Penn State got back to winning in a big way this past Tuesday, pounding Illinois, 93-81. Coach Micah Shrewsberry’s team looks to make it two straight against the worst squad— statistically— in the Big Ten. Here are five things to know before Penn State-Minnesota.
BACK IN THE HUNT
Penn State is back on the bubble… for now. ESPN’s Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Penn State among the “next four out” after the Illinois win. A loss to Minnesota would be killer for Penn State’s NCAA Tournament hopes. The team has six games left, and based on record, none of them will be as easy as Saturday’s.
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) February 18, 2023
There aren’t many “gimmie” games in the Big Ten but Minnesota is about as close as it gets to being one. The Gophers, in Year 2 of the Ben Johnson era, have been awful. Minnesota is 7-16 overall and 1-12 in the Big Ten, good for dead last. Minnesota is last in the conference in scoring and point differential. Quite frankly, it doesn’t get any easier than this for Penn State.
Or so we think.
Jalen Pickett played the best game of his Penn State career Tuesday night. Pickett scored 41 points and dished out eight assists against Illinois.
Pickett broke the Bryce Jordan Center scoring record, scored the most single-game points by a Big Ten player this season and becoming the first PSU player to score 40 or more since 1961.
Minnesota is 13th of 14 Big Ten teams in scoring defense, so there’s no reason Pickett shouldn’t eat again.
These days, seeing the name “Kanye” is usually accompanied by bad news. But Kanye Clary has been good lately. Over the past two games, Clary has averaged 14.5 points. He still averages a modest 3.4 PPG for the season, but the freshman is showing signs of progress and could progress further in Minneapolis.
HOW TO WATCH
PSU and Minnesota are scheduled to tip-off at 9 on the Big Ten Network. Penn State is an 8.5-point favorite according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Here’s more information on how to watch and listen to the game.
TV Announcers: Cory Provus (PXP) Shon Morris (color)
Radio: Penn State Sports Network
Radio Announcers: Steve Jones (PXP), Dick Jerardi (color)
SiriusXM: Channel 389 (regular), 978 (app)