Penn St. Info
Mascot: The Nittany Lion
Typical Rotation Depth: 8
Spread: Penn State by 7
KenPom rank: 34
Players to watch: John Harrar
The starting center for Penn State personally snatched away victory with his relentless work on the offensive glass. He'll get a few buckets on you in the paint but the real damage is the extra chances he gives this poor shooting Nittany Lion offense. Keeping a body on him at all time will be a key point for Nebraska.
Players to watch: Myreon Jones
Easily the best outside shooter for Penn St and had a monster game in Lincoln where the Cats won that was overshadowed by Teddy Allen scoring 41 points. The streaky shooter is hard to contain once he gets going.
With the departures of Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens Penn St isn't running much offense through the post
- Brockington is a lock down defender who mostly shoots inside the arc
- PG Jamari Wheeler spearheads this ball hawking defense that generates a lot of steals. He's a pure point guard in the sense that he barely shoots so he's a good matchup for Kobe Webster.
- Myles Dread still hasn't improved on his freshman numbers like this team would expect and often slots as an undersized forward for this small Penn St squad.
- Seth Lundy originally was the undersized starting 4 but his lack of shooting has him coming off the bench. Vs Maryland on Sunday had a huge game, going off for 31 points.
- Binghamton transfer Sam Sessoms is interesting as I wonder if the team might have been better off in the future had he redshirted. The high scoring combo guard functions as the PG when Wheeler is off the court and as an undersized SG when they play together. The Philly native is 2nd on the team in assists and 4th in scoring coming off the bench.
- Forward Trent Buttrick backs up Harrar but his poor finishing ability and defending makes him a substandard replacement
Derrick Walker talks about him coming back mid-season and the challenges involved with that. Took the offensive rebounds given up to Harrar "personally". Biggest takeaway from Hoiberg was that the games will be played in a football stadium so the team is going to spend all of their time pre-game shooting because of how different it feels in a dome.
Penn St and Nebraska split these two games, with Nebraska pulling out a rock fight in Happy Valley and Penn St pulling out the W in a shootout in Lincoln. The big difference in this game will be no Teddy Allen. The Nebraska offense in the meantime has shared the ball better but what they'll need to do is finish in the paint against this Penn State team.
It feels like Nebraska's scheme of taking away the paint will give them a shooting percentage edge in this one and it will come down to limiting extra possessions for Penn St. In a regularly paced game it feels like 32 is the breakeven number of turnovers and offensive rebounds Nebraska can give up; which side Nebraska ends up on tonight seems likely to determine if they win or lose.
Don't expect either team to come out and sluff this one; both are going to play like there isn't another game tomorrow.
Look for another close one where no lead is safe.
Prediction: Nebraska 71 - Penn State 69