Game Grades: Rutgers

Story posted January 27, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Patrick Murphy

The Penn State Men’s Basketball team took down Rutgers by a score of 60-43.

The win came in front of a packed house for the THON basketball game, and it came in convincing fashion.

All three facets of the Penn State unit were instrumental in the victory.

Offense: B

The offensive attack for Penn State was interesting to watch today. At the beginning of the game, there seemed to be a bit of a hangover from the big win on the road against Ohio State, though the Nittany Lions would eventually fight through it.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are a top ten team in the nation in terms of scoring defense and today Penn State got to see why first hand. Rutgers has a combination of athletic guards and a long physical front-line. They also seek to make each game they play as gritty and ugly as possible, which is the chief reason that all of their games produce so few points.

To counter, Penn State ran long possessions, rotating through their offensive sets, and just trusting the game plan. The Nittany Lions capitalized on some good looks but made their mark with an unusually high number of dunks. Reaves, Watkins, Stevens, and Bostick all threw down thunderous jams which got the packed crowd excited and helped their execution in other areas of the game.

Defense: A+

It would be hard to assign a grade lower than A+ for a defense that held their opponent to 43 points.

The effort was there from the tip, and the Penn State players looked like they were determined to embarrass the Rutgers offensive attack. The Scarlet Knights were turned over 16 times and only shot around 30 percent from the field.

Good looks were very hard to come by for Rutgers, and on the off occasion that a good look presented itself, Mike Watkins probably took it away almost instantly.

It was a truly remarkable defensive effort.

Coaching: A

Pat Chambers had a somewhat difficult job heading into this game.

Coming off the big win Columbus it would be easy for the players to rest on their laurels and give a lackluster effort against a conference bottom-feeder.

While it wasn’t great early on, Pat Chambers stayed on his players until the execution started to pick up offensively, and the game was pretty well in hand from there on.

Chambers also deserves credit for devising the game plan that held Rutgers athletic dynamo- Corey Sanders, scoreless. Every screen he tried to use was hedged, and everybody knew where he was at all times. I’d imagine he preached this in practice before the game and it paid off in a big way.

With Sanders out of the picture, the game was never in any doubt for the Nittany Lions. This win was big for Chambers as it now finally appears as though the team is trending in the direction that they should be moving.

 

Patrick Murphy is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email pqm5315@psu.edu.