Penn State men's basketball Micah Shrewsberry arrived in State College one day after Purdue lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to find his roster dispersing.
Four starters were in the NCAA Transfer Portal, which Shrewsberry expected, and more were looking. Meanwhile, so was Shrewsberry, who knows that what the portal takes it also gives.
"There are a lot of great players out there, but we want our own," Shrewsberry said upon being introduced as Penn State's new head coach in March. "We also want guys who are two feet in for Penn State, that bleed Penn State, that believe in our vision. And when we have that group, we’re going to have a special group and we’re going to do some fun things together."
Two months into his tenure, Shrewsberry, the former associate head coach at Purdue, continues the rebuild. Six players have left Penn State, with a seventh recently entering the portal. Freshman forward Abdou Tsimbila is considering a transfer, according to Verbal Commits, after playing 16 games for the Lions last season.
If Tsimbilia leaves, Penn State will have lost five of the nine players who played in at least 16 games last season. The Lions already have lost their top two scorers (Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington), their assists and steals leader (Jamari Wheeler) and a primary reserve (Trent Buttrick).
But Shrewsberry also has signed three players from the portal, including the 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year, and received a commitment from an all-MAC player in Western Michigan's Greg Lee. Further, Shrewsberry retained four key players, including starters John Harrar and Seth Lundy.
“I got great news when I got [forward] John Harrar back for his super-senior year, and I want to do right by him, by bringing in some great transfers, bringing in some guys from last year’s team and having a group that really represents Penn State the right way," Shrewsberry said during the recent Penn State Coaches Caravan. "We play our tails off every night that we get out there, and we’re having fun. You've got to love hard work, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
So where does Penn State's roster stand now? Here's a breakdown of the changes so far.
John Harrar: The team's heartbeat last season, when he averaged 8.8 points and rebounds, returned after entering the portal.
Seth Lundy: Also removed his name from the portal following a season in which he averaged 10.1 ppg.
Sam Sessoms: Averaged 8.2 points in 24 games played.
Myles Dread: Played in 23 games, averaging 7.3 points.
Jevonnie Scott: a 6-7 forward from Canada, Scott played two seasons at South Plains (Texas) College, averaging 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds last season.
Jaheam Cornwall: A 6-0 guard, Cornwall joins Penn State as a graduate transfer after playing four seasons at Gardner-Webb. He was named first-team All-Big South last season, when he averaged 14.1 ppg.
Jalen Pickett: A 6-4 guard from Siena, Pickett was the 2019-20 MAAC player of the year, averaging 15.1 points and six assists per game. He was a three-time all-conference selection and reached the 1,000-point scoring mark in just 65 games. Pickett has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Greg Lee: A 6-7 forward from Western Michigan, Lee was honorable mention All-MAC last year, averaging 13 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game. Lee is a graduate transfer, having played his first three seasons at Cal State Bakersfield.
Jamari Wheeler: Penn State's defensive standout (44 steals) left for Ohio State.
Myreon Jones: The team's leader in scoring (15.3 ppg), 3-pointers (60) and minutes (30.2) is at Florida.
Izaiah Brockington: Penn State's second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and top foul-shooter (84.1 percent) transferred to Iowa State.
Trent Buttrick: Left for Massachusetts after playing in all 25 games last season.
DJ Gordon: Transferred to Fordham after grabbing five rebounds in six games.
Patrick Kelly: Joined Gordon at Fordham after playing in five games for the Lions.
Get the latest Penn State news by following AllPennState on SI's FanNation and @MarkWogenrich on Twitter. For the best sports coverage from around the country, visit SI's FanNation.