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5 Takeaways From Penn State Men’s Basketball’s 2OT Loss at Clemson

Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State Basketball Coach
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09: Penn State Nittany Lions coach Micah Shrewsberry coaches on the sidelines against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on March 9, 2022 during the Big Ten Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire)

Here are five takeaways from Penn State men’s basketball’s 2 OT loss at Clemson on Wednesday night.

THE TEAM HAS GUTS

Penn State was down by seven with 45 seconds left in regulation and forced overtime. That says a lot about this team. Micah Shrewsberry’s squad has yet to become a winner, but it has the right attitude. 

PENN STATE NEEDS ANOTHER WAY TO WIN

Penn State was its usual 3-point-making self in the first half, going 6-13 from beyond the arc. In the second half, Penn State shot 3-16, an unintentional and unfortunate tribute to Stone Cold Steve Austin.

If Penn State is 4-16 from three in the second half, it—theoretically, at least—beats Clemson in regulation. It’s easy to blame that for the loss, but the Clemson game showed that Penn State doesn’t have the tools on the inside just yet.

Nobody who scored a point for Penn State against Clemson was above 6-foot-6, and the tallest player who scored, Seth Lundy, doesn’t remind anybody of Hakeem Olajuwon. On the one hand, Penn State shot 3-16 from three in the second half against an ACC team on the road and almost won.

On the other, not having an established offensive threat in the post won’t cut it in the Big Ten. 

A DREADFUL NIGHT 

Myles Dread has helped Penn State a lot over his career and this season. Dread is Penn State’s best 3-point shooter overall, but he was off Tuesday night. The fifth-year senior shot six 3s and made none, ending with no points. Although Jalen Pickett had 23 points, he went 0-7 from beyond the arc. So Penn State’s best shooter and best overall player combined to go 0-13 from 3. Not good. 

That said, Dread is still shooting 45.5% from 3 this season.

GOTTA HAVE THAT FUNK

Yeah, I wasn’t going to write an article about this game and not talk about Andrew Funk’s shot. If you have yet to see it, here you go—what a beauty.

PENN STATE HAS TO WIN GAMES LIKE THIS

Losing close games to respectable opponents wasn’t disastrous last year. In fact, it was encouraging. Penn State wasn’t going to be an NCAA Tournament team, so why not be encouraged with, say, a seven-point loss to Purdue at home, a five-point loss at Ohio State or a two-point loss at Wisconsin? This year, Penn State has a realistic shot to get to the Big Dance— and if you don’t believe me, look at KenPom. But Penn State can’t get there if it doesn’t start pulling out close games against Power Five schools.

Penn State had a chance to win that type of game against Virginia Tech, and lost by two. It had another chance against Clemson, and didn’t get the job done.

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