Penn State Men’s Basketball Game Grades: Ohio State

Story posted December 6, 2021 in

The start of conference play didn’t go great for Penn State as it suffered a 76-64 defeat against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Former Nittany Lion Jamari Wheeler made his return to Happy Valley as a Buckeye and was one of the many key players which led to Ohio State dominating for most of the game aside from a 12-0 Penn State run early on.

Here’s how each position group performed in the loss on Sunday.

Offense: B-

It’s hard to give the Nittany Lions a low grade when they scored 64 points against an Ohio State defense that allowed 66 points against the No. 1 team in the country in Duke on Tuesday.

Guard Jalen Pickett had arguably his best game as a Nittany Lion thus far with 23 points which is his most in a blue and white uniform to go along with four rebounds.

Forwards Seth Lundy and John Harrar also scored in double figures with 13 and 12 points respectively.

From beyond the arc, the Nittany Lions were less than spectacular with just five 3-pointers with two of them coming from Pickett while the Buckeyes made 12 from deep.

Turnovers were also a big issue in the game as the Nittany Lions coughed up the ball 15 times with three of them coming off of steals from the pick-pocket king Jamari Wheeler himself.

There’s much to improve on, but seeing Pickett breakout as well as success at the free-throw line are great stepping stones as the Nittany Lions get deeper into conference play.

Defense: C

Again using Duke as a reference point, the Blue Devils allowed 71 points against the Buckeyes so giving up 76 isn’t the worst thing in the world but the Nittany Lions had no answer for the Ohio State offense.

This is the second most points the Nittany Lions have allowed so far this season with the 81 points allowed against UMass still being at the top.

The Buckeyes showed just how deep their roster was with three players scoring in double figures while two players, including Wheeler, scored nine points.

Coming off the bench, the blue and white had no answer for Kyle Young who was lights out from deep making all four of his 3-point attempts on his way to leading the Buckeyes with 16 points.

Defending the three-point shot was the death to the Nittany Lions defense as even when attempting a late comeback, some dagger Ohio State threes quickly killed any remaining hope.

Coaching: C-

The first taste of Big Ten action as a head coach did not end well for Micah Shrewsberry.

After Ohio State took its first timeout, the Buckeyes never looked back as a 12-5 Nittany Lions lead evaporated within less than two minutes.

Winning the turnover battle and ending the game with less than ten of that category have been two things Shrewsberry has hit on in post-game press conferences and the Nittany Lions didn’t accomplish either of those things during the loss.

Recording 15 turnovers simply doesn't get the job done especially against a talented Ohio State team.

The Nittany Lion bench was also heavily underutilized scoring just five points despite all three players who came off the bench receiving ten or more minutes of gameplay.

When comparing that to an Ohio State bench that put up 29 points, there is a huge sign of concern regarding just how deep this Penn State team is.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.