Backcourt Versatility Will Be Key For Penn State Hoops

Penn State men’s basketball gave fans another reason to buy into the climb Sunday when it dismantled Delaware 75-49 in an exhibition matchup. 

There were many fantastic performances, but Myreon Jones’ 18 points, with eight rebounds and five assists, stood out. Jones wasn’t the only Nittany Lion guard to turn in a solid showing.

In a year where the frontcourt is supposed to be the strong suit of the team, the backcourt is talented in its own right. There’s plenty of depth, and each guard will play their specific role to create a very solid group overall.

Jamari Wheeler

Leader and veteran Jamari Wheeler will serve as a defensive menace and steady ball-handler for the Nittany Lions. He and Josh Reaves led Penn State to a conference-best steals per game average last season. He ranked third in the Big Ten in steals per game, respectively.

He’s ready for the challenge of being the top perimeter defender as well.

“I feel like I’m the best defensive player in the Big Ten,” he said when asked about covering the opposing team’s best offensive guards after the departure of Josh Reaves.

Izaiah Brockington

A transfer from Saint Bonaventure, Brockington is an athletic guard who will stuff the stat sheet. His 0-of-7 shooting performance yesterday won’t be the norm, and the way he filled in Josh Reaves’ former role in the 1-2-2 press was almost identical to his predecessor.

“We’re definitely similar,” he said when asked about the comparison to Reaves. “Being able to sit back and watch him and how he made such an impact without even scoring… definitely great to watch, definitely took notes.”

Myles Dread

Steady on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, Dread will serve mostly as a deadeye catch and shoot player on the offensive end. 

He led the team in three-point attempts per-game as a freshman, and fans should expect that to remain the same this year as his efficiency improves during his sophomore campaign.

Myreon Jones

The sophomore was the star of the show against Delaware on Sunday in all aspects of the game. He’s always been a talented player, but inconsistencies and inefficiency shooting the ball have derailed him so far in his young career.

Yesterday was a glimpse of what he can become — a reliable shooter with the potential to put in big-game performances.

Curtis Jones Jr.

The transfer from Oklahoma State is currently waiting on a transfer waiver to play this season, so it’s still unclear if he’ll be able to be a contributor this term. However, the senior has played a role already regardless if he sees the floor this season.

The other guards said they valued the opportunity to “pick his mind” about the game, given the Oklahoma State transfer’s extensive collegiate experience.

Players like Kyle McCloskey and Patrick Kelly will fill in as shooters throughout the season as well.

Ultimately, this group once again comes into the season with the hopes of making its first NCAA Tournament since 2011. The Nittany Lions tip off their season at 7 p.m Tuesday, November 5 at home against Maryland Eastern Shore.

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About the Author

Jared Raggi

Jared is a freshman majoring in undecided because he doesn't know what he wants to do for the rest of his life at 18. He is from Roxbury, NJ and is an avid fan of the Yankees and Steelers. If you like mindless, witty content, feel free to follow him on Twitter @jraggi29.

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