Kevin Kruger appears to be after any point guard that enters the transfer portal. The newest name is Jamari Wheeler from Penn State.
UNLV is one of 22 teams to reach out to Wheeler, according to Adam Zagoria. The list includes power conference teams like Florida and Ohio State. Landing Wheeler might be tough.
But if Wheeler’s priorities are similar to West Virginia transfer Jordan McCabe, who UNLV is also after, then Kruger may be able to sell the dream of playing time.
Wheeler started all 25 games for Penn State this season, playing 31.2 minutes. He posted a solid all around (but not spectacular) stat line of 6.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Wheeler has led Penn State in assists the last two seasons
Beyond filling the positional need of point guard, Wheeler would provide an upgrade to UNLV’s poor defense. The Rebels ranked 214th in Ken Pom’s adjusted defensive efficiency this season.
Wheeler was named to the All Big 10 defensive team in each of the last two seasons. He would immediately be UNLV’s best perimeter defender.
But Wheeler ending up at UNLV might be a long shot. Not only does he have better potential offers. Wheeler could end up following a coach. Wheeler committed to Duquesne. But when his coach, Jim Ferry, was fired, he ended up at Penn State, where Ferry had been hired as an assistant.
Ferry was the interim head coach this past season for the Nittany Lions, but he will be moving on. Penn State hired Micah Shrewsberry to lead the team.
Whatever team hires Ferry as an assistant might have an advantage in landing Wheeler.