Penn State played what many considered ‘the perfect game’ on Tuesday night, in its 20-point win against No. 15 ranked Virginia Tech.
The Nittany Lions used their speed early on, as it exposed a Hokie team that could not keep up with the tremendous pace of interim coach Jim Ferry’s group.
This led to a 17-0 Penn State outburst in the opening minutes that involved scoring from the entire starting lineup — except budding star Seth Lundy.
“Not in a million years, not in a million years,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young said after witnessing Lundy’s performance. “It’s one of those inexplicable occurrences that can happen in this thing.”
Lundy, who was the team’s leading scorer heading into the night and averaging over 22 points per game, was held scoreless in the Nittany Lions’ statement win.
This result confirmed a message that Jim Ferry has preached from the beginning of this season— Penn State is a team that scores by committee rather than focusing on one player or option at the offensive end of the floor.
While Ferry is proud of the contributions Lundy has provided thus far, he is more than confident in the rest of his team to provide consistent offense when the Nittany Lions need it most, which is just what happened Tuesday night.
“I think we really played like we’re supposed to play, like we work on in practice,'' Ferry said. “Our philosophy is working, we're an extra pass team. And when we have all these shooters on the floor and these guys that can make plays, it's more about letting the ball find the shot, instead of guys having to hunt shots down.”
Fans around the Big Ten have had mixed reactions to the conference’s decision to drop the mi…
While Ferry continues to preach a diverse scoring attack, he is not blind to his players having the hot hand on any particular night.
Of course on Tuesday, that hot hand was Izaiah Brockington, who had a career high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting and had a burst of quickness that was comparable to what he showed in the Iowa win at the Palestra last season.
“We were just keeping guys fresh and just playing off of each other,” Ferry said. “Izaiah obviously had a fantastic game so we kept trying to play through him a little bit.”
Having this diverse scoring attack is a luxury that the Nittany Lions have not had in years past, with this year’s backcourt being among the best in the program’s recent history.
But as Penn State is about to begin conference play, it will have to continue to utilize its depth on offense, due to the talented competition it will face this season.
So whether it is Lundy, Brockington, Myreon Jones or even Sam Sessoms, having multiple scoring threats in a conference like the Big Ten will be critical in a year like this, considering the opposition the Nittany Lions will be going up against.
“We've been pretty good offensively over the past three years in the Big Ten,” Ferry said. “I think we'll continue to be pretty good. It's the greatest league in the country, we have the best coaches in the country, and we have the best players. Everybody is big, everyone is physical, everyone is fast.”
MORE SPORTS COVERAGE