Penn St. Info
Head Coach: Pat Chambers
Location: University Park, PA
Nickname: Nittany Lions
Mascot: The Nittany Lion
Last time out: Lost to Michigan
Typical Rotation Depth: 9+
Line: Nebraska by 1
Style: Low assist % / Low 3pa%
4 Factors (Conference Only)
|Off. Reb. %:||28.6||27.6||28.8|
Most Frequent Lineups over the last 5 games
Penn St will be without the services of Mike Watkins so Julian Moore will get the start and is serviceable. At points you could see a 4 guard lineup with Lamar Stevens at center.
Players to watch: Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens
The prized Sophomore Philly area HS teammates drive this Penn State team and both players dominate the shots like Petteway and Shields did back in the day. Carr is the main cog as the 6'5" PG drives the action, leading the team in scoring and assists. Carr is an undisciplined shooter so it's possible to lure him into taking low percentage mid-range shots.
Bracketologist may say that this game doesn't matter much for Nebraska's tourney chances win or lose but today's game carries a lot of weight as Nebraska needs the win to get an important double bye in the B1G tournament. There is also some history involved with winning all home conference games and winning 22 in the regular season, but those numbers aren't nearly as important as the Huskers trying to break their way into the NCAA tournament.
Speaking of tournament hopes, Penn St almost beat Purdue on the road and were soundly defeated by Michigan after winning 4 in a row to get back near the bubble. It's possible that the Nittany Lions have mentally packed it in but highly doubtful. They are still playing for the 6th seed over Indiana as well as a few B1G tourney wins away from making the tourney as well. There will be plenty of fire today from Pat Chamber's group.
The Nittany Lions aren't a particularly deep squad so the Mike Watkins' injury hurts. However Penn St proved with Watkins limited to 9 minutes with foul trouble vs Purdue that they're still a very dangerous team. Shep Gardner and Josh Reaves don't shoot nearly as much as Carr and Stevens but tend to knock them down. Any sort of foul trouble or fatigue would be advantage Nebraska as we're able to cycle in 10 players. Look for the Huskers to be aggressive all day and fueled by what should be a raucous crowd.
Offensively the Nittany Lions like to play a bit of hero ball so look for Nebraska to throw out some zone during the game. This was quite effective the last time these two teams played as Nebraska almost came back from a large deficit. That was also the infamous James Palmer benching game. While Palmer has found his way since then and worked his way up towards being an all-conference player he'll find this game to be challenging on a different level as Josh Reeves is a noted defensive stopper. Look for Penn St to throw backup guard Nazeer Bostick at Palmer as well.
Will the fans stand today? As far as I know there hasn't been an order of a "No Sit Sunday" by the staff though as I recall going into that Wisconsin game 4 years ago I wasn't real sure if the fans would remain standing. While it's possible we get out to a big lead and roll in this one Penn St's play this year has proven that is unlikely. I think a Stand Up Sunday should do the trick, don't you?
Prediction: Nebraska 79 - Penn State 73