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Penn State basketball lands Tennessee transfer, former top-50 recruit Freddie Dilione

While working to build a roster for his second season as Penn State’s basketball coach, Mike Rhoades added a potentially important piece Wednesday.

Freddie Dilione, a transfer guard who spent last season at Tennessee, has committed to the Nittany Lions.

The 6-foot-5 Dilione played sparingly as a freshman for a Vols team that earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight. He averaged 1.7 points, 0.8 assists and 0.6 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game while shooting 52.2% from the field and 28.6% from 3-point range.

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At the time of his commitment, he was rated by 247Sports as the No. 82 player available in the transfer portal, one spot ahead of USC's Bronny James.

Coming out of Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina — which has produced John Wall and T.J. Warren, among others, over the years — Dilione was a four-star recruit who was rated as the No. 41 player in the 2023 class by 247Sports’ composite ranking.

Among the five schools Dilione visited during his recruitment was VCU, where Rhoades was the coach at the time. That prior relationship helped as Rhoades and his staff pursued Dilione for a second time.

"I just really enjoy how they introduced me into their play-style and they welcomed me with open arms,” Dilione said to 247Sports. “I really like having them around, they feel like family and Mike Rhoades is a big time coach, coming from VCU he proved he can win. I just want to be with a coach that trusts me and trusts all of his players and his staff."

As a freshman last season, he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.

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Once at Penn State, he’ll join what could be an intriguing backcourt should guard Ace Baldwin, last season’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, bypass the NBA Draft and opt to return to use his final year of remaining eligibility. The Nittany Lions have already lost guard Kanye Clary, the team’s leading scorer last season, who has transferred to Mississippi State.

Dilione becomes the fourth transfer to join Penn State this offseason, joining Eli Rice (coming in from Nebraska), Kachi Nzeh (Xavier) and Yanic Niederhauser (Northern Illinois).

He’s the third former top-100 recruit to transfer to the Nittany Lions during Rhoades' tenure, with Puff Johnson and D’Marco Dunn, who both came in from North Carolina, being the others. Johnson and Dunn averaged 7.3 and 6.8 points per game, respectively, last season.

Penn State finished 16-17 overall and 9-11 in Big Ten play in Rhoades’ first season.

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Penn State basketball lands Tennessee transfer Freddie Dilione