Recruiting Notes from the Hardwood

With the recent news of scholarships opening up for the Penn State basketball team, Pat Chambers and his staff have been out on the recruiting trail trying to fill the team out.

Beaver Falls forward Sheldon Jeter.

First, we start with the class of 2012, where the main target is in-state wing Sheldon Jeter. The 6-foot-8 senior has maintained he would commit after the season, and nothing has changed on that front. Penn State has offered, in addition to Wisconsin and South Carolina, while Pittsburgh is watching closely.

The Pittsburgh native is an athletic wing player, who improved his defense immensely during the past year, leading to the increased amount of interest.

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A few more 2012 prospects Penn State that has been keeping tabs on as the season progressed are Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High forward Tevin Glass and Romulus (Mich.) guard Ray Lee.

Glass is a fresh target whose name popped up after the Penn State coaching staff reached out to Milton’s head coach David Boyd. A 6-foot-8 power forward, Glass hasn’t really heard much from high major schools despite averaging 14 points and 11 rebounds on a Milton team ranked No. 16 in the USA Today boys basketball poll.

“Tevin had a bad AAU season, his team played him at the three spot but he isn’t a three, he is a four,” said Boyd on Tuesday. “He didn’t get good reviews over the summer and everybody backed off.”

At just 195 pounds, Glass will need to pack on some weight to compete at the Division I level, leading his coach to suggest a possible redshirt season.

The Penn State staff reached out to Boyd about two weeks ago expressing interest in Glass, but hasn’t been in contact since. Colorado State and Xavier are the other notable schools after the Peach State native.

Josh Hart

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Lee, a point guard who was profiled earlier this season hasn’t heard too much from Penn State after the Lions originally reached out. He was told the Lions coaching staff would follow up after the season ended, whether or not they do remains to be seen.

Class of 2013

Even though the 2012 class isn’t in the books yet, it hasn’t stopped the Penn State staff from hitting the ground running with 2013. Already with two verbal commitments on board, the staff is still looking around for more talent to bring in.

While both ‘13 verbals hail from the Keystone State, Washington (D.C.) Sidwell Friends guard Josh Hart has been hearing from the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff for some time.

Hart has enjoyed visits to Penn State on two different occasions, and currently holds an offer. The 6-foot-4 guard has an offer from local power Georgetown, who have been heavily involved, in addition to a Villanova scholarship offer.

“Georgetown has been the most involved, but that is just because they are so close, it doesn’t make them the leader,” explained Sidwell Friends head coach Eric Singletary. “During the season it is kind of hard, he is still receiving correspondence from Penn State but it is kind of hard for them because of the distance. He enjoyed himself when he was up at Happy Valley so I’d say it is wide open still.”

Coach Keith Urgo has handled most of the D.C. area recruiting, and in the story remains the same in Hart’s case, although he won’t be deciding until the fall. A big two guard, Hart’s effort on the court is not in question, as the junior never takes a play off. He is also a very good rebounder for a guard, who can also shoot and has a great basketball IQ.

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Chambers hasn’t been shy about going after big names, as is the case with one of the top in-state players for 2013, Philadelphia (Pa.) Vaux Roberts High School guard Rysheed Jordan.

In addition to a Penn State offer, Jordan has scholarships waiting for him at Kansas, Maryland and Pittsburgh, among others, but hasn’t leaned one way or the other just yet. A big time combo guard, Jordan looks to get into the process more after the high school season ends.

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Scholarship Situation

After Billy Oliver announced he will not be returning in 2012-13 due to post-concussion symptoms, there are two scholarships open for next season... how Chambers decides to use them remains to be seen. Oliver’s scholarship frees up an open spot for next season only, so not coming back doesn’t give the new head coach a full four-year scholarship to work with.

As such, Chambers can decide to give a walk-on player who is already on the team a scholarship, such as Nick Colella. The other option would be to find a player graduating from another school with a year of eligibility left – similar to the Russell Wilson quarterback situation at Wisconsin this past season. As it stands, we haven’t heard of any possible candidates for this scenario.

The other open scholarship has no restrictions, so currently, if Chambers brings in another player in the class of 2012, it will leave no scholarships available for additional 2013 recruits.

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