The on-again, off-again saga of Joe Hampton seems officially over. However, if I was coach Patrick Chambers, I would be sleeping by the fax machine until his Letter of Intent arrives. Penn State has two hard commits for 2016, Hampton and 6' 5" small forward Nazeer Bostick. That means Penn State has some wiggle room with four scholarships to fill, despite the recent departure of Geno Thorpe.
Those scholarship numbers could change which is a good thing for Penn State. John Carlos Reyes, a 2015 "6' 9" power forward and Alani Moore, a 2016 point guard, are both leaning heavily towards the Nittany Lions. Moore is Hampton's AAU teammate and would be an excellent replacement for Thorpe. The Class of 2016 is shaping up to be a dandy for Chambers and his staff.
Hampton will be a much needed presence in the front-court. Penn State will only have one power forward on the roster when the big guy arrives. That is Julian Moore, who averaged 7.6 minutes per game last season.
This skilled big has the ability to score in different ways. He can pound down low, face up at the high post, work the short-corner areas, and has a nice stroke from beyond the arc. The end result, he can stretch defenses. Hampton is a physically imposing player with terrific upper-body strength. And he uses his body well to create separation for himself in the paint area.
For his size (265 lbs.), the big fellow has nimble feet and good agility, very crafty around the rim with decent low post footwork. His greatest assets are defensive rebounding and finishing through contact. It's obvious he needs to improve his speed and conditioning.
During his storied recruitment, Hampton received four offers: Penn State, DePaul, Maryland, and Xavier. Georgetown, Kansas, Syracuse, and Virginia showed medium interest. The 247Sports Composite ranks him 172 nationally, 42 among power forwards, and sixth in the state of Maryland.
The Hyattsville native began his high school career at legendary DeMatha Catholic (MD) before transferring to prestigious Oak Hill last July. The Warriors compiled a 47-1 record. Their only loss was to Montverde Academy (FL) in the DICK'S National Title game at Madison Square Garden. The final verdict was 70-61 and Hampton didn't perform well, scoring six points with two rebounds. He converted 2-of-5 from three-point land.
Talk about talented depth. Oak Hill had six of 10 players nominated to be McDonald's All-Americans. Dwayne Bacon (Florida State) was the lone selection. Hampton decided to leave Dematha because too many distractions in the city. No girls. Just basketball. He wants a national championship.
Hampton plays AAU ball in the Under Armour Association for DC Premier. On June 6 he was invited to attend the Under Armour All-America Camp July 7-10 in Charlotte, NC.
He is the leading scorer on DC Premier, averaging 12.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game; similar stats with Oak Hill. Moore is next with a 11.6 average. The team finished 8-4 during the Spring Session.
Check out Mixtape with Oak Hill. Notice the muscle mass he gained in one year.
Ruminations on Recruiting
There are two types of madness in college basketball. We all know about the one in March. And then there's the madness that goes on during recruiting, a non-stop evil necessity. Education Week Spotlight did a five-year study from 2007-2011 on recruiting. Their findings showed that 16.3 percent of the Top 100 recruits decommited. The blame factor and a direct correlation is that the average annual rate of turnover by Division I coaches was 13.5 percent.
Just a side note related to this topic, the 2015 Big Ten Transfer List totals 33 players, 17 out and 16 in.
Joe Hampton isn't the first player to commit, decommit, and recommit. Nor will he be the last player.
Follow Tim Langevin on Twitter@Sports Rockers