Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Michigan State Game Preview

Story posted December 10, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Austin Groft

After losing two straight games, Penn State was able to bounce back and win at home over Wagner. This win was the first time all season that Penn State had four players score in double figures.

This will be their first Big Ten road game of the year against a tough Michigan State team whose only losses came to No. 3 Kansas and No. 6 Baylor.

Their first Big Ten matchup of the season resulted in a tough loss to Ohio State losing by 12 points. They opened the game with a 12-5 lead, which didn’t last long as the Buckeyes hit 10 threes in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Penn State now sits at 5-4 and is getting its final preparations ready before they get into the thick of Big Ten play. Forwards Jevonnie Scott and Greg Lee are both cleared to play, but Coach Micah Shrewsberry will slowly bring them into the rotation. They will be key pieces for when John Harrar gets into foul trouble.

Jalen Pickett is looking like himself in Penn State’s recent games with a big 23-point performance against Ohio State. He started the season with three straight single-digit games but is now averaging 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the last six games.

Leading scorer Seth Lundy has been struggling recently from the field. In his last five games, he is shooting 31% from the field. Last year he shot 38%. He still provides a lot for the Nittany Lions on defense and in rebounding when he can’t get things to go his way offensively.

Scouting Michigan State

Coach Tom Izzo has his team focused on defense and rebounding this year. They have led the Big Ten in rebounding 10 times in the last 19 years. This year they are ranked third in rebounding offense and rebound margin.

Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr. are the two Spartans that are averaging double figures. Brown was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Battle 4 Atlantis averaging 12.7 points per game, with season-high 19 points against Butler.

Freshman Max Christie is filling the role of a true point guard in Izzo’s offense. Being a highly rated five-star recruit, Christie is a bigger guard who can play multiple positions. He has scored double figures four times this season.

Veteran players Joey Hauser and Tyson Walker provide shooting around the perimeter. They are both high basketball IQ players who understand their role for the Spartans and are both capable of leading the team in scoring on any given night.

Game Prediction:

Historically Penn State has struggled in East Lansing. They only have two career wins when playing on the road at Michigan State, with one of those wins coming from 2020 when Lamar Stevens scored 24 points.

This game will be a defensive battle. Penn State and Michigan State combined have forced opponents to score 60 points or else in 11 games this season. Michigan State has the slight edge being second in the Big Ten for defensive field goal percentage and being 8th in the nation averaging 6.7 blocks a game.

Michigan State 68, Penn State 60

Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email