Penn State Basketball Lands Puff Johnson and Qudus Wahab From Transfer Portal in Back To Back Days

Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports

Things started to look much better for the Penn State Nittany Lion’s men’s basketball program, which had a lot of turnover and a period where they had only two scholarship players, when Jameel Brown announced his return to the roster.

That only improves with the announcement of Temple’s Zach Hicks transferring to the program.

Well, Mike Rhoads is still building his roster and has added two more transfers in two days.

On Wednesday, he landed a commitment from UNC transfer and PA native forward Puff Johnson. The team announced this move as being official early on Thursday.

Later on Thursday, the Nittany Lions also added former Georgetown center Qudus Wahab, who will provide the program with size they didn’t even have last season.

Wahab averaged 9.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in 23.5 minutes per game for Georgetown last season. He is a senior transfer.

Puff Johnson, entering his junior year of eligibility, averaged 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game.

The pair played in 29 and 27 games, respectively last season. Puff Johnson also played in the NCAA Championship game for the 2021-22 season (11 points, 6 rebounds, 18 minutes).

Updated Scholarship Chart:

Qudus WahabSenior
Ace BaldwinJunior
Zach HicksJunior
Puff JohnsonJunior
Nick KernJunior
Jameel BrownSophomore
Kanye ClarySophomore
Demetrius LilleySophomore

In Other News

The Nittany Lions are still recruiting, but not just from the transfer portal.

Sophomores Evan Mahaffey and Kebba Njie remain in the portal, with Njie having reported visits to Notre Dame and UCF, but Mike Rhoads and company are surely looking to convince the pair to return to Penn State. Either or both returning would be big for the program and with all these transfer additions creating a competitive team, it seems more and more likely that they’d be willing to return to a good team unless they don’t see themselves fitting/getting playing time.

The transfer portal isn’t the only place Mike Rhoads is recruiting. In the 2023 class, where the Lions lost all signees when Shrewsberry left, there’s an off chance they could retain Carey Booth (there has been no update on his plans since he requested release from his LOI) and it was known that Penn State was in the top-5 for Brady Dunlap.

Rhoads also has a top-75 recruit on campus this week in Blue Cain.

Particularly with how late Rhoads got into his new role, landing any 2023 prospects, particularly at the level of any of the three players mentioned above, would be a huge win for this program.