Battle returning, other news

May 13, 2010

Here’s a few offseason updates.

-Talor Battle withdrew from the NBA Draft to apparently the surprise of some people. This is old news, but it’s just a little bit big for PSU. I don’t know how many people thought he would leave, but I personally was never concerned. Talor’s a smart guy. I’m happy he was finally able to get a pre-draft workout with the Trailblazers just before the deadline. He reportedly made 36 of 50 NBA threes. But in reality, Talor’s chances to get drafted and stick in the pros were pretty slim this year. I will say right now, though, I do expect Talor Battle to hear his name called in the 2011 NBA draft. Just a hunch.

-On the recruiting front, Penn State has been busy looking to fill their 2 remaining scholarships for the 2010 class with some big men. It’s been reported that the staff is not planning to hold the open 2 ‘ships for the 2011 class, unless they presumably strikeout on their targets. A couple kids who have been on visits recently have committed elsewhere. 6’7″ F Andre Roberson from Texas chose Colorado over PSU. 6’7″ F Colton Christian from Hargrave Military Academy by way of Bellevue, WA, committed to Michigan over Cal and PSU. Previous targets who have also gone elsewhere: Dwight McCombs (Central Florida), Andre Clark (TCU), and Eric McKnight (Iowa State). However, while PSU has struck out with these guys, all hope is not lost. It seems very possible that 6’8″ F Jonathan Graham from Baltimore could end up at Penn State. He reportedly was seen on campus two weeks ago and presumably will make his decision by May 19th, the end of the spring signing period. It was found out today by Nate Bauer at BWI that Graham is visiting today. There’ll be more on Graham when his decision is public (especially if it’s PSU).

-A couple of scheduling tidbits. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge was released today. PSU fans have been complaining forever that the Nittany Lions play the same teams in this challenge. At the beginning, it was Clemson year after year. But the last 4 seasons have brought Georgia Tech (2x), Virginia Tech, and Virginia. What I believe to be the root of PSU’s complaints is the fact that they just really want to play Maryland once and were never given the opportunity. Well, lo and behold, the Terrapins will be traveling to State College on December 1st (on Wednesday, wonder how the staff feels about the 76 Classic withdrawal now?). It’s a very exciting matchup between quiet rivals who really don’t play each other in either revenue sport for no apparent reason. Well I’m sure there’s some bullshit money excuse, but it’s nice that ESPN has set up this gig. Maryland was co-ACC champs last season, but they lost do-everything PG Greivis Vasquez and their other 2 leading scorers. They obviously are a traditionally strong opponent, but it’s probably looking like a ‘down year’ for the turtle next season, or at least by their standards. But that means it could be a very winnable game for the Nittany Lions.

-Also, it was discovered that Fairfield will be traveling to the BJC next year as well (although the source has since rescinded the leaked opponents on Fairfield’s schedule). I don’t know too much about the MAAC, but it’s very possible the Stags will be preseason favorites to win the conference. They finished 2nd in 2009-2010, runners-up to the dominant Siena Saints. Here’s a nice prospective overview of the Stags from USAToday of all sources. These are the types of games the Nittany Lions need to schedule for the sake of their RPI and SOS. Fairfield will easily be a top 200 team, possibly top 100. They don’t pack the name recognition to sell out the BJC, but they are eons better than any America East squad.

That brings the 2010 schedule to this so far:

  • vs. Maryland
  • @ Ole Miss
  • @ Virginia Tech
  • vs. Fairfield
  • vs. Delaware State
  • vs. Lehigh

Hopefully the remainder of the schedule is strong. I don’t believe this was posted on the blog but Cornell was going to travel to Penn State for a game. That, however, has been dropped, which is a smart move on PSU’s end because there is no way the Big Red is going to contend next year. Their run this year was marvelous, but that program is now in serious rebuild mode after the mass exodus. Highly unlikely they’re above 250 or so next season. Also, it was also reported by a fan that Kanaskie said at a public function we were in negotiations with Kansas to play a home-and-home series in Kansas City and Hershey. It is unknown whether that has fallen through or if those negotiations are still ongoing.

That’s all for now.


Commitment : Tre Bowman

March 30, 2010

*Photo Courtesy of Recruitrecon.com

Hometown: York, PA
High School: St. Thomas More School
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 185 lbs.
Schools: Drexel, Minnesota, South Florida

Recruiting Profiles

Articles on his Commitment:

The Story

Tre Bowman committed to Ed DeChellis and the Nittany Lions last night. Bowman is a 6’4″ guard who originally played at Central York High School. He then prepped and re-classified as a 2010 recruit at St. Thomas More school this past year. There isn’t a whole lot out there on the young man, but he looks to be an explosive athlete and a good shooter. We knew with Babb’s departure, the team was lacking perimeter scoring options. Check out this article and watch some video highlights below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PFo9tK8ypc

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dxvambJDMs


New Commitment: Peter Alexis

December 15, 2009

I haven’t paid much attention to recruiting at all since the season has started, but DeChellis and his staff got a commitment from 6’11” 265 pound C Peter Alexis on Sunday night. The 16 year old attends Holy Redeemer High School up in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

There isn’t a whole lot out there on the big man, as he wasn’t even in the Rivals or Scout databases before he committed. However, he *was* rated a 91 on ESPN’s scale, before being dropped to an 87 after his commitment. Hoop Scoops has him #107 nationally in the class of 2011. Bottom line is the rankings on Alexis are meaningless. For whatever reason, he hasn’t had much exposure or evaluations from national recruiting services.

He looks like a nice, early get. Sometimes guys who are 6’10″+ undergo late growth spurts, so they’re unaccustomed to playing big around the tin. However, Pete was 6’8″ in 7th grade, so he has been playing big for most, if not all of his life. Observers have praised his steady improvement over the first two years of his high school career and expect that trend to continue.

Pete chose PSU over James Madison. Those were his only two scholarship offers but he said Texas A&M, West Virginia, and Yale were heavily pursuing him. It sounds like PSU got in early before anyone else. Local writer, Dave Konopki wrote this in a weekly column just a few days ago:

PETER ALEXIS. The 6-foot-11 junior from Holy Redeemer will most likely become the most-highly recruited player from the WVC since Bishop O’Reilly center Dave Popson in the mid-1980s. And before anymore brings up Bob Sura — who played at Florida State — remember, the former GAR great wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school. You won’t be able to say the same thing about Alexis.

Alexis cited PSU’s dedication to academics (he wants to be an engineer) and the opportunity for early playing time as factors into his commitment. The only video evidence is Alexis making a crucial (yet ugly) bucket for his team in a tight game late. Check out these articles on his commitment:

Alexis is the second commitment of the crucial 2011 recruiting class. Looking at the roster, there are still glaring holes in the frontcourt, even with his pledge. The 2011-2012 roster currently is looking like this:

  • Guards – Frazier, Buie, Burke, Marshall, Babb, Woodyard
  • Forwards – Edwards, Borovnjak, Oliver, Alexis

I expect DeChellis and his staff to keep pursuing versatile forwards with the last 3 scholarships. The backcourt is stacked with depth, talent, and experience, but that front court isn’t going to win any Big Ten championships. There is some athleticism missing, so expect PSU to go hard after athletic, versatile forwards like Desmond Hubert from here on out.

***Also, I plan to keep track of all 3 commitments’ high school seasons, but it’s hard to do in this blog format. So I plan to keep an updated thread over at pennstatehoops.com, which I’m sure most of you readers check out anyway. But if you don’t (even though you should), that thread can be found here.


Recruiting Update

November 5, 2009

(RSS Feed is set up. It’s in the right sidebar or you can just subscribe here).

So I have been slacking on the recruiting front, and that is unforgivable when considering the strides the program is taking.

If you remember, Bill Edwards’ surprise commitment in the spring signing period filled the last available scholarship for the next two seasons. Instead of saving the scholarship for the 2010 class, DeChellis and his staff thought Bill deserved it. Therefore, as of right now, Taran Buie will be the only addition in the 2010 recruiting class.  PSU, for the first time in DeChellis’ era, will not have open scholarships after the fall signing period. That’s very critical when you see how college basketball recruiting has evolved. Prospects are committing earlier and earlier. It is essential to be able to focus your efforts more on recruiting underclassmen or juniors in HS, if you want to be successful. We are now able to do that and it’s very encouraging when you look at the scholarship breakdown. Once Talor Battle’s class graduates, there are going to be major holes to fill. That’s a full 2 seasons down the road, but since we have gotten a jump on our recruiting, we can focus on replacing that 2011 graduating class. Looking at the 2011-2012 roster right now, the 2/3 position is stacked (Babb/Woodyard/Edwards/Marshall/Buie) and we’ll have Tim Frazier at the point. I think the ideal class with these 5 scholarships would be a PG, and at least 3 F/C prospects. Sasa Borovnjak is the only guy on that roster who can play in the paint. So not only do we need to bring in at least 3 big men, they’re going to be depended on to play right away.

Keep Reading…


Reactions to Edwards

May 7, 2009

Well, it’s nice to see that even with PSU’s best basketball season ever, the recruiting coverage is still non-existant. Out of left field came Bill Edwards’ commitment to play for Penn State yesterday. He decided to uphold the PSU tradition of being the completely unknown, spring signing this program has couped the last 5 years. However, those guys we landed have generally been unknown JuCos (David Jackson I, Travis Parker, Sky King, Pringle). Bill was a 2009 target for a while and now he’ll be on campus in two months with 4 years of eligibility.

Wait, what? 2009? I thought you said we were finished with 2009 recruiting? Yeah, that’s what everybody thought. But we’re the Tweener Factory. So when a 6’6″ guy with no true position wants to play basketball here, Ed DeChellis brings him. I know we’ve been looking at Bill for a long time, but I thought it wasn’t meant to be when Sasa Borovnjak committed. However, DeChellis thought it was more important to keep to our roots and bring in undersized forwards (or perhaps in Bill’s case, an oversized PG). While trying to follow Bill’s career at Middletown HS in Ohio, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that he was the kind of kid DeChellis has had success with. Zakee Wadood. Travis Parker. Geary Claxton. Jamelle Cornley. Edwards’ profile is very much like those guys, which makes me very excited.

Keep Reading…


Buie Press Conference

April 6, 2009

I’m not one to steal anyone’s thunder so make sure you hop on over to pennstatehoops and read Think1’s recap of Buie’s press conference this morning (he was in attendance). Obviously BWI and FOS are too busy trying to uncover the third string depth chart in spring practice right now to spend resources covering PSU’s biggest basketball recruit in recent memory.

I’ll add more stories about the presser in this post as they come available tonight and tomorrow.


Taran Buie Commits to PSU

April 5, 2009

So I was planning this whole offseason to be full of updates on the saga of Taran Buie’s recruitment. That’s not going to be the case. Taran committed to coach DeChellis, his brother Talor, and the rest of the guys on the team bus after the NIT championship game. He will have a press conference tomorrow.

The timing of his verbal commitment is certainly interesting. Some could say Taran got caught up in the moment of PSU’s NIT celebration and pulled the trigger. I, however, don’t think that’s the case. I primarily believe this because of Maryland’s recruiting actions. Forever, it seemed like Buie’s services were going to come down to Maryland and Penn State. However, Maryland received a commitment on Wednesday from Arizona G Terrell Stoglin (we offered him, too). He’s a solid top 150 prospect, but he’s a plan B guy to a player of Buie’s caliber. Why would Gary Williams offer this kid if he knew Buie was still available? My bet is Taran informed everybody of his decision except PSU beforehand and waited until after the Championship game to give PSU the good news. Maryland fans speculate that this was the case, as well.

Keep Reading…