Basketball season could not be off to a much better start for Micah Shrewsberry and the Penn State Nittany Lions. While there is an argument to be made that they should have won at least one of their games against Virginia Tech and Clemson, both of which resulted in tough losses, a 9-3 start that has the Nittany Lions projected to be NCAA Tournament team is still a strong start.
Thursday afternoon, the Nittany Lions will look to improve to 10-3 on the season when the host the 1-11 Delaware State Hornets in their non-conference finale. There is an argument to be made that the Hornets will be the worst team that Penn State plays this season, so this is a game in which they should roll.
Penn State’s schedule will really begin to stiffen when the calendar flips to 2023, beginning with a clash against Iowa at the BJC on New Years Day. However, all early season signs point toward the Nittany Lions being a team that will go dancing this season. Teams in that position dispatch of the Delaware States of the world with ease.
Scouting the Opposition
This not a knock on Delaware State, but the Hornets are not a good basketball team. They average just 62.7 points per game which ranks 404th nationally. This is paired with allowing 76.5 PPG.
Forward Brandon Stone is Delaware State’s best player. Stone is averaging 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, both of which lead the team. Guard Khyrie Staten is averaging 10.2 PPG, and is the only other Hornet player averaging more than 8.0 PPG.
What To Watch For
Can Penn State avoid a letdown? The Nittany Lions are the far superior team in this matchup. There is no reason for this to be a competitive game. It will be on Shrewsberry, his staff, and the players to avoid a letdown. Just come out, take care of business and make it easy.
It will also be worth watching to see what young and depth players for the Nittany Lions can do in a game where they should see extended minutes. Thursday’s afternoon’s matchup should present a good opportunity for the likes of Kebba Njie, Caleb Dorsey, Jameel Brown, Demetrius Lilley, and Evan Mahaffey to see a bulk of playing time.
This is one the Nittany Lions should roll in. Penn State should have little issue dispatching Delaware State, allowing Coach Shrewsberry to get younger/depth players significant minutes in their finale tuneup before playing solely Big Ten squads the rest of the way. Penn State 83, Delaware State 58