LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Jalen Pickett’s phone has been ringing off the hook. The rising senior has been surprised at some of the programs on the other end, showing interest in the Siena star who entered the transfer portal on Thursday.
As a three-time All-MAAC first team selection, the point guard is an intriguing prospect for high-major programs. As of Friday afternoon, about ten schools had already been in contact, including Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Miami, Penn State, and UNLV.
The Rochester native said he’s listening to everyone who calls, including UAlbany. However, he’ll put a premium on playing at a higher level program as long as he can find a similar family vibe there.
“I don’t want to make the lateral move because I mean, Siena’s a great place,” said Pickett. “It wouldn’t make sense to make a lateral move for me. But that being said, I don’t have to play at a power five necessarily. I just want to go to a school that can compete and play in the NCAA tournament right away and play with really good players, maybe have a couple NBA prospects on their roster already.”
Pickett pointed to his two years left of eligibility as a big reason why he chose to transfer, along with the strong likelihood he won’t have to sit out a season. So far, he’s heard some good pitches.
“Most of the calls I got right now is I’m going to be playing with a lot of people that can really shoot the ball,” Pickett explained. “Play with pace and space, pick-and-roll style basketball, and they said I’m gonna get some catch-and-shoot shots this year, and they said I’ll be able to play off the pick and roll like I normally do and I love to hear that.”
Pickett plans to narrow down his list based on where he feels he’d fit the best, and schedule Zoom calls from there. As for location, he’s up to go anywhere.