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5 Takeaways From Penn State’s win Over Loyola (MD)

Penn State Athletics

Here are five takeaways from Penn State’s 90-65 win over Loyola (MD) at the Bryce Jordan Center Thursday night. 

3S STILL FALLING

Penn State didn’t break a school record for 3-pointers as it did in its season-opener against Winthrop, but it came close. The team again shot well from beyond the arc. Penn State made 10 treys in the first half and finished with 16 for the night, which is the second-most in school history. Myles Dread had four treys, Cam Wynter had three, and Dallion Johnson and Seth Lundy each had a pair. Penn State finished 16-30 from beyond the arc, improved percentage-wise from the Winthrop game, where it went 18-38.

Even though we’re only two games in, it’s clear this team’s offensive identity is offensive; 3s, 3s and more 3s. 

WYNTER IS UPON US

Against Winthrop, Andrew Funk went off for 22 points, making 8-12 field goals and 6-10 3-pointers. Funk slowed down against Loyola, with one first-half 3 being his only bucket. Fortunately for Penn State, another transfer portal acquisition stepped up. Cam Wynter, a fifth-year senior who transferred in from Drexel in the offseason, led Penn State with 18 points, going 7-9 from the field and 3-4 from three. The backcourt trio of Wynter, Funk and Jalen Pickett could cause some problems for Big Ten defenses this season. Speaking of Pickett…

PICKETT STILL CHARGING

Pickett, a fifth-year senior who coach Micah Shrewsberry called the team’s best player last month, didn’t score 23 points like he didn’t against Winthrop. But having 11 assists is an excellent way to compensate for that. Point blank, Pickett is the one who makes this offense go, and when he’s on, that makes everybody else better. 

Every team needs a leader, and Pickett is checking all the boxes thus far. 

IMPROVING UPON A WEAKNESS

There wasn’t much to complain about in Penn State’s 25-point win over Winthrop. But one thing that Shrewsberry and co. didn’t like was Winthrop going 11-25 from beyond the arc. Loyola went 10-24 (44%) in its season-opening loss at DePaul but only went 6-19 (31.6%) against Penn State. Shrewsberry’s squad finished 12th of 14 Big Ten teams in opponents’ 3-point field goal percentage; a weakness Loyola could have exploited. That didn’t happen, and Penn State will need to continue to keep teams from going off from downtown.

IS THIS SUSTAINABLE? 

Penn State is fun to watch now, and fans should be happy through two games. But it must be said that Penn State has been one-dimensional offensively. Penn State can get away with starting four guards against Loyola. It will be harder to do that against Indiana. Right now, Penn State doesn’t have an established difference-maker on the inside, and its fair to be concerned about that. Nonetheless, Penn State is 2-0 playing an exciting brand of basketball. Enjoy it for however long it lasts. 

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