Win-win: Penn St. gets a player, Newbill’s closer to home

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D.J. Newbill caught a bad break last summer when Marquette’s over-signing of recruits hosed him out of a scholarship. He eventually landed at Southern Miss, where he played 32 games as a freshman and finished third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding.

It wasn’t an easy season, especially when Marquette reached the Sweet 16. So Southern Miss ended up not being the place for Newbill. He needed to be closer to his native Philly.

Enter Penn State. Sure, it’s not a college hoops destination, but Newbill liked the family atmosphere under new coach Patrick Chambers.

And Penn State gets a 6-4 guard who’ll be one of the team’s top players when he’s eligible starting in 2012-13.

“D.J. will make an immediate impact on our program with his toughness, basketball IQ and work ethic,” Chambers said in a release when Newbill’s transfer became official Monday. “It’s great to get a Philadelphia kid that is passionate about Penn State basketball and wants to be here. We are very confident he will show that a Philadelphia player can have great success and an outstanding career at Penn State.”

That’s not just blind praise, either. Newbill’s basic stat at Southern Miss line wasn’t a killer (9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a game), but he was an incredibly efficient scorer who played a chunk of minutes and hit the offensive glass like crazy. If Newbill’s usage rate increases (a good bet), those efficiency numbers could drop, but not by much.

This is what you call a win-win.

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