Penn State Basketball Stock Report: Week Four
Victories over Georgia Tech and Wright State extended Penn State’s win streak to four games, the longest streak since 2014-15. A 19-point defeat to George Mason ended that streak and the momentum that came with it. Let’s check out who and what is trending where:
Payton Banks: The ultimate X-Factor on this Penn State roster, Banks has been inconsistent throughout his college career. As of late, however, he’s played very well. Banks was second on the team with 15 points and shot 50 percent from the field versus Wright State. The 6’6” forward then led the Lions with 21 points against George Mason, including five three-pointers. Penn State has and will continue to rely on “scoring by committee” and Banks has shown that he can step it up offensively when needed.
Full Court Press: Coming into this season, Pat Chambers wanted to change the philosophy of his team. Instead of playing physical man-to-man or zone defense, he wanted the young and athletic Lions to press their opponents and create turnovers. The experiment hasn’t paid dividends yet. Against George Mason, Penn State surrendered 14 fast break points, while only scoring two. They were also outscored 44-16 in the paint, largely due to the Patriots’ breaking of the press and ability to beat the defense back to the basket. Penn State forced 13 turnovers versus George Mason, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Tony Carr’s Scoring: One of the highest rated recruits to come to Penn State, Carr looked great early in the season. After scoring in double-digits in each of the first seven games, Carr has scored four, three and three in the last three. Although Penn State won two of those three, Carr will need to get his numbers back up in order for Penn State to improve this season.
Jonathan Gross is a sophomore double-majoring in broadcast journalism and international politics (national security). To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org