Episode 61: Penn State Basketball Gets Bounced by Rutgers

Penn State men’s basketball suffered a tough loss on the road, losing 65-45 to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Join Vince as he breaks down this frustrating loss for the Nittany Lions and preview their next game against Michigan. WE ARE!

Transcript

Vince:

00:00:00.12 – 00:00:29.24 

¬†Welcome back to the Nittany Blues podcast They were here recap Penn State’s tough 65 to 45 ft to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights It was a really tough night for the Nittany Lions in the Jersey Mike’s arena Piscataway New Jersey Early on in this game Penn State definitely went through a dry spell and really had a difficult time scoring buckets Seth Lundy hit his first three and then the Nittany Lions missed their next six shots

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Vince:

00:00:29.39 – 00:00:56.1 

 after that So Rutgers definitely played some lockdown defense early on in the game and gave Penn State fits a couple of guys who were giving us a hard time offensively where paul McKay he and Clifford the Big Scarlet Knight a warrior He did a really good job in the first half he had 12 of his 16 points he was six of seven from the field and also got 10 rebounds throughout the game

Vince:

00:00:56.53 – 00:01:26.3 

 Uh he completely dominated uh you know Kevin Gi and Evan Mahaffey in that first half uh you know really overpowering powering them with his strength and athleticism paul McKay he also was going at it with Jalen Pickett quite a bit in the first half And uh you know you can say that he won his fair share of the battles as you know pick was backing him down to the post and then McKay he was doing the same thing on the other end and both guys hit a tough cup

Vince:

00:01:26.8 – 00:01:51.79 

 couple of tough fade away So that was really fun to watch Um yeah Penn State did get in a little bit of a groove Uh Seth lundy kind of kept them within striking distance within that first half He had 12 points in the day most of them being in the first half So he kept Penn State you know within striking distance at halftime as it was 32 to 24 So they’re down by eight and

Vince:

00:01:52.06 – 00:02:12.78 

 offensively everything was just going wrong tonight Uh Penn State is one of those teams that lives and dies by the three point shot And today they were 2.5 times below their season percentage heading into this game They were 39.4% from behind the field And

Vince:

00:02:13.04 – 00:02:39.76 

 tonight from three they only shot at a 15% rate So really tough night from behind the arc Rutgers hit the same amount of threes and four but only took half the attempts So uh you know right there Rutgers doubled our shooting percentage from downtown Our defense was pretty good for the most part you know keeping a good team like Rutgers in the sixties Uh

Vince:

00:02:40.02 – 00:03:02.02 

 not not bad defensively However we really struggled with Cliff Warrior as he backed down uh Mahaffey and cabbage i in the post And you know he definitely got his early on in the first half and the second half we did do a much better job kind of keeping him out of it and making those adjustments But in the first half

Vince:

00:03:02.27 – 00:03:30.0 

 that definitely really gave us a hard time Evan Mahaffey also got in foul trouble So we only saw him for about six minutes throughout the game when when he’s a guy who’s been playing very well for us Um but this is starting to become a trend It’s about three games right now We’re we’ve seen get in foul trouble and he’s one of those guys that we need there defensively out on the floor for Penn State So hopefully as we head into february and

Vince:

00:03:30.15 – 00:03:40.38 

 have some more games coming up hopefully that’s something he’s able to clean up defensively because he’s such an important part of this team and we can’t afford to have him on the bench

Vince:

00:03:40.91 – 00:04:09.62 

 Seth lundy is a guy who kept us in it in the first half Here He did finish the game with 12 points for 10 from the field But outside of that Penn State was not getting much offensively from anyone tonight We had a couple guys with no first cam Winter gave us no for over four from the field miles Dredd over five Darlene johnson over to Jameel Brown over to uh shots were not falling for anybody tonight Coach cruises

Vince:

00:04:09.87 – 00:04:39.83 

 trying a lot of different guys you know seeing if someone could score and you know it was just one of those nights for Penn State nothing could go right on the offensive end Uh and you know these are the kind of games that Penn State is going to lose and it’s really disappointing because if they would have won this game tonight in in the Big 10 standings you would have seen Penn State you know up in the top six teams with a five and four conference record However

Vince:

00:04:40.23 – 00:04:54.13 

 not the case now they’re down to the 10 seed in the Big 10 overall sitting at four and five So uh in the Big 10 conference this is a really critical game and the Nittany Lions just cannot perform tonight

Vince:

00:04:54.67 – 00:05:23.9 

 Uh some other guys and Rutgers who gave us a difficult time in the second half Andre Hyatt and he’s a guy who comes off the bench and isn’t known for you know being a high volume scorer but he was on fire tonight He was 6 to 12 from the field and he racked up 14 points and four rebounds Uh yeah we really struggled with him tonight One guy we did keep in check was cam Spencer their leading scorer He only got 20 minutes and only had three points was one of seven shooting

Vince:

00:05:24.11 – 00:05:52.08 

 So they did a nice job on him defensively But you know this was just not enough And another area where we really got wrecked was the glass and this was an area where I kind of foresaw this being a potential issue for Penn State in the game Rutgers is a really aggressive athletic physical team and they killed the Nittany Lions on the boards tonight It was 41-25

Vince:

00:05:52.25 – 00:06:21.28 

 uh kind of one of the areas I was concerned about going into the game and hopefully that is an area that can get cleaned up As Penn State will be facing this team again at the end of february However I think the outcome will be different uh than the lines have played really well in the B J C This year And uh I hope that continues because you’re not going to see Penn State shooting 15% from downtown very often If you had them at their season average

Vince:

00:06:21.59 – 00:06:47.74 

 they lose this game by two points with that swing So if we shoot our average uh you know this is a really good Penn State team and they would have been really competitive with Rutgers So you know three point line hurt us tonight Free throws also didn’t help were only five of 9 56% not a good shooting percentage whereas Rutgers was 15 for 19

Vince:

00:06:47.97 – 00:07:10.2 

 Just under 80% So that was an area where the lions just uh we’re not getting enough We we gotta hit those shots even though the crowd is making you know lots of noises to distract the shooters They got to be you know disciplined and knock down those free throws That’s what you need to do to win games in the big 10 as it is such a competitive conference

Vince:

00:07:11.5 – 00:07:27.57 

 So uh not too many positive points in the game Some positives Jalen Pickett did get going in the second half and did a really nice job in the second half He ended up finishing 7 14 from the field got 15 points and eight rebounds

Vince:

00:07:27.84 – 00:07:47.31 

 And Cuba actually did a little bit better today I was impressed with his performance He got some more minutes 16 minutes tonight and it was 23 from the field which that was exactly what I wanted to see from him offensively defensively he did better in the second half at guarding a warrior And

Vince:

00:07:47.98 – 00:08:13.19 

 um did did a nice job after a bit of a slow start It was kind of one of those things where CUBA was you know going to the rim for a layup quick layup and score dunk and just got stuffed again and it seems like that’s something that’s happening every single week and you would think with him being 6 10 and really athletic that he wouldn’t be getting blocked very often It’s just one of those things that keeps on happening and he can’t get a break

Vince:

00:08:13.33 – 00:08:24.91 

 However he did have a couple nice layups later later in the game so really happy to see him get going on the on the offensive end as well as the defensive end So I hope he keeps it up

Vince:

00:08:25.71 – 00:08:50.77 

 Some other guys Kanye Clary had an okay game tonight He was getting more minutes 16 minutes one of four from the field and had a couple of turnovers but he’s been a really solid ball handler for us out there So hopefully he keeps doing well Getting Caleb Dorsey back I’m hoping that helps too It’s nice to see him back out there He got eight minutes tonight Um Yeah but this team they just have to

Vince:

00:08:51.59 – 00:09:13.82 

 they gotta find a way because these elite teams in the Big 10 uh they’ve just kind of shown Penn State that they are not there yet If you look at the Big 10 standings you got Purdue rockers michigan and Michigan state four out of the top five when we went against those guys what happened is they would build a lead

Vince:

00:09:14.17 – 00:09:37.35 

 we would respond to the run The Nittany Lions did a really nice job in the second half So the game was a lot more competitive than the final score ended up being as we got to 36 to 39 I thought Penn State would eventually start to heat up and get hot from the field You saw Andrew Funk hit a couple shots in the second half and you know he got to 12 points today So

Vince:

00:09:37.56 – 00:10:04.47 

 I was really thinking that Penn State this was going to be a team where okay they’re gonna they just didn’t shoot well in the first half they’re going to get hot in the second half Come back and get a big win for this team in piscataway and I was like really feeling that way especially since the percentage was so low in the first half However you got to give credit to Rutgers they showed that you know they’re one of those top teams in the Big 10 conference along with michigan michigan state and Purdue and

Vince:

00:10:04.9 – 00:10:11.57 

 um when Penn State came back to tie or just get one bucket away all four of those teams

Vince:

00:10:12.22 – 00:10:37.29 

 just were able to close the door on Penn State they play lockdown defense Uh you know they stop the other team from scoring and they were able to make tough shots So that’s what the best teams in the Big 10 are going to do and they’re really starting to pull away from other teams in the big tent So Penn State is going to have to really hit the film and figure out areas where they can improve Um

Vince:

00:10:37.66 – 00:11:06.25 

 Jump shots is one of them they got hit from three that’s just going to be part of the deal Uh They’re getting good looks offensively but they’re just not finishing and there were even sometimes when they get we’re getting to the pain and missing some easy shots and just it was just one of those games that leaves leaves you scratching your head a little bit Um however there were a couple positives Uh it was nice to see Cabot do better That was definitely kind of one of the bright spots for this team

Vince:

00:11:06.41 – 00:11:35.4 

 Another area was turnovers We did a good job as a team taking care of the basketball only seven turnovers which is below their average uh fouls were down quite a bit from what they’ve been in the past few games Uh only out out fouled Rutgers 17 to 14 So they did a better job of being more disciplined defensively However some areas I would like to see them improve our some blocks on defense only one block compared to five

Vince:

00:11:35.7 – 00:11:59.38 

 and then the assist Uh there were just times tonight where everyone was just staring at Jalen Pickett and kind of waiting for him to do something They need to do a better job Moving the ball around nine assists is not a lot And when this Penn State team is at its best it’s when they have a lead ball movement and they’re getting open threes and they’re knocking them down And this is a team that

Vince:

00:11:59.62 – 00:12:27.5 

 really should be able to do that at a 40% clip just about every night They got some good looks tonight but shots were not falling And uh you know I hope cam winter gets his confidence back because he’s definitely a big time player We’ve seen him get 15 16 point games earlier in the season But yeah he had a goose egg tonight Uh and when I watch it it’s almost like he has almost almost a brief brief moment of hesitation and

Vince:

00:12:27.94 – 00:12:52.49 

 uh he just needs to get his confidence back Everyone goes through shooting slumps and you know he’s a good player extremely talented So I really hope that he’s able to turn it around because this team is going to have to do it quick because uh sunday at noon we got the michigan wolverines coming to town But before we preview that game I want to get through some players of the game today Uh

Vince:

00:12:53.29 – 00:13:22.7 

 not anything special but uh I think I’m gonna give the finality fighter to Kevin guy He had a little bit of a slow start but I was really happy to see him kind of turn it around and go two or three from the field He had the highest shooting percentage on field goals for anyone on this team And it was really nice to see him get things kind of going again because we’ve had a couple of games where he hasn’t really scored or been a factor on offense So it was really nice to see him get involved on the offensive end

Vince:

00:13:23.19 – 00:13:49.78 

 Uh second I’m going to give the award to for the bird brawler has to be Jalen Pickett he’s the leader on this team He shows up every night with seven and 14 from the field Really turned it on in the second half after only having five points in the first half So he turned it around quite a bit and then the third award I’m going to hand out the Mahoney mauler I’m saying I’m going to hand that out to Seth lundy He just shows up every night

Vince:

00:13:50.14 – 00:14:17.39 

 um really kept the team in it in the first half as he was the only one who was really getting anything done on the offensive end was four of 10 for the day and uh two and four from the field three point lines So uh yeah that’s what we need out of all of our guys Just we had too many guys with off nights tonight and that’s not going to win it in the big 10 Hopefully you know the team can get locked in for michigan this weekend

Vince:

00:14:18.17 – 00:14:45.1 

 So this is going to be the first opponent that Penn State does see uh a second time this season They are led by elite big man Hunter Dickinson and he’s 71 and presents a lot of different challenges He has a nice mid range jumper really great rebounder averages 1.7 blocks per game really great scorer 40% from three point line So this guy can

Vince:

00:14:45.37 – 00:15:11.51 

 really do it all So 11 of the factors I’m looking at in this game is you know cuba and Haiti just doing their best to to limit him if they can hold him to 15 points 10 15 points That’s the that’s the range you probably want to hold him to Penn State might be in pretty good shape However last time these two squads went to battle in the Chrysler center Uh no one

Vince:

00:15:12.24 – 00:15:28.06 

 had a bad night on Michigan Kobe bumpkin was had a really great game Jet Howard had a good game dug Mcdaniel all those guards just were able to score at will and there was nothing that Penn State could do to stop these guys

Vince:

00:15:28.4 – 00:15:52.82 

 So if we look back to Penn State’s first matchup earlier in the month yeah they got dominated in all the areas Three point percentage Michigan did have a lot higher percentage than they typically do They shot 42% of the field So not only is Penn State going to have to stop Hunter Dickinson in the post they gotta shut down those guys on the perimeter

Vince:

00:15:53.65 – 00:15:54.83 

 michigan

Vince:

00:15:55.43 – 00:16:22.39 

 I don’t think it’s going to shoot 42% again So I think that’s an advantage that Penn State has that will go their way Penn State was also a little bit behind their season three point percentage there were only 32% in their first match up So I think if we can really turn the tables there and have the energy of the bryce Jordan center and we know it’s going to be a big crowd it’s the thong game and this is one of the games that Penn State fans look forward to the most

Vince:

00:16:22.61 – 00:16:36.1 

 Another thing that Penn State needs to do is they need to win the turnover battle the last time these two teams played uh Penn State did a pretty good job taking care of the ball they only had seven turnovers However Michigan only had three and

Vince:

00:16:36.7 – 00:17:03.36 

 defensively we need to try to do some more things to keep them uncomfortable with Whether it’s a you know double teaming Hunter Dickinson and then rotating over and trying to make him make a tough pass I think that’s something that this team might be able to do to try to stop the wolverines you know vaunted offense And another thing we need to do is really move the ball and knock down the shots This is another game where Penn State did not have many assists

Vince:

00:17:03.73 – 00:17:28.74 

 Um only six Last time these two teams played Jalen Pickett had a huge game He had 26 points nine rebounds four assists So he was really doing everything But I think this is a game where you might see Andrew Funk really come alive and he’s shown that he does really well at home but hasn’t had quite the same success on the road So I’m hoping that Andrew Funk has a big game and

Vince:

00:17:29.08 – 00:17:57.43 

 Seth Lundy had a nice performance He was four of 10 from three the last time these two teams played So I’m really hoping we see some big things from him Yeah so moving on to our Communion predictions I think that Miles Dredd playing against the Michigan team He seems to like going against those guys So I think that Miles Dredd is going to hit 43 pointers and have 12 points

Vince:

00:17:57.94 – 00:18:02.92 

 He’s going to be the X factor today and I think he’s gonna do a great job

Vince:

00:18:03.62 – 00:18:09.12 

 Final score of the game I’m going to say Penn State

Vince:

00:18:09.95 – 00:18:30.2 

 75 Michigan 73 I think this is going to be a close battle but I think the crowd and the B J C And the environment and that’s just going to do just enough for Penn State to go over the top I think pick is gonna have a good game I think Andrew funk is gonna have a good game So

Vince:

00:18:30.35 – 00:18:59.21 

 you’re gonna see the Nittany Lions get a big win in the B J C And again this game is going to be at noon on the big 10 network So make sure you tune in and check it out If you’re able to get to the bryce Jordan center definitely do So the game is uh you know such a great game and if you are Penn State fan and don’t happen to know what’s on is uh is uh you know something that Penn State does every year with the student body they all gather donations to help kids fight cancer and

Vince:

00:18:59.36 – 00:19:06.94 

 raise money for cancer research So it’s definitely a really really great cause So if you can contribute to that definitely contribute to that as well

Vince:

00:19:07.32 – 00:19:29.75 

¬†Thank you for listening today If you’d like to support bod please tell your friends Follow us on twitter facebook and instagram If you enjoy the show please leave a five star reviews The other Nittany Lion fans like you can find us interested in new episodes You can subscribe on Spotify apple podcasts google podcasts or other streaming platforms to be notified Thank you for listening and we want to remind you that we are the Nittany Blues podcast See you next time

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