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Micah Shrewsberry Animated As Ever In Penn State Hoops’ Loss To Michigan

Micah Shrewsberry had a lot on his mind following Penn State men’s basketball’s loss to Michigan on Tuesday, but he did the fiscally responsible thing by keeping his thoughts to himself.

“I’ve got four kids…They all need to go to college,” the head coach said after the game. “If I say what I want to say, their college fund is taking a hit.”

In a game where the Nittany Lions didn’t take a free throw until the final clock read 3:37, Shrewsberry was as animated as ever on the sideline. All 8,650 people in the Bryce Jordan Center could hear the head coach screaming the officials’ ears off, but it was to no avail.

Shrewsberry said that although he apologized to his team in the locker room for losing his composure, he’s going to continue to “fight” for them against the officials.

Penn State finished with just six converted free throws on seven attempts, all after the game’s final media timeout. Michigan more than tripled that mark but won the game by just one point.

On paper, getting to the line more often would have won Penn State the game. But the more obvious story was the Nittany Lions’ abysmal second-half shooting, which dipped to just 24% from the field and squandered a lead that was once as high as 11 points.

It wasn’t just the guys wearing black and white that were hearing it from Shrewsberry, as he and assistant coach Mike Farrelly were getting on the players in blue and white as well.

“It’s really good for us,” guard Jalen Pickett said regarding the coaching staff’s lively nature. “They both do a great job with the scouts, and today was a good scout…So, it’s just more people who know the game plan and just trying to help us out on the court.”

Pickett led the way for Penn State with 14 points Tuesday night, but those all came from the field. The Siena transfer gets to the line second-most out of any Nittany Lion, averaging 2.1 free throws per game.

Neither Pickett nor any Penn State player was particularly less aggressive against Michigan, as Shrewsberry noted postgame. Sam Sessoms was cutting to the tin and finishing at the rim like his normal self. John Harrar was going to war with Hunter Dickinson in the paint, too.

Sessoms was finally awarded three free throws as the game wound down, while Lundy and Harrar each took a pair from the stripe as well. It seemed more like a twist of fate than anything that the Nittany Lions weren’t getting whistles.

There wasn’t an egregious number of miscalls and Penn State didn’t necessarily get the short end of the stick. Shrewsberry even joked with Michigan head coach Juwan Howard about it during the game.

“[Howard] was just complaining about a foul call, and I’d been complaining all night,” Shrewsberry said. “So I just told him: ‘Hey, they’re not gonna call it.’ And he laughed. But, it was great.”

Even when Penn State couldn’t get to the line, it didn’t change its strategy. As simple as it might sound, Shrewsberry noted the Nittany Lions primarily look for layups and open threes.

He noted that a Sessoms scoop from the inside circle is still a “good shot,” even if he gets hacked and the whistle stays silent.

Sometimes it’s a good shot and it just doesn’t fall. Sometimes the referees deserve a bit of the blame. Tuesday, it was a combination of both. Sessoms, who was seen putting extra work in on an empty court shortly after the game, said the team just needs more buckets to fall.

“I just vividly remember a handful of opportunities where I missed a layup where it was moreso me than the defender,” Sessoms said. “So, I wanted to get out there and end the day on a good note and just move forward.”

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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