Penn State Basketball Update
The story of Penn State’s season has been their inability to score both in nonconference and conference play, ranking 266th in the entire NCAA at 63.8 points per game. Tim Frazier has been the one player immune to the offensive struggles, scoring 18.2 points per game which is second best in the Big Ten behind only John Shurna of Northwestern. Frazier leads the squad in three other major statistical categories as well, dishing out 6.6 assists along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Unfortunately for Frazier he has been unable to find a partner in crime, with only Jermaine Marshall averaging double figures at 10.1 points a game and no other starter shooting above 40% from the floor. Cammeron Woodyard put forth a great effort in Sunday’s loss as he poured in 22 points which led the team, but his play has been very inconsistent this season as he had just 5 points combined in the previous two losses. Forward Billy Oliver has refused to step inside the three point and attempt to establish an inside presence, with 96 of his 121 shots being three pointers.
Penn State has had success this season only when they are able to shorten the game and keep it low scoring. In their 9 wins they have held opponents to an average of just 55 points, while allowing an average of 73 per game in their 10 losses. The Nittany Lions entire offense has revolved around the perimeter, with nearly 40% of the team’s shot selection this season coming from beyond the three point line despite the club shooting just 31% from long range. Things will get much harder for Penn State before they get easier, with four of their next five games on the road including three against ranked opponents. While there have been low expectations for this team from the start and this is no doubt a rebuilding year for coach Chambers, you would like to see some more improvement down the stretch and some noticeable progression for both Jermaine Marshall and Trey Lewis.