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BREAKING: Penn State basketball beats out Final Four team for SEC transfer

Mike Rhoades and Penn State basketball beat out a Final Four program for a former top-50 recruit in the transfer portal.



Penn State basketball, Mike Rhoades, transfer portal, Freddie Dilione, North Carolina State
Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione V (1) readies to shoot the ball during an NCAA college basketball game between Tennessee and George Mason at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023.

Penn State basketball has made its biggest splash in the transfer portal since Mike Rhoades arrived in Happy Valley, landing ex-Tennessee guard Freddie Dilione on Wednesday. A one-time top-50 recruit, Rhoades tapped into his former ties with the redshirt freshman to bring the talented guard to State College. The Nittany Lions beat out 2024 Final Four participant and hometown North Carolina State Wolfpack for Dilione’s commitment.

Freddie Dilione picks Nittany Lions over hometown Wolfpack

After first targeting big men in the opening weeks of the transfer portal, Mike Rhoades and Penn State basketball are now shoring up the backcourt. The Nittany Lions landed their second portal guard on Wednesday, securing a commitment from Freddie Dilione, according to Joe Tipton of On3.

Dilione visited Happy Valley on the second to last weekend, a trip that was first reported by On3’s Jamie Shaw and later by Nate Bauer of Blue-White Illustrated. The redshirt freshman entered the transfer portal on April 5 after averaging 1.7 points and 5.2 minutes per game for the Volunteers this season. Dilione missed several weeks this year due to a partially torn left plantar fascia.

A four-star in the 2023 cycle, Freddie Dilione was the No. 1 recruit out of North Carolina and the 46th-ranked prospect nationally per 247Sports. Playing his high school basketball in Raleigh, the hometown Wolfpack figured to be a significant factor in Dilione’s decision. Dilione visited NC State on April 16.

But this isn’t the first time Freddie Dilione has heard a recruiting pitch from Mike Rhoades. The Penn State basketball coach was among the first to offer Dilione while at VCU and was the first program to host the guard during his high school recruitment.

Tracking transfer portal movement for Penn State basketball

With the addition of Freddie Dilione, Penn State basketball now brings its transfer portal class to four. The Nittany Lions added fellow guard Eli Rice on April 18. Big men Kachi Nzeh and Yanic Konan Niederhauser came in earlier in the cycle.

On the other end, the status quo remains for the outgoing Nittany Lions. Jameel Brown and Demetrius Lilley are expected to land at Temple and La Salle, respectively, although neither has officially committed. Bragi Guðmundsson and Favour Aire have not found transfer destinations. Dismissed guard Kanye Clary committed to Mississippi State in March.

It’s also worth noting that while senior forward Puff Johnson has announced his return, senior guard Ace Baldwin has not. Both have been team representatives at school-related activities and have participated in NIL functions in recent weeks. Johnson and Baldwin each have an additional year of COVID eligibility.

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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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