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Penn State Hoops’ Josh Reaves Slowly Becoming A More Aggressive Shooter

Penn State men’s basketball senior Josh Reaves has never been the most ambitious player when it comes to shooting the ball.

“In practice, a lot of my teammates get mad at me for passing up open shots to try and get a better one,” Reaves said. “They’ve been telling me over and over to be more aggressive, but I’ve never been that type of person.”

Despite this mentality, only Lamar Stevens outscored Reaves in the Nittany Lions’ 66-59 loss to No. 23 Maryland Saturday evening. He finished the game with 17 points while shooting 7-for-18 from the field. Stevens, who finished the game with 19 points, was also the only player to shoot the ball more than Reaves — he shot 9-for-24 against the Terrapins.

Josh Reaves scored six points in Penn State’s 63-62 upset victory of then-No. 13 Virginia Tech earlier this season.

The Fairfax, VA native’s numbers for the season reflect his lack of aggressiveness on offense and show that Saturday’s game against Maryland was an anomaly. He shot 21-for-41 from the field in Penn State’s first six games of the season, and his current field goal percentage of .475 ranks second on the team among players who have appeared in all seven contests.

Now that he’s one of Pat Chambers’ go-to players after the team lost Tony Carr and Shep Garner, Reaves is working to overcome that tendency by becoming a more aggressive player with the ball in his hands.

“I never really saw myself as a top guy to get the ball to,” he said. “[This season’s] been an adjustment, but I’m going to keep working on it. I’m sure my teammates might get more frustrated with me, but I’m going to keep working on it.”

Reaves is second for the Nittany Lions with an .833 conversion rate on free throws this year.

Reaves’ teammates aren’t the only people within Penn State’s basketball program who want the senior to be bolder on offense. Although he felt that the senior had a strong first half against Maryland, Chambers echoed his players’ sentiment about Reaves’ shot selection.

All of Reaves’ 17 points came in the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game. He scored all of Penn State’s first nine points of the game via three-point shots and finished the half shooting 7-for-10 from the field, but went on to miss all eight of his second-half attempts.

“We need him to play that aggressively. He did everything — he stuffed the box score [in the first half], for sure,” Chambers said. “But I’d like to see him continue that aggressiveness in the second half.”

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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