Blue White Illustrated

December 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 41 of 67

4 2 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M T he first day of the 2023-24 Penn State men's basketball season fit everything in, kicking off the Mike Rhoades era comprehensively. While they were preparing for his first game as the program's new leader, the Nittany Lions announced a major NIL initiative with his former coach at Lebanon Valley, Pat Flannery, lead- ing the charge. By late afternoon, his staff landed a verbal commitment from highly sought 2024 center Miles Good- man. And, upon taking to the Bryce Jordan Center hardwood after seven long months of building and refining the roster, the first glimpses of who and what the Nittany Lions could be this season started coming into focus. Here is a look at what has stood out for the Nittany Lions heading into their first weeks of the new campaign. Four-Star Center Chooses Penn State Announcing his decision via You- Tube on Nov. 6, center Miles Good- man verbally committed to Penn State, choosing the Nittany Lions over his other finalist, Washington. Listed at 6-foot-10, Goodman has been a steady riser throughout his high school career. Originally from Seat- tle, he is entering his senior season at Southern California Academy and is one of the nation's top prospects. The accolades include a four-star grade in the On3 Industry Ranking. He's listed as the No. 106 overall prospect in the 2024 class and the No. 18 power for- ward nationally. Explaining his decision, Goodman said Rhoades played a crucial role. "On the visit, it was more like being a friend. He was cool, easy to get to know," Goodman said. "All the players and stuff, I liked what I saw in practice and I could see myself going there." Before landing Goodman, the Li- ons had previously received commit- ments from three-star guards Domi- nick Stewart of Lanham, Md., and Jahvin Carter of Alcoa, Tenn. Stewart is a teammate of Goodman at SoCal Academy. New NIL Initiative To Support Basketball Penn State's NIL support structure for basketball took a major step forward in early November. Under the umbrella of Happy Valley United, the collective in place for all of Penn State athletics, a new, basketball-specific arm of the organization called More To Give has been formed. And, importantly, it is welcoming a new general manager to head up its development efforts. Pat Flannery, the storied former head coach at Bucknell, has accepted the position as general manager. Flan- nery's hiring marks important progress for the name, image and likeness op- erations meant to support the Nittany Lions. "It comes down to one thing, my relationship with Coach Rhoades and our friendship," Flannery said. "Things have changed in the college world, and it's an opportunity to be able to help Michael. But also, help these kids, help the program, and help Penn State at large." Rhoades Provides Injury Updates Following Penn State's 79-45 win over Delaware State to open the season, Rhoades offered injury updates on two significant absences. Senior guard Puff Johnson remains day-to-day heading into the November schedule after being sidelined through most of the preseason while recovering from an injury. Rhoades said he wants the transfer from North Carolina to be 100 percent before working him back into action. Sophomore forward Favour Aire, meanwhile, is less likely to make an im- minent return. With his right hand in a heavy cast, and wearing street clothes on the bench, the center transfer from Miami won't be expected back for at least a month. "Four to six weeks, somewhere in there," Rhoades said. "He's in a big cast, and we've got to get him right. Our fingers, it's a little break. With his hands, it's a big break. We've just got to get him right and get him out there when he's ready." ■ P E N N S T A T E 2 0 2 3 - 2 4 M E N ' S B A S K E T B A L L S C H E D U L E Date Opponent Time/TV Oct. 27 at Robert Morris (exhib.) W, 68-58 Nov. 6 DELAWARE STATE W, 79-45 Nov. 10 LEHIGH 7:30 p.m./B1G+ Nov. 14 ST. FRANCIS (Pa.) 7 p.m./BTN Nov. 17 MOREHEAD STATE 7 p.m./Peacock Nov. 23 Texas A&M* Noon/ESPN Nov. 24 Butler or FAU* TBA/ESPN2 or ESPN+ Nov. 26 TBD* TBA/ESPN2 or ESPN+ Dec. 2 BUCKNELL Noon/BTN Dec. 6 at Maryland 7 p.m./BTN Dec. 9 OHIO STATE 6 p.m./BTN Dec. 16 vs. Georgia Tech** Noon/BTN Dec. 21 LE MOYNE 7 p.m./Peacock Dec. 29 RIDER 2 p.m./B1G+ Jan. 4 at Michigan State 7 p.m./Peacock Jan. 7 vs. MICHIGAN^ Noon/BTN Jan. 10 NORTHWESTERN 6:30 p.m./BTN Jan. 13 at Purdue 2:15 p.m./BTN Jan. 16 WISCONSIN 9 p.m./BTN Jan. 20 at Ohio State Noon/BTN Jan. 27 MINNESOTA 6:30 p.m./BTN Jan. 31 at Rutgers 8:30 p.m./BTN Jan. 3 at Indiana Noon/FS1 Feb. 8 IOWA 7 p.m./BTN Feb. 11 at Northwestern 1 p.m./BTN Feb. 14 MICHIGAN STATE 6:30 p.m./BTN Feb. 17 at Nebraska Noon/BTN Feb. 21 ILLINOIS^^ 6:30 p.m./BTN Feb. 24 INDIANA Noon/BTN Feb. 27 at Iowa 9 p.m./BTN Mar. 2 at Minnesota 3:15 p.m./BTN Mar. 10 MARYLAND 7:30 p.m./BTN Mar. 13-17 Big Ten Tournament# TBA/BTN, CBS * ESPN Events Invitational at Kissimmee, Fla.; ** at New York (Madison Square Garden); ^ at Philadelphia (Palestra); ^^ at Rec Hall # at Minneapolis (Target Center) An Eventful Day Yields On- And Off-Court Victories NAT E BAU E R | N AT E . B A U E R @ O N 3 . C O M

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