Former Siena men’s basketball star Jalen Pickett has decided on the next step in his college career.
Pickett, the 2020 MAAC Player of the Year and an All-MAAC first-team selection in each of his three years at Siena, will transfer to Penn State. The 6-foot-4 guard, who entered into the NCAA transfer portal earlier this month, announced his decision Sunday in a social media post.
A Rochester native, Pickett arrived in Siena to relatively little fanfare, but quickly established himself as one of the MAAC’s top contributors.
This past season, Pickett averaged 12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game en route to his third consecutive first team all-conference nod, fighting through a hamstring injury for the majority of the season and helping lead Siena to a share of the MAAC’s regular-season crown before a quarterfinal exit in the conference tournament.
Pickett was the MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2019 and the league’s Player of the Year in 2020. In his three seasons with the Saints, Pickett averaged 15 points, 6.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and more than a block and a steal per game. He departed Siena after scoring 1,139 points.
Pickett, who will have two years of eligibility remaining at Penn State, is one of three high-profile departures from the Siena program this offseason. Manny Camper, the 2021 MAAC Player of the Year and a first team all-conference selection alongside Pickett, left the program to begin his professional basketball career, while All-MAAC third-team selection Jordan King is transferring to East Tennessee State.
Penn State went 11-14 overall and 7-12 in Big 10 play this past season under interim coach Jim Ferry, who was appointed following the resignation of head coach Pat Chambers after an internal investigation by the school into inappropriate conduct by Chambers. Former Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry was hired as the Nittany Lions’ new head coach in March, and former Bishop Maginn standout Talor Battle is as assistant on the Penn State staff.