Pat Chambers is turning this Penn State ship around. No seriously, he's tearing down the walls and changing the carpet of the Titanic in hopes of slowly turning what once looked like a glaciers meal into at the very least, a low-luxury cruise line. It's no wonder Athletic Director Sandy Barbour issued Chambers with a contract extension this spring.
With that said, the 2015-16 season HAS to be the turning point we're expecting. After all, support only goes as far as "what have you done for me lately" in college basketball. And while the Nittany Lions aren't without an up hill climb (D.J. Newbill and his consistent minutes/points are now in France), there is a new wave of talent joining valuable assets already on the roster...and it's the best collection of players under this regime.
Among them - in what 247Sports Composite ranks as the 43rd best class in the nation - is shooting guard Josh Reaves. Let's take a look:
Who: Josh Reaves
What's his story?: It's simple really. After attending Penn State's Advanced Skills Camp, he committed two days later, spurning - what I can't help but believe as - enticing offers from Georgetown, Maryland (woah!), Villanova, Temple and VCU. I know I harped on this plenty above, but it looks like the coaching staff has really figured out how to pitch these high-star players... from The Daily Collegian:
"The campus, the facilities, the coaching staff—they’re second to none," Josh Reaves said of Penn State’s program in a phone interview. "Everything about the school, I love. I just really wanted to go to Penn State."
This influx is due in large part from assistant coach Dwayne Anderson, who is very familiar with the always important "D.M.V." area. This might be Chambers best hire as Penn State is starting to make a mark and developing a nice pipeline to the area that has produced stars like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Ty Lawson, Rudy Gay and Roy Hibbert.
Recruitnik Roundabout: Reaves is a 4-star recruit according to 247Sports Composite. The site has him as the 103rd ranked player in the nation, 33rd at his position and 5th in the state of Virginia. ESPN seems to be a little bit higher on the guard, having marked him as a 4-star asset, the 74th best freshman in the nation, 24th at his position and second in state.
Does Reaves have a media presence?: He does!
For starters, he has this heavenly edit of him rocking the Nittany Blue & White as his Twitter icon:
I just want to scream "TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL" when I look at it.
He's also a bit of a revolutionary poet/mad lib-er:
Keep it 8 more than 92...— JR23 (@jreaves23) July 28, 2015
Personally, I prescribe to keeping it 22 more than 78, but that's because I'm not nearly on Reaves' level yet.
Outside of those two things, it seems Reaves spends a lot of his time retweeting World Star Hip Hop and Vine videos that honestly had me rolling on the floor, or ROFL-ing.
So instead of linking up to those or digging deeper into his tweetdeck (I spent nearly an hour watching all of the videos he sent out), how about two crazy Insta dunks from the man himself?
First, we have the willy-nilly between the legs, "how did he get that high, how did he get that smooth" dunk:
And the "slow mo, REACH FOR THE COOKIE JAR" dunk...
WORLD STAR! WORLD STAR! WORLD STAR!
Why should the average Big Ten fan be excited to watch him play? You mean outside of those last two videos? I mean, if that's not enough... there is the fact that Reaves wants to do everything he can to make a difference for this team. He wants to not only be great but wants this program to be great.
From The Daily Collegian again,
"The future is bright for Penn State. I wanted to be a part of a team that could beat all of those top teams: the Ohio States, the Michigans, the Kansas’, the Kentucky’s," Reaves said. "I can’t wait to be there. I can’t wait to get the team rolling. I can’t wait for my future to start."
He's the ultimate glue guy. He's a fast twitch player that can D up and use that to his offensive advantage. He will create havoc, bar none.
And don't forget about what will happen in TRANSITION:
Did you hear that? A possible SportsCenter Top-10 Play.
What says the tape?: It screams, "I WANNA GO HIGHER!"
- OK, I know that every kid that is at this level has fun playing basketball, but in the videos I've watched, Reaves just looks, I guess, more happy. I know, it's weird. But I just can't shake it. The energy. The passion. The want and need to obliterate each and every soul on the offensive and defensive ends. Seriously, the pure happiness and joy that comes from dunking on someones head is palpable. Palpable!
- Even when Reaves looks out of positions, he's in position. Saying he has quick feet is an understatement.
- He's honestly perfect for Big Ten play. He doesn't shy away from contact...instead he welcomes it. He's like a running back. He can muck it up inside. When he's driving and as an opposing defender you meet him in the air, you better just take the hard foul. Anything weak and he's going to finish.
- This dude is 6'4" and runs like he's a damned gazelle.
- I can see why Chambers wanted him for his fast paced offense. He is such a good off-ball play maker.
- Every white board for the Penn State opposition is going to read, "Reaves: Slasher/cutter. NEED TO PUT BODY ON HIM AFTER EVERY SHOT. EVERY. SHOT.". He's just always in the play, with our without the ball.
- He has surprising vision for a non ball handler. The plays where he is out on the perimeter alone have been some of my favorites. He doesn't seem like the type of player to force a shot/drive. He lets the game come to him. Impressive for an incoming frosh.
- I'm putting money down now that he either leads this team in offensive rebounds or at the very least is in the top two. Book it.
Well there you have it my Big Ten brethren. You may now commence the hype on Josh Reaves.