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Shrewsberry praises Holtmann, discusses Penn State’s win over Ohio State

After Penn State’s impressive four-point win over Ohio State, Micah Shrewsberry had a lot to say of his team and the Buckeyes.

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Micah Shrewsberry
Feb 23, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry calls a play during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, OH — On Thursday night, the Penn State Nittany Lions went into Value City Arena in Columbus, OH, and came away with a season-changing four-point victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. The quad one win puts Penn State basketball back into the NCAA tournament picture heading into this Sunday’s matchup with another quad one opponent: Rutgers. After Penn State’s win over Ohio State, Nittany Lion head coach Micah Shrewsberry had some notable words for the media — from praising Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann to discussing his team, Shrewsberry made many notable points.

Micah Shrewsberry opens presser with praise for Chris Holtmann

After narrowly pulling out a 75-71 win in Columbus, a high-spirited Micah Shrewsberry entered the press room and immediately began singing Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann’s praises.

“Before I go to answer questions — Chris Holtmann is a hell of a coach.” Shrewsberry said. “If anybody’s got any questions or doubts about that, then you’re crazy man. That dude can coach, he’s a hell of a coach, he’s done it — like, yeah they’re struggling this year, but that dude can coach, man. So you can get that nonsense and that craziness — you can get it out of my face, don’t bring that over here to me.” Shrewsberry added, “not that you did or anything — not that anybody cares what my opinion is. My opinion is he’s a hell of a coach.”

Micah Shrewsberry on Penn State’s early foul trouble against Ohio State

“It hasn’t happened to us very much,” Shrewsberry said about Pickett and Funk getting two fouls early on in the game. “You trust those guys, they’re smart, they’re pretty handy players. They’re still going to be in tough positions because we can’t change our gameplan up totally, so they’re going to end up in some switches, they’re going to end up in some tough covers. You just got to trust that they’re not going to foul unnecessarily… to do what they need to do to just force tough shots and not pick up another foul.”

Shrewsberry continued, “I wanted to keep them engaged — you get five fouls, and two is not half… You’ve still got three left just do what you can to not pick that third up. I didn’t want them to not be aggressive on offense or defense, if they’re not being aggressive, then you have to take them out; but they were both being aggressive on both ends. [The other players] are capable… I talked to our guys about, not what Ohio State is doing right now, it’s what they’re capable of doing. Ask Cam Wynter… that dude is a 1,600-point scorer in his four years, he can get buckets.”

“Seth [Lundy] has always played pretty well against Ohio State, him hitting some big shots and getting to the free throw line was big for us… we needed somebody to help us hold on until we could get those guys back at full-strength.”

On what flipped Cam Wynter’s “switch” these last two games

“He has been challenged this year, and he’s responded a lot, but he’s doing what we ask him to do. We’re trying to get him to be a little more aggressive offensively, and I think he’s done that in the last few games,” Micah Shrewsberry said. “It just gives you another weapon that people are thinking about and people are worrying about even when [Pickett and Funk] come out. It helps me — now I feel a little better about getting Pickett a break in the first half, in the second half, because you know what he’s capable at any point in time.”

On Pickett’s incredible play

“Even when he’s not playing at his best — I didn’t think he was very good in the first half before he got his fouls — he can get it going at any moment,” Coach Shrewsberry said. “He was 2/2 from three, 5/9 two games ago — it takes away ways that people can guard him, and now you’re limited. You can only do so much, right? I have coached a lot of basketball, there’s only so many ways you can guard a ball screen, and him making threes eliminates one of them, so now you’re down to a couple, and then we just figure out what you’re doing and we just try and get him in the right spots… when you’ve got a guy like that you just ride him as long as you can.”

On Penn State’s 3-point record

“It’s a combination of having a bunch of really good shooters, but you have to have shooters that make shots, that’s the biggest thing,” Shrewsberry told the media. “We have more makers than shooters. Our guys are comfortable shooting it — they’re comfortable taking tough shots… It’s awesome for us to set the school record for making threes, but that’s not our ultimate goal, it’s just a byproduct of how we’re playing and what we’re doing.”

On Ohio State’s one turnover

“We’re not built to force turnovers,” Shrewsberry said. “We’re smaller, if we’re out trying to get steals in passing lanes, now people are getting by us — they’re getting to the rim and they’re scoring. We don’t have backline help… our defense is more about positioning… We haven’t given up a lot of offensive rebounds on a whole on the season, but we don’t force a lot of turnovers — BUT — for us to have possessions we can’t turn the ball over either. Another clean game from us with four.”

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Chris, a Penn State University student, founded Basic Blues Nation in 2022. He remains a co-owner of the website today. Throughout a six-year writing career, Chris has been a beat writer, a staff writer, an Editor-In Chief, and more, serving as a member of the credentialed media for a number of Big Ten schools. He has covered everything from non-revenue sports to CFP National Championship matchups, as well as some professional and high school sports.

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