Picking Up The Pieces
For the most part the transfer party is over. When the cloud cleared Penn State was down four total players, but really only one contributor. The official word is Chris Babb and Bill Edwards will transfer, where to? Nobody knows yet, but that isn’t too important to Penn State in all honesty. Chances are Chris Babb will end up in a midwest school, there is a chance that New Mexico would take him after he originally verbal, but they may not have interest anymore. Bill Edwards doesn’t have any real plans at this point, but he should have good enough tape to gain some interest from a few mid major schools.
Andrew Ott and Adam Highberger will not come back after graduating this spring. Ultimately you can’t blame those two, Ott saw limited playing time and was battling a shoulder injury. Highberger saw no time and has bigger and better plans post college. While it was a tough pill to swallow, we wish all four of them the best of luck in their post Penn State/College endeavours.
Now that the tidal wave has past, it’s time to figure out what happens next, and what we’ve lost. Chris Babb obviously is the biggest loss, he hit 69 three pointers at 38.9% clip that made him the 6th best three-point shooter in the league. That being said, Babb had issues beating his man off the dribble and was prone (as all shooters are) to not hit the shot when it was needed most. I’m not suggesting that the team will be better off without Babb, he was a cornerstone of the future of this team, but in the bluntest sense Babb was a solid three-point shooter with solid defensive skills. He is replaceable if a recruit/transfer/underclassmen steps up their shooting and defense.
Bill Edwards might end up being the one that got away. He showed flashes of potential that reminded a lot of people of a young Jamelle Cornely. How he’ll turn out remains to be seen, but Edwards had a scoring mentality that few players on the team have. That might not seem to be backed up by the points per game average, but how Edwards went about scoring was key to seeing is potential. Penn State gets lucky however since played limited minutes in the Big Ten season and in turn he had limited production, so in statistical terms the team is only losing some potential but not much actual production.
So what are we going to do about this? Everybody has been out on the trail doing their best to sell the program to a recruiting class that is drying up faster and faster. Black Shoes Diaries put up a good article about some prospects that Penn State has, but it is going to be a tough sell. A lot of people have pointed to Junior College transfers, and while Stanley Pringle was a steal, this talent pool isn’t much larger than the recruiting pool in the high schools. So either way Penn State has four scholarships on the table and not a lot of people offer them up to. Penn State does have a chance to steal a player from Kentucky, yes, John Wall nation, and his name is Donald Williams, a 6’7 SF who left Kentucky when Calipari arrived. Sure he isn’t jumping around in the tournament right now, but if Kentucky had him, he has to be a better option on a list that isn’t glowing with 5 star players. That being said, Talor Battle was pretty well under the radar back in the day, so you never know.
Speaking of offers, Penn State has made two more offers in the past 2 weeks. The first of which is Kendall Durant a 6’3 SG with a 86 Scout grade and offers from VT and South Carolina. He originally gave his verbal to VT but didn’t make the academic standards and has ended up in Junior College.
The second offer Penn State has given as of late was to Dwight McCombs (no links worth linking) a 6’8 PF who has gotten a lot of attention from schools as of late. As you might imagine, Penn State took the time to go…pretty please? and give him an offer.
So that’s what we’ve got so far, take a deep breath….it’s going to be ok. That might be a lie, but it’s a start.