Penn State Basketball Stock Report
With the season slowly coming to a close, the Penn State Nittany Lions (15-14, 6-10 Big Ten) are fighting for a potential NIT bid. This past week of games was a real test for how this team will perform in the Big Ten tournament and handle the wide variety of Big Ten competition.
Stock Up: Coach Pat Chambers
If it was not for the message of coach Pat Chambers, the aforementioned potential NIT bid would not be possible. Chambers has done an excellent job in keeping his guys focused and making sure that each game and day is a new one, not looking back or forward. He has reiterated throughout press conferences this message and it is what has helped this team to win so many big games down the stretch.
With his ejection in the game against No. 6 Michigan State (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten), many media outlets will undeniably criticize Chambers and say he lost his composure, which cannot be questioned. But what will not be talked about is how Chambers stood up for what he felt was unfair treatment of his players. For a coach to give his heart in that way and put his reputation on the line to protect his guys will instill confidence in the team that coach has their back and the team will fight for Chambers.
Stock Down: Brandon Taylor
Brandon Taylor’s performance against Michigan State is arguably the worst he has had all season. With only two points against Michigan State on 1-6 shooting, this was Taylor’s first game not in double figures since December 22nd against Colorado.
This is one of the first times this season that the senior forward was not the go-to guy, which would be a major positive if they did not need him in this game. But the contributions he normally gives would have lifted this team to a much closer contest against stiff competition. If Taylor’s production slips here at the end, the Nittany Lions will have to hope for consistent play from some of the guys who have been playing so well as of late.
Stock Up: Shep Garner
Shep Garner had himself his third straight 20-point game against Michigan State and was the leading scorer for the game. Garner’s emergence in the last few games as the secondary scorer and possible first option if Taylor is struggling has helped this team tremendously. Although his shooting from three against Michigan State was not as good as in previous games, his shooting has helped to stretch the floor and allow Penn State to play the inside-out game with guys like Taylor.
For the sophomore guard, he has now positioned himself as the guy that will take over as the leader for the Nittany Lions once Taylor graduates at the end of the season. He has shown that he can take on the load of being the number one guy and will try to help lead a new generation of Penn State players next year when his fellow Roman Catholic alums join him in Happy Valley.
Stock Up: Devin Foster
After having his minutes were cut in the previous two games, Chambers earlier in the week said that Foster would eventually earn his minutes back. The Michigan State game was the first time those minutes returned and the senior guard contributed 11 points to go alongside a team leading five assists. Although the team has continued to win without his contributions, Foster’s help off the bench is welcomed and could give Chambers a guy off the bench to consistently provide a spark if his starters are not performing.
David Arroyo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism