Game 2 of Year 2 of the Micah Shrewsberry era at Penn State is Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center against Loyola (MD). Here are five things to know.
LIFE WITH MIKEY
Mikey Henn was one of three players Penn State landed from the transfer portal this past offseason, along with Cam Wynter and Andrew Funk. Unlike 5-foot-4 Michael J. Fox, who played the main character in the 1993 comedy Life with Mikey, Henn is tall. At 6-foot-8 and 244-pounds, the seventh—yes, seventh- year senior gives Penn State an inside presence on a team that isn’t known for its height.
Henn only played three minutes against Winthrop, but did hit the last of Penn State’s 18 three-pointers. It’s worth watching to see if his minutes will increase against Loyola.
THREES FALLING… FOR NOW
Making 18 3-pointers in a game probably isn’t sustainable, but that’s the way Shrewsberry and his staff want this team to play. In Loyola’s 72-66 loss at DePaul this past Monday, it allowed eight made treys in 27 attempts, good for less than 30%. So Loyola could present a stiff challenge in Penn State’s quest to hit from downtown.
THE LOWDOWN ON LOYOLA
Loyola is 0-1, with the aforementioned loss to DePaul its only result thus far, so we don’t know too much about the team— or any other team in college basketball— yet. Loyola’s currently ranked No. 229 in KenPom.Com’s 2023 Pomeroy Ratings.
The Patriot League squad went 14-16 last season and has 13 players back this year, including its top two scorers, Jaylin Andrews (13.9 PPG) and Kenneth Jones (8.7 PPG.) Andrews and Jones are fifth-year seniors. Jones led the Patriot League in assists last season and Andrews was one of the conference’s top 10 in points per game.
Jones had a team-high 20 points against DePaul, and Andrews added 12. Freshman Deon Perry also cracked double digits for Loyola, adding 13.
DEFENDING THE 3
For Shrewsberry, giving up 11 3-pointers in a game won’t cut it, even in a 25-point win. Winthrop went 11-for-25 against Penn State, exploiting what was a weak spot for Penn State last season.
Shrewsberry’s squad placed 12th of 14 Big Ten teams in opponents’ 3-point percentage. Loyola shot the ball well from beyond the arc against DePaul, hitting 10 of 24 shots. If Loyola is to upset Penn State, it will likely need to hit and hit often from three, and Penn State could get burned if its not careful.
HOW TO WATCH
Penn State and Loyola tip-off at 7 Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game is on BTN+, like Penn State’s opener against Winthrop was. Andre Magaro (PXP) and Adam Sheetz (color) are the commentary team. People who won’t be at the game and don’t have BTN+ can listen to Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi on one of these affiliates. Jones and Jerardi can also be heard on Sirius/XM Channel 382. The channel on the app is 972.