Penn State men’s basketball has opened up the year with style on offense. The Nittany Lions have topped 80 points in both games this season.
Point guard Tony Carr has been the best player for the Nittany Lions, averaging 26.5 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting from the floor in the first two games. His assist-to-turnover ratio is sensational at 14:3.
Too Many Turnovers
Entering Wednesday’s game, the Nittany Lions have committed 37 turnovers, a number that head coach Patrick Chambers wants to see decreased over the next couple of games.
Teams trying to be competitive in the Big Ten do not turn the ball over 18.5 times per game.
Lamar Stevens leads the Nittany Lions in turnovers with nine through the opening games and some of that is due to being overly aggressive around the bucket. In the opening game against Campbell, he was called for three offensive fouls which resulted in Nittany Lion turnovers.
As a whole, the amount of offensive fouls is way too high. Teams should not have more than two offensive fouls in a game. One player having all those offensive fouls makes it impossible for that player to find an offensive rhythm.
The team as a whole did not struggle with turnovers as the Nittany Lions had 14 as a team with Stevens being responsible for six of them. The abnormally high number could be attributed to the absence of Mike Watkins in the paint, but the rise in turnovers with him is a little surprising.
While Penn State forced Fairleigh Dickinson into 31 turnovers, it coughed up the ball 23 times. Almost every player that received significant minutes recording at least 2 turnovers. The even spread of turnovers could be seen as a good thing as everybody is doing the right thing, but the sheer number of people makes it a potential problem.
Watkins struggled with catching the ball in the post to start the game. His struggles are understandable, considering the game on Sunday was his first game action with the team since last season. He was not able to participate in both exhibition games and the trip to the Bahamas.
Josh Reaves has been phenomenal on the offensive end this season but he too has struggled taking care of the ball. Reaves has totaled seven turnovers already this season. His high number of turnovers is similar to Stevens as his propensity to be overly aggressive on the offensive end has led to offensive fouls.
How to Tackle the Turnover Terror
Penn State needs Stevens and Reaves to be aggressive offensively, but tone it down just enough where they won’t get offensive fouls. When teams turn the ball over too much they tend to lose games they shouldn’t.
The Montana Grizzlies enter the game against Penn State after upsetting Pittsburgh on the road in overtime. Pitt gave up 19 turnovers in the game.
The Nittany Lions are the better team, but could be on track for an upset if they continue to turn the ball over at an abnormally high rate.