The Nittany Lions should have an easy game on their hands, as they host a Lafayette team that is 1-5 on the season, with its lone win coming against Central Connecticut State. The Leopards don’t do anything particularly well, ranking 323rd on adjusted offensive efficiency and 280th on defense, so this is the kind of game the Lions should easily cruise through, giving the deep bench ample time to get on the court.
Scouting the Opposition
Lafayette does have a seven footer in Justin Vander Baan, and if the Leopards have been scouting the Lions, Vander Baan will be getting a lot of work in this game. Leo O’Boyle and CJ Fulton are both shooting over 40% from three, with Kyle Jenkins falling not too far behind at 37.5% so the Lions will want to keep tabs on the trio, as no one else comes closes from outside, and Jon Brantley, the only other player north of 40% from three, has only shot it seven times from outside. He in fact only has 13 total attempts on the year.
What to Watch For
Can Penn State put another 90-burger on an overmatched opponent? The Lions have played two buy games so far, and scored over 90 against Winthrop and Loyola Maryland. If they eclipse the number in this game, it would be the first time they’d scored 90 points in three regulation games in a season since 2019-20, when they did it four times in a season.
This will be a game where the freshmen should see plenty of time, but will we see the likes of Evan Mahaffey, Kanye Clary, and Kebba Njie early, like we did against Colorado State? Will we see Jameel Brown and Demetrius Lilley at all? The Basketball Lions are doing a bit of what their football counterparts are doing right now, relying on their veterans while also giving their young players plenty of time to get acclimated to the college game. Unlike the football counterparts, the basketball players have many more games to get there.
This shouldn’t be a game past the first 10 minutes of the first half. Expect the Lions to clear their benches with at least five minutes to go. Penn State 77, Lafayette 55