Game Grades: Penn State vs. Depaul

Story posted November 18, 2015 in CommRadio, Sports by Ryan Leonardo

After defeating the VMI Keydets in their season opener, the Penn State Nittany Lions were looking for a 2-0 start to the season as they went against the DePaul Blue Demons. Led by forward Brandon Taylor’s outstanding performance, Penn State topped DePaul 68-62 at the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday night. Taylor was not the only highlight of Penn State’s victory, however, as the rest of the roster turned in a quality performance as well.

Shep Garner: B+
Garner did not have his most efficient scoring night, shooting 5-for-14 attempts. But he made three 3-pointers while dishing out 5 assists. While Taylor kept Penn State’s head above water, Garner was the closer, scoring 7 of his 16 points in the final two minutes.

Josh Reaves: B+
The freshman guard put forth a strong effort, scoring 10 points while adding three rebounds and two assists. He played a very good defensive game as well. He opened the game with a steal and a layup. The freshman who headlined Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class has gotten off to a very solid start in his career.

Payton Banks: B
Banks played 33 minutes and shot 4 for 9 from the floor, including 2 for 4 on 3-pointers. The sophomore, put into the starting lineup this season, opened the season with his second straight quality outing.

Brandon Taylor: A-
Taylor found himself in foul trouble in the early going, so his impact in the first half was minimal and he committed six turnovers. However, he hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer that sent Penn State to the locker room with a 31-25 lead. Taylor scored 19 points in the second half, carrying Penn State to their second straight victory to open the season.

Jordan Dickerson: B-
The center hasn’t been asked to do a lot offensively, but he played a clean game defensively. Dickerson collected five rebounds, hit both of his free-throw attempts, and added an assist and steal to his box score.

Sixth Man: B+
Julian Moore played 19 minutes and certainly made his presence felt. Although he shot just 1-for-4 from the field, but hauled in eight rebounds, including four offensive rebounds to help keep Penn State’s possessions alive.

The Bench: C
Donovan Jack found himself in foul trouble throughout and played only 12 minutes. He collected a 3-pointer and two rebounds. Devin Foster played 13 minutes and was scoreless. Isaiah Washington played only three.

Coaching: B+
Pat Chambers and his staff have done a terrific job trying to transform Penn State into a quality basketball program. The team had their first top 30 recruiting in their history this year and the cohesiveness between on-court talent and quality coaching was on display against DePaul. The players were energized and played to their strengths. They shot an astounding 10 for 21 (47.6 percent) on 3-point attempts while holding DePaul to 3 for 11, (18.2 percent).


Ryan Leonardo is a junior majoring in broadcast gournalism. To contact him, email