Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Indiana

Audio/Story posted January 29, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Ben Serfass

Host Jacob Cheris and analysts Ben Serfass, Gabe Angieri and Dale Ostrander preview Penn State’s upcoming game against the Indiana Hoosiers.

After back-to-back wins against Big Ten opponents, Penn State will look to improve that mark to three-straight victories over conference opponents, when it hosts the Indiana Hoosiers, Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Bryce Jordan Center. Indiana will look to bounce back from a grueling one-point loss at home to 17th ranked Maryland on Sunday.

Jones Makes His Presence Felt Off The Bench

Graduate transfer Curtis Jones Jr. contributed 18 points off the bench for the Nittany Lions in their 72-63 win over the Michigan Wolverines. Jones was seven for nine from the field and three of four from beyond the three point arc. This was the second time this season that the guard scored 18 points in a single game. The only other time came in a home win against Alabama.

Latest Rankings Represent the Late Kobe Bryant

On Jan. 26, five-time NBA Champion, former league MVP and Los Angeles Laker legend Kobe Bryant lost his life in a fatal helicopter crash. The next day the College Basketball AP Poll was released and the Philadelphia native’s two numbers, eight and twenty-four, were well represented by two Pennsylvania Schools.

After a big road win against Michigan, the Nittany Lions found themselves ranked 24th in the nation. The Villanova Wildcats also won their one game the previous week. The Wildcats managed to pull out a narrow 64-60 win over Providence College. As a result, Villanova came in at number eight in the most recent rankings.

The Nittany Lions have several key players on their roster from the Philadelphia area including the likes of Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins and Izaiah Brockington. It will be interesting to see how or if these players pay any tribute to Bryant. Watkins also wears the number of the late great Laker legend, 24.

Three Game Gauntlet

Indiana’s trip to Happy Valley will be its third ranked opponent in as many games. The Hoosiers previously hosted the No. 11 Michigan State Spartans, in addition to No. 17 Maryland. After defeating the Spartans 67-63, they then lost a heartbreaker to Maryland by a score of 77-76. Penn State will be Indiana’s eighth-straight Big Ten opponent.

Final Analysis

Indiana has established themselves as another above-average basketball team in an already dominant Big Ten conference. The Hoosiers must maintain a high level of focus and intensity when playing their third-straight ranked opponent.

Despite being 12-2 at home this season, they have not found the same success playing as the away team. While playing as the visitors, the Hoosiers are only 1-3. The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, are coming off a big road win and are looking to continue their success at home against Indiana. Penn State will look to get big contributions from its perimeter shooters to complement Lamar Stevens.

Prediction: Penn State 78, Indiana 71

 

Ben Serfass is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email bxs1001@psu.edu.