PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Payton Banks Thrives In Newly Appointed Starting Role

When Pat Chambers was asked before the season who in his deep set of guards would become the go-to scorer following the departure of D.J. Newbill, Payton Banks wasn’t at the top of his list.

After stating Shep Garner had the potential of “being that go-to guy or that scorer for us in the back court,” he simply listed Banks, who averaged 8.7 minutes a game last year, as an option to “give significant minutes.”

But Banks, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard-forward, is doing more than just logging playing time. He’s third on the team through Penn State’s first five games in both points per game (10.6, behind Brandon Taylor and Garner), and rebounds (4.8, behind Taylor and Julian Moore). He logged a career-high 12 points in the season opener against VMI, then matched that against Duquesne. He’s scored in double-figures in every game save for Saturday’s 62-58 win over Bucknell, a game that saw a young Penn State team overcome a six-point deficit with less than five minutes to play.

Tied at 58 with less than a minute to play, Banks stole the ball from a Bison offender, then — after a missed layup and offensive rebound — drilled the go-ahead three-pointer to give the Lions a lead it would not again relinquish. Fueled by Banks’ play on both sides of the court, Penn State closed the game on a 13-1 run.

“It’s a huge confidence booster, and it also shows that the team has confidence in me,” Banks said after the game about his game-winner. “And also the coaching staff, for them to draw up a play where I have an open opportunity in the corner.”

“It’s very big trust. I’ve been getting shots up, and I felt like I was prepared to make that shot.”

Banks didn’t play as a true freshman, and only saw limited minutes in 29 appearances as a redshirt freshman last year. He averaged a meager 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per outing, but flashes of his potential were evident. A small forward that can double as a guard with competent three-point capabilities, Banks is in ways reminiscent of Chris Babb’s smooth game. Babb, who finished his college career transferring to Iowa State and who has navigated a stint with the Boston Celtics and the D-League, showed similar skills and size during his brief Penn State career.

But still, when Chambers slotted Banks in the starting lineup to begin the season over redshirt freshman Isaiah Washington, streaky big man Donovon Jack, and quick-footed Devin Foster, it was a bit of a surprise.

“Payton has made a tremendous step up from last year,” Garner said. “He’s like…way better. And we need him. He’s like a big part of our team, he’s really a big part of our team.”

“He can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot, drive, big — 6-foot-6, he can rebound, he can defend really well,” Garner continued. “He’s a big part of our team. We love Payton.”

After his first career start, in which he tallied 12 points and six rebounds, Chambers gave him even bigger praise: “He’s our best defender. He’s in year three, he knows exactly what we’re doing, where to be.”

Penn State faces Boston College Wednesday night in the Big Ten ACC Challenge.

About the Author

Ben Berkman

State College, PA

Comments

More by Ben

Nassib Healthy To ‘Kick Some Ass,’ Johnson And Hackenberg Seek Pro Evaluations

James Franklin made two things clear before the Lions travel South: Carl Nassib is 100 percent healthy for a game for the first time in more than a month, and Christian Hackenberg and Austin Johnson have both applied for draft evaluations from the NFL.

Gameday Observations: Return To Rec

Penn State Stomps Canisius, 81-67, In First Of Two Rec Hall Showdowns

Athletics

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Longtime Cal athletics employee Mohamed Muqtar was accused by seven former Golden Bears student-athletes of sexual violence and harassment dating back 20 years prior to his firing on May 11. An internal investigation from the school substantiated those claims.

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Student Life

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Penn State Names Guadagnino Vice President For Administration

Guadagnino will continue to provide legal advice as associate general counsel in addition to his duties as vice president.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Longtime Cal athletics employee Mohamed Muqtar was accused by seven former Golden Bears student-athletes of sexual violence and harassment dating back 20 years prior to his firing on May 11. An internal investigation from the school substantiated those claims.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend