Penn State improved to 5-1 on the season Wednesday night with an 82-71 win against Youngstown State at the Bryce Jordan Center. Today, we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the Nittany Lions' effort as they prepare for a trip to St. Joseph's on Saturday afternoon.
-What more can be said about Tim Frazier? He continued to show that he can carry the scoring load and then some with third double-double of the season (26 points, 11 assists). To put in perspective just how good he's been, consider his 21 points per game are almost three points per game more than Talor Battle's 18.7 at this point last season and it's easy to understand just how big he's been for this team in its early season push.
-Freshman guard Trey Lewis bounced back nicely from his weekend struggles at the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament with 12 points, an assist and a rebound. Cammeron Woodyard kept his momentum going with 10 points and two boards. Both are emerging as respectable sidekicks for Frazier on his wings.
-Forwards Sasa Borovnjak, Billy Oliver, Jonathan Graham and Ross Travis combined for 19 rebounds, a solid recovery after grabbing just 10 as a group against South Florida on Sunday. With Frazier and Woodyard, both guards, leading the team in rebounding, the bigs have to start taking some of the burden off of those guys moving forward, and they took a solid step in the right direction against the Penguins.
-The Lions maintained efficient shooting numbers all night, finishing at 56.5 percent. Though Youngstown State got back in the game with hot shooting in the second half, the Lions' lack of long droughts ensured they were able to coast to the final buzzer without a real threat from the Penguins.
-Penn State's 18 turnovers on the night were a few too many for comfort. The Lions have done a nice job holding onto the ball for the most part this season, but regardless, this is a habit that needs to be broken quickly ahead of a key three game stretch against St. Joseph's, Boston College and Mississippi over the next week.
-Frazier accounted for 11 of Penn State's 15 assists. While this isn't awful as the offense runs through him, the coaching staff would probably like to see other players setting one another up more often.
-Graham's footwork appears to need a bit more polishing. He picked up a couple of travels posting up Youngstown State defenders and seems to add dribbles under the basket. Make no mistake, he's having a solid start to his season, averaging 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds, but a few adjustments and those scoring numbers could likely climb even higher.
-Youngstown State drilled 14 three-pointers on the evening, a jarring number for Penn State to concede.
-The Lions' 61.3 percent shooting from the foul line is nothing to write home about. Though coach Pat Chambers is probably happy his team got to the line 31 times against Youngstown State, he'd probably like to see the players convert a few more of those freebies.