Penn State Lands Guard Jalen Pickett from Transfer Portal

Story posted April 25, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack McCune

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry and his staff secured their second guard from the transfer portal in three days, this time in point guard Jalen Pickett from Siena. 

The three-time first-team All-MAAC member announced his commitment to Happy Valley for his senior season on his Twitter page Sunday afternoon. 

He joins former Gardner-Webb guard Jaheam Cornwall in transferring to Penn State this offseason. Pickett said he wanted a coach like Shrewsberry to lead him during his final two seasons of college eligibility.

“I love the vision, direction he’s taking, how he wants to play,” Pickett said to ESPN on Sunday. “[He] was just showing me different things, how they want to play offensively, how he coached at Purdue. He worked with Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. He wants to get up and down, spread the floor, play pick-and-roll with a lot of shooting. He also talked about getting me off the ball too, help create for my teammates, get other people shots.”

The 6-foot-4-inch guard averaged 15.8 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds in his first season in 2018-19 when he won the MAAC Freshman of the Year award. He replicated his success the next season when he recorded 15.1 points and six assists per game when he won conference Player of the Year as a sophomore. 

And despite a hamstring-injury-riddled junior campaign in which Pickett appeared in just 14 of Siena’s 17 games, he averaged 12.9 points and 4.8 assists, the second highest and highest margins on his team, respectively. The numbers were enough for first-team All-MAAC honors for the third straight year.

Pickett and Cornwall join a Nittany Lions team that lost three starting guards to the portal in Jamari Wheeler, Izaiah Brockington and Myreon Jones. But two key forwards have announced their return to the program after entering the portal in junior Seth Lundy and fifth-year John Harrar. Along with returners Sam Sessoms and Myles Dread, Shrewsberry’s lineup for next season is beginning to come together.

The Rochester, New York, native and 21-year-old Pickett chose Penn State over Oregon State, Michigan, Gonzaga, Baylor and Miami.

 

Jack McCune is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.