This past Wednesday saw senior Trent Buttrick celebrate as his Community School Seahawks defeated Oasis 72-30 to advance to the district finals. Buttrick wasn’t just celebrating a team victory, but a personal one as well. After the game, Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers himself gave Travis and his family the news that he would be the latest scholarship athlete for the Nittany Lions Basketball team.
2016 brought one of the most highly touted freshman classes in Nittany Lions Men’s Basketball history, ranking 6th in the country. With four-star recruits Tony Carr, Joe Hampton, Lamar Stevens, and three-star recruit Nazeer Bostick, Penn State set the bar incredibly high for following classes.
As one of the youngest teams in the country, and without a senior on the roster, Penn State was not set to have a 2017 recruit. After the departure of freshman forward Joe Hampton in September, though, an unlikely scholarship opening presented itself. What would be the recruiting encore? Would there be more three or four star, ESPN top 100 players to follow? No, instead Chambers elected to extend the offer to the slightly head scratching, unheralded 6’8” forward out of Naples, Florida.
A two-star ranked prospect per Verbal Commits, Trent Buttrick did not receive any star recognition from outlets like ESPN, Scout or Rivals. After spending his first two years an hour out of Happy Valley in his hometown of Bloomsburg Pennsylvania, Buttrick headed to Community School in Naples to finish high school career and continue the growth of his game amongst the talent wealth of the Sunshine State.
During his junior year, Buttrick averaged 11.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. His senior year saw those totals rise to 18 points and 11 rebounds. As Community School knocked off Oasis to continue in the state tournament, Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers made the offer official and Buttrick accepted immediately, choosing the Nittany Lions over offers from schools such as Charlotte and Air Force.
At 6’8” and 220 lbs., Trent Buttrick has the frame to hang in the interior of Big Ten paint. What separates him, though, is his perimeter game. Listed as a power forward, he is the embodiment of a classic stretch four. His outside shot is smooth, he can put the ball on the floor and has the build to bang down low. Defensively, he brings a lot of effort and his length allows him to get to a lot of balls at the rim. He also shows the quickness necessary to switch screens on the perimeter. The athleticism and range Buttrick brings fits in with Chamber’s defense of interchange parts.
Often running with an athletic big, a ball handler and three equivalent wings, Buttrick will assimilate to the Penn State system seamlessly. Whether coming off the bench to spell Mike Watkins and fill the paint, or to play alongside Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, or Lamar Stevens on the wing, Buttrick should find minutes.
All in all, it’s an interesting signing. After such a high-profile class, to bring in a seemingly unheard of prospect is strange to say the least. The returns of the 2016 class have been great so far, though, and Chamber’s and his staff have earned every bit of trust possible. Trent Buttrick fits the system and the Nittany Lions should reap the rewards.