Twitter and Instagram have become the bearers of good news for Pat Chambers recently, as Penn State has survived the cutdown process for five of its top 2019 recruiting targets.
The first domino to fall into place came on Aug. 1 when three-star shooting guard Maceo Austin released a top four list via Twitter that in addition to the Lions included VCU, Duquesne, and fellow Big Ten program Northwestern.
The western Pennsylvania-native has been slowly raising his recruiting profile and would be yet another talented guard for Chambers and Penn State to develop.
Less than a week later, the Lions received even more good news when top 100 combo guard Dahmir Bishop included Penn State on his last of eight schools still in the running for his commitment.
Thank You to all the Programs who have recruited me and offered me an Scholarship up until this point. I will continue to be Humble & Work Hard daily at becoming a better Student-Athlete. I would like to Thank My Family, Friends, Imhotep & K-Low Elite Basketball Families. Without all of you none of this would be possible... @klowelite
Landing the services of the Philadelphia prospect might still be a bit of a pipe dream for Penn State however, as they’re up against staunch competition in the likes of Temple, Rhode Island, Florida, and Xavier.
That said, Bishop fits the profile of a player who’d be successful in State College, and there’s an awful lot of Tony Carr-esque play in the highlights below.
Making matters a little bit more interesting for the Lions is that they also are among the finalists for Bishop’s Imhotep Institute teammate Donta Scott.
The three-star wing dropped a top 11, which after sorting through the long list of schools I can confirm Penn State has been included on.
Coincidentally enough, Penn State and Florida are the only two programs to crack both Bishop’s and Scott’s lists, so if continuing to play together at the collegiate level is a priority for the Philadelphians, the Lions would seem to be in good shape.
But wait, there’s more!
7-foot center Naheem McLeod announced his top six schools on Friday, adding Penn State to a list that includes Oregon, Florida State, and LaSalle.
The three-star prospect would provide Chambers with a legitimate center and heir-apparent to Mike Watkins’ rip-protecting throne.
Last, but certainly not least, is four-star swing Seth Lundy. Long a target of Penn State, he’s played his high school ball at Philadelphia’s prestigious Roman Catholic program, which happened to also produce Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, and the recently graduated Shep Garner.
Lundy’s top 10 features the likes of Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Georgetown, in addition to Penn State, so it’s far from a forgone conclusion that the top 140 prospect will be taking his talents to central PA. But Roman Catholic has become very charted territory for coach Chambers and his staff, so any advantage gleaned from familiarity with the program shouldn’t be discounted.
The 2019 recruiting cycle has long been shaping up as an important one for the Nittany Lions, as it looks to building on the momentum of Chambers’ high-profile 2015 and 2016 classes.
With that in mind, any of the five players listed above would be a welcome addition to forwards Patrick Kelly and Abdou Tsimbila, who have already committed to join Penn State in 2019.
What’s even more intriguing, however, about Austin, Bishop, Scott, McLeod, and Lundy is that all but Austin are from the greater Philadelphia-area. A commitment from almost any of them would be yet another notch onto the Pat Chambers Brotherly Love pipeline.
All-in-all, the fall is shaping up as a crucial period in Penn State’s basketball future - both on and off the court. As the current group of Lions looks to earn the program its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2011, Chambers will look to lock in continued stability and momentum for his program.