Penn State basketball lands transfer center from Xavier

Penn State and head coach Mike Rhoades hope this offseason isn’t quite as crazy as last year’s when they had to put together an entire team through the transfer portal or else there wouldn’t be enough players to compete.

Despite being able to add some fairly high-profile players in the portal, Rhoades has stated he wants to build his program through recruiting, not transfers. It’s something that he did at VCU when he had a successful tenure there and that’s his strategy for building a sustainable program in Happy Valley.

In the meantime, Rhoades must utilize the portal since there was more roster turnover this offseason.

The Nittany Lions lost all three centers from the 2023-24 roster after Qudus Wahab graduated and Demetrius Lilley decided to put his name in the transfer portal alongside Favour Aire. The good news is that Penn State has found a replacement.

Rhoades and his staff landed Xavier transfer Kachi Nzeh on March 30 after a quick process led him back to Pennsylvania where he played high school basketball.

The 6’8″, 230-pounder was a three-star recruit in the class of 2023, being ranked as a Top-150 player by 247Sports and the No. 2 overall recruit in the state.

Nzeh received some playing time as a freshman last year at Xavier. He appeared in 19 games and averaged 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds during his average of 9.9 minutes per game.

This is a win for the Nittany Lions as he decided to commit to Penn State despite having offers from schools like Creighton, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, New Mexico State, Seton Hall, and TCU, among others.

With multiple years of eligibility remaining, Nzeh should finish his career in Happy Valley as he continues to develop.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire