The long, often tortuous, grind that is the Penn State basketball season is starting to wind down. Just when the Nittany Lions were starting to suck as all in and give us hope they have since lost four games in a row dashing any hopes they had of earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Tuesday night the Nittany Lions will travel to Lincoln to play a bad Nebraska team as they look to end their four game skid. While the Cornhuskers are by all accounts one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, they do own a victory over the Nittany Lions.
In the rematch, Penn State will take the court as slight favorites. You can find that and more with odds from SBD.
Nebraska defeated Penn State 62-61 at the Bryce Jordan Center earlier this month. This is not only Nebraska’s lone Big Ten win this season, it’s their long Big Ten win in the past calendar year. Prior to that win, Nebraska had not won a Big Ten game since January 7, 2020.
Scouting the Opposition
Again, no matter how you want to slice it, Nebraska is one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. They are averaging just 68.9 points per game which ranks 269th nationally. The Cornhuskers are shooting just 40.4% from the field, which is tied for 318th nationally, and they ranked 256th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (32.1%).
Teddy Allen leads the way for Nebraska averaging 16.5 PPG. Dalano Banton averages 10.4 PPG, while Terry McGowens chips in 10.1 PPG. These three players also average the most minutes per game for the Cornhuskers who use a guard heavy lineup. If the Nittany Lions can keep this trio, or even two of the three, in check the Nebraska offense should be in a lot of trouble.
What to Watch For
One area the Nittany Lions should have an advantage on Tuesday night is on the boards. John Harrar averages 8.5 rebounds per game, which is two rebounds more than Nebraska’s leading rebound man. No one who is taller than 6-foot-9 regularly sees the court for the Cornhuskers, which should also aid Penn State inside and on the boards.
The Nittany Lions also have a big advantage at the free throw line (74.3% v. 62.4%). Penn State is also the better team from behind the arch (34.3% v. 32.1%). There is no reason for the Nittany Lions to not be able to outscore the Cornhuskers.
Penn State, even with all their flaws, are a better team than Nebraska. They can’t possibly lose to the lowly Cornhuskers twice in the same season, right? Penn State 76, Nebraska 65