Pennsylvania State Preview
Date: Saturday, February 1st
Time: 6:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 15-5 (5-4 Big Ten)
Coach: Pat Chambers
Penn State is another squad that has a little bit of a history with the bottom of the conference. Nowhere in recent memory can I remember when Penn State was challenging much of anyone in the Big Ten. Let alone the top 25.
But, like Rutgers, we find the Nittany Lions with only a handful of losses and ranked. Their one non conference loss was to Ole Miss. A Rebel team that is currently 10-10 and sitting #12 in the SEC. As for the Big Ten; they have losses to Rutgers, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. All very good but flawed teams.
Wins? they have a few decent wins. A 15 point win over Georgetown early in the season was a nice way to start things off. Later on they knocked off Syracuse 85-64. Not the ‘Cuse of yesteryear, but still a decent team. Big Ten play came calling and they knock off #4 Maryland right after a loss to #6 Ohio State. #23 Iowa came calling and like the Huskers, they too defeated the Hawkeyes. Three losses in a row then came from Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as mentioned above. They then broke the streak and avenged their earlier loss to Ohio State and beat the buckeyes in Happy Valley.
The Nittany Lions are led again by the now senior Lamar Stevens. Yep, Lamar is still there and still giving opposing defenses headaches. First team all Big Ten his junior year and first team in the fan’s hears. Well, the few that follow Penn State basketball at least.
This season Lamar is averaging 16.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. The points are down from his 19.9 last year but still stellar none the less.
In the paint will be senior Mike Watkins. The 6’9” 245lb forward is averaging 9.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He has also blocked 58 shots this year which leads the conference and averages 2.9 a game.
Also of note is Myreon Jones at guard. He averages 39% from beyond the arch this season and 48.7% while on the road. Impressive stats in a conference that is known for be difficult for visiting teams. Myreon is averaging 13.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists this year.
The Nittany Lions are bringing a three game winning streak into Lincoln. If Nebraska can keep themselves out of a hole early on then I can see this being a good game. The Huskers have enough talent to play close but they can’t make too many mistakes against this rolling Penn State squad.
In the end, I see the Lions being to disciplined of a team to take a loss here.
Pennsylvania State University 84 University of Nebraska 77