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Penn State’s Mike Watkins Returning For His Senior Season

The 6-foot-9 big man averaged 7 and 7 last season.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State basketball’s offseason needed some good news and received it on Monday with the announcement that senior Mike Watkins would return for his final season.

The Philadelphia-native averaged 7.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 20 minutes of action last season. While that was a disappointment off of how good he was his sophomore season, Watkins provides Penn State with much needed depth in the frontcourt.

It has been a trying offseason so far for Penn State’s basketball program. A 2019 commit, Justin McKoy, asked for a release from his letter of intent in late March and signed with Virginia in April. A few weeks later a 2020 commit, Mikael Brown-Jones, decommitted, leaving Penn State without a 2020 commitment right now.

The trouble didn’t stop there.

Incoming sophomore guard Rasir Bolton, who averaged 11.6 points per game last season and shot 36.1 percent from three, announced his intention to transfer.

So the news that Watkins is sticking around is huge for the program on the court and its perception off it. The program’s eyes now turn to the draft decision of talented junior Lamar Stevens. If Stevens stays, they have a squad that, according to T-Rank, could project as a fringe-top 25 team next season.