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3 VCU standouts that could follow Mike Rhoades to Penn State

Here are a few options that the Nittany Lions will likely have in the transfer portal this offseason.



Penn State basketball, VCU standouts, Mike Rhoades
Mar 17, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Mike Rhoades talks with his team during a timeout during the second half at MVP Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sport

Earlier this week, just seven days after Micah Shrewsberry left town, the Nittany Lions hired a new head basketball coach. Mike Rhoades of the VCU Rams has been tasked with rebuilding the Penn State basketball program — with him may come a number of former VCU standouts that could follow him to State College. Here are the three most-likely former Rams that may end up in the Blue and White all said and done.

3 VCU standouts that could follow Mike Rhoades to Penn State basketball

As we enter a new era of Penn State basketball, the Nittany Lions will be looking to hit the transfer portal as hard as they can to rebuild their roster. Penn State is currently in uncharted waters under its newest head coach, though there are three VCU standouts that could follow Mike Rhoades to Happy Valley.

Ace Baldwin

The most notable VCU standout that could follow Mike Rhoades to Penn State basketball is Ace Baldwin, the A-10 Player of the Year. Baldwin — who is a solid offensive weapon, but relies more on his defense than anything — was not only the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, but was also named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year a season ago. Baldwin entered the transfer portal soon after it was announced that Mike Rhoades was heading to Penn State, and according to recent reports, it is likely that he will follow his head coach to Happy Valley.

Alphonzo Billups III

The second VCU standout that we could see in the Blue and White next year is Alphonzo “Fats” Billups. Billups is a 6-foot-7, 180-pound rising sophomore forward who could make a perfect addition to Mike Rhoades’ new-look Penn State basketball program. Billups did not see the floor much a season ago; however, he was a highly sought-after recruit out of high school, and was rated as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports. He was also ranked as the No. 103 player in the nation and the No. 6 player in the state of Virginia for the 2022 recruiting class.

Christian Fermin

One of the most-likely new additions to the Penn State basketball team will be Christian Fermin, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound big man on the VCU roster right now. Fermin is a native of Pennsylvania, and could be looking to follow Mike Rhoades back to his home state to rebuild the Nittany Lions’ program. Fermin is also a rising sophomore, and like “Fats” Billups, he did not see the floor much during his freshman season with VCU. That being said, Fermin was one of the top recruits in PA for the 2022 recruiting cycle — 247 Sports lists Fermin as a four-star recruit, and ranked him as the No. 116 player in the nation and No. 3 player in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.