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Penn State Basketball Roundtable: Successful First Week of Action

Penn State did what was expected of them in the first week of action, which cannot be said of other Power 5+1 teams.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Minnesota vs Penn State
I sure hope these folks start taking pictures of the games soon.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to your weekly roundtable, where the the basketball-inclined contingent review the previews week of action in Penn State basketball land and looks ahead to the week to come!

The Nittnay Lions beat both of their opponents in the past week, covering the massive spreads in each contest. This feat has been increasingly difficult for Penn State in the past, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Let’s get to it!

Q: What are your thoughts on the week that was?

Marty: Penn State came out and did what they should do against inferior competition. In the past they had not always done that, and it was good to see it happen.

Clay: Penn State is allowed to beat a team by that much?

Tim: It was about as good of a start to the season as you would like. The squad beat down a pair of inferior opponents as good teams should. When you see the likes of Nebraska, Northwestern, and Rutgers (almost) losing these buy games, it puts things into perspective.

Rowen: 2-0. The team took care of business but the real challenges lie ahead.

Chris: The team looked good for the two tune-up games leading in to Georgetown. While turnovers were higher than we would like, it should be noted that many of the turnovers came late in the game when the team relaxed a little too much, up 20+ points. I don’t believe it will be a problem moving forward, ball-handling, rather a strength.

Eli: Some of the issues you would expect from a Nittany Lions team were there, namely stretches without scoring. What was encouraging for me is that those issues were few and far between, and were immediately corrected as soon as they popped up. I liked Mike Watkins’ energy in the first game, but as the second game showed, it’s going to be a game-by-game deal with Watkins. That said, if his low is a 7-point, 8-rebound, 1-block, 1-foul game, I’ll take it every day and twice on Sundays. And, of course, it can’t be underscored enough that, while teams on Penn State’s schedule were losing their buy games, Penn State was working their cupcakes over to the tune of 30-point wins.

Q: Anything stand out to you?

Marty: Seth Lundy did not look like a freshman. He’ll be a good one.

Clay: Myles Dread and Myreon Jones are streaky, but as long as one of the two are on then Penn State will have some actual shooting gravity.

Tim: The early returns on Seth Lundy. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch much live action so far, but he seems like the real deal from a scoring, rebounding, and athleticism perspective. Definitely a key guy coming off the bench and a future starter after Lamar is gone next year.

Rowen: Depth. All five starters involved in multiple aspects of the game. Bench players who can put up 10+ on any given night.

Chris: With Myreon Jones having taken the expected step forward in his growth, now able to play point guard when needed, the team has plenty of depth at all of the guard positions. Curtis Jones Jr. looked very savvy, as a senior should be, and he played very well in the minutes that he was on the court. Both Joneses will pair up nicely with Dread and Wheeler since they can each handle the ball or score.

Eli: Free throw shooting is still not up to par, and that needs to change ASAP. On the bright side, Watkins is one of the better free throw shooters through two games. Also Jamari Wheeler can shoot threes now. There was a point in the Wagner game where he was perfect from beyond the arc but 0-fer from the line. Big OOF!

Q: Who’s your player of the week?

Marty: Lamar Stevens

Clay: Isaiah Brockington

Tim: Lamar Stevens. He has picked up where he left off from last season, which is important when a lot of the pre-season hype was based on his returning for one more go-around.

Rowen: Jamari Wheeler

Chris: Seth Lundy. His stats were not as good as some other people, but he showed that he has an incredible skill set. He’s a future star that will contribute heavily this year.

Eli: So many players did good work this past week, but I’m going to go with Mike Watkins. Even with his lows, he showed how big of a presence he is inside and how much more difficult it will be for opponents to have their way will be this season.

Q: What would you like to see in the coming week?

Marty: Georgetown will be a big test for this team. We’ll find out a lot about the Nittany Lions on Thursday, I am excited to see how the team comes out and play against the Hoyas.

Clay: If the bench depth with Brockington, Jones. Lundy and Harrar shows against an opponent with a pulse.

Tim: Getting a road scalp at Georgetown would provide some nice momentum early on. The Hoyas are another team being pegged to break through into the Big Dance this year.

Rowen: A win over Georgetown.

Chris: Just keep playing hard. Win or lose, if the team plays as hard this year as it has in years past, good results will come.

Eli: I’m not going to lie, I want to see carnage. I don’t want a win over Georgetown. I want there to be no doubt that this team means business. I want them to go into DC, push their figurative foot right up their asses, and come back with a decisive victory. I want be able to point and say “see?” instead of having to pitch potential. Selfish? Yes. And I don’t care.