Basketball Freshmen Following: Week Three

posted December 8, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Brian McLaughlin

The football team was not the only Penn State sports team to get a victory on Saturday night as the men’s basketball team was able to beat the Wright State Raiders. The game remained close in the first half before the Nittany Lions outscored the Raiders by 19 in half number two. Unfortunately, Penn State’s four game win streak was snapped when they took on the George Mason Patriots. The lost 85-66, struggling to rebound against a team they had a significant height advantage over.

Tony Carr’s struggles continued in both games offensively. Against Wright State, he grabbed 12 boards while not scoring anywhere near his season average, finishing the night with only three points. While Carr did not get as many buckets as he may have hoped he has been impressive with his composure throughout games, not making any typical freshman mistakes that cost teams games. When they took on George Mason, however, Carr never found his rhythm because of foul trouble early in the game. He only was on the floor for 15 minutes and finished with a disappointing three points. Carr also only had one assist while turning the ball over three times. Carr needs to regain the consistency he had early in the season when he led the Nittany Lions in scoring.

Meanwhile Mike Watkins continued his defensive dominance backing up his claim against Georgia Tech that no matter who he is guarding, he is going to stop them. He finished the night with a career-high eight blocks. Watkins also raked in nine rebounds along with eight points. But even through all of that, the number Pat Chambers may be most impressed with is his perfect shooting from the free throw stripe, going 6-6 from the line. This will gain importance as the year continues because of Watkins’ physical play in the paint. He will likely get fouled multiple times per game and must turn those fouls into points. However, when Watkins went up against a small George Mason team, he struggled to get the job done. He only had eight points and four rebounds on the night which simply does not do the job against a team he has a large advantage against.

Along with Watkins, Lamar Stevens chipped in with 12 points and also eight rebounds. He has emerged as a consistent scoring threat especially when driving hard to the hoop. Stevens has a rare mix of speed and strength along with an impressive finishing ability. Since he and Tony Carr went to the same high school together, they have a good chemistry on the court and often look for each other to pass to on offense. Against George Mason, Stevens turned in the most solid outing between the three freshman who saw playing time. He also had four assists, two steals, and two blocks for a complete outing. While the team struggled overall, Stevens showed great promise continuing to showcase his athletic ability and good touch around the rim.

 

Brian McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email bxm48@psu.edu