Entering the season any Penn State basketball fans would have gladly taken a .500 record in the regular season. The Nittany Lions were replacing their coaching staff, as well as some key pieces on their roster.
Viewed as one of the worst teams in the Big Ten preseason, expectations were low for Penn State. In year one under Micah Shrewsberry’s leadership the Nittany Lions have already exceeded these expectations and could get back to .500 on Sunday night.
Scouting the Opposition
Penn State entered Saturday night averaging a 72.5 points per game, ranking 161st nationally. The Cornhuskers allow 79.6 PPG and they struggle to rebound the basketball averaging just 33.5 rebounds per game which puts them 329th nationally. This is an area where Penn State should have a huge advantage.
Freshman Bryce McGowens is the leading scorer for Nebraska, McGowens averages 16.6 points per game and his 5.3 rebounds per game ranks second o the team. Alonzo Verge Jr. adds 13.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. If the Nittany Lions can contain these two players the Cornhuskers will be in trouble.
Opposing teams have had success from three-point range all season against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers rank 270th nationally in three-point defense allowing their opponents to hit their shots at a 35.3% clip. The Nittany Lions are a team that shoots 35% from three-point range. With how much the Cornhuskers struggle to defend the three ball this could create plenty of scoring opportunities for Sam Sessoms, Seth Lundy, Dallion Johnson, Jalen Pickett, and Myles Dread.
What To Look For
The last time the Nittany Lions had the chance to get back to .500 on the season they came up short in a game against Maryland. This came last Monday in a game against the Terrapins that the Nittany Lions should have won.
Sunday night the Nittany Lions will once again look to get back to .500 on the season. This time it will come against a Nebraska team that appears to be completely checked out on the season. There is no reason the Nittany Lions can’t defeat he Cornhuskers to improve to 13-13.
Look for this team to have a lot of fight to get back to .500. If Penn State can find themselves at .500 when the Big Ten Tournament ends they could be on their way to a NIT berth. A win over Nebraska on Sunday night would go a long way toward this. Especially with a difficult two game stretch of at Illinois and Rutgers as the final two games of the regular season.
The Nittany Lions are a better team than the Cornhuskers. They get he job done on Sunday night and improve to .500 on he season, and they will do so with some breathing room. Penn State 77, Nebraska 65