Game Grades: Penn State vs. Radford
After losing to Duquesne by 26 points, the 2-2 Nittany Lions looked to bounce back against experienced Radford Highlanders who were coming off of a huge win against a very talented Georgetown Bulldogs team. Unfortunately, Penn State was unsuccessful and fell to the Highlanders 86-74, despite double digit performances by four members of the starting five. Although this is a game that will fall under the loss column, it will also be a game to look back on and grow from.
Front Court: B+
The Penn State front court carried most of the load for the Nittany Lions against the Highlanders. Sophomore center Julian Moore felt very comfortable with his turnover to the left shoulder, right hook shot throughout the night and led the team with 16 points. Senior Brandon Taylor had an all around great performance with 15 points and seven rebounds, while going 2-3 from the three-point line. Also, senior Payton Banks cleaned up the glass with eight rebounds.
Back Court: B
The Penn State back court, led by Shep Garner and Josh Reaves, had a rough night defensively due the amount three-pointers Radford was hitting throughout the game. However, offensively, Garner had a solid performance; scoring 11 points and dishing out eight assists. Reeves had a rough night shooting the basketball, going 4-10 from the field.
The bench for the Nittany Lions had a small contribution with Devin Foster leading the way, scoring 10 points. As for the rest the bench, they scored three points in total. The bench really has to step up in production in order to lift some of the pressure off from the starters. Senior center Jordan Dickerson is having hard time contributing to this Nittany Lion squad.
Pat Chambers has to use this game as a teaching tool for this young Nittany Lion team, who is still trying to find their niche. After losing DJ Newbill, who led the Big Ten in scoring last year, Chambers now has to find a way to share the load amongst the whole team since there is no clear cut scorer. There were moments of success when the Nittany Lions were running the fast break. Since this a young team, Chambers should look to experiment with that dynamic and see where it leads. At the start of the game, Chambers decided to be in a 2-3 defensive set. This had some success in the first few minutes of the game, but as soon as Radford noticed that scoring in the paint was becoming a problem they looked to the three point shot and found success. From then on, Penn State had a hard time closing out on Radford’s three-point shooters. There is more work to be done in terms of the defensive side of the ball.
Carlos Flores is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org