Nittany Lions Add Dynamic Scoring Point Guard, Sam Sessoms, Via Transfer
Two weeks ago, Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers was asked to assess the offseason needs of his Nittany Lions.
An unwelcome reality on a day when his program might otherwise still be playing in an NCAA tournament that never happened, Chambers acknowledged holes still to fill. "You know, I think a big man would be a necessity, if possible. Somebody who could do a little bit of a small forward or five," he said. "You're always looking for guards, wings. I love the class that we have coming in. I love the fact that we're going to stay older. (But) you're always looking for areas where we showed some weaknesses."
Chambers and the Nittany Lions didn't waste time.
Three weeks after announcing his intent to transfer, Binghamton sophomore guard Sam Sessoms picked the Nittany Lions over interest in Rutgers, Wichita State, Marquette and UConn.
At Binghamton, the 6-foot Sessoms was a two-year starter for the Bearcats, starting 32 of 33 games as a true freshman and another 29 games this past season. Named the America East Rookie of the Year and a third-team all-conference selection for his performance during the 2018-19 season, Sessoms connected on 224 of 500 attempts (44.8 percent) to average 17.8 points per game.
Sessoms followed the effort with another dynamic scoring season, connecting on 208 of 501 shots (41.5 percent) for 19.4 points per game to lead the conference. In fact, he scored 20-or-more points in more than half of the Bearcats' games. And, on a team that struggled shooting, finishing sixth in the nine-team league hitting 41.0 percent, Sessoms also finished second in the conference in assists, averaging 4.8 per outing, to go along with a top 10 finish in steals (1.6), 3-point percentage (32 percent) and made 3-pointers (2.2 per game),
As a result of his prolific scoring, Sessoms became just the seventh player in America East history to notch 1,000 points in his first two seasons.
Set to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer requirements, Sessoms is an early favorite to slip into Penn State's starting point guard position which will then be vacated by senior Jamari Wheeler ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Rivals national basketball recruiting analyst Corey Evans sized Sessoms' game up thusly:
"Sam is a hard-nosed and tough lead guard that, as one can see from his stats alone, is able to hit various parts of the stat sheet," said Evans. "A native of Philadelphia that is a solid facilitator and has no issues creating for himself and for others, Sessoms should really flourish whenever he is placed around comparable sort of talent that will be allotted at Penn State.
"He is a solid point of attack guard that can playmake, shoot, and defend, and should be another key ingredient towards Pat Chambers’ work in keeping the PSU brand among the best in the Big Ten."
Sessoms originally hails from Philadelphia, attending nearby The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pa., at which he holds the school record for career scoring with 2,091 points.
• Talk about this article inside The Lions Den
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, Blue-White Illustrated
• Like us on Facebook