Game Grades: Penn State vs. VMI
Penn State’s 62-50 home-opening victory over the VMI Keydets was a game in which sophomore guard Shep Garner hit four of the team’s five 3-pointers. Garner scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, and shot 67% from 3-point range in the game. They are 1-0 on the 2015-2016 season, and will play the second game of a two-game home stand when they host DePaul Tuesday night at 5:00 p.m.
Field Goal Percentage & Efficiency: A
Penn State had multiple players with double-digit field goal totals, as Shep Garner had 15 points in the game, Brandon Taylor added 13 points, and Payton Banks collected 12 points. Four-star recruiting prospect Josh Reaves had six points, going 3-6 from the field. Donovan Jack, Julian Moore, Devin Foster, and Isaiah Washington had four points apiece from the field. Penn State spaced out the ball and offensive production nicely to various players, rather than putting the offensive production into the lap of one player. The Nittany Lions shot 42.6 percent from the field in the victory.
Penn State out-rebounded the VMI Keydets 38-33 in the game, as their offensive rebound percentage for the game was 36.1 percent compared to VMI’s 28.6 percent. Penn State had 13 offensive rebounds and 25 defensive rebounds in the game, doing well offensively and defensively in that department.
In the turnover department, Penn State did better than VMI. The Nittany Lions induced only nine turnovers in the game, while VMI turned it over 14 times. Not a single Penn State player had more than two turnovers in the entire game, which is a huge key going forward.
Free Throw Line Trips & Percentage: B-
Penn State made 18 trips to the charity stripe in the game, six more trips to the line than VMI. The Nittany Lions also shot 11-18 from the free throw line, a weak 61.1 free throw percentage. Five of Brandon Taylor’s 13 points came from the free throw line, where he shot 5-8. Payton Banks went 3-4 from the line.
Three Penn State starters recorded steals in the season opener, as Shep Garner, Brandon Taylor and Josh Reaves had two takeaways each in the contest. Penn State had a total of six steals for Penn State. VMI mustered only half as many steals, with three. Not one VMI starter had more than one steal in the game.
Penn State’s defense played brilliantly all game long. The defense held VMI to only 18-49 shooting, a low 37 percent clip. In addition, Penn State had five blocks in the game, with three of them coming from guard Josh Reaves. Center Jordan Dickerson and forward Brandon Taylor added one block each. In contrast, VMI had zero blocks in the game.
Daniel Correa is a junior who is currently majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org