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‘Soft’: Penn State HC Micah Shrewsberry Doesn’t Hold Back in Postgame PC

Penn State basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry January 21, 2023 David Hague/NSN

Penn State men’s basketball suffered its ugliest loss of the season Tuesday night in Piscataway, falling to Rutgers 65-45, and coach Micah Shrewsberry didn’t sugarcoat anything in his post-game press conference.

After bad losses, some coaches annoy fanbases with talk about the team being “unlucky” and “trusting the process.”

Shrewsberry wasn’t about that Tuesday night.

The big word was “soft.”

“Can’t play soft in this league if you want to win basketball games,” Shrewsberry said. “100 percent face.  We played soft and got beat by 20.”

The most glaring thing about Penn State’s loss was its offense. It’s easy to see that Penn State didn’t have it by just looking at the final score. The box score doesn’t make it look any better. Penn State came into the night leading the Big Ten in 3-point shooting percentage. It went 4-for-26 from beyond the arc.

On the surface, things looked better defensively. Rutgers came into the night averaging just below 70 points per game, and Penn State held it to 65. 

But for Shrewsberry, the defensive effort needed to be better.

“I’m just disappointed in the way we played defensively,” he said. “I thought we were really soft. I thought they (Rutgers) got whatever they wanted to.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“I don’t know how I let them become this soft defensively as a team.”

Penn State basketball is still in contention for the NCAA Tournament. With 10 games left, the team is 13-7 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten. As it stands, this has been a much better season than last season, Shrewsberry’s first. Penn State ended last year with a losing record and almost certainly will avoid that this season. 

But to take the next step, Shrewsberry knows showings like the one in Piscataway won’t cut it. 

“At some point in time, you gotta stand up,” Shrewsberry said. “At some point in time, you have to have some pride, and right now, we don’t have any pride. I told them that. What I’m saying to you, I told them exactly this in the locker room. We need some prideful defenders. That’s on me.”

”I don’t know how I let them become this soft defensively as a team. Right now we’re in the low 80s defensively and dropping quickly.”

Shrewsberry knows what it takes to be successful in the Big Ten. He coached at Purdue for four seasons over two stints and made it to the NCAA Tournament twice. 

A team cannot be soft and succeed in the Big Ten. 

“You wanna win in this league,” he said, “you gotta play tough. We played soft, and we got our ass kicked.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ralph Eckley

    January 25, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Great coach Tells it like it is. NO SUGARCOATING

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