Penn State Men’s Basketball Preview vs Purdue
Penn State is rolling and who does it face next? Purdue.
The Boilermakers came to Happy Valley earlier this season back on Jan. 8, ranked third in the nation. It was a close game featuring a hard-fought battle from the Nittany Lions.
Unable to come out on top, Micah Shrewsberry and company yet again have another shot at redemption at the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lions have bounced back four times this season after losing to opposing teams in the first meeting.
Two of these being the ranked win over Michigan State at home and Ohio State with the upset victory after losing to them twice earlier this year.
It was another gritty win for Penn State trailing 33-24 at halftime, as the Minnesota matchup.
“I’m so proud of them for fighting through every single time we get down it builds character,” Shrewsberry said.
Jalen Pickett and Sam Sessoms have been doing a lot for the Penn State offense. Pickett continues to operate inside the paint displaying an arsenal of post moves. He should be able to take advantage of Purdue’s smaller guards.
A major factor of Penn State’s success comes from the efforts of Seth Lundy. He plays hard defensively every game, but both days he was unable to get his first field goal until the second half. The Nittany Lions go on their runs when Lundy is making his shots.
Defense by far has been the reason for the two victories so far in the Big Ten tournament and will be important in stopping one of the best offenses in the conference.
This team is filled with talent and depth inside and out, that is what makes them so good.
Arguably the best offense in the conference, Purdue averages just over 80 points a game and has the No. 1 offensive efficiency according to Kenpom.
There’s a reason why it is so successful on offense, and it comes from its three-point shooting. As a team, it is first in the Big Ten shooting just below 40 percent. When it isn't hitting its shots from the outside, they hammer it inside with its big men.
The trio of Jaden Ivey, Trevion Williams and Zach Edey combine for 43.0 points, 19.5 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. Ivey being the clutch man for this team is projected to be drafted inside the top five at the 2022 NBA draft.
The Boilermakers hold a 3-0 record against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament and are well rested after a two-game bye. After resting for a long time, Purdue should be able to come out and play hard.
Yet this is March, anything can happen. Momentum is a huge piece in these tournament runs and having two games under its belt will surely help Penn State. The Nittany Lions will keep this game close after doing so earlier this year.
Purdue is 23-0 this season when they scored more than 70 points, so the defense will determine tonight’s battle.
“We don’t want to go home. You gotta have that chip on your shoulder to go out and fight as hard as you can for as long as you can,” Penn State senior Myles Dread said.
Purdue 70, Penn State 67
Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him please email email@example.com
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