UNIVERSITY PARK - Philadelphia native D.J. Newbill, the 2010 Pennsylvania Class AA Player of the Year and a freshman starter at Southern Mississippi last season, officially completed transfer paper work and attended his first day of classes Monday at Penn State.
The 6-4, 205-pound guard joins coach Patrick Chambers' Nittany Lion basketball program with three years of eligibility remaining and will sit out the 2011-12 season under NCAA transfer rules.
"D.J. will make an immediate impact on our program with his toughness, basketball IQ and work ethic," Chambers said. "It's great to get a Philadelphia kid that is passionate about Penn State basketball and wants to be here. We are very confident he will show that a Philadelphia player can have great success and an outstanding career at Penn State."
Newbill was a standout out at Strawberry Mansion High in Philadelphia before playing his freshman season at Southern Mississippi in 2010-11. Newbill ranked third on the Golden Eagle team posting 9.2 points and second with 6.2 rebounds a game for a veteran squad that posted a 22-10 mark. He started all 32 contests, playing 30.5 minutes per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the floor to earn Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors.
Newbill recorded six double-doubles and led Southern Miss in rebounding 11 times on the season, including a season high 16 boards to go with 15 points in a 64-51 win at UTEP in mid-February. He led the team in scoring once, posting 14 points in a 67-61 loss at Memphis, and posted 15 double-digit scoring outings, including a season high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting and nine boards in an 86-69 win over UCF. His 126 trips to the free throw line ranked second on the team and fifth among freshman in the NCAA last year.
Newbill helped a Strawberry Mansion team, led by coach Stan Laws, to the 2010 PIAA state championship game at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center and was named the Pennsylvania Class AA Player of the Year after posting 24.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game in his senior season.
A first-team all-state selection by the Philadelphia Daily News, the McDonald's All-America candidate was also named the Public League Player of the Year and first team all-city and all-public league. Mansion posted a 28-2 record in his senior campaign and reached the state title game for the second time in three years.
Newbill, a two-year letterman for the Knights, posted 15 points in the 2010 championship game.
His senior campaign was highlighted by a school-record 64-point performance in a victory over Saul. He went 23-of-30 from the field and 16-of-17 at the foul line to post the sixth-highest point total in Philadelphia public league history.
Newbill averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals as a junior and was named second-team all-state and second team all-public league.
Penn State opens on Saturday, Nov. 12. at home against Hartford. Game time is noon.