Jalen Pickett Should Make Penn State Fans... Horny For Hoops?
Micah Shrewsberry Off To A Good Start (On Paper)
Immediately eligible thanks to the one-time transfer rule, with two years of eligibility remaining, Jalen Pickett’s 76 games at Siena resulted in averages of 15.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.
A fringe NBA-level talent, he’s the sort of player who can alter the direction of an entire program, which is exactly what Penn State fans hope happen when he dons the uniform next season.
No pressure on the kid or anything after all those hyperbolic statements.
Pickett won’t be the lone new face in Happy Valley. Micah Shrewsberry isn’t exactly a household name in the college basketball community. Last seen as an associate head coach at Purdue, Penn State hired him to hopefully usher in a new era of success.
If not that, at least competence.
Luckily for him, the bar is low. Only earning two pairs of dancing slippers since 1996, and losing five players from last season’s team to the transfer portal, Shrewsberry’s job is to decidedly not be Pat Chambers.
Chambers not only failed to bring any form of delight to Happy Valley, but he was often mired in scandal. That’s not exactly a great combination for a coach with a sub-500 record.
Chambers’ failures are his; though not his alone, as it could be argued Penn State clung to its wayward head coach for a few seasons too long.
It doesn’t matter much now. Shrewsberry is their guy and he’s already off to a good start. As it always is in the offseason, the start appears good just on paper for the time being. We’ll see if it translate in a practical matter when unpaid laborers are trotting about the hardwood.
In great haste, Penn State made shockwaves by landing the aforementioned Pickett; a transfer from Siena who is coming off a bit of a rough season, but is one of the best guards in the country.
Someone with (presumably) NBA Draft aspirations choosing Penn State and Shrewsberry is a good omen; provided his stock improves over the next 10 months.
If Pickett ups his fringe status to something of a more sure-fire thing under Shrewsberry’s program, it would theoretically lead to a trickle effect on the recruiting trail, resulting in higher-tier prospects wanting to play for the begotten Big 10 school.
Last season, the 6-foot-4 guard was hampered by a hamstring injury and numerous COVID-19 pauses, averaging 12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. The counting numbers are not mind-altering; although the issues and pauses, as well as Siena’s style of play, did him no favors.
Pickett chose PSU over Oregon State. That’s not exactly winning away a prospect from Duke, but a program has to start somewhere. As we discussed in the past, not everyone owns a microwave.
"He's a really good guy," said Pickett after announcing his decision. "It's his first (Division I head coaching) job, and he's really excited about being a coach and helping me become a better point guard. He's worked with all great guards throughout his career, so hopefully I'm the next one."
Outside those loyal to Siena, Pickett somehow got lost in the portal discussion. It’s likely due to his style of play. He’s a bit of a bully-baller and less inclined to make highlight reels with flashy displays of athletic brilliance.
(For the uninitiated, he’s number 22)
It’s odd to claim an NBA-level(ish) player lacks sizzle. The good news? Jalen Pickett is all substance.
Flopping In The Name Of
Flopping is stupid… unless my favorite team does it. Then it’s somehow noble and good and grand and cooler than a cucumber on the opposite side of the pillow.
Anyway, the NCAA Rules Committee is pushing to punish those acting like they were punched in the gut when nothing sincerely happened. In a statement released late last week, the committee would like to toss a technical foul on any player who gets snagged flopping.
"After two years of using warnings, we didn't feel like we were getting the results that we wanted," Tad Boyle, committee chair and head coach at Colorado, said in a statement. "We are trying to get flopping out of our game. We're asking the officials to call them when they happen."
As a consumer of the product, this is good for fans. No one is watching Davidson versus Richmond to see some kid get in the way of some marvelous attempt at athleticism in the name of drawing a fake-foul.
In fact, the committee should go further than the technical. If a kid gets caught flopping, the official should be mandated to give them a tombstone piledriver. After that, the athlete gets his scholarship revoked and gets banned from whatever state the game is taking place in.
Sorry, those are rules.
Oh. Now The NCAA Is Embracing NIL?
Bump The Cutter is one post removed from shitting on Georgia’s NIL bill, but the NCAA took note of just how much they lost control of a situation they should have been in front of.
Over the weekend, Marky Mark Emmert and the NCAA Funkybunch told The New York Times on Friday that he's pushing for approval of NIL guidance "before, or as close to, July 1."
The date is hilarious. After the NCAA created a working group to “solve” the NIL issue by January of 2020, then pushing off any votes for reasons lost on any sane person, this push is coming as half a dozen states are set to invoke their own NIL rules in July (with other states limping in shortly thereafter and even more in 2022).
I don’t want to beat a dead horse. We just talked about this on Friday. Still, the NCAA saw the writing on the wall and could have avoided all of this by acting ahead of time rather than waiting until the last moment, allowing politicians to use college sports to stand on their soapbox and scream hollow words.
Good job everyone! Surely none of this will end up as fucked as it seems, right?
Joseph Nardone covered college basketball for nearly a decade at various outlets. He’s now writing fiction because he’s a fucking idiot and a glutton for punishment. Twitter is @JosephNardone. If you say mean things to him, he’ll just yell at his ceiling.