Siena PG Jalen Pickett says he’s transferring to Penn State


LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Siena’s Jalen Pickett, a former Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year, is transferring to Penn State.

Pickett announced his decision Sunday on Twitter. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, making him a nice addition for new Nittany Lions coach Micah Shrewsberry.

Overlooked coming out of high school in Rochester, New York — he had less than a handful of Division I offers despite performing at a high level in AAU ball — Pickett was the first player coach Jamion Christian signed when he was hired by Siena before the 2018-19 season.

Pickett averaged 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.0 steals as a freshman. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound point guard ranked ninth nationally in assists per game and among Division I freshmen was third in assists and fourth in both assist-to-turnover ratio and steals. He was named MAAC rookie of the year after being named rookie of the week a record 11 times during the season and became the first freshman in more than three decades to earn a first-team spot on the All-MAAC team.

Pickett also was a first-team selection in his two other seasons at Siena.

“I don’t have the flashiest game. Some coaches might not like the style I play,” Pickett told The Associated Press in a 2019 interview. “I’m not the most athletic guy, but I come out and play hard and I work every day. It’s always been like that for me. My family just taught me how to play the game the right way, taught me how to win.”

Pickett officially declared as an early entrant for the 2019 NBA draft, participated in the inaugural NBA G League Elite Camp in Chicago and had pre-draft workouts with several NBA teams. He returned to school that fall and averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists to earn MAAC Player of the Year honors in 2020.

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