Penn Sate vs. Nebraska Preview
ComRadio's own Ryan Berti, Tom Shively and Jesse Finver break down all the matchups between Penn State and Nebraska.
Flying high from their upset, the Penn State Nittany Lions look to carry on the good feeling, as they look towards the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the road this Saturday.
Finally putting their losing streak behind them, the Nittany Lions face a manageable opponent in the Cornhuskers (13-11), who are in ninth place in the Big Ten, with a 5-6 conference record. The Nittany Lions (12-12) only fall two spots away from their Big Ten opponent with a 3-8 record; while such a standing is dismal, the Lions are no strangers to underdog situations. Fans on both sides of the court should anticipate an enticing toss-up.
While Penn State is reeling from their victory against the Indiana Hoosiers, Nebraska is looking to stabilize their play in hopes of a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) bid. Their success in the Big Ten has been dismal, with inconsistent play and tough losses against the likes of Michigan, Purdue, and Maryland. On the other side of the court, Penn State finds itself amongst the likes of their opposition regarding consistency and disappointing seasonal outcomes with losses to a majority of the formidable conference counterparts.
Week in and week out, the Nittany Lions have faced teams with impressive offensive strategy and ability, but the Cornhuskers are an average force on both sides of the ball; which will essentially allow the Blue and White to focus on their complete game instead of relying on defense.
Nebraska’s bright spots are seen through guard, Andrew White, and forward, Shavon Shields. White, a junior, leads the team on both sides of the ball with 16.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Shields, a senior, is seemingly White’s compliment (15.7/5.0/2.9). Nebraska’s efficiency and success significantly drops off on the offense and defense; Tai Webster is the next use of production with only 9.9 points per game and unmentionable statistics regarding his defensive output.
The Cornhuskers have a potential x factor in freshman point guard, Glynn Watson Jr. He was the only positive of their loss to the Wisconsin Badgers last Wednesday night. With an increasing production rate, the young basketball player compensated for his other teammates’ poor play scoring 16 of their 28 points. Although the Nittany Lions should be weary of White, Shields, and Watson, they should also look to exploit the Cornhuskers current shooting woes (4-13 from beyond the arc) and foul trouble.
Although every conference game is a grind, Penn State has the capability to put them in the win category against Nebraska. The Blue and White should focus on the leadership of Brandon Taylor and continuous improvement of Devin Foster. The two combined for 37 points against Indiana last Saturday. Taylor’s average points (16.6) have been steadily increasing over the course of season, while Foster, a seemingly new factor to Penn State’s offense, has been adding the necessary complements to the offense in recent weeks. While Taylor and Foster provide age and experience for Penn State, Shep Garner, Payton Banks, and Josh Reaves add necessary complements to the offense and defense, alike.
Although late in the season, the Nittany Lions can utilize their shocking victory against the Hoosiers to stimulate a hot streak with another much-needed win against the Cornhuskers. With season goals on the line, fans on both sides of the court should expect a close but toss-up win.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are on the road this Saturday to face-off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 6 p.m. in the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Madeleine Balestrier is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Ryan Berti is from Erie, Pa. He aspires to one day become a producer, beat writer or reporter for a national network in the field of sports media. Follow him on twitter @RBirdman7.