Any Penn State fan that is in high school right now has not had a chance to watch PSU in the NCAA tournament ever, since the team last appeared in 2011. With a record of 19-12, the Nittany Lions hopes for the NCAA tournament have increased tremendously, after picking up two straight wins against ranked opponents such as Northwestern and Maryland.
However, the season did not start and finish all smoothly for the Nittany Lions. A little bit of adversity and advantages came from being the oldest team in college basketball, with their lineup featuring seniors Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk, Camren Wynter, Seth Lundy, Miles Dread, and Mikey Henn. In order to succeed in the NCAA tournament the team needs to have talent, intelligence, and players that have experience in being in the spotlight that will not collapse under pressure. That is what the committee will be looking at and Penn State has just that.
The fifth-year-senior Jalen Pickett, a transfer from Siena college, provided a huge spark this year for Penn State averaging 18 points a game, shooting over 50% on the floor, and passing his 2,000 points earlier this season. Pickett had some help with Senior guard Andrew Funk who leads the Big Ten and is 26th in the country in three-pointers made. Pickett being the team’s overall identity, rounded out by Camren Wynter, Seth Lundy, and Myles Dread, has pushed this team to be better than anyone expected heading into the beginning of the season.