Tyler Donohue/Land of 10
Penn State 2020 target Julian Fleming was offered by two SEC schools last weekend, including Alabama by former Penn State assistant Josh Gattis.

What to expect for Penn State’s second signing day; Nittany Lions men’s basketball team seeks consistency

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Second signing

Penn State made a splash in the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, getting several players who could contribute to the 2018 team enrolled early.

But the second signing day, the official national letter of intent day on Feb. 7th, is the one the Nittany Lions need to fill in the rest of the pieces with.

Greg Pickel of Pennlive.com says there’s five things to keep an eye on as National Signing Day rapidly approaches.

2019 a priority, too

While the full Class of 2018 will be announced Feb. 7, Penn State is already trying to get a head start on the Class of 2019.

And James Franklin and company are wasting no time on that class. Andrew Callahan of Lions 247 writes that Penn State offered Florida athlete Mark-Anthony Richards over the weekend.

Geography class

Franklin filled out his coaching staff last week when he hired Ja’Juan Seider away from Florida, a two-fold move. First to get an assistant to fill a coaching vacancy and second because Franklin needed someone to step in and replace the vacated Josh Gattis as a top recruiter.

Seider is expected to work heavily on a certain area of the country, the south and Mike Gross of LancasterOnline writes that there was definitely something about that hire that made it more than just filling a void.

One area Seider may want to jump on now is central Pennsylvania, where the No. 1 prospect in the state and Penn State target for the Class of 2020, Southern Columbia wide receiver Julian Fleming, has been offered by Gattis and Alabama, and Georgia over the weekend as well.

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Searching for consistency

The Penn State men’s basketball team concluded a wild week with a Big Ten victory over Rutgers on Saturday. That win came after Tony Carr’s heroic bank shot 3-pointer to steal a win at Ohio State earlier in the week.

The problem for Pat Chambers’ crew has been consistency all season.

There have been wins like the one over the Buckeyes, and there have been horrible losses to teams like Rider and Minnesota, and narrow losses to Wisconsin, Indiana and others.

The Nittany Lions currently hang around the bottom half of KenPom’s rankings, and Bryan Mauro of Busting Brackets wonders if Chambers and company can find something late in the season and make a push for a NCAA Tournament bid?

Chambers has yet to make the tournament as head coach of the Nittany Lions, who last made the dance in 2011.

Rolling along

The No. 1 Penn State wrestling team notched another road victory defeating No. 19 Rutgers 25-15 on Sunday, but it wasn’t all good news for the Nittany Lions.

The Nittany Lions lost 157-pounder Jason Nolf to a knee injury that could keep him out a while, writes Fight On State’s Mark Brennan.

Writes Brennan:

Nolf gave up an early takedown to John Van Brill before gaining control of the bout. He was up 5-4 early in the second when the two wrestlers tangled legs, causing the official to stop the action. Nolf remained on the mat, trying to flex his right knee. He was attended to by a trainer, but eventually hobbled off the mat, giving Van Brill the injury default victory.

Penn State returns to the mat on Saturday night against Ohio State with an 8 p.m. start time.

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