Penn State men’s head basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry pointed out many of his frustrations after Tuesday night’s 65-45 loss to Rutgers. He spoke about the team playing “soft”, talking about the way they played particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
However, another one of his main points of contention pointed out in his press conference is when a reporter asked about how the referees have been officiating Penn State point guard Jalen Pickett.
Shrewsberry complimented Pickett for being able to carry the team in long stretches, and that is why he should get more respect from the officials.
“He’s (Pickett) doing his best, he’ carrying us,” Shrewsberry said. “Carrying us through long stretches. People are doing a good job taking (Andrew) Funk out, and he is carrying us through long stretches. He is one of the best players in this league I will tell you that right now. He’s playing like that, and he has been played like this all season. I just want the best players in the league to get some free throws.”
Pickett shot two free throws on Tuesday night making one, and Penn State shot only nine free throws last night. Part of the reason they shot nine free throws was Rutgers’ aggressive defense that forced Penn State into missing open shots. Another reason is Penn State’s offensive philosophy. Penn State shot 26 three-pointers in Tuesday’s game and the only person that was going anywhere near the paint was Pickett.
Pickett is averaging 2.7 free throws per game and shoots at 79.2 percent, but Shrewsberry’s frustration with the officiating continues as his midseason All-American keeps getting contacted in the lane as referees swallow the whistle as he made the quote as he ended his news conference.
“I’m done sending in clips. I gotta coach my team. I just want Jalen Pickett to shoot more than two free throws per game. One of the best players in this league. Never gets fouled.”
Shrewsberry and Penn State will hope to get some better fortune from officiating and controlling what it can control the rest of the season starting on Sunday at home against Michigan.