A young core has Penn State ready to turn the corner in hoops

Penn State landed its second four-star pledge in the 2016 class on Friday, and now they have the look of a program ready to turn the corner in basketball.

It has been a long building process for Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers. Through four seasons Chambers has a 56-75 overall record and hasn’t reached the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. That however could be ready to change.

Chambers brought in a solid recruiting class in 2015 headed by four-star wing Josh Reaves and highly thought of three-star center Mike Watkins. With those two pieces to build around, Chambers set out to bring in a potentially program changing group in 2016.

While Penn State’s class might not stack up with a Duke or a Kentucky, for Chambers and company this is 2016 haul is enormous. Top 50 point guard Tony Carr joined the fold in August and now top 75 forward Lamar Stevens has jumped in and joined the program announcing his commitment on Friday.

By landing those two four-stars along with three-star prospects Nazeer Bostick and Joe Hampton, Penn State is building a very solid young core that is more than capable of competing in the Big Ten.

This upcoming season is likely to be a transition year for Penn State as they lost all everything player D.J. Newbill off of last year’s roster, but the building blocks are in place. Current sophomore Shep Garner is a nice piece to the puzzle, and with Watkins and Reaves likely to get a ton of playing time they should form a nice trio heading into the 2016-17 season when Stevens and Carr arrive in State College.

A potential starting five of Carr, Garner, Reaves, Stevens, and Watkins would give the Lions big time potential, and feature a tough and athletic group. Consider that Penn State will have that entire starting five back in 2017-18, and it isn’t crazy to think that they will be a trendy to pick to finish near the top of the league.

For a program that under Chambers hasn’t finished any higher than tenth in the Big Ten this is huge. Stacking back-to-back good recruiting classes is the key for any program, and Penn State has done just that.

Now Penn State fans just need to show a little patience watching this young core come together, because when it does things could be better than ever in State College.


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