Penn State Hoops’ Sophomores Ready To Build On Successful Freshman Campaign
With what he referred to as the most experienced team the program has ever had, Penn State men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers expects his three returning sophomores to step up and make a big impact this year.
The trio of Myles Dread, Myreon Jones Jr., and Kyle McCloskey made impressive contributions last year in the shadows of Lamar Stevens, Rasir Bolton, and Josh Reaves. This year, however, the three sophomore guards have a great opportunity to fill the void left by a graduating Reaves and Bolton — who transferred to Iowa State in May.
Myles Dread, who led the team last season with 67 three-pointers — just one away from the Penn State freshman season record — says he wants to continue to develop his shot.
“My biggest focus [in the offseason] was making threes more consistently and my body,” Dread said. “Just making sure that I’m in the best shape I can possibly be in to play for as long as I need for my teammates.”
Dread also reiterated Chambers’ emphasis on the team’s depth and experience and how it can help them “climb” to new heights.
“Having that veteran tutelage helps a lot,” Dread said. “I think our experience [sets us apart this year]. We have guys with thousands of minutes under their belt, guys that you’ve seen produce at a high level. We have that cohesive unit.”
Also returning to the squad this year is Myreon Jones Jr., who was strong on defense last year and came up big on offense off the bench, especially against Virginia Tech when he scored 18 points in Penn State’s upset over the Hokies. Jones, who averaged four points per game last season, is focused to build on his solid freshman campaign.
“I just have to stay focused on what we’re doing now,” Jones said. “Don’t get too far ahead; just focus on now.”
As for Kyle McCloskey, Chambers has high hopes for the returning sophomore, who originally committed to Villanova for football, but then transferred to Penn State to pursue basketball. In his freshman year, McCloskey had ten total rebounds and played some crucial minutes for Penn State, including a season-high 18 minutes against Michigan State.
The Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania native feels he’s improved in several areas since his first season as a Nittany Lion.
“I’ve been working really hard at getting up to the athleticism and the speed of being a true Penn State, Big Ten basketball player,” McCloskey said. “I got my body-fat percentage all the way down to seven and improved all of my athletic testing.”
The team will be back in action at the Bryce Jordan Center on October 27 for the Hoops 4 Relief Exhibition Game against Delaware. The 2019-2020 regular season begins for Penn State on November 5 when the Nittany Lions face off against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the BJC.
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After a fundraising year that included no canning and banned events outside of State College, THON 2020 culminated with the announcement that $11,696,942.38 had been raised For The Kids.
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