The Penn State men’s basketball team has already been tested during the preseason.
The Nittany Lions scrimmaged an experienced and physical Seton Hall team coming off a 25-9 season that ended in the NCAA tournament.
“It was a great litmus test for us to see where we were and what we need to work on and what were our strengths — what did we do well in that scrimmage and what were some of the things that need more reps?” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “What I took out of it is we have a really talented team.”
The Nittany Lions will continue their preparation for this season when they host Division-II Lock Haven in an exhibition game at 6 p.m. Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
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It is Penn State’s first exhibition matchup since 2013.
The game will serve as a tune-up ahead of the Nittany Lions’ season opener against Albany on Nov. 11.
“The last couple years we played two scrimmages and then we would open at home and there was nerves, there was jitters, there was playing in front of friends and family and in the beginning it was a little bit of disarray,” Chambers said. “So I wanted to get a good crowd and get ‘em in front of those fans to give ‘em a little warmup to get prepared.”
Chambers said the Seton Hall scrimmage gave his players an idea of what they need to work on before the season opener.
The coach was looking forward to facing the Pirates due to their experience. They only lost one starter — Isaiah Whitehead — after winning the Big East tournament championship and earning a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament last year.
“To go against a Seton Hall, who has that banner under their belt was exactly what we needed to show the younger guys how hard you have to play on every possession,” Chambers said.
Chambers said the Nittany Lions need to improve on the defensive end.
They had trouble in the post against Seton Hall’s 6-foot-10 forward Angel Delgado. Chambers said his team also allowed Khadeen Carrington to create off of ball screens.
Communication was lacking at times, too.
“That’s really where we are,” Chambers said. “And that’s probably where we’re lacking most in those three areas is post, ball-screen defense and then the communication level and then when we do communicate, listen and then trust.”
Notes: Mike Nestor is Lock Haven’s head coach. He is going into his sixth season. Lock Haven went 12-15 last season. … Brahieme Jackson is Lock Haven’s top returning scorer (11.1 points per game). … Tony Carr, Shep Garner, Josh Reaves, Lamar Stevens and Julian Moore will start for Penn State on Friday night.