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Penn State Basketball: Takeaways from Penn State’s 83-61 Over Michigan

Penn State basketball star Jalen Pickett
Penn State Athletics

Penn State men’s basketball bounced back from that debacle Tuesday night at Rutgers and came away with a huge win against Michigan in resounding fashion.

Jalen Pickett was spectacular, and he got help from Seth Lundy, Andrew Funk and, most surprisingly, Mikey Henn. They shot well from 3 for most of the game and played spectacularly.

After the 20-point loss at Rutgers, coach Micah Shrewsberry called Penn State out for being soft.

Days later, the team got a much-needed win and grabbed some much-needed momentum heading into its next matchup at Purdue Wednesday night.

Here are my three takeaways from Penn State’s win over Michigan.


Henn started over freshman Kebba Njie Sunday.

Shrewsberry wanted to put a veteran in the post to start the game. Henn hasn’t played much this year but he stepped up on a big way Sunday. Henn scored 10 points and went a perfect 4-for-4 on the afternoon, including going 2-for-2 from 3, one of which came off a lucky bounce. His biggest impact was helping to guard Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson.

The all-Big Ten center only had six points and two rebounds Sunday.

“I’ve just been putting extra work in,” Henn told reporters after the game. “Some days when we have games and I don’t play, getting in extra work. Getting in the weight room, do all these things, work on my conditioning. But I knew a time had to come when my name was going to get called and I was lucky enough that it got called today and I was ready for the task at hand.”


Yes, Penn State’s offense, when it’s on like it was Sunday, can compete with any Big Ten team.

Sunday wasn’t just about Pickett (25 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) doing whatever he wanted. It the barrage of made 3-pointers (13).

What makes Penn State dangerous is the motioning of players like Lundy and Funk freeing each other up for shots. Even against a bigger Michigan team, Penn State drove to the basket more than any other time I’ve seen it this season.

Penn State also got 3-point plays the old-fashioned way several times.

Shrewsberry’s team is currently seventh of 14 Big Ten teams in scoring average, so the consistency isn’t there yet. But If Penn State basketball can put this offensive arsenal together for the rest of the season, it will be hard to stop.


As mentioned above, Penn State held Dickinson to six points and two rebounds. The defense also adjusted to Jett Howard’s hot shooting start.

Howard led Michigan with 21 points but only three came in the second half. Penn State denied Howard shots and, therefore, he wasn’t much of a factor in the last 20 minutes. Furthermore, Penn State outrebounded Michigan 36-27 which came after Rutgers outrebounded Penn State 43-26 on Tuesday night. Penn State played like the more aggressive team Sunday, holding Michigan to 27.3 percent from 3 and 42.4 percent overall.


It was a great win for Penn State and a critical one to help keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

But three of Penn State’s next four games are on the road, starting with top-ranked Purdue Wednesday. Penn State is at Nebraska Feb. 5, at home against Wisconsin Feb. 8 and then back on the road at Maryland Feb. 11

I point to the latter two games as must-wins for Penn State to have a comfortable NCAA Tournament case.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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