Lamar Stevens Has The Hot Hand For Penn State Men’s Basketball
If you’ve been watching Pat Chambers and Co. in action recently, you may be disappointed with the lack of results for this Penn State squad. However, you may have taken notice of Lamar Stevens’ immense production as of late.
The sophomore from Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School went on an absolute tear against Northwestern. His 14 made field goals was not only a record in the Bryce Jordan Center, but also currently leads the NCAA in terms of single-game performances.
In the three-game span that included Northwestern, Indiana, and Nebraska, Stevens rattled off scoring performances of 30, 20, and 26, respectively. He’s managed to score in double figures in ten consecutive games, and has double-digit scoring performances in 17 of Penn State’s 20 games this season.
Lamar Stevens now has three consecutive performances with at least 20 points. This is the seventh time Stevens has reached that mark this season.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) January 13, 2018
“I just know that when we keep him around 32, 34 [minutes], the kid’s unbelievable,” head coach Pat Chambers said. “And again, he played 37, I believe, against Northwestern, and he played 36 [against Nebraska]. That might be too many minutes, so I’m going to have to have the faith and trust in some people off the bench to give us a couple minutes to give him a blow.”
Stevens has been not only eating up lots of minutes and scoring with ease, but also shot an eye-opening 63.5 percent from the field in those games, giving his teammates ample opportunities with his efficient play and intelligent shot selection. Stevens averaged more than six rebounds and tacked on some assists during that stretch.
What is perhaps most impressive about Stevens’ recent performances is that Penn State has been without Josh Reaves, one of the best defenders in the Big Ten, for a string of games due to academic issues, and Tony Carr was in a bit of a slump.
Carr put up just 12 points against Northwestern on 3-13 shooting, and 17 points against Nebraska on 5-21 shooting.
But even Stevens has room for improvement. Although his game is very sound on both sides of the court, his performance at the charity stripe leaves something to be desired. He’s shooting just 71.1 percent from the line, and his play from the line late in games hasn’t been terrific. Against Indiana, Stevens was fouled in the act of shooting and sent to the free-throw line with a chance to make it a four-point contest. Stevens missed both as the Hoosiers won 74-70.
Stevens also had a chance to ice the game against Rider while on the line. With 8.2 seconds remaining in the game, Stevens most both shots as Penn State led 70-68. In the ensuing play, Frederick Scott drained a contested three to win it at the buzzer. Missed free throws have been a theme of this season for Pat Chambers’ team, and Stevens is no different.
Given the run that Stevens has been on and his improvement in his short time in Happy Valley, you can only expect his level of play to continue to improve — and that’s a scary thought for the Big Ten teams that must try to stop him.