Penn State basketball star freshman Lamar Stevens had a banner pair of games that helped the Nittany Lions grab two key wins as the regular season winds down. He’s the second Nittany Lion to earn the award — joining fellow forward Mike Watkins.
Stevens, who tallied 25 points in an upset against then-No. 21 Maryland and 21 points in a road victory over Illinois, has enjoyed the month of February as a whole. Pat Chambers made it clear coming into the season that he would be leaning heavily on his freshmen. Upon first glance of Stevens’ game logs, Chambers kept his word; Stevens played 32 and 36 minutes, respectively, in each of Penn State’s past two games.
As Stevens’ scoring average climbs — he’s up to 12.3 ppg — it’s evident he’s becoming more accustomed to the various nuances of the college game. His mid-range game — which many questioned at the beginning of the year — is growing to be a consistent weapon in his arsenal. His confidence from beyond the arc has skyrocketed along with his overall shooting figures; after going 18 games prior to Penn State’s triple overtime thriller against Indiana without attempting a single three-point shot, Stevens is 5-10 from three-point land over the last four games.
This award is a testament to his growth this season and in turn represents something of a gift for the Nittany Lions as a whole. The team is in the NIT hunt, but needs to finish out the year strong if it’s to keep that spot — or have any hope for a Big Ten Tournament run. Lamar Stevens is playing some of his best basketball at the most opportune time, and that’s something everybody can celebrate.