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News & Notes From Micah Shrewsberry Ahead Of Wisconsin

Penn State men’s basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry and guards Jalen Pickett and Camren Wynter spoke with the media Monday afternoon ahead of the team’s road matchup against Wisconsin on Tuesday, January 17.

The team talked about the importance of having a break, conference competition, staying focused, and much more.

On Martin Luther King Jr.

Micah Shrewsberry opened up his media availability to address Martin Luther King Jr. and what he fought for. Even through the progress, Shrewsberry stated that King’s message shouldn’t just be recognized on one day, but should instead be a constant reminder every single day.

“We continue to think about everything he’s done to try and help people come together,” Shrewsberry said. “His legacy… Everything that he was fighting for, we’re still trying to do.”

On Big Ten Competition

Purdue leads the Big Ten with a 6-1 conference record, but Penn State holds an even 3-3 record with three other teams, which is good enough to put the Nittany Lions right smack in the middle of Big Ten standings.

Shrewsberry credits the overall success of the conference as a challenge but emphasized to his team that it must come ready every night to find success in a strong conference.

“You got to come every single night and be ready to play, or you’re getting beat,” Shrewsberry said. “That’s a testament to the coaching in this league. It’s a testament to the players, the atmospheres that you’re going into.”

On Enjoying Hoops As A Fan

Shrewsberry was asked if he could relate to Penn State football head coach James Franklin in the sense of not being able to enjoy non-Penn State Big Ten games and feeling obligated to analyze and write notes on such contests.

Although he may jot down some notes, Shrewsberry said he is a fan of the game and knows when and how to unplug from the job.

“I can tell you with 100% fact that I can unplug,” Shrewsberry said. “You have to or you’re going to drive yourself crazy. I’m a basketball fan. I don’t have anything else going on in my life other than my family. And then, I watch hoops, and I enjoy it. It’s pretty cool.”

On The Importance Of A Break

Since coming off of games against Purdue and Indiana, Penn State has had six days, including a weekend, off from basketball. Shrewsberry said giving the team’s starters some days to rest and recover was huge for the upcoming stretch.

“We needed these days off,” Shrewsberry said. “We took Thursday off. Friday we came back and did some skill stuff, but some of the high-minute guys didn’t have to do anything.”

The Nittany Lions will now play at least two games every week for the rest of the season.

On Winning Turnover Battle Against Wisconsin

Wisconsin currently sits third in the Big Ten with a 3.65 turnover margin and has just two more turnovers as a team than Penn State with 149. The turnover battle is huge going into Tuesday night’s contest against the Badgers.

“They’re solid,” Shrewsberry said. “They’re really active with their hands. They’re really active getting steals. You drive it, somebody’s swiping at it, somebody’s poking it from behind. They force people into turnovers.”

Shrewsberry noted that the key to winning the contest is what the Nittany Lions have done a good job of so far this season: high-volume shooting and protecting the ball.

On Staying Focused

Shrewsberry has had some recent problems with Big Ten officiating, but during the break, he re-shifted his focus to his squad.

“I just got to go back to how I am most of the time,” Shrewsberry said. “I got to keep my focus on our team and that’s the biggest thing right there.”

Shrewsberry’s overall message was that he needed to figure out what he could do better for his players and as a coach. With a huge road test against Wisconsin, keeping the focus on improving his players’ output is what will ultimately bring the team success.

“Our team needs to be focused,” Shrewsberry said. “We need to be poised and calm in the eye of the storm, and I need to help them do that. So, I need to be that myself.”

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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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