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Penn State vs Loyola (MD) Preview: Another Opportunity To Build Depth

Penn State will look to clear its bench once more when they host Loyola (MD) on Thursday.

Purdue Boilermakers guard Eric Hunter Jr. (2) yells in excitement during the Big Ten tournament on Friday, March. 11, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Purdue Boilermakers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions, 69-61. Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Nittany Lions cruised to victory on Monday, as they shot a record 18 three-pointers on their way to a 93-68 victory over Winthrop. Penn State played almost every player on the roster in the game, and the Lions may be looking to do something similar when they host Loyola (MD) on Thursday.

The Greyhounds finished 279st in Kenpom last season, and are currently 229th after playing a game where they had a late rally to close the score on DePaul. If the Lions can shoot the ball the way they did on Monday, they should face no such rally from Loyola (MD)

Scouting the opposition

As is life in the transfer portal era, former Greyhound Cam Spencer is now providing Rutgers with much needed offense. Loyola, however, does return a nice core of players this season,

Jaylin Andrews, Alonso Faure, Kenneth Jones, Golden Dike, and David Brown, four of which started against DePaul. They, along with freshman Deon Perry, played the bulk of the minutes on Monday.

The Greyhounds shot 41% from three, with Jones making four of the 10 shots for Loyola, closely followed Perry with three. The Lions will need to make sure those two are guarded at all times, since they may get hot and give Penn State something to sweat about on Thursday.

What to watch for

Will the same five start for this game? Penn State came out with an unconventional starting lineup in its first game, but we’ve already heard that Micah Shrewsberry is less concerned with who starts, and more so who finishes games. So, will he continue to tinker with the lineup in these easier games to see what kind of depth he has, or is Monday’s starting lineup here to stay?

The Lions shot the ball pretty well on Monday. Can they keep that up in another game, or was the game with Winthrop a case of everything going right for Penn State? If it’s the former, it should bode well for the rest of the non-conference and into Big Ten season.

Lastly, Kebba Njie nearly foulded out of the game even though he only played 10 minutes. Can he show he’s able to defend the post without fouling? That’ll come a long way in proving whether the Lions can compete inside with the bigger teams in the Big Ten.


Loyola made a late run to close the deficit on DePaul. They have shooters all over the place, and if Penn State doesn’t cover them, they can end up sweating this one out. I believe they will overwhelm Loyola the way they did Winthrop, and cruise to victory. Penn State 78, Loyola 64