Penn State’s season is so near that fans can almost smell it.
The Nittany Lions are having one of the most anticipated seasons with a new coach and new faces to fill the roster.
The blue and white program is also filled with several hard-hitting games with interesting storylines.
Penn State will play a full conference program and have big non-conference opponents who will test their strength with some of the best competitions in the country.
As the first contest approaches, here are the games with the biggest scenarios for the coming season.
Youngstown State, November 10
Finally, this new look Penn State team takes the field for the first time this season.
The Nittany Lions will face Youngstown State in their first home game with support from their first sold-out student section in recent history.
The Penguins finished a little above average in the Horizon League, failing to have a winning conference season at 9-11 last year.
However, Youngstown State has a few young shooters Penn State should watch out for when it comes to running on the field.
Last season, the Penguins dominated games with senior forward Naz Bohannon and senior guard Garrett Covington.
Bohannon was Youngstown State’s top scorer, accumulating 16.5 points per game, and Covington was right behind him with 12.5 points per game.
Bohannon has left Youngstown State behind, but Covington will return to bring veteran leadership to the flurry of youngsters on the roster.
In the 2020-21 campaign, the Penguins had a remarkable first-year guard in Shemar Rathan-Mayes, who finished third in team points with 10.4 points per game.
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Rathan-Mayes was a sharpshooter behind the arc leading the team to 3 points with 28 and posted a 30.8 3-point percentage.
With Rathan-Mayes and Covington splashing 3 balls, Penn State will face a potential shootout in their first game of the season.
LSU, November 26
There’s no better way to introduce Shrewsberry to SEC competition at Penn State than with a date against LSU.
Coach Will Wade’s side were unable to clinch the pre-season AP Top 25, but received votes placing them on standings close.
Last season LSU made the Big Dance, entering as the No.8 seed, but the Tigers’ season ended when they faced Michigan in the round of 16.
LSU also caused a stir in the SEC tournament, falling within one point of an SEC championship in its 80-79 loss to Alabama.
The Tigers are bringing back some firepower with senior forward Darius Days returning for the 2021-22 season.
The days averaged 11.6 points per game and won the most boards of the entire team.
LSU has lost guard Cam Thomas and forward Trendon Watford, who now occupy the NBA spots.
Wade recruited, calling in transfer custody of Missouri Xavier Pinson, who averaged 13.6 points per game and shot 38.6 percent from the ground.
Six-foot-8 freshman forward Alex Fudge was a 4-star rookie out of high school and should be a tough matchup for Penn State big men like John Harrar and Seth Lundy.
For Shrewsberry’s first SEC game as head coach, LSU are one of the toughest teams in the south they’ll face.
This will be the Nittany Lions’ first real test against one of college basketball’s powerhouses.
Ohio State, December 5
This will be Shrewsberry’s first Big Ten clash, and it couldn’t have come with a bigger storyline.
One of the veterans of the Penn State Guard last season, Jamari Wheeler, decided to enter the transfer portal and head to Ohio State.
The Big Ten rivalry between the Nittany Lions and the Buckeyes will be the first time Wheeler returns to Happy Valley since leaving.
Other than Wheeler, the blue and white opens the conference game with one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
In the pre-season AP poll, Ohio State was ranked No. 17, which was the fourth-highest-ranked Big Ten team in the poll.
A season ago, the Buckeyes fell to Illinois in the Conference Championship game, 91-88, then had a short run after the Big Ten tournament, suffering a surprise first-round loss to Oral Roberts. , 15th seed.
Ohio State lost Duane Washington Jr. in the offseason to the NBA Draft, but was able to retain junior forward EJ Liddell.
Liddell was the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points per game and the team’s most cards per game at 6.7 per night.
With Liddell in charge, Ohio State is going to be a problem for the Penn State Big Ten home opener.
Purdue, January 8
Shrewsberry faces his former team, Purdue, for the first time as Penn State head coach.
As the season approaches, the Boilermakers are one of the best teams in the Big Ten, falling to No.7 in the AP preseason poll.
Last season, Pudue didn’t run too deep in either the Big Ten tournament or the NCAA tournament.
The Boilermakers were knocked out of the conference tournament by eventual finalists from Ohio State, then were upset in the first round of the Big Dance, losing to North Texas, who was seeded No.13 while Purdue was seeded. series n ° 4.
Purdue will be looking for a better season, as he brings back his top two scorers, senior forward Trevion Williams and second-year guard Jaden Ivey.
Prior to the start of the season, Ivey and Williams were on the list of players to watch for the NABC Player of the Year award, which is the award given to the best college basketball player.
Williams was Purdue’s handyman last season, averaging 15.5 points per game and averaging 9.1 rebounds per case.
With a year under his belt, Ivey will be looking to improve on his freshman campaign where he struggled to shoot consistently from behind the arc, posting just a 25.8 percentage at depth.
The duo will lead one of the Big Ten’s most dominant teams, and Penn State might have a hard time stopping them, especially as Williams overtakes each Nittany Lion at 6-foot-10.
Wisconsin, February 5
Penn State must wait until later in the season to secure a Big Ten Tournament rematch with Wisconsin.
The Nittany Lions fell to the Badgers in the second round of the conference last season 75-74.
Wisconsin didn’t go much further, however, as their third-round clash ended in a loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes of Luka Garza, 62-57.
This year, Wisconsin will be led by second-year forward Steven Crowl, who in his first season hasn’t seen much of the field, having played just 12 games.
However, in the first scrum, Crowl scored 18 points using his 7-foot stature and already appears to be one of the dominant tall men in the paint.
The team also sack senior goalie Brad Davison, who averaged the third most points per game with 10 and shot 38.9% from behind the 3-point line.
Wisconsin lost their top two scorers, but in Big Ten terms they shone on the defensive end of the ball, allowing the fewest points in the conference at 64.6.
Last season, Penn State lacked a real goal scorer to fight the tough defense of the Badgers.
This year, he will bring in an arsenal of veterans.
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