Big Ten Newsmakers: Penn State’s new PG Jamari Wheeler may be faster than Tim Frazier
Penn State got a fresh commitment last week from 3-star senior Floridian point guard Jamari Wheeler after he visited during Blue-White weekend. Wheeler originally committed to Duquesne last fall but reneged when Jim Ferry was fired after a 10-22 season and replaced with Akron’s Keith Dambrot. Wheeler was then looking for another landing spot.
He is from Live Oak in northern Florida, halfway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville. After his de-commit from Duquesne, he had been offered by Seton Hall, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth among others. That offer from Mike Rhoades at VCU is a valid sign that Wheeler knows what he’s doing out there and that he won’t be intimidated.
The questions about Wheeler revolve around whether he can score enough to start when he becomes an upperclassman and Carr departs. I’ve also been told that he could be a tight squeeze to qualify academically for 2017-18 but we’ll see how that goes.
The one spectacular aspect about Wheeler that gets raves across the board is his speed; he might be the fastest player with the ball PSU has ever suited up and that includes Tim Frazier. He’s not big (6-0) but big enough to guard his position and I’m told has a formidable competitive edge about him. And he is as fast and fluid on the dribble up-court as anyone you will see in the college game. His efficient shooting is pretty much limited to lane floaters and dives to the rim.
Though Wheeler has a decent-looking stroke and rotation on his jumper, his 3-point accuracy has been erratic. So apparently, here we go again with another Chambers perimeter recruit whose perimeter shooting is questionable.
But what tape there is on him does exhibit that strength with the ball, a tight handle and vision. Here’s some of it during competition from his junior season.