Game Grades: Penn State vs. Michigan

Story posted January 2, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by David Arroyo

With two games in Big Ten play down, Penn State finds themselves 0-2 to start with the 79-56 loss at Michigan. Now 9-6 on the season, the game against Michigan left little to look forward to going forward for the Nittany Lions as Big Ten competition gets more difficult.

Backcourt: D

Across the board, the entirety of the Penn State backcourt underperformed against Michigan. Starters Josh Reaves and Shep Garner had a combined total of 12 points, and did not contribute much more outside of that. They both also shot very poorly from the field going a combined 5 for 17. The young tandem were lackluster on defense as well, giving up a combined 25 points to their opposition, including seven 3-pointers between the two (Irvin and Robinson). Reaves however was able to contribute two blocks and two steals.

Frontcourt: D

Outside of Brandon Taylor with his 18 points, no one performed exceptionally well for Penn State. Taylor helped contribute to the poor shooting from the whole team, however, with his 6 for 16 shooting, and fellow starters Dickerson and Banks had a combined four points. And once again the Penn State starters were outscored by the Michigan starters in the front court 36 to 22. They also only outrebounded the Wolverines by 1, 27 to 26, but in limited opportunity as they shot exceptionally well.

Bench: C-

The Penn State bench contributed 22 of the team’s total 56 points and outscored the Michigan bench which only had 18 points for the Wolverines. They also had a much better shooting percentage combined, and although not playing great, did outperform the whole of the starters.

Coaching: C-

Penn State at this point in the season was not ready to face a team like Michigan, and it showed in the first half when the team was outscored 49 to 28. The halftime adjustments paid off as the Nittany Lions narrowed the gap to only a two point difference in the second half. But it cannot be ignored that the team shot a total 35.2 percent from the field and should be addressed moving forward, and needs to play better defense because allowing a team to shoot 59.2 percent total and 56 percent from the arc will not produce W’s anytime soon.

Coming off of the Maryland game which saw Penn State perform at a higher level, it was difficult to expect much from this team in this game. Look for the team to improve going forward in Big Ten play and in their next game against Minnesota on Jan. 5.

David Arroyo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email