Penn State picked up a big commitment from the transfer portal this afternoon as Siena point guard Jalen Pickett has committed to the Nittany Lions.
— Jay Pick (@JalenPickett7) April 25, 2021
Pickett was the MAAC Player of the Year in 2019-20 for Siena.
How good of a get is this for Penn State and coach Micah Shrewsberry? Well, of the more than 1,400 players in the portal, this is how highly ESPN national college basketball writer Jeff Borzello thought of Pickett.
BREAKING: Siena transfer Jalen Pickett has committed to Penn State, he tells ESPN. Former MAAC Player of the Year, Pickett was a top-25 transfer, one of the best available point guards in the portal. Huge pickup for Micah Shrewsberry and the Nittany Lions.https://t.co/BA9lvctshu
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 25, 2021
Pickett (6-4, 202), a junior, averaged 12.9 points and 4.8 assists this past season for Siena, while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3 and 75.0 percent from the FT line.
His scoring was down a bit this season after he averaged 15.8 as a freshman and 15.1 as a sophomore.
Pickett is the second player Shrewsberry has landed from the transfer portal. The first was guard Jaheam Cornwall from Gardner-Webb.
Here’s some good background on Pickett from the Albany Times-Union. This is a good line from that story:
The point guard known as “Old Man Pickett” for his throwback game developed into a three-time first-team all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection and league Player of the Year in 2019-20.
There’s also this insightful comment from Pickett’s high school coach, John McCauley, in the Times-Union story:
“He’s open to everything,” McCauley said. “Just wanted to try his hand at some tougher competition, better basketball, I’m sure all that played a factor into it. But no real plan on where he wants to go. He’s just going to take it all in stride and try to figure out what’s the best fit for him. The tough part now is with over 1,200 kids in the transfer portal, it’s tough to really predict who’s going to be where. Just play it day by day and see what happens. But me and him talked about it’s something he felt really good about, something he felt was the best move for him.”