Penn State Basketball Stock Report
It has been a season to forget for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After a loss to Nebraska, the Nittany Lions, which features four seniors, continues to display inconsistency and inability to maintain a high level of play. The loss represents a team that has shown fans little to be confident about going forward. This week's stock report will look at aspects from the 16-point loss in Lincoln.
Stock Down: Team Defense
One week after showing some semblance the Nittany Lions could take away a team’s best player, Penn State allowed Andrew White III to go off for a career-high 35 points. Although White averages slightly under 18 points per game, no team can expect to win when they are allowing their opponent's best player to shoot 11-for-17. Even if Penn State held White to his season average, the game could have suddenly became more competitive, but the Nittany Lions had no answer for White.
Even worse, Penn State allowed Nebraska to shoot 44 percent from beyond the arc. Their perimeter defense was atrocious and a massive difference from last Saturday’s performance against Indiana, who shot 9-for-27 from outside. With Iowa coming to the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday, Penn State will have to play the caliber of defense they did against Indiana or potentially be run out of the gym.
Stock Down: The Second Contributor
Brandon Taylor has been the constant this season on offense. On a usual stock report, a ‘stock up’ position would be reserved for the ever rotating combination of players who were the second option behind Taylor's contributions.
The reality is, however, the second contributor was absent last Saturday.
Shep Garner shot an abysmal 3-for-14 from the floor for six points. He played the way he normally does on defense, but everyone in State College is still waiting for Garner to develop a complete offensive game to make him the caliber of player many have expected.
Devin Foster and Payton Banks, who have been regular second contributors this season, followed suit with Garner on Saturday. Banks did 40 percent from the field but only contributed six points on five shot attempts and three rebounds. Foster’s only made shot came on a desperate 3-point heave as the shot clock expired toward the end of the first half and failed to provide a spark off the bench.
The main contributors to Taylor on Saturday were senior center Jordan Dickerson and freshman guard Josh Reaves. Together they missed one shot and combined for 14 points. On the other end, Dickerson had three blocks and Reaves had two steals. The narrative continues for another year stemming from Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill’s time that Penn State has failed to locate a complementary scoring option.
Penn State plays two more Top 25 teams the rest of the season. The 2015-16 Big Ten flag-bearer, Iowa, visits this week and Penn State will travel to Michigan State on Feb. 28. The question for the foreseeable future still remains regarding Penn State’s ability to play with the best in the BIg Ten. Regardless if Penn State is able to gain a huge upset before the Big Ten tournament, fifth-year coach Pat Chambers still has a lot of work cut out for him.
David Arroyo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.