Pennsylvania State University Preview
Date: Thursday, January 10th
Time: 8:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
2017-18 Record: 26-13 (9-9 Big Ten Conference)
2018-19 Record: 7-8 (0-4 Big Ten Conference)
Head Coach: Pat Chambers (8th Season)
Penn State came away from the 2017-18 season on a high note. While Chambers squad took their fair share of losses, they did bring some hardware back to Happy Valley. The run actually started in the Big Ten Tournament where they took their #7 seeding all the way to the semifinals where they were finally defeated by #8 Purdue.
The Nittany Lions were then granted an invitation to the NIT. There they were seeded #4 and went on a run to the championship game where they defeated #2 seed Utah for the title.
Penn State is currently sitting 7-8 on the year and win less in conference play. The one highlight of a win was over current top 10 ranked Virginia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Since then they’ve gone up against and lost to Maryland, Indiana, North Carolina State, Alabama, Michigan, and Wisconsin. All of these teams are currently ranked and Penn State was fairly competitive in all but the final two.
They are lead by All Big Ten forward Lamar Stevens. He has been an impact player for the Nittany Lions since he stepped on the court three years ago. The 6’8” junior is averaging 18.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. That is all from shooting a very nice 43% from the floor. He is hands down the top player on the team and will give the Huskers problems throughout the game.
Next to Lamar is Rasir Bolton. The freshman guard is averaging 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He is known for cranking out 3’s and that is where he gets roughly half of his points per game. Nebraska will have to guard him closely throughout the game as he will make the Huskers pay if not kept in check.
Also of note is senior Josh Reeves. He has been a constant for the Nittany Lions since his freshman year and has been a problem for the Huskers in the past. He is averaging 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. He may be a guard but he can rebound well and will crash the paint on defense to get those numbers against the Huskers.
Penn State has played some very good teams this year. Each one, they were not expected to win but played well enough in most to not make any real blowouts out of them. They have enough good players to give opposing teams headaches but not enough depth to carry them to the final buzzer.
If Nebraska brings it’s “A” game or even “B” game then I see this as a win for Nebraska. Especially since it’s being played at home in Pinnacle Bank. However, if Nebraska keeps their recent poor play going then the Nittany Lions could walk away with a win.
With that said, I do not see Nebraska giving much up at home. The crowd should be behind them and whatever bugs they had during the break will be gone.
University of Nebraska 68 Pennsylvania State University 60