Penn State Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Penn State Nittany Lions

Big Ten (21-10, 11-9)

When Lamar Stevens opted to return for his senior season, the expectations in Happy Valley grew. The Nittany Lions managed to crush even the loftiest of expectations. They spent some time in the top ten of the polls and beat the best teams the Big Ten has to offer. This will be Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 and the Nittany Lions will be looking to win their first tournament game since 2001.
Big Wins: 12/10 Maryland (76-69), 1/18 Ohio State (90-76), 2/4 at Michigan State (75-70)
Bad Losses: 11/27 vs Mississippi (72-74), 1/15 at Minnesota (69-75), 3/7 at Northwestern (69-80)
Coach: Pat Chambers
Why They Can Surprise:
Stevens is the star of this team. The 6-8 senior averages 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocks. While it is obvious that Stevens does a lot for this team, he was forced to do even more last season. This year Stevens is getting a little more help. Mike Watkins is a tough forward who is averaging 9.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. John Harrar and Seth Lundy are not going to put up big numbers, but Harrar is tough in the paint and Lundy can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability. Myreon Jones has turned into the secondary scoring threat behind Stevens. Jones has missed some time due to an illness, but he is a consistent shooter and all-around scorer when healthy.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Jamari Wheeler spearheads the defense effort. The guard deserves plenty of credit for taking care of the basketball on the other end of the floor as well. However, Wheeler is not much of an offensive threat and that leaves quite a bit of pressure on players like Izaiah Brockington and Myles Dread to provide another scoring threat. When Jones was out with an illness, the Penn State offense took a step back in tough losses to Illinois and Indiana. Even with Jones, in the NCAA Tournament, Penn State will need one of those guards to consistently hit some shots and another dynamic to the offense.
Probable Starters:
Jamari Wheeler, Junior, Guard, 3.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 1.5 spg
Myreon Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 13.3 ppg, 3.0 apg
Seth Lundy, Freshman, Forward, 5.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
John Harrar, Junior, Forward, 4.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Lamar Stevens, Senior, Forward, 17.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.2 bpg
Key Role Players:
Mike Watkins, Senior, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Myles Dread, Sophomore, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 2.2 apg
Curtis Jones, Senior, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 1.2 apg
Izaiah Brockington, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.1 (72nd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.2 (144, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (213, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (72, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (92, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (216, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.2 (232, 9)
Rebound Margin: 1.1 (149, 10)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (80, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (30, 4)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2018NITFirst Round win over Temple
2018NITSecond Round win over Notre Dame
2018NITQuarterfinal win over Marquette
2018NITSemifinal win over Mississippi State
2018NITChampionship win over Utah
2014CBIFirst Round win over Hampton
2014CBIQuarterfinal loss to Siena
2011NCAARound of 64 loss to Temple
2009NITFirst Round win over George Mason
2009NITSecond Round win over Rhode Island
2009NITQuarterfinal win over Florida
2009NITSemifinal win over Notre Dame
2009NITFinal win over Baylor
2006NITOpening Round loss to Rutgers
2001NCAARound of 64 win over Providence
2001NCAARound of 32 win over North Carolina
2001NCAARegional semifinal loss to Temple
2000NITFirst Round win over Princeton
2000NITSecond Round win over Siena
2000NITQuarterfinal win over Kent State
2000NITSemifinal loss to Notre Dame
*all team stats through 3/8