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Penn State basketball adds transfer sharpshooter, PA native Leo O’Boyle

Mike Rhoades appears to be adopting James Franklin’s “the best in PA, stay in PA” mantra this offseason.



Penn State basketball, transfer sharpshooter Leo O'Boyle
Nov 12, 2022; Queens, New York, USA; Lafayette Leopards forward Leo O'Boyle (33) shoots over St. John's Red Storm guard Montez Mathis (10) in the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Since he was hired as the head coach of Penn State basketball in March, Mike Rhoades has been billed as a “Pennsylvania guy.” A Schuylkill County native, Rhoades has adeptly targeted players with ties to the Keystone State as he builds his new-look Nittany Lion roster in the transfer portal. In addition to adding players from his former VCU roster, Rhoades has secured several transfers who are either originally from or have played in Pennsylvania. That trend continued late Tuesday night when Penn State basketball added transfer sharpshooter Leo O’Boyle to the roster via the portal. 

Penn State basketball adds transfer sharpshooter Leo O’Boyle

Penn State lived and died on the three-point arc last year. Nowhere was this fact more evident than in the Nittany Lions’ NCAA Tournament run. Spurred by Andrew Funk’s 8-10 outburst, Penn State shot 13-22 from beyond the arc in its opening-round upset of Texas A&M. Two days later, the Lions went cold, shooting 8-28 in their five-point defeat at the hands of two seed Texas. A major catalyst of Penn State’s deep threat attack was the transfer guard Funk, who made a team-best 112 three-pointers last season, 20 more than anyone else on the roster.

Mike Rhoades seems to be going for a similar flare with his latest portal addition. Tuesday night, news broke that transfer sharpshooter Leo O’Boyle was joining the Nittany Lions from Lafayette. A Scranton, PA native, O’Boyle was an All-State second-team selection in his senior season at Scranton Prep. In four seasons at Lafayette, the 6-7, 210-pound forward averaged 9.4 points per game while shooting 38% from three for his career.

Last season was by far O’Boyle’s best as a Lafayette Leopard. A co-captain on the team, O’Boyle started all but one game last year. In addition to leading the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game, O’Boyle also had a team-best 74 three-pointers made and 41% three-point percentage in 2022-23. The former Penn State coaching staff saw O’Boyle’s abilities firsthand last November when the forward went 4-5 from deep in a 19-point outing against the Nittany Lions at the BJC.

Pennsylvania pipeline

Leo O’Boyle is now the third player with Pennsylvania ties that Mike Rhoades has secured via the transfer portal this offseason. In April, Penn State basketball received commitments from Puff Johnson, a former North Carolina Tar Heel originally from the Pittsburgh area, and Zach Hicks, a New Jersey native who previously played at Temple.

However, Rhoades appears to be rekindling some of Penn State’s magic from last season with the O’Boyle commitment. The former Lafayette forward will immediately look to replace the Lions’ production from deep. Last season, O’Boyle averaged 2.2 made threes per game, just slightly behind Funk’s 3 and Seth Lundy’s 2.6 three-pointers made per contest.

More importantly, Rhoades adds a veteran leader who has played considerably at the college level. As Rhoades looks to mesh a mixing pot of backgrounds on his new-look Nittany Lion roster this season, O’Boyle’s experience could be a stabilizing presence on the court.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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