With the 2016-17 season less than two months from tipping off, Penn State suffered a setback today as the program announced that freshman forward Joe Hampton will not be a part of the team moving forward due to personal reasons. From the official release:
Joe has made the decision to leave the program based on personal reasons. We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.
Hampton, once considered a five-star prospect but who entered college as a three-star recruit coming off an ACL injury, verbally committed to Penn State twice, the second time after decommitting during his junior season at Oak Hill Academy. Listed on the official roster at 6'8", 290 lbs, Hampton was considered a candidate to earn minutes as a stretch-power forward in the mold of Brandon Taylor as a first-year player at Penn State. His departure leaves the Nittany Lions especially thin in the frontcourt, as now only Julian Moore and redshirt freshman Mike Watkins remain as the only players on the available roster standing 6’8” or taller.
The bright side of this news is significant, albeit untimely. Penn State now has one scholarship available for the 2017 recruiting cycle. Due to the proximity of the upcoming season, an addition to this current team’s roster is highly unlikely, if not impossible. However, it does give Chambers a chance to make another addition to a 2017-18 roster that will already be gaining Virginia Tech transfer Satchel Pierce, who is sitting out this current season due to NCAA transfer rules.
With the departure of Hampton, who was expected to provide an outside threat, adding a capable shooter to a program that has desperately lacked one should be an avenue that Chambers explores, potentially via the transfer market. Penn State set their sights on recruiting the class of 2018 this summer - and rightfully so, given the scholarship situation - so jumping back into recruiting current high school seniors in the class of 2017 may prove too difficult a task.
Per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Hampton will be enrolling at South Plains Community College.
Penn State transfer Joe Hampton will enroll at South Plains Junior College, per a source. Four-Star recruit.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 30, 2016
|2016-2017 penn state basketball scholarship grid|
|POSITION||SENIOR||JUNIOR||SOPHOMORE||FRESHMAN||2017 COMMITS||2018 COMMITS|
Julian Moore (RS)
||-||Mike Watkins (RS)||-||-|
|FORWARDS||-||Payton Banks (RS)||Deividas Zemgulis||Lamar Stevens||-||-|
Terrence Samuel (RS)
Isaiah Washington (RS)