in just over 20 minutes per game, shooting 43 percent from the floor.
Johnson and his Lower Merion squad made it to the PIAA state finals but were downed by a strong Chester team. The 170-pound forward garnered Class AAAA first-team all state accolades, averaging over 15 points a game throughout 2011-12.
Johnson told Lions247 he plans on making some visits after AAU ends and looks to make a decision before the start of his senior season, in what is currently a wide-open recruitment.
Another player adding offers is 2013 Chicago forward Gavin Schilling, who recently picked up verbals from Penn State and Auburn, in addition to already holding offers from Southern California, Oregon State, Providence and Minnesota.
Schilling has been running with the Mac Irvin Fire on the EYBL, fighting for playing time behind arguably the top 2013 forward in Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor, one of the top 2014 ballers. Averaging over 13 minutes, Schilling has been dropping 5.3 points a game while shooting 55 percent from the floor, in addition to grabbing 3.8 rebounds per contest.
The 200-pounder was actually born in Germany, and went back to his homeland to spend his sophomore season studying and playing.
“Over there, the game is played at a slower pace and is more fundamental based, while in the States players look to push the pace and run the break,” said Schilling. “I improved my shooting while I was in Germany, they really worked on my stroke and it definitely helped my game.”
Coming back for his junior season this past year, Schilling played at De La Salle in Chicago, helping his team to a 17-7 record, one they are looking to improve on in the coming campaign.
A versatile, athletic big guy who can use power down low, Schilling also likes to shoot a jumper, and has been working on finishing near the basket. It is this type of game that caught the eye of Penn State coaches.
“They were saying they liked the way I played, they are interested in recruiting me and would like to have me in the program. They’re going to keep watching me this summer.”
When asked if distance would play a factor, the German-born American offered up an interesting answer.
“I really don’t know, I'm leaning towards getting away from home and getting the feel of another state, but we will see.”
For now though, Schilling is keeping all of his options open trying to let everything play out, and doesn’t have any set date he wants to decide.
Averaging 15.2 points on over 47 percent from the field, including 41 made three pointers on 42 percent shooting from behind the arc, the 6-foot-3 guard is just enjoying the ride.
“This season is definitely something special, especially being up in Canada and everyone saying Canadians aren’t as good as Americans, we’re just proving them wrong,” said Rathan-Mayes. “We just have a great all-around roster, its pretty special to play with such unselfish guys.”
After a 29-2 campaign at national power Huntington Prep in West Virginia, the Ontario native has been trying to add explosiveness to his already well-rounded game.
Rathan-Mayes is one of the most lethal shooting guards on the EYBL and has the offer sheet to match his play, sporting verbals from Kansas, Arizona, UCLA, Baylor and UConn, in addition to a host of others (including Penn State).
“No school standing out, but I have a bunch of them calling, I plan on cutting my list down after AAU is over,” Rathan-Mayes explained. “I’ll be hitting the Pangos All-American Camp (2013 Penn State verbals Geno Thorpe and Brandon Austin will also be in attendance), as well as the Kevin Durant and LeBron James Skills Academies.”
The Penn State staff has been in contact with Rathan-Mayes, calling the 180-pound shooter and keeping up with his AAU season.
A new name has emerged on Penn State’s radar in wiry guard Dayshon Smith, who has been playing on the EYBL for the New York Lightning.
Averaging 15 points per game on 49 percent shooting, Smith has caught the eye of some major programs including Penn State, Pittsburgh, Miami, Providence and Virginia Tech, among others. The 6-foot-2 guard currently has offers from Duquesne, Towson, Robert Morris and Fairfield, among others, but is looking to keep improving.
“I've been getting to the basket well on my drives, and shooting the ball pretty well too, I've been drawing a lot of attention from the opposing team’s defenses,” Smith said of his play thus far. “Recruiting has been going well, but the main thing coaches have been telling me is I need to get bigger.”
Currently at a self-reported 160-pounds, Smith has been working out between tournaments to bulk up. An all-around guard, “Scoochie” can flat out score, but has also averaged 2.5 assists a game this summer.
Penn State has been in contact and will be following Smith for the remainder of the summer, which will include stops at various camps.