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Micah Shrewsberry looking for historical win at Wisconsin

This Tuesday, Penn State basketball and its head coach, Micah Shrewsberry, are chasing history vs. Wisconsin.



Dec 18, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry looks on from the bench during the first half against the Canisius Golden Griffins at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State defeated Canisius 97-67. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State (12-5,3-3) and Micah Shrewsberry hit the road Tuesday as they travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin. Depending on your preferred rating system, the Nittany Lions are either a lower middle-tier team or a squad on the cusp of the top 25.

What is without question is that Micah Shrewsberry and company are firmly on the March Madness bubble. In his latest bracketology piece, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Penn State as the last team out of the NCAA Tournament.

Wisconsin poses a considerable challenge for the Nittany Lions. Frankly, it’s a game that Penn State is unlikely to win. As the calendar slowly dwindles, any game Penn State can pick up will go a long way toward enhancing its tournament hopes. But a win at Wisconsin would undoubtedly mean more than most.

A tale of two halves

Yet again, last week was an emotional rollercoaster for Penn State basketball.

The week started in Philadelphia as the Nittany Lions took on top-ranked Purdue at the Palestra. Supposedly a neutral venue, Penn State had a considerable home-court advantage as Nittany Lion fans showed up in droves for the anticipated matchup at the “Cathedral of College Basketball.”

Early on, the Penn State faithful had plenty to cheer about as the Nittany Lions led the No. 1 Boilermakers by six at halftime. However, the narrative quickly turned in the second half. Penn State was outscored 45-26 en route to a 76-63 loss. The Nittany Lions had no answer to Purdue’s big man, Zach Edey, who muscled his way to 30 points and 13 rebounds on the night. 

Penn State responded with an emphatic win of its own later in the week. The Lions toppled Indiana by 19 points on Wednesday, marking the largest win over the Hoosiers in program history. 

The Nittany Lions were spurred by a 13-3 run in the first half to take the lead. Except this time, they never looked back. Seth Lundy scored a game-high 25 points on a night he also surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. The Nittany Lions shot the lights out in general, going 18-31 from behind the arc. The 18 made three-pointers tied the program record, which was set earlier this season. Overall, it was an impressive response to a crushing defeat for Shrewsberry’s squad.

On (to) Wisconsin

The Badgers are desperate for a win. Wisconsin started the season strong but has lost three games in a row. To make matters worse, the Nittany Lions historically struggle at the Kohl Center. Penn State has not won a game in Madison in over two decades.

Wisconsin comes into this contest averaging nearly 67 points per game. The Badgers have four players who average double-digit points, led by Tyler Wahl’s 13.2 points per game. Unlike against Purdue, the Nittany Lions will need to find an answer for the 6’9” Wahl inside. Although Wahl only averages six rebounds per game, Penn State’s biggest weakness on the defensive front this season has been size.

If the Nittany Lions can hit consistently from deep, they’ll have a shot in this game. Penn State has made 43% of its three-pointers in wins this season, compared to 33% in its losses.

However, this could be challenging as the Lions have proven to be streaky from beyond the arc on the road. While they have made 42% of their threes at the Bryce Jordan Center, the Nittany Lions have shot 37% from deep at road or neutral venues.

This game could turn out similar to last week’s matchup with Purdue. Throughout the game, Penn State will likely struggle to find answers in the post on defense. That’s pretty much baked into this one. But against the Boilermakers, the Nittany Lions shot 36% from three. To have any hope of getting his first win ever in Madison, Shrewsberry will need the Nittany Lions to get hot from deep.

A long road ahead

Even if Penn State can pull the upset at Wisconsin, the schedule doesn’t let up the rest of the season. 

After Wisconsin, seven of the remaining 13 games for Penn State are on the road. On top of that, five of those games are against Quadrant 1 opponents in the NCAA’s NET rankings. Penn State only has three more games against teams in Quadrant 3 or lower. But one of those games is against Michigan, who already bested Penn State two weeks ago.

Overall, I’m optimistic that Penn State can still be dancing come March. Even a .500 record in Big Ten play this season should be enough to get Micah Shrewsberry and crew into the tournament. However, the Nittany Lions will have to upset some teams down the stretch to do that.

While a matchup at Wisconsin is perhaps not the best candidate for one of these upsets, there would be no better place to start.


ICYMI: Penn State basketball legend Lamar Stevens finds new NBA home

Former Penn State basketball star finds a new home in the NBA.



Penn State basketball, Lamar Stevens, Boston Celtics
Mar 3, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens (11) reacts after shooting a three point shot during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Bryce Jordan Center. Michigan State defeated Penn State 79-71. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Argubly the GOAT of Penn State basketball has found a new home after his surprise trade and release this offseason. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, forward Lamar Stevens has agreed to a deal with the Boston Celtics. 

The Penn State legend had spent his first 3 years in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers after signing with them as a free agent after going undrafted in the 2020 NBA draft. He started as a 2-way player with the organization and eventually earned a full contract as his role grew in Cleveland. He played in a total of 165 games for the Cavs, including 38 starts, where he averaged 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Lamar was able to masterfully transition from an offensive focal point and go-to scorer at Penn State to an off-ball defensive-minded role player in the NBA. 

Lamar joins a Celtics team that has been very familiar with Penn State in recent years. Former men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry was an assistant coach for the Celtics for 6 years and has maintained a good relationship with a lot of his fellow colleagues and players. This includes former Celtics head coach and current general manager Brad Stevens, who made his way to Penn State to visit coach shrews and watch the Nittany Lions a number of times over Shrewsberry’s 2 years in Happy Valley. 

Lamar Stevens will look to contribute to a Boston Celtics team that has lofty expectations. After a season that saw them lose in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and a busy offseason of moves, the Celtics will be one of the favorites to win out in the East and ultimately win the NBA finals. Stevens picking up a lot of starts seems unlikely, barring injury, but he has the potential to carve out a great bench role in Boston thanks to his incredible defense and instant energy. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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BREAKING: Penn State basketball lands Dominick Stewart

The Penn State basketball team has landed a new commit in the 2024 class today.



Mike Rhoades, Penn State basketball, Dominic Stewart
Dec 5, 2018; Austin, TX, USA; Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Mike Rhoades walks the baseline watching the team play during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Frank Erwin Center. Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Rhoades and the rest of the Penn State men’s basketball recruiting staff got some good news today from the recruiting trail as the 2023-2024 season inches closer. The 2023 schedule was released this week and tip-off is nearing closer. But before that takes place, Rhoades and his staff have been hard at work trying to secure the future. A step in that direction was taken today, as the Nittany Lions landed top prospect Dominick Stewart. 

Penn State basketball lands Dominick Stewart

Class of 2024 guard Dominick Stewart announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions on Friday afternoon. Dominick is a 6’5 guard from Maryland and is currently playing at the Southern California Academy in California. He is the 184th-ranked player nationally and a three-star by the ON3 industry rankings. He carries an impressive offer list that includes Butler, Creighton, Mississippi State, and Cal. Penn State offered back in July after Dominick’s very strong showing on the AAU circuit which included All-Breakout team selections at Peach Jam in the Nike EYBL session #3. This commitment comes from a recent visit he took to Happy Valley at the beginning of the month. 

Stewart looks like a good get, especially after that impressive AAU run that got many schools noticing him. He is a smart and skilled player who can fit into many lineups and spots on the court. He is a good shooter with a great jumper. His jump shot is smooth and quick which allows him to avoid contests and score in bunches when he gets hot.

He processes the game at an impressive speed and is constantly making the right play. Not your typical lead ball playmaker, but is a fantastic connector, keeping the ball moving and hitting the open man. Those smarts apply to the other side of the ball too. Stewart uses his good size at hoard effectively to guard up and down the lineup. He is a good and willing team defender which fits the Rhoades style well. 

Where does Stewart fit in at Penn State?

Stewart, originally a member of the 2025 class, becomes the second member of Penn State’s 2024 class after reclassifying. He joins fellow guard Jahvin Carter as the first high school recruit to commit to Penn State since Mike Rhoades took over. Jahvin, who committed back in June, and Stewart make an interesting pair in the backcourt and share a lot of skills that the staff clearly values. The biggest one is their basketball IQ. They should both be important pieces in building a smart and skilled program for the future of Penn State Basketball. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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Penn State Basketball has released its 2023-2024 official schedule

The Penn State basketball 2023-2024 schedule is here!



Penn State basketball, Mike Rhoades, Schedule
Mar 18, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Myles Dread (2) and forward Michael Henn (24) salute fans after a loss to the Texas Longhorns at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

After a long wait, we now know what awaits the Penn State Men’s Basketball team this winter. Year 1 of the Mike Rhoades era is around the corner with the release of the 2023-2024 basketball schedule. The schedule totals 30 games including an in-season tournament, a potential revenge game, and another Palestra special

Penn State Basketball has released its 2023-2024 official schedule

Before all that, however, the season opens up on November 6th against Delaware State. This game, at the Bryce Jordan Center, starts a run of home games to begin the year against Lehigh (November 10th), St. Francis (November 14th), and Morehead State (November 17th). This all leads to the ESPN Events Invitational.

Penn State gets its first big test down in Orlando in a rematch against Texas A&M. The game takes place on Thanksgiving, November 23rd, and will be a great chance to test out the radically different roster against a more familiar opponent. Penn State will play a total of 3 games in the tournament win or lose with the potential for a very intriguing matchup

If the Nittany Lions are able to go all the way to the championship they could match up against Mike Rhoades’ former school, VCU. This would obviously be huge for the coach against his old school, but it also features a “revenge” opportunity for a couple of players as well. Point guard Ace Baldwin Jr. and forward Nick Kern Jr. both followed coach Rhoades from VCU to Penn State this past spring. While this game would be amazing, it is unlikely. Penn State and VCU would both have to mirror each other in each round whether that means winning out, losing out, or somewhere in between. A matchup we are guaranteed is another Big Ten Showdown in Philly.

On January 7th the Nittany Lions will take on Michigan in the Palestra. This will be the second year in a row Penn State will host a game in the historic arena and the 4th time since their 2017 matchup against Michigan State. Penn State has a long history in the arena playing 61 games there since 1927, and win or lose, the environment is always electric. 

The schedule in full goes as follows:

November 6th: vs. Delaware State

November 10th: vs Lehigh

November 14th: vs St. Francis(PA) 

November 17th: vs. Morehead State

November 23rd: vs Texas A&M*

November 24th: vs Butler/FAU*

November 26th: vs TBD*

December 2nd: vs Bucknell

December 6th: at Maryland

December 9th: vs. Ohio State

December 21st: vs Le Moyne

December 29th: vs Rider

January 4th: at Michigan State

January 7th: vs Michigan 

January 10th: vs Northwestern

January 13th: at Purdue 

January 16th: vs Wisconsin

January 20th: at Ohio State

January 27th: vs Minnesota

January 31st: at Rutgers

February 3rd: at Indiana

February 8th: vs Iowa

February 11th: at Northwestern

February 14th: vs. Michigan State

February 17th: at Nebraska 

February 21st: vs Illinois 

February 24th: vs Indiana 

February 27th: at Iowa 

March 2nd: at Minnesota 

March 10th: vs Maryland 

March 13th-17th: Big Ten Tournament

*= ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida

**= home game in Philly at Palestra

Penn State has already played a couple of warm-up games with two big wins in the Bahamas that gave us our first look at this new squad. The team has also announced a third against Robert Morris on October 27th as they gear up to take on this 23-24 schedule. As Mike Rhoades looks to begin a new era in Penn State basketball. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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