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Penn State Basketball Roundtable: Nittany Lions Handle Georgetown

The staff looks into the week that was, and what’s ahead.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another blowout victory for the Nittany Lions. This time, it was the Georgetown Hoyas that were the recipients of Penn State’s onslaught. Sure, it’s only been three games, but this is the best the Lions have looked so early in a season since I’ve been a fan, so maybe that whole “get a bunch of talent and let them be old enough” thing was a good idea after all.

Q: Penn State has often struggled with these types of out of conference games. What’s the pulse after not only a win, but the manner in which they won?

Rowen: A wire-to-wire win on the road at this point in the season is encouraging. It speaks to the depth and experience of the team. Each time Georgetown had a chance to close the gap someone was able to step up and make a play. Winning by double digits on the road against a quality opponent with the team’s best player having an off night is not what I’m used to as a Penn State fan; but I can deal with it.

Chris: The Lions came out ready to play and Georgetown looked overwhelmed for the first few minutes. That may have been the difference in the game, the initial 9-0 run. When the Hoyas closed it to 5 points, it had the feel that if they took a lead, the Lions may not be able to recover. Thankfully with good possessions and defense, Penn State didn’t allow them to get any closer.

Marty: It’s difficult to not feel confident about the Nittany Lions right now. After years of coming up short in these games, they went on the road and dominated a good Georgetown team. They also did it with Lamar Stevens playing a poor first half. All positive signs for this bunch.

Clay: Did not know they were allowed to do that!

Eli: Last week, I said I wanted carnage. Carnage is what I got. Discounting the opening minutes of the game (and some could argue even those should count), the game was never really close, due to the Nittany Lions responding every time Georgetown made a run. Sure, they closed it down to 5 early in the second half, but Penn State responded immediately and decisively. They never looked back from there.

Q: What stood out to you in this game?

Rowen: The depth. Brockington and Jones came off the bench and hit key shots during offensive lulls. Harrar was able to come in and guard Yurtseven. And once again all 5 starters made an impact.

Chris: The depth of the team and the ability for Chambers to deploy that depth strategically, not just out of need. For years PSU didn’t have a solid starting 5. Then they didn’t have enough depth to compete. Now they have both and teams around the Big Ten have to take notice.

Marty: The guard play. Myreon Jones played with confidence and was fearless, Jamari Wheeler continues to be a spark plug and a menace on defense, Myles Dread had a good game, and Curtis Jones and Izaiah Brockington both chipped in quality minutes off the bench. This is not only the deepest group of guards that Pat Chambers has had, but also the best shooting group.

Clay: Penn State has multiple guards who can create and shoot for the first time in the Pat Chambers era.

Eli: The players weren’t standing around waiting for something to happen. They were, in fact, creating offense with their positioning and consistently passing the ball. How long have we been waiting for this?

Q: Who’s your player of the week?

Rowen: Myreon Jones. Hard to deny his impact on Thursday. Jones was on fire to start the game, at one point hitting 3 threes in a span of 46 seconds.

Chris: Pat Chambers. He won the match-up of the Pats over Ewing on the road in a game that was critical for his team. Chambers had more talent to work with but that’s no gimme on the road early in the season. Give an assist to the fans that made it to the game, cheering on the Lions as though it was a home game toward the end.

Marty: I’ll go with Myreon Jones. Not only did he lead all scorers with 21 in the victory over Georgetown, he set the tone early in the game with his confident play. Jones was confident and fearless from the get go and the rest of the team followed his lead.

Clay: Myreon Jones. I mean, come on.

Eli: It’s Myreon Jones. He scored 77 points in 30 seconds. I mean, come on!

Q: Penn State’s upcoming games are two of its trickiest, with Bucknell and Yale on the docket. Upset potential?

Rowen: There’s always upset potential, but I think the experience the team has will help them avoid the letdown. I’m sure there will still be off nights, but as we saw against Georgetown, even if it’s Lamar Stevens who’s struggling to score there are multiple players who can and will step up to keep the team on track.

Chris: Yes, upset potential, and anything can happen, that’s why we play the games. But this is the year that the Lions have to show that they can use their talent and depth to pull away from teams such as Bucknell and Yale.

Marty: It’s Penn State basketball, so you never say never. However, right now this team appears to be playing with a lot of confidence and they’re more talented than both Bucknell and Yale. It’ll be a 2-0 week for Pat Chambers crew.

Clay: Yale is good! I truly hope they won’t buy into their own hype, but the Nittany Lions are in for a scrap.

Eli: I’m afraid of Bucknell. These games never seem to be easy for the Nittany Lions, maybe due to the Bison being an in-state school not that far from campus. I just hope this doesn’t turn into 2013 redux.

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

Rowen: Playing under control. Too many turnovers and missed transition layups/dunks against Georgetown. This team is fast, but they could slow down a hair.

Chris: Two wins, 20 minutes or more playing time for Seth Lundy and Trent Buttrick to keep them in the flow of the game. No injuries.

Marty: As I said last week, in the past we have seen Penn State struggle/come up short against inferior opponents too often. This week they play a pair of inferior opponents, want to see them do exactly what they did against Maryland Eastern Shore and Wagner and pick up two convincing victories.

Clay: More consistent effort on the defensive end and Lamar and Mike being more assertive in the post.

Eli: Two wins please! I’d be thrilled if they were the kinds of blowouts we saw last week, but I just want to see a 5-0 Penn State heading into the NIT Tipoff games. Get it done boys!