Penn State returns to action after a week off, facing a Minnesota squad coming off of a two-point loss at home to the same Wisconsin team that the Nittany Lions defeated six days earlier.
Scouting the Opposition
The Gophers are stout defensively, having held the Gophers to their lowest field goal percentage in conference action. Wisconsin was also held under 70 points for the first time in Big Ten play. Junior guard Elijah Hawkins averages just under nine points per game, but scored 18 against the Badgers and leads the country at nearly eight assists a contest. The team’s leading scorer, 6’11’’ forward Dawson Garcia, averages 17 points per game. Three more Gophers average double figures as well, include 6’9’’ Pharrel Payne.
What to Watch For
Wahab and Lilley vs. Garcia
- The battle in the post will certainly affect the outcome of the game. If Wahab can deny Garcia, especially on the offensive glass, it could lead to baskets in transition, and the ability for Penn State to dictate the tempo of the game.
Ace and Kanye
As I said in my last few previews, Kanye Clark and Ace Baldwin’s ability to take over a game makes Penn State a tough out for any team. The pressure of both players, especially Baldwin, should severely limit the playmaking ability of Hawkins.
[Insert Admiral Ackbar quote here]
The Nittany Lions’ trap has allowed the team to get back into many games this year, and turnovers will almost certainly determine the outcome.
I’m tired of being wrong.
Penn State 72, Minnesota 68