Penn State Basketball Stock Report: Week 12

Story posted February 2, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Charles Hart

Penn State continued their slate of Big Ten games starting on Saturday against Illinois. The Nittany Lions were close to blowing a 22-point lead, but eventually managed to make enough plays down the stretch win the game in regulation. On Wednesday, the Nittany Lions found themselves in an entirely different situation. Indiana led Penn State for almost the entirety of the game until the Nittany Lions made a charge in the second half, ultimately falling after three overtime periods. After a tale of two polar opposite games, here is the stock report for the 12th week of the Nittany Lion’s 2016-2017 campaign.

Stock Up: Shep Garner’s Three Point Shooting in Wins

Shep Garner shot 44% from three, hitting four from beyond the arc against the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday. 

In games where Shep Garner shoots 40% or better from three, the Nittany Lions have a record of 6-3. In two of these three losses, Penn State lost on the final play of the game. Simply put, when Shep Garner hits the three ball at an above average clip, the Nittany Lions find themselves in good positions to win basketball games.

Stock Up: Payton Banks

After performances of 17 points against Illinois and 12 points against Indiana, Banks solidified his spot as the second leading scorer for Penn State, behind Shep Garner.

Penn State is not a particularly great three-point shooting team. This is where Banks has proven to be the most valuable. While Banks is not a player who can create his own shot, he is a much-needed spot up shooter, leading the team in three-point percentage. 

Payton Banks has quietly become one of the biggest X-Factors for the Blue and White through the first 23 games of the season. In games where Banks has scored 15 or more points, the Nittany Lions sport an impressive 6-1 record. While this is a small sample size, its hard to argue the impact Banks has had this season.

Stock Up: Tony Carr vs. Indiana

Tony Carr’s two games against Indiana have been just a glimpse into his playmaking capabilities. In two games against this Big Ten foe, Carr is averaging 23.5 points per game, eight assists per game (14 coming in the second game) and 4.5 rebounds per game. In comparison, on the season he is averaging 11.5 points per game, 3.6 assists per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. 

However, Carr did not play a perfect game in Assembly Hall on Wednesday night. Carr forced a pair of threes in the second overtime period that failed to find the bottom of the net and finished the game with four turnovers, including three during the three overtime periods.

With that being said, Carr scored seven points in the second overtime period, including two free throws with four seconds left in the overtime period, to tie the game. Wednesday night gave the Penn State faithful a brief look at how much potential Carr truly has.

Stock Down: The Number Five

During the first half against Indiana, Penn State started off the game missing their first five three throws. In the three overtime periods, Penn State committed five turnovers. 

In close games, taking care of the basketball and making free throws are crucial if a team wants to come out on the winning end. Unfortunately for Penn State, when teams forget the fundamentals like ball security and free throws, they often find themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

 

Charles Hart is a freshman majoring in print journalism. To contact him, email charliethart@gmail.com