May 6, 2009

Lions round out class of 2009

Head coach Ed DeChellis and the Penn State men's basketball team added its fourth and final commitment for the recruiting class of 2009 this afternoon.

Bill Edwards, a 6-foot-6-1/4-inch, 225-pound Rivals.com three-star wing player from Middletown, Ohio, announced his decision to play for the Nittany Lions this morning.

After his senior season and well past the start of the late-signing period in mid-April, Edwards finally chose Penn State over Miami of Ohio.

"It was pretty tough but coming down to it, I think that Miami and Penn State really stood out because Miami was always there throughout the way and so was Penn State.," Edwards said. "I liked the coaching staffs and both were big on tradition and academics. I liked that but I think it just came down to it just felt right. Penn State just felt right for me today.

"Penn State felt right and I think it will be somewhere for me to pursue my career at."

According to Bob Ronai, head coach at Middletown, Edwards has a lot of versatile ability, having played everything from the point through the forward positions in high school.

In his senior season, Edwards averaged just under 18 points per game, led the conference in rebounding and assists, shot 42-percent from beyond the arc, 52-percent from the floor, and 80-percent from the foul line. He was the co-player of the year in the conference, won the district player of the year honors and was named first-team All-Ohio in the largest classification of schools, according to Ronai.

"He sees the floor extremely well. He's like a chess player that can see two and three moves ahead of what's going on," Ronai said of Edwards' top assets.

Maybe the biggest area of improvement that needs to be made for Edwards will come with being a little more selfish with the basketball, he added.

"I think he's gotta get more offensive minded. He's a very unselfish player and a lot of times he'll pass up a shot when he really should be taking it," Ronai said. "He can put up good numbers for you. We had a pretty good team and he knew how to really distribute but sometimes there are times when he needs to become more offensive conscious out there."

Edwards admitted that although he's good at scoring the ball, keeping his teammates involved is one of the best things he does, although it sometimes led to an unhappy coach.

"I think getting my teammates involved and trying to keep everybody happy on the floor, just keeping everybody together on the floor has been a big thing for me always growing up," Edwards said. "It's one of the top things. I wouldn't say it's the best. I think I can pretty much score at times when I need to but yeah, I guess I try to distribute the ball pretty much.

"I'll get out there and I'll have a shot and I'm sure coach probably already told you I'll pass it up on an open one and he'll be pretty upset with me but if it goes for a bucket then he won't care too much."

Defensively, Ronai says that Edwards has made great strides since his days as a freshman on the varsity squad.

"He's really improved at that level. As a young kid, we couldn't put him on anybody but the biggest and slowest guy out there," Ronai said. "His senior year, we had him on the better wing players in our conference and who we played out of conference and stuff.

"He led us in charges this year. He's always been a great off-the ball defender and this year he worked very hard to be a very good on-the-ball defender."

Edwards' decision makes him the fourth and final commitment for Penn State's recruiting class of 2009, leaving just one scholarship available for the class of 2010 which has already been filled by a verbal commitment from Taran Buie.

He is joined by versatile wing-man Jermaine Marshall, Texas point guard Tim Frazier and 6-foot-9 power-forward Sasa Borovnjak.

All four will enroll at Penn State for the second summer session in late-June.






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