Penn State Basketball: 2019-20 keys to victory at home against Ohio State

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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 29: Tony Carr #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Foul trouble blues

Question. Out of six conference games, how many times has Lamar Stevens accrued four or more fouls? The answer is four. When your star player is sitting on the bench due to foul trouble, it makes you dependent upon the reserves to carry the load. Defenses no longer have to account for Stevens, so double-teams evaporate. When double-teams evaporate, driving lanes are closed for business and there isn’t an open man available to knock down a 3-pointer. Everyone is covered because your key player is on the bench.

I’ve watched every single game this season either in person or on the tube. Lamar commits a lot of charges. The charging call on Pearl Harbor Day is what led to him bouncing the ball hard on the Value City Arena court..and that got him T’d up for his final foul. Penn State had its key player on the bench for the majority of the second half.

All that I can say is that your senior star player needs to play smarter. He shouldn’t let the way the officials call a game play with his head. Stevens has no control over that part of the game. I know that it’s easier said than done and I know I’m not the one on the floor taking the punishment day in and day out. The Big Ten is a tough, physical conference. Remember…Mr. Stevens came back for his senior year because he was on a mission. He shouldn’t miss half the conference schedule sitting on the bench due to foul trouble. He has the power to control his reactions when a call doesn’t go his way.

This game is tabbed as the THON game with white-out conditions inside and possibly outside the venue. In order for their team to nab a win against a top 25 opponent, the fans in attendance will have to create a Beaver Stadium type atmosphere inside the concrete walls of the Jordan Center. I for one, will be there.

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