Penn State Basketball Stock Report
Although neither the basketball or hockey team could pull out a win on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the day represented a step forward for the two athletic programs. For the basketball team, the big stage gave fans the first real picture of who are the true players on this team, and who are the pretenders.
Stock Up: Shep Garner
Making his first appearance on the stock report, the Super Saturday matchup against Michigan gave everyone a glimpse at Shep Garner’s full capabilities. Garner has been sporadic all season, with his last few outings proving to be quite uneventful. But with Saturday’s 22-point performance, the sophomore guard could represent the much needed second option for the remainder of the season. The entire season to this point has rested squarely on the shoulders of Brandon Taylor, and as well as Taylor has played, it is difficult to win games in the Big Ten without a full team effort. Not to mention, Garner made five 3-point field goals, giving the Nittany Lions a deep threat. If Garner can have similar outputs going forward, Penn State could be looking at a late surge in the Big Ten.
Stock Down: Devin Foster
After finding himself with his stock rising a week ago, two disappointing starts for Devin Foster has found his stock on the decline. In the two games against Michigan and Ohio State, Foster had himself a combined nine points and did not possess the same spark he had when he was coming off of the bench. It is unusual to see players perform as well as he had on the bench, but the senior may be best fit coming off the bench the remainder of the season and have Coach Chambers’ squad run with a bigger backcourt like he had been doing until Josh Reaves returns. The Ohio native was one of several veteran leaders off of the bench who provided stability when stepping into games for other players and will be better served playing from that spot the remainder of the season.
Stock Unchanged: Payton Banks
There has not been a more consistent player as of late than Payton Banks. Banks continues to shoot at about the same percentage every game (40 percent) and scores somewhere in the vicinity of 10 points in each of those contests. Banks has been a valued member of the starting lineup alongside Taylor, and if Garner can step his game up going forward, this could be a valuable trio. Slowly but surely, Banks is transforming into a leader and poising himself to take over for Taylor when he graduates at the end of the year. The sophomore has not been afraid to be told what to do and take lessons from the older guys such as Taylor. That ability to allow himself to grow both as a player and a leader puts him in a position to really make the most out of his remaining two years at State College.
David Arroyo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism