Penn State basketball may not be basketball power, but it has shown it can compete with most teams. Last year’s Big Ten tournament performance showed some progress. Now that the team is adding some depth from the transfer portal and bringing back many players, some people believe they can carry that momentum into this year.
One way to test yourself as a team is early in non-conference tournaments. Penn State got caught in one itself.
The field outside of Penn State includes ACC’s Virginia Tech, Sun Belt’s Old Dominion, Atlantic 10’s Davidson, Colonial’s Charleston, Mountain West’s Colorado State and SEC’s South Carolina. Winning this tournament could give Penn State some decent non-conference wins when the March Madness committee meets in 2023.
When Penn State was invited to this tournament in 2020, they were knocked out by Virginia Tech. If both teams won their matchups, we could see a rematch of this game. A win over Virginia Tech could prove valuable later while also setting the tone for the season.
Other notable non-conference games scheduled by Penn State Basketball include Clemson of the ACC and Butler of the Big East.
Head coach Micah Shrewsberry returns for his second season as Penn State head coach. He went 14-17 in the regular season, including a 7-10 conference record. After a coaching career that included successful stints at Purdue as an assistant coach and in the NBA with the Boston Celtics with Brad Stevens, Shrewsberry’s hopes are still high.
It was with Brad Stevens at Butler that Shrewsberry came so close to winning a national championship as he helped coach the Bulldogs to make back-to-back national championship appearances. Nittany Lion fans are hoping some of that magic can set the team up for a postseason start. Bringing back eight players can help create a veteran presence and finally bring in some wins for the program.
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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire