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Lamar Stevens Discusses Favorite Penn State Memories On ‘March Madness 365’ Podcast

Former Penn State men’s basketball star Lamar Stevens joined Andy Katz on his “March Madness 365” podcast to discuss some of his favorite moments in Happy Valley this past Tuesday.

Stevens joined the podcast as part of the “Senior Showcase,” and was featured in the episode along with Marquette’s Markus Howard.

Stevens and the Nittany Lions turned around a squad that struggled mightily in 2019 into a bona fide Sweet 16 contender this past season. Although Penn State didn’t get its well-deserved March Madness appearance in 2020, Stevens left Happy Valley with pride.

“I get a real sense of satisfaction just thinking back on how this season went,” Stevens said. “Since my freshman year, we’ve had to battle so [much adversity]. To have this success my senior year, it’s a lot to be proud of.”

Penn State broke new ground in 2019-20 season. Under Pat Chambers, the Nittany Lions reached No. 9 in the AP Poll, sold out the Bryce Jordan Center, and won at venues no one would’ve expected just 12 months earlier.

Stevens was the driving force behind the project, as he led the team with 17.6 points per game. His senior season was in question when he tested the NBA draft waters, but Stevens ultimately decided that he couldn’t deprive himself of one more year in State College.

“[The coaches] were always my family away from my family,” Stevens said. “When you have family, you wan’t to do anything for them.”

Katz probed Stevens on who his toughest matchups were in 2020, and the forward was quick to tout Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman and Iowa Hawkeye Luka Garza.

“[Tillman is] strong, has long arms, and can move really well,” Stevens said. “Hardest to guard would be Luka [Garza]. He runs the floor every possession, all four guys on the perimeter are trying to feed him. He’s so big, strong, and has good footwork.”

When asked which of the wins during his senior season he would put in his top five all-time, Stevens was quick to mention the road victory against Tillman’s Spartans.

“I’d put that as a top two or top three game in my career,” Stevens said. “Winning at East Lansing is so hard to do. The crowd is crazy, and Michigan State is always so good.”

While the road game in East Lansing was perhaps the most impressive victory of the season on paper, Stevens rated the home win against Minnesota in front of a packed crowd as his favorite.

In that contest, Stevens scored a career high 33 points in an 83-77 sellout win.

“The game and the day was special. I played well and we won,” Stevens said.

Stevens also released “Lamar’s Climb,” a children’s book which was illustrated by six fans and friends of the team with Down syndrome, on the day of the Minnesota win.

“I thought it was really cool for all of them to have that spotlight,” Stevens said. “They were acknowledged during that game, and handed out several copies of the book.”

Stevens finished his interview with Katz by imploring future players to embrace the collegiate game.

“Going to play at East Lansing, Michigan and Purdue, those games are crazy,” Stevens said. “Use college as a tool to help you get better and grow as a person. It definitely helped for me.”

You can listen to the full podcast with Stevens and Marquette senior Howard here.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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