His time in Happy Valley may have been short, but Thursday night was a not-so-subtle reminder of just how much of an impact Micah Shrewsberry had on the Penn State men’s basketball program. A program that lacks in a rich basketball history ended its NCAA tournament drought in 2023 under Shrewsberry, and now the program has made history with its first pair of players being selected in the same NBA draft.
Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy were each selected in the second round of the 2023 NBA draft on Thursday night. It is the first time Penn State has had two players selected in the same NBA draft. It is also the first time Penn State has had any player drafted into the NBA since Tony Carr in 2018. Pickett and Lundy are just the third and fourth players, respectively, to be drafted by an NBA team since Penn State joined the Big Ten. The only other Penn State player to be drafted in the Big Ten era of the program is Calvin Booth, the current general manager of the Denver Nuggets (who made a move up in the draft to add Pickett to his team’s roster).
Shrewsberry deserves credit for helping make all of that happen. Shrewsberry came to Penn State with his experience in the NBA being an asset. A coach who had been credited with developing players for the next level lived up to the billing with Pickett and Lundy. Regardless of what happens in their future NBA careers, just being drafted out of Penn State is a testament to the work done by Shrewsberry.
It was one of Shrewsberry’s first moves to add Pickett to the roster once he was named the head coach of the program in 2021. Pickett was one of the top transfer players available out of Sienna at the time, and Pickett quickly became a top priority for Shrewsberry. It is safe to say that worked out as Pickett contributed right away for Penn State and put together an All-American caliber season in 2022-23.
Lundy had entered the transfer portal in 2021 with a coaching change underway at Penn State, but he later decided to remain with the program after Shrewsberry was hired. Lundy saw his scoring average and three-point shooting improve each of the past two seasons under Shrewsberry.
Shrewsberry left Penn State following the conclusion of the 2023 season, which ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament, Penn State’s first tournament appearance since 2011. Shrewsberry accepted an offer to become the next head basketball coach at Notre Dame, leaving Penn State once again in a bit of a rebuilding mode under his replacement, Mike Rhoades from VCU. The bar has officially been set high for Rhoades as he now takes over a program that is coming off a rare NCAA tournament appearance and looking to replace two NBA draft picks.
NBA Draft: Seth Lundy drafted by Atlanta Hawks in Round 2
NBA Draft: NBA champion Denver Nuggets draft Jalen Pickett in Round 2
Penn State fields team for annual The Basketball Tournament
ESPN Mock Draft has both Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy getting drafted
Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy are second-round picks in CBS Sports NBA mock draft
Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire