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News & Notes From Micah Shrewsberry’s Start-Of-Season Media Availability

Penn State men’s basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry addressed the media Thursday afternoon ahead of his team’s season opener next Monday, November 7, against the Winthrop Eagles at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Shrewsberry sat down over Zoom and talked about starting lineups, Andrew Funk, the attitude of his players ahead of the opener, and much more.

On Winthrop

The second-year coach was quick to note that Winthrop has a great program and that this game will be a great test for the Nittany Lions to start the season.

“Right out of the gates, you’re playing against not just a good team — you’re playing a program,” Shrewsberry said. “I don’t know if our fans quite understand it…but it’s going to be a great test for us right out of the gate, which we should be ready for.”

Over the last 10 years, the Eagles boast a 209-104 record with four Big South championships. They also made it to the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2021 but lost in the first round.

On Starting Lineups

Shrewsberry didn’t announce a starting lineup, but he did make it clear that two players will see the bulk of the minutes this year.

“I know Jalen Pickett is starting…and Seth Lundy,” Shrewsberry said. “From there, it’s a crapshoot.”

Shrewsberry also noted that he wasn’t too worried about who was going to start, but rather who is going to play at the end and win games.

On Naming Andrew Funk Captain

Pickett and Lundy were both named captains for the Nittany Lions on Thursday, along with Myles Dread and transfer Andrew Funk. When asked about his decision to name Funk as a captain, Shrewsberry said it was “an easy pick.”

The 2022 Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year amassed more than 1,200 career points and has shot 33.1% from beyond the arc during his time at Bucknell. Despite having such a prolific career, Shrewsberry was more impressed with how he fits in with the team from a culture perspective.

“He’s doing everything you ask him to do,” Shrewsberry said. “But, he also has a way about him where teammates connect with him because he’s easy to talk to. So that kind of humbleness as the guy that scored a bunch of points in his career, but also that kind of servant attitude really fit into what we were looking for.”

On Freshman Motivation

As far as the freshmen go, Shrewsberry noted there will be adjustments to be made, and he doesn’t quite know how exactly he’ll be utilizing them to start the season. However, he did mention that he’s going to give all five of them t-shirts of Jaylen Brown’s juice company that says, “The energy is about to shift.”

“When those guys check into the game, that’s what needs to happen,” Shrewsberry said. “Everybody in the gym needs to know that the energy is about to pick up when they get into the game.”

On Caleb Dorsey’s Improvements

Another player Shrewsberry tipped his cap to during availability was junior forward Caleb Dorsey.

Shrewsberry noted that Dorsey and Dallion Johnson went on a summer basketball trip overseas, and his phone kept blowing up with how monstrous Dorsey was on the glass. After playing in 12 games and only hauling in nine rebounds last year, Dorsey committed himself to work on that aspect of his game, and it’s paying off major dividends.

“That was one of the things we talked about last year,” Shrewsberry said. “If you want to play, you got to help us rebound. And, he took that to heart, and he’s continued to do it throughout the fall.”

On Living The ‘Dream’

Now with a full offseason under his belt and having a team that he built, Shrewsberry feels much more settled in and praised his players for buying into the program.

“I genuinely enjoy every single day with this group,” Shrewsberry said. “They love to work, they love to learn, they want to get better, and they all push each other… So, it’s like a coach’s dream of what you’re looking for.”

Shrewsberry mentioned that before hopping on the call, he saw Camren Wynter, Kanye Clary, and Pickett all working together on the practice court. However, he said this is a daily occurrence with a different mix of players all working together.

“Every day, I like being there with them,” Shrewsberry said. “I know what they’re doing and it gives me great energy to go down there and do everything I can to make sure they’re successful.”

Penn State will tip off against Winthrop at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 7, at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will be broadcast on BTN+.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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