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Nebrasketball: Penn State Preview

Penn State took down #22 Indiana on Saturday, is Nebraska next?

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State

Location of School: University Park, PA

Coach: Pat Chambers (5th year)

Mascot: Nittany Lions

2015-16 Record: 12-12 (3-8 Conference)

2014-15 Review: 18-16 (4-14 conference)

Penn State started out last season with a fairly big bang. They went 12-1 through the non conference slate with their only loss to Charlotte in double overtime. While the record was impressive most of those wins were against fairly inferior opponents. Wins against Morgan State and Duquesne do not get you ready for the likes of Wisconsin and Maryland and this would bite them in the long run. Problems came once the conference slate hit and they ended the season 18-16. The only conference wins they could muster were against Rutgers, Nebraska, and Minnesota twice. They did get all the way into the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament where they were beaten by Purdue. This was Pat Chambers first winning season as a Nittany Lions head coach.

2015-16 Season So Far

Penn State has spent most of the year getting out of the bottom of the conference. Luckily there are teams such as Minnesota and Rutgers that are playing worse than they are. No major wins to speak of in the non conference where they went 9-4. The only non conference teams they beat that currently have a winning record are Bucknell and Kent State.

The conference slate again has not been nice to the Nittany Lions and they are currently sitting at 3-8. However they did score two upsets. One was a 71-62 win against Northwestern that started the Wildcats on a five game losing streak. The other was last Saturday where they took down #22 Indiana. A huge win for a team trying to pull its way out of the bottom of the conference

As for their production, the Nittany Lions are either in the middle or bottom of the conference in most statistics. They sit at the bottom in scoring offense and near the bottom in scoring defense. They seem to fight Minnesota and Rutgers for the bottom in field goal percentage and three pointers. The one area they do fairy well in is blocked shot where they currently sit at #6 in the conference.

Players to Watch

Brandon Taylor - Brandon is a senior forward who has seen his production nearly double since last year. He is currently leading the team with 16.6 ppg and pulling down 6.2 rpg. If Nebraska has anyone to shut down, it's Taylor. He recently had 24 points in their win against Indiana.

Shep Garner - Shep is Penn State's point guard who can hurt you with the three. His percentage has dropped a bit since entering conference play but still does well at 34%. He is second on the team behind Taylor with 13.6 ppg and 3.2 rpg.

Payton Banks - Peyton of the last of Penn State's main scorers as the teams production drops off considerably afterhim. He is currently averaging 10.2 ppg and 4.8 rpg. While he does score a decent amount of points Payton also takes a lot of shots. Most of which are from inside the arch as he is shooting 27% from the three point line. If Nebraska want's to keep himself contained they really should pressure him to the outside.

What Will Probably Happen

Penn State has had their one big upset of the year against Indiana. Yeah, they really shouldn't have won and they know it. Indiana played flat and had a hard time shooting. Especially inside the arc. Penn state pressed and capitalized on the Hoosiers deficiencies and took the win.

I don't think they will have such luck on Saturday in Lincoln. Nebraska will most likely be without Shavon Shields for another game but they proved against a good Wisconsin team that they can play well without their senior leader. Penn State, can't say the same. Nebraska will win and the win should be fairly big.