Penn State took a big hit when it was announced that Jermaine Marshall would transfer from the program. Fortunately for them, Marshall’s replacement might’ve just shown up.
The program announced the addition of Allen Roberts, who spent the past three seasons playing at Miami (Ohio). The 6-3 Middletown, Ohio native will be eligible immediately under the graduate transfer rule and will have a single season of eligibility remaining.
“Allen is a strong, physical guard with a Big Ten body,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said in a statement. “He is a good shooter and scorer, plays hard and brings great experience and a mature approach. We are excited to add him to what we feel is one of the most talented backcourts in the nation.”
Despite losing Marshall (15.3 points per game in 2012-13), Patrick Ackerman and Akosa Maduegbunam (neither of which produced a lot in their time in State College, Pa.) to defections, Roberts himself brings some solid talent to the Nittany Lions that could help make up for Marshall’s departure. The team also gets fifth-year senior Tim Frazier back, who was averaging a team-leading 16.3 points per game before tearing his ACL in the team’s fourth game of the season and earning a medical redshirt, along with a fellow leading scorer in junior-to-be D.J. Newbill (16.3 ppg).
Roberts, who redshirted the 2011-12 season with the Redhawks, averaged a team-leading 12.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists last year. His percentages weren’t the best — he was a 38.8-percent shooter overall and hit just 33.8 percent of his threes — but he averaged 27.4 minutes per game and shot 79.8 percent from the free throw line.
The addition of Roberts, at least on paper, is big for Penn State. As long as he can step into the role that Marshall played, the Nittany Lions can keep up the buzz surrounding the team for the upcoming season. Newbill and Frazier are the top returning scorers in the B1G and having Roberts could mean a potent three-guard line-up with definite scoring power.
Roberts joins SMU transfer Jordan Dickerson as incoming transfers for Chambers, along with a four-man freshman class. Dickerson will sit out the season and be eligible in 2013-14.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten