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Penn State should pursue Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in transfer portal

The Nittany Lions need to go after one of the top centers in the transfer portal, Micah Handlogten.



Sun Belt Freshman of the year, Micah Handlogten, Penn State basketball, Mike Rhoades
Nov 24, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; General view of the Penn State Nittany Lions logo on the court at the Bryce Jordan Center prior to the game between the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lion hoops program just hired itself a new head coach — Mike Rhoades from VCU — and is in the middle of a massive program rebuild. With give-or-take a thousand players in the portal right now, Penn State basketball has some serious options, perhaps none more tempting that 7-foot-1 center Micah Handlogten of the Marshall Thundering Herd, who won Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2022-23.

Penn State basketball needs to pursue 7-foot-1 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in transfer portal

The Big Ten is a rough conference with a lot of towering centers such as the 7-foot-4 Zach Edey at Purdue. Additionally, Penn State’s new head coach is a defensive guy, so getting some solid centers on the floor is crucial to his defensive schematics, especially in conference play. Recently, a 7-foot-1 standout center from the Marshall Thundering Herd entered the portal, and could be the perfect addition to Mike Rhoades first-ever Penn State basketball team.

Micah Handlogten was the 2022-23 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year winner, averaging 7.6 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 2.3 blocks per game, and more. For the Nittany Lions — who severely lacked rebounding and big man paint presence a season ago — this could be the perfect pickup. As a high school recruit, Micah Handlogten was rated as a three-star recruit and was ranked as the No. 39 center and No. 13 player in the state of North Carolina; so far in college, he is more than living up to the hype.

Here is what Marshall’s coach had to say about the massive center during the most recent season:

“He’s a natural big man and has long arms for a 7-1 guy, and he has great hands,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni told 247 Sports in January. “If the ball is up there to be grabbed, once he gets his hands on it, he normally retains it. He was an all-state lacrosse player in North Carolina for a couple years. They won a couple state championships. Being 7-foot-1, holding that stick and using your wrists to play that game, his hands are really good.

“He’s a big surprise. At the same time, we thought he had this type of future when we recruited him. We didn’t know it was going to come so quick.”

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