Since Micah Shrewsberry was hired, much of the focus on Penn State and the transfer portal has been who is/could be leaving the Nittany Lions for opportunities elsewhere. But the historic number of players available in the transfer portal from programs everywhere signals a real opportunity for Shrewsberry to rebuild this roster quickly.
He’s already got Izaiah Brockington back in the fold after he tested the portal, while key contributors Myles Dread and Sam Sessoms are back too. That’s a nice start. If he can convince Seth Lundy and John Harrar to come back, well, now we’re really rolling.
Even if he can’t sway Lundy and Harrar to stay, there are no shortage of other potential targets that could fit in quickly.
Here are eight names that Shrewsberry and his staff could be (or should be) targeting during this transfer portal silly season.
1. Tre Mitchell, F, UMASS
The Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year his freshman season, Mitchell put together another solid campaign in his second season at UMASS (18.8 points per game) even with nagging injuries and COVID pauses for the Minutemen. Penn State is desperate for some depth at the forward spot, regardless if Harrar returns. Mitchell is one of the best players available in the transfer portal and would be a home run addition for Shrewsberry.
2. Earl Timberlake, G/F, Miami FL.
Timberlake entered the 2020-21 season as a projected NBA pick, but only played in seven games because of ankle and shoulder injuries. His connection with new associate head coach Adam Fisher, who he played under at Miami, makes Penn State a possible landing spot.
Update: Timberlake has since committed to Memphis following this article going live.
3. Jamal Mashburn Jr., G, Minnesota
Penn State is in need of another point guard with Wheeler’s departure to Ohio State and Mashburn is someone who already knows what it’s like to compete in the Big Ten. While Mashburn is more of a combo guard than pure floor general, he would be a nice pickup for a backcourt that loses both Wheeler and Myreon Jones. Mashburn could start from day one for the Nittany Lions.
4. Emmanuel Dowuona, C, Purdue
Labeled a “project” by most experts when he signed with the Boilermakers, Dowuona played sparingly his first two seasons in West Lafayette behind the likes of Matt Haarms, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. Still, Dowuona has potential, Shrewsberry knows him well from his time at Purdue, and Penn State has minutes available at forward. It might be worth taking a chance on him.
5. Myles Johnson, C, Rutgers
Johnson was a big part of Rutgers earning its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1991, averaging 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. A Big Ten All-Defensive team selection, he’d give Penn State defensive anchor that they sorely lacked this past season.
6. Marcus Santos-Silva, F, Texas Tech
This name should be somewhat familiar for Penn State fans. Santos-Silva was in the transfer portal last offseason as well, and named the Nittany Lions as a finalist before ultimately signing with Texas Tech. With Chris Beard’s departure in Lubbock, he once again finds himself in the portal.
7. Jahcobi Neath, G, Wake Forest
A Toronto native, Neath couldn’t translate a strong finish to his freshman season into a breakout sophomore year. His minutes shrunk as the season wore on under first-year head coach Steve Forbes and he failed to even feature in the team’s final two games. The upside is there with Neath, particularly with his athleticism, it’s just about finding the best spot to get the most out of his abilities.
8. Jahlil Jenkins, G, Fairleigh Dickinson
Bucket getter. That’s the best way to describe Jahlil Jenkins. During the 2019 NCAA Tournament, he dropped 20 points in the first half for the Knights against Prairie View and led them to their first March Madness win in program history. He’s also averaged over 16 points per game each of the past two seasons. If Penn State wants to dip into the mid-major market to find another point guard, Jenkins is certainly someone worth adding.
Hit up the comments with other names you'd like Penn State to consider as portal season rolls on.