Penn State vs. Monmouth Preview

Story posted November 26, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Josiah Bates

The Penn State Nittany Lions (4-1) will take on Monmouth University (1-3) on Tuesday, November 26th, in the Bryce Jordan Center. This will be the second home contest of the Barclays Center Classic for Penn State . The Nittany Lions are coming of a convincing 93-67 win over Longwood. Monmouth is coming off a 64-54 loss to St. John’s.

The Opponent

Monmouth isn’t going to be one of the most formidable opponents the Nittany Lions face this season. Just four games into the season, the Hawks are shooting 38% from the field, while allowing opponents to shoot 46%. Monmouth is being led by junior guard Deon Jones, who is averaging 18 ppg, while shooting 52% from the field and 58% from three. Jones is the most viable threat to give Penn State some trouble, because of his size at the guard position. Other than Jones, junior guard Andrew Nicholas and freshman guard Justin Robinson, are the two other leading scorers.

Monmouth does have some decent size inside with freshman center Zac Tillman. Howeve,r the freshman has been struggling, garnering just as many rebounds (11) ,as fouls this season. Tillman will look to get some help from sophomore forward Tyrone O’Garro, who’s coming off a career- high 12 rebound performance against St. John’s. The Hawks have fought hard in a couple of their losses, losing by just six to Penn, and falling short after a late rally against St. John’s.

What to watch for:

Penn State has looked spry offensively so far this season. Forget who their opponents have been, the Nittany Lions have found a rhythm that hasn’t been tainted at all early this year. Even in their one loss to Bucknell, they put up 80 points. Penn State’s offense has been the story so far. The Nittany Lions have been aided by the return of guard Tim Frazier.

Games like this should be an opportunity for the team’s younger players to get some playing time and to develop chemistry. Coach Patrick Chambers is known for not really utilizing all his players, but he should look to do that in games like this one. The starters are already beginning to mesh so far and if this team wants to be their best when it counts, they need to be able to go a little deep into their bench.

Projection

This should be another easy non-conference win for Penn State, who’s looking for their fourth straight victory. Penn State needs to rack up as many of these non-conference wins as they can before they begin their Big Ten journey. Based on how Monmouth has played in a couple of their games, they could potentially keep the game close, but even in a close game, Penn State has multiple weapons they can go to that would close the deal for them.

Josiah Bates is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jnb5278@psu.edu.