Thursday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center head coach Micah Shrewsberry and the Penn State Nittany Lions will welcome the 9-3 Quinnipiac Bobcats to town. In their penultimate game on the non-conference slate the Nittany Lions will be looking to continue their strong start to the season.
Following a 7-0 start to the season Quinnipiac is 2-3 in their last five games played. Their schedule has been one of the worst in the country ranking as the 292nd worst strength of schedule.
This no knock on Quinnipiac, but if Penn State wants to take the next step this season make the NCAA Tournament this is a game they have to win. When you’re looking at potentially being a bubble team come March the way the Nittany Lions are you can not afford to lose a game like this one.
Scouting the Opposition
Quinnipiac is led by four players who average double digit points per game. Senior guard Matt Balanc. Balanc averages 11.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per games while shooting 41.2% from the field.
6-foot-7 senior forward Ike Nweke averages 11.0 points and a team leading 7.0 rebounds per games. Guard Luis Kortright averages 10.7 PPG, while fellow guard Desi Jones averages 10.3 PPG.
Nweke is the best big man that the Bobcast have. Quinnipiac lacking a true big man is something that should bode well for the Nittany Lions. This helps to make the Bobcats a good matchup for Penn State as freshman Kebba Njie continues to come along with his development.
What To Watch For
Can Penn State avoid any elongated struggles from three-point range? Penn State’s offense is one that lives and dies by the three-ball. Due to this, the offense can go ice cold at times when shots are not dropping.
We have seen this get Penn State in trouble at times early this season. Can they avoid this on Thursday afternoon? If so, they should be in good shape against Bobcats. They will likely struggle there behind the arch at times, that’s basketball, the key will be to not let these struggles last an extended period of time.
The Nittany Lions are the far superior team to Quinnipiac. There really is no reason that this game should be close. Penn State rolls to 9-3. Penn State 84, Quinnipiac 65