Penn State’s next move yet another critical one for future of basketball program

For many Penn State basketball supporters, it has been difficult to live a life that isn’t easy. It seemed that Penn State was on the verge of a breakthrough, with more regular success than the ten-year wait to be eligible for the NCAA tournament. But now the school is at a crossroads. The departure of the head coach Micah ShrewsberryAccording to reports, he was agreed to a lengthy contract at Notre Dame After two seasons in Happy Valley Penn State is in need of a new head coach to continue the Shrewsberry-inspired path without making major changes.

Whoever is named the “The” next head coach of the Nittany Lions There will be a lot of work required to get started. Seth Lundy declared for the NBA draft. Two players entered the transfer portal. And Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk?, and Myles Dread Key players are also leaving the program. The transfer portal can relieve the pressure by allowing the roster to have the right conversations with them and making the right decisions, just like Shrewsberry did at State College right from the beginning.

However, the hard work of recruiting will be done. It is more difficult due to the timing. There is also the possibility that Shrewsberry may lure any top targets to South Bend if they have previously worked on them for Penn State.

What Penn State athletics director ultimately does? Pat Kraft The task of the coach is to find the right coach for the job, not just the big splash hire. Already, players have expressed their support for Adam Fisher, one of Penn State’s top assistant coaches under Shrewsberry and a former assistant at Villanova and Miami. This turns out being the first major hire for Kraft since being named the school’s athletics director in succeeding Sandy Barbour, who brought Shrewsberry to Penn State.

If you need to have some confidence in Kraft’s ability to identify a good coaching candidate, take a look at some of his notable hires at previous stops. He hired Matt Rhule to be the head football coach at Temple in 2013, and it’s pretty safe to say that worked out pretty well for all parties involved. Kraft hired Geoff Collins as the OPwls coach to help him continue his winning streak. He did hire Rod Carey to be Temple’s next football coach after Collins left for Georgia Tech, so 2-1 isn’t too bad.

Kraft’s men’s college basketball coaching hire at Temple, following the resignation of Fran Dunphy, was thought to be a solid hire with Aaron McKie. McKie was an easy choice for Temple. However, Temple let him go after his fourth season with only one winning season. His coaching hire for the Boston College program, Earl Grant, hasn’t quite panned out for the Eagles after two seasons, although they did win three more games this season compared to the previous season. What a great time to be alive!

Penn State, however, has more financial resources than Temple and Boston College and is therefore better able to pay for its students. Penn State still has a lot of work to do before it can be a college basketball program that is consistently competitive, but the time is now to change the narrative.

Penn State has delved deep into its football program. It is, admittedly, the lifeblood of the athletics department for many decades. It has a history of hiring national championship-caliber programs like Cael Sanderson (wrestling) and Russ Rose (women’s volleyball). It has invested heavily in building a men’s ice hockey program from near scratch and has quickly built a budding NCAA contender in just a matter of a handful of years.

Penn State should not stand in Kraft’s way of Kraft making the best possible hire and ensuring that the next head coach has the financial backing necessary to upgrade facilities, NIL opportunities and other factors for the program’s future stability.

Penn State shouldn’t settle for a coach to go through another rebuild that leads to a return to the NCAA tournament a decade from now. It is essential that Penn State has a coach who will ensure that the team remains competitive through recruiting and the transfer portal. It is possible to take a step back in 2023-24, but it is not acceptable.

So when Penn State announces who the next head coach will be, don’t expect a big splashy hire. Instead, look to see how the school and its leadership are committed to a long-term vision for the program that doesn’t waste time in turning words into actions.

Penn State, it is now.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire

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