Penn State Men’s Basketball Game Grades vs. Clemson
The Penn State Men’s Basketball team traveled to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Nittany Lions battled the Tigers all the way through two overtime periods, but fell just short, losing by a score of 101-94.
Let’s take a look at how the team fared in each facet of the game.
Penn State has had a ton of success offensively so far this season, but against Clemson, their offense seemed to sputter a little bit.
The Nittany Lions kept their good shooting numbers going and knocked down 11 three-pointers in the game, but shot just 30.6% from beyond the arc. They took a lot of contested shots from deep that led them to racking up 36 total three-point attempts.
Penn State also shot a poor 40.8% from the field while the Tigers shot 50.8% from the field and looked much better running their offense.
There were bright spots in the Nittany Lions offensive game against Clemson. Three players for Penn State finished with over 20 points and they shot very well from the free throw line. They finished with a 25 for 29 mark from the stripe and made clutch free throws regularly.
Drexel transfer Cam Wynter led the way in scoring with 26 points including 11 of 12 from the free throw line. Seth Lundy contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds in another impressive performance from him while Jalen Pickett scrapped his way to 23 points.
This offense has potential to go off any night, but against the Tigers it looked stagnant and they had no answer for Clemson’s defensive strategy.
The defense for the Nittany Lions has been superb to start the season and they continued this trend in the first half. They held the Tigers to just 29 points when they averaged 72 per game.
Penn State also played very well defensively against Clemson’s top two scorers Chase Hunter and Hunter Tyson in the first half. The duo did not score in the first half and went a combined 0-for-7 to start the game.
The second half for the defense was a different story. Chase Hunter continued to struggle all night, but the Nittany Lions had no answer for Hunter Tyson and he carved the defense up for 18 points in the second half.
Another notable weak spot in the Penn State defense was their interior coverage. It was clear that freshman Kebba Njie was still not ready for this task and the Nittany Lions lacked size elsewhere to make up for it.
The Tigers took advantage of this mismatch and punished the Penn State defense for 36 points in the paint and finished with a 50.8% mark from the field and 52.4% from deep.
If there was any positive take away from Penn State’s defense, it was their ability to create a lot of tough shots that ultimately fell for the Tigers and opened up their defense.
Once the Nittany Lions figure out their interior defense and combine it with the success of their defense on the perimeter, this Penn State team could wreak havoc defensively.
At first glance, it would seem as if head coach Micah Shrewsberry didn’t coach his team very well as they struggled on both ends of the floor, but overall it was not a badly coached game.
Penn State played well down the stretch in what really was their first opportunity to try and close out a game on the road against a quality opponent.
Coach Shrewsberry drew up two very good plays to get his best players the ball. The first led to a game-tying three-pointer by Andrew Funk to send it to overtime and the second led to a great look for Jalen Pickett to win the game in overtime that he missed.
Coach Shrewsberry and his crew will regroup offensively and make changes defensively as they look forward to a matchup with Michigan State on Dec. 7.
Thomas English is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Second-year / Broadcast Journalism
Thomas is a broadcast journalist from Shorewood, Illinois which is an hour South of Chicago. He is a second-year student at Penn State majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. His goal is to be an ESPN broadcaster who covers a variety of sports including professional and college level football and basketball and bring entertainment to people all over the world. His other goal is to spread his love of sports to all cultures through projects that allow children of all ethnicities to learn and play all kinds of sports. He is currently an active member of CommRadio, a student run radio station at Penn State. He plans to create his own sports podcast as well as doing play by play and analysis for Penn State sporting events in the future. In the future, he hopes to use his skills to entertain people all over the world!