Report Card: Penn State puts on dominant showing against Texas A&M

Penn State men’s basketball entered the NCAA tournament as hot as they could be after a strong Big Ten tournament. Texas A&M, unfortunately for them, drew the short end of the draw and faced the Nittany Lions in the first round.

Texas A&M was coming off a strong season in the SEC with their coach Buzz Williams earning coach of the year honors. They were 25-9 during the season but Penn State and their double-digit loss record did not care. In fact, they couldn’t have cared less because they came out motivated and looking the best they did the entire season.

It was a complete effort from Micah Shrewsberry’s team, and there were plenty fo positive remarks to share in the postgame report card.


Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A+++

This arguably was the best offensive performance from any team in the tournament on day one. Penn State’s previous largest margin of victory was 12 points in the 1954 tournament, but after Thursday night it will be 17, and honestly could have been 20 if not for a last-second three.

The offense was led by the three-point shooting, as it was all year, as they were 13 for 22 from beyond the arc. If they can keep that shooting up then they are a serious problem for anyone they face in this tournament.

NEXT: Defense


Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A+

Another complete effort on defense which follows up what we all saw in the Big Ten tournament. The Aggies were held to shooting 33% from the field overall and just 29% from beyond the arc. When the defense is that tight on the three-point shooting and the offense is hitting them, no one can catch this team.

Rounding things out, Penn State forced 10 turnovers on them while also locking down a 26-point lead at one point in the game. Crashing the boards and attacking anyone who drives in the lane while also closing out on every shot is a formula for success and a testament to how well Micah Shrewsberry has coached this team.

NEXT: Coaching


Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A+

Shrewsberry and his trademark towel did not have much stress to handle tonight as the game plan for the Aggies was airtight. Their defensive presence was near perfect and the offense was getting shooters open all night allowing for the offense to have its best game of the season arguably.

NEXT: Best Player

Best Player

Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Andrew Funk

Jalen Pickett was very deserving of this nod, as he is most nights, but Andrew Funk and his career-high get the nod tonight.

Funk was perfect from the foul line but beyond the arc, he was 8 for 10 and had a career-high in points with 27. He led the team in scoring and was hitting big shots to establish the massive lead they had to crush Texas A&M worse than Jimbo Fisher’s coaching of the football team.

Follow Nittany Lions Wire on Twitter and like us on Facebook for continuing Penn State coverage and discussion. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire