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Can Penn State Football Handle The Bright Lights Of Intramural Basketball?

Several thoughts may come to your mind when considering Penn State’s intramural basketball scene: overly competitive students, airballs, and missed layups are just a few of the characteristics that make it so special.

IM basketball also guarantees the fact that you won’t face off against Division I athletes… or so we thought.

This terrifying prospect has become all too real for IM ballers at Clemson, where a number of players on the school’s football team — the one that just beat Alabama in the 2019 National Championship game — have decided to create a team to play in the IM league.

The results have been exactly what you would expect: utter domination. Here’s a clip of Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins jumping over an unsuspecting student to nearly finish off a dunk. Although he didn’t convert the basket, his athletic dominance over the poor guy trying to defend him is pretty obvious.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has gotten in on the action as well. A player on the opposing team decided to set a pick on the freshman phenom, which didn’t end well.

The Tigers’ fun on the IM courts got us thinking: How would an intramural basketball team of Penn State football players look?

Point Guard: Tommy Stevens

Touchdown Tommy needs to get some reps in at leading a group of Nittany Lions to victory as he prepares to start at quarterback next season. What better practice experience is there than facing off against some of Penn State’s finest athletes at the IM building?

Stevens’ moxie in the pocket would translate well to the basketball court. He would be a consistent option at point guard for this squad and would run the offense with plenty of confidence. His 6’4″ frame would also be a matchup nightmare for your average IM guard.

Shooting Guard: KJ Hamler

Every IM team has that guy that loves to chuck up three pointers. Something tells me that Hamler isn’t one to shy away from shots beyond the arc. If his willingness to return the ball out of the end zone is any indication, the freshman wide receiver could put up plenty of threes throughout an IM season.

Small Forward: Micah Parsons

There’s no doubt in my mind that Parsons would be the MVP of this team if he played. Just imagine the freshman linebacker’s speed and size getting showcased on a basketball court, and then imagine someone trying to guard him.

I don’t know if Parsons can shoot, but that doesn’t really matter considering no one in the IM league can shoot the ball well. Parsons has already made his desire to wrestle at Penn State clear, so why not add MVP small forward to the list?

Power Forward: Pat Freiermuth

Quite simply, it would be nearly impossible to stop Freiermuth from getting to the bucket. The freshman tight end is listed at 6’5″ and 250 pounds, so I think the average IM big man may have some trouble defending against Freiermuth.

One way to defend against the tight end? The “Hack-a-Pat” strategy. Unless Freiermuth has spent some extra time working on his free throws, I’m willing to bet that his shooting from the charity stripe isn’t great. If opposing teams can find a way to send Pat to the line, they could have a chance at neutralizing his size. IM ballers, there may be hope for you yet.

Center: CJ Thorpe

This would just be fun to watch. The freshman came to the team as an offensive guard, but ended up playing defensive tackle during the 2018 season. Thorpe would definitely be able to showcase his abilities to play several positions on the IM court, but I think he’d add the most value in the paint.

Here’s some tape of Thorpe bowling over opposing teams’ defensive linemen in high school. This would be a sight to behold at the IM court, and a great way for Thorpe to get some offseason work in.

Head Coach: Blake Gillikin

I know the obvious choice for this role would be James Franklin, but he’s way too busy to handle the pressure of running an IM team. Franklin’s number one concern is Penn State’s week one matchup Idaho, Idaho, Idaho, Idaho, Idaho.

Gillikin is the next man up for the head coaching position because he’s a first team academic All-American. The punter would be able to draw up some genius plays for this squad and become the Gregg Popovich of the IM building. He was also the special teams captain this past season, so he clearly has leadership qualities.

Now that the roster is set, it’s time for Penn State football to step up to the challenge. Could the IM basketball scene handle a Penn State football takeover? There’s only one way to find out, fellas.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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