MBB Game Grades: Nebraska
After upsetting Maryland at home and taking down Illinois on the road, Nebraska ended Penn State’s momentum and dismantled them, 82-66, depriving the Nittany Lions of a much-needed conference win.
The Nittany Lions are currently ninth in the Big Ten, sitting at 6-8.
Penn State looked lost at times on the court, especially in the paint. Penn State was outrebounded 40-29 and allowed 12 points to freshman center Jordy Tshimanga.
While Penn State won the turnover battle, the Nittany Lions still could not manage the Cornhuskers offensive attack and struggled to contain fast breaks.
Here are the game grades for Penn State’s game against Nebraska:
Guards: The guard play was not impressive, but it was respectable for most of the game. Freshman and leading scorer Tony Carr turned in another solid performance with 15 points, seven boards and two assists. Shep Garner disappointed, contributing only eight points. The Nittany Lions shot 20 percent from behind the arc, and were susceptible to forcing poor shots that barely grazed the rim. Sophomore Josh Reaves continued to show why he leads the Big Ten in steals, adding two more to his season stats. The guards need improve their shot selection and recovering on an opponent’s fast break. Nebraska’s guards and game plan seemed too fast for them to handle.
Forwards: The Nittany Lions need a true center, or an aggressive forward that is going to crash the boards effectively. Penn State’s big men were outrebounded, and more importantly outplayed in all facets of the game. They struggled to provide any resistance on defense, and freshman Mike Watkins was surrounded by four Nebraska players, more often than not, when a ball hit off the glass. The Nittany Lions biggest weakness is an opponent that is talented in the frontcourt, which is why they have embarrassing losses to teams like Cincinnati and Purdue. Freshman Lamar Stevens and Carr were tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven. Watkins and junior Payton Banks combined for four total boards and 15 points. Banks struggled with his shot, converting only one of eight three-pointers. The big men must be fundamentally sound if they are going to compete with teams that sport well-rounded forwards and centers.
Coaching: Head coach Pat Chambers did not draw up an effective game plan for Tuesday night’s game. Nebraska is not a good basketball team by any stretch and their 11-14 overall record proves it. Chambers, coming off of two resounding victories, failed to prepare his team properly. The Cornhuskers played with more energy and aggression, and Chambers is responsible for the lack of motivation among his players. The guard unit is Penn State’s best asset but, excluding Carr, they were exposed against Nebraska. Chambers must do a better job of having his players attack the glass if they are going to take contested shots.
Zach Seyko is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and communication arts & sciences. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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