On the heels of the news that do-it-all stud Lamar Stevens will be returning for a final season in Happy Valley, Penn State is starting to receive some heat from all different directions.
First, there was Jon Rothstein kindling the burning flame that is the Nittany Lion hype train when he dropped this nugget after Stevens announced his intentions.
Several Big Ten coaches feel that Penn State is a bonafide NCAA Tournament team with Lamar Stevens back.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 29, 2019
Early prediction on the 19-20 starting five: Jamari Wheeler, Myles Dread, Izaiah Brockington, Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins. https://t.co/vCA6HNLp8e
Then, on Thursday Andy Katz released his latest power rankings, slotting the Lions in at No. 34. Here's what Katz had to say.
The Nittany Lions got Lamar Stevens back and that means they have a potential double-double player on a given night. If Myles Dread and Mike Watkins make the necessary jump then the Nittany Lions should have the pieces in place to finally make the NCAA tournament.
Suffice to say, Stevens choosing to return is a big deal for Penn State, both in terms of the on-court performance of the team, and perception of the program itself.
Other Big Ten teams to appear in the rankings were Michigan State (No. 1), Maryland (No. 11), Purdue (No. 16), Ohio State (No. 18), Illinois (No. 21), and Wisconsin (No. 28).