Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Indiana
Host Matt Noah sits down with Logan Bourandas, Ben Geller and Adam Babetski to discuss the Nittany Lions' upcoming matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers.
Penn State is coming off a tough 62-56 home loss to Illinois, having its eight-game winning streak snapped after a strong performance from Ayo Dosunmu of the Fighting Illini. Penn State will potentially fall from its No. 9 ranking, but the Nittany Lions have an opportunity to start a new streak as they travel to Bloomington to face the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon. Indiana is 13-3 at home on the season, and like many of the bubble teams in the Big Ten, is difficult to beat on its home floor of Assembly Hall. A victory for the Nittany Lions would add to their impressive road resume this season.
Keys to the Game for Penn State
Penn State looks to enter this game with a disruptive mentality. As one of the best teams in the nation at forcing turnovers, they could get comfortable in a hostile environment by coaxing the Hoosiers into mistakes. Indiana has been known to get sloppy with decision making, so Penn State should look to play physical defense and get the Hoosiers out of their rhythm.
Likewise, Penn State will need to adjust its offensive strategy after shooting poorly for the first time since guard Myreon Jones has been sidelined with an illness. Penn State wasn’t able to get shots to fall, and it showed the lack of versatility and spacing the offense can have when this happens. Forward Lamar Stevens will need to impose his will if the Nittany Lions don’t have the long range shot going.
Keys to the Game for Indiana
The Hoosiers struggled to make good decisions with the ball in the first meeting with Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center, turning the ball over 17 times and shooting 18% from 3-point range. Penn State wants them to make the same mistake again, and it is exactly what Indiana needs to avoid. If the Hoosiers can instead dictate a fast pace, they might be able to force the Nittany Lions into quick decisions on offense. Though Penn State is effective at scoring in transition, the Nittany Lions are at their best when methodically locating the open shooter, so the Hoosiers should look to rush them as much as possible.
Star Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis will need to set a physical tone at home. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder is the only player that can match Stevens, and that will be key to avoiding a season sweep at the hands of Penn State.
Penn State will have a tough task in Assembly Hall, but they are up to it after getting a bit of a reality check against Illinois. Indiana will put up a valiant fight on its home court, but will ultimately fall short thanks to a 20-plus point effort from Lamar Stevens.
Score Prediction: Penn State 75, Indiana 71
Jeremy Ganes is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.