Penn State Basketball

Penn State Basketball Rumors: Nittany Lions Zeroing in On Mike Rhoades?

Does Penn State Basketball have their man?

It seems Penn State Basketball is close to making their decision to replace former Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry who left for Notre Dame earlier this week.

VCU (Virginia Commonwealth)’s head coach Mike Rhoades reportedly met with Penn State brass Sunday in Richmond, Virginia.

Pat Kraft, the Penn State AD, made it clear in the past few days he is looking for someone who has head coaching experience.

Rhoades has been coaching since 1996, starting at Randolph-Mason (assistant 1996-1999 and head coach 1999-2009), Rice (head coach 2014-2017) and VUC (associate head coach 2009-2014 and head coach since 2017).

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What would Mike Rhoades bring Penn State Basketball?

He has a career .659 winning percentage, including two NCAA Tournament appearances and wins in both the NIT and the CBI.

VCU won the regular season and postseason Atlantic 10 tournament and he was named A10 Coach of the year in 2019. But the most important part of this potential hire? He’s from Pennsylvania.

As we saw with Shrewsberry, having ties to the area and/or university can make all the difference in retaining one’s services. Rhoades grew up in Lebanon Valley, PA where he also played in college (Lebanon Valley College).

At Rhoades’ age (50), it’s not likely he’ll be using this job as a ‘stepping stone’ for future gigs. The hope would be for sustaining the success of the past 6 years (Chambers, Ferry and Shrewsberry) for the next decade or so in Happy Valley.

Rumors are Penn State is willing to go north of $3.5 million, which would be a nice raise for Rhoades who was making just shy of $2 million at VCU. In 2021, he signed an extension through 2026-2027 and Penn State would have to negotiate his buyout as well.

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Evan Smith

Evan Smith is an alum of Penn State (Marketing, Economics, 2011) and a basketball season ticket holder since 2006. NittanyCentral is his second reporting job following the Men's Basketball program. He co-founded and co-hosts the Shots Gotta Fall - The Penn State Basketball Podcast (the premiere, the best, the only) with Steve Travis. Smith's most proud moment covering the team was seeing the national No. 9 ranking during Pat Chambers' last year. His most embarrassing moment was spending almost a thousand dollars to travel 2,000 miles in 46 hours to watch the Nittany Lions lose to Temple in the 2011 NCAA Tournament (screw you Juan Fernandez).