Penn State vs. Wagner Preview

Story posted November 8, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Josiah Bates

Penn State men’s basketball is ready to get their season underway, as they’ll host Wagner on Saturday, in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State is coming off a big exhibition game victory, over Northwood, where they won, 98-61.

The Opponent:

Wagner isn’t exactly a pushover team. They’re returning three starters to a team that went 19-12 last season and 12-6 in their conference (NEC). Wagner has a talented defender in Kenneth Ortiz, who is a two time NEC Defensive Player of the Year. Ortiz is capable of giving Frazier some issues in their first game this season. In addition to Ortiz, Wagner has some solid complementary players, in junior guard Marcus Burton and senior guard Latif Rivers. Also the transfer from Valparaiso, guard Jay Harris, will look to be a factor for this team. Wagner should be exciting opponent for Penn State to open up against.

What to watch for:

The return of Tim Frazier is the headline for Penn State this season. After tearing his Achilles early last year ,he’ll look to bounce back as the All-Big Ten guard he was his junior year. With their first real game Frazier will look to get himself going early on since Penn State will need him to be the premier guard he was if they want to maximize their potential.

Projection:

Penn State should be the favorite to take this game, but this matchup could be a little more exciting than expected. Penn State lacks size inside and Wagner has some size inside themselves. Though Penn State has an aggressive forward in Ross Travis, Wagner has a 6’11 center in Naofall Folahan, to protect the rim and get rebounds. The biggest matchup will be between Frazier and Ortiz, two of the top guards in their respective conferences. Penn State should have the advantage playing at home and having nice momentum after their exhibition win. While they are expected to win, it likely won’t be easy.

Score: Penn State 72 Wagner 65

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