Penn St. Info
Mascot: The Nittany Lion
Conference Record: 0-4
Typical Rotation Depth: 9
Spread: Penn State by 8.5
KenPom rank: 19
KenPom home court advantage calculation: 4.0 (25th in D-I)
Offensive Style: High Tempo
Defensive Style: Guarding the 3
Players to watch: Lamar Stevens
Stevens is a lot like James Palmer where he's a volume scorer where you just try and weather what's he's doing and try to make him beat you from outside. Stevens averages 16.7 a game but has struggled shooting 24.6%. Look for him at spots tonight to be the small ball center if Penn St really wants to cause some havoc.
Players to watch: Myreon Jones
Among the three guys who mainly shoot 3s for Penn St (Myles Dread, Curtis Jones), Myreon is the one knocking them down at a better than average rate, currently sitting at 39.6%. Myreon is probably the point guard when Jamari Wheeler isn't on the court but Penn St has a lot of ball handlers so it's not all that important
We are Penn State players Myreon Jones and Curtis Jones....no relation
Penn St typically has a 2 center rotation (Harrar/Watkins) with Stevens mostly at the 4 and then the other 6 guys rotating spots.
- Wheeler is the starting pg but he's more a defensive player and will be charged with containing Mack. Offensively he's not a big threat to score and is turnover prone
- Frosh Lundy has been inserted into the starting lineup the last 4 games due to his 3pt shooting ability
- Center John Harrar isn't at all the threat that Watkins is but numbers would indicate that Penn St performs better with him on the court. He's also become a starter for the last 4 games.
- Myles Dread's poor shooting from the outside has him out of the starting lineup
- Former Indiana and Okie St player Curtis Jones has come on in the last couple of games, scoring in double digits
- St Bonnie's transfer Brockington is a defensive player in the mold of Josh Reaves. His 3pt shooting didn't follow in the transfer
- Mike Watkins is still a force on the boards and the best rim protector on the team. The problem is how slow footed the big man is for this team who wants to run and can be exploited by mobile 5s. He also clogs the lane for guys like Stevens.
This shouldn't be one of those Nebraska - Penn St rock fights of the past. Pat Chambers has his team playing at a similar tempo to Nebraska and Lions very much look like they're finally going to make the tournament in his ninth year. This could also be his first team to win on the road at Nebraska.
Offensively Chambers is pushing the pace this year so this game has the makings of a track meet. Look for Penn St, with their starting lineup of shooting and speed surrounding Stevens to try and open up a lead off the bat. At points given their obvious height advantage look for Penn St to slow it down and work the ball inside. Defensively Penn St is one of the top teams in the conference but their inability to defend without fouling nor to secure rebounds at an elite level has really held them back. Nebraska's 5 out offense should give this team fits at times. The chess match of centers could be interesting as if you're looking for an excuse to start Cross and save Yvan's bulk for Watkins, tonight is that night. Cross vs Watkins is a battle of guys who won't be able to guard each other well.
Like most every game, Nebraska is going to attempt to turn Penn St into a 3pt shooting team and hope they don't get hot. This typically works better at home than on the road. Look for enough running in this game to make Nebraska feel good about themselves offensively. Will that be enough to beat this better team?
Prediction: Penn St 84 - Nebraska 76