It maybe a bit early to start thinking hoops, but normal practice has begun, and we are now just 30 days until we tip off the 2021-2022 season. I am sure many of our hoop fans are anxious to see what Coach Shrewsberry does with this team. Before looking ahead, just a quick look back to last season, a season that brought many disappointments.
Penn state finished 11-14; 7-12 in conference play. They were a much better team than their record indicated, and playing a season weeks after your coach was let go had to be very difficult to start. Having a very limited non conference didn't help the situation either. Penn State also had the toughest schedule in the country, lost their head coach, and two of the best players in Stevens and Watkins that ever played at Penn State, and yet they were as competitive of a team in the Big Ten, and a couple of better calls, a couple of more favorable bounces and they could have been 14-11 and playing post season somewhere.
Since then Penn State decided to invest in its basketball program and brought in the best coaching staff since I can remember. They lost through the portal 3 of the more favorite players Penn State has had in recent years in Jamari Wheeler, Myreon Jones, and Izaiah Brockington, along with Trent Buttrick. I do believe that Shrewsberry did a fine job replacing that talent. Jaylen Pickett will fill the gap left by MJ. Jaylen may not have the range MJ had, but he can shoot, handle the ball well and his court IQ and vision will be an improvement. Greg Lee will be a huge improvement in the post over Trent Buttrick, as Lee is more athletic than Buttrick, handles the ball better, and can stretch the defense. Jaheam Cornwall may never be liked as much as Jamari was, and may not be the defensive player Jamari was, but will give Penn State more of a scoring threat off the bench. Add those 3 players to Harrar, Dread, Sessoms and Lundy and Penn State will have 7 solid players and hopefully Scott or Dorsey will be able to fill in some much needed minutes. Add better coaching from top to bottom, and Penn State just may surprise many people this year. Makes me very anxious for November 10th. See you at the Center.