Penn State opened the Mike Rhoades era on Monday night with a 79-45 thumping of Delaware State in a game that was never really a game. The Nittany Lions took a 39-18 lead into the half and that margin only ballooned in the second to as many as 36 in the game’s final moments. Penn State will be back in action on Friday night against Lehigh but for now here are five takeaways from the season opener.

Different Cast Same Attitude: Penn State wasn’t afraid to get into passing lanes and cause problems for Delaware State all night long in a style of play that might have reminded longtime fans of Pat Chambers’ Attitude slogan. For his part Penn State coach Mike Rhoades has long been a coach who has employed plenty of pressure and turnover creating styles of play to keep teams on their heels. Delaware State probably didn’t need Penn State to add an additional difficulty factor on Monday night but the Nittany Lions forced 21 turnovers with 11 of those coming as steals. Penn State totaled 10 points off of turnovers while Ace Baldwin led the way with four steals on a night eight Penn State players registered at least one. Time will tell how this kind of play translates against more well equipped teams. Honorable mention to Qudus Wahab for his energetic 13 rebound night.

Remind Them: Jameel Brown spend most all of last season being an afterthought, scoring 12 points in just over 60 minutes of action during the Nittany Lions eventual NCAA Tournament bound season. On Monday night he made sure to remind everyone that he was once a highly touted prospect in his own right and 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc was a welcome sight for a team looking to find the same three-point shooting touch it had last year. Stands to reason this team might not shoot it at the same clip as the Nittany Lions did last year, but Brown had a solid reintroduction to Penn State fans who may have wondered if he would move on with Micah Shrewsberry to Notre Dame. So far they’re glad he didn’t. The Irish could have used them though, escaping Niagara on Monday evening in South Bend. A nod here as well to Kanye Clary who led the way with 22 points after opting to stay at Penn State after some initial uncertainty.

Moving It: Time will tell if this trend holds true as the season grows old but Penn State picked up 13 assists on 27 made baskets Monday night for a pass-happy offense. This could be a good sign for overall chemistry considering that a roster full of transfer portal players isn’t always a recipe for guys thinking of their teammates. All signs point to this group being tighter than you might think though and Monday night’s willingness to pass was a testament to that. Ace Baldwin led the way with five assists and Nick Kern chipped in three more. Those two appear to have good chemistry, which makes sense since they were teammates at VCU.

The Guy: It’s no surprise that Ace Baldwin looks like Penn State’s most confident player but even on a night when he scored a modest five points and didn’t make a shot from beyond the arc Baldwin looked like “the guy” with everything he did. A block, four steals, five assists and two rebounds to go with his five points was a good “little bit of everything” outing in his debut. Expect the scoring to pick up, but if Baldwin can get the kind of help he did on Monday night he might not have to carry the load.

Giveaway Time: Chalk this up to first night jitters but it’s safe to say Penn State won’t win many games against quality teams if it turns the ball over 21 times. Three different players were credited with four turnovers so it was a bit of a group effort but it stands to reason that the Nittany Lions can only get away with playing with pace and pressure if they can take care of the ball. Delaware State simply didn’t have the speed or athleticism to make Penn State pay for it but plenty of teams in and out of conference play can and almost certainly will. Until this becomes a trend we can just assume it’s a opening night issue and a product of having a completely new roster. Penn State will just hope those things go away sooner rather than later.

The post 5 Takeaways From Penn State Men’s Basketball’s Win Over Delaware State appeared first on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>