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Purdue’s upset loss means Shrewsberry will be getting to PSU sooner

Photo by Purdue Athletics: Micah Shrewsberry

New Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry had good reason to think his Purdue team could make a nice run in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, the Boilermakers fell victim to a Cinderella from Texas in a big upset Friday night.

The Boilermakers, a 4 seed, lost in overtime to No. 13 seed North Texas, 78-69, in Indianapolis. Purdue rallied late to get the game to OT, then didn’t score for the first 4 1/2 minutes of OT as North Texas built a 72-61 lead.

Shrewsberry is the offensive coordinator and playcaller for Purdue, but the offense fell flat during the OT session.

In the closing seconds of regulation, with Purdue trailing 61-59, the TV cameras panned in on Shrewsberry calling the play in the huddle. Purdue head coach Matt Painter trusts his assistants in those roles, and Shrewsberry delivered by designing a nice play. The Boilermakers worked the ball to big man Trevion Williams, who missed inside but got his own rebound and scored to tie the game at 61.

But Purdue’s offense went cold in OT, while North Texas hit some big buckets to take control of the game.

Shrewsberry was named Penn State’s new coach Monday but has not been to State College yet. He remained with Purdue while it was preparing for the NCAA Tournament. He reportedly met with the PSU players by Zoom on Monday night.

But a day later, six Penn State players entered the transfer portal — without ever even meeting face to face with Shrewsberry.

With Purdue now eliminated, Shrewsberry can get to Penn State sooner than he would have liked or anyone would have expected.

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Will it make much difference with regards to perhaps trying to get some of the players in the transfer portal to stay? Or perhaps with recruiting?

Put it this way: It can’t hurt.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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