Logan Imes is quite familiar with Big Ten basketball.
Although he was born in New Jersey, he’s lived in Zionsville, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, since he was five. So he’s familiar with the Purdue-Indiana rivalry.
His father is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, so Imes grew up rooting for the Badgers, going to Madison for a football game once a year and being in attendance when Wisconsin’s men’s basketball team took on Duke for the 2015 national championship, a game that conveniently took place in Indy.
Imes is connected with the University of Michigan, as well. He was named Logan because that’s the actual name of the “Wolverine” character.
Ok, that last one was a bit of a reach.
What isn’t a reach is that Imes can play. The three-star recruit (per Rivals.com) averaged almost 18 points a game in his junior season at Zionsville High School. He earned offers from 10 schools– including Butler, Virginia Tech, Creighton and Wake Forest– before ultimately committing to a Big Ten school.
But not the Big Ten school one might think.
With Imes living in Indiana and his family’s ties to Wisconsin, Penn State might seem like an unlikely fit for him.
For Imes, however, it’s a great fit, and that’s why the 6-foot-4 combo guard committed there this past Tuesday.
“Penn State, just from the start, was recruiting me harder than anybody else,” Imes told Nittany Sports Now. “Coach (Adam) Fisher and coach (Micah) Shrewsberry, you know, Penn State, the place made it feel like I could call it home, and I believe in coach Shrewsberry’s vision.
Shrewsberry’s program had a bit of a head start on Imes. When Imes and Braeden Shrewsberry– Penn State’s first and, at the moment, only other commit in the 2023 class– were freshmen in high school, the two played on the same AAU team, allowing Imes to get to know both Braeden and his father, then an assistant at Purdue.
“Having that connection before even starting the recruiting process (gave Penn State a) step ahead (of) most people,” Imes said. “Penn State’s not super close to where Zionsville is, but knowing that I have people out there that care for me and know me as a person and (have known) me for a while is a comforting feeling.”
Imes is a big Micah Shrewsberry fan.
“He’s an awesome guy,” Imes said. “And he’s funny. He likes to joke around, which is good. I mean, you know, you like goofy dudes. You like dudes that relate to your personality. So yeah, Micah’s a great guy.”
Assistant coach Adam Fisher also played a significant role in recruiting Imes. The two grew close over the past half-year+, and Fisher traveled all the way out to Indiana to watch Imes practice.
“He’s become like family over the last seven, eight months,” Imes said. “Which is super awesome. Out of everyone that was recruiting me, Coach Fish was always there. He was always there for me, texting me after every game, multiple times a week. He was great. He’s definitely one of the main reasons I’m coming to Penn State.”
Imes talked with both Purdue and Indiana but didn’t receive a scholarship offer from either one. Will that feeling of being unwanted add any fuel?
“100 percent,” Imes said. “Yeah, I mean, you take all the motivation you can get. When you come back home, and you play in those games, going to Penn State, those will be games that I have marked down. They choose these other guys over you, and you’re in their backyard. It’s definitely motivation.”
Penn State struggled to score the basketball in Shrewsberry’s first season– the Nittany Lions finished dead last in the Big Ten in scoring average. But Imes, who considers himself more of a point guard despite spending time at shooting guard this past year, feels his style of play and basketball experience fit the Nittany Lions’ system.
“The ball is in their creator’s hands,” he said. “They like to run a lot of pick and rolls, which my high school offense ran a ton of pick and rolls, so I think I’m already ahead on that front. I mean, they get downhill, and they do a lot of creative things. They move the ball so well. There’s some times you see them where they just like whipping (the ball) around. Pass, extra pass, drive, kick. Multiple times a possession. They’re always trying to get the best shot possible, which I think that was totally implemented by coach Shrews.”
Penn State’s defense was first in the conference in opposing scoring average, so naturally, Imes is excited to be a part of that.
“Those dudes just work so hard,” Imes said. “They’re getting huge stops… you watch some of those games, and they’re low scoring, and that’s because they’re grinding it out on the defensive end, and that’s coach Shrewsberry getting all those dudes to practice.”
Both Imes and his high school coach, J.R. Howell, agree that a big thing he needs to work on between now and his first college game is three-point shooting consistency.
But overall, Imes feels that his play on the court and general attitude fit in with what Micah Shrewsberry is building in Happy Valley.
“He knows what it takes to win,” Imes said, “and I believe in my abilities to help that.”