Tony Carr hates losing more than he likes winning.
But the Penn State freshman point guard has learned not to dwell on the losses.
With quick turnarounds in a long season, Carr has aimed to stay positive through the setbacks after leading Roman Catholic to back-to-back state championships in high school.
“Losing’s definitely new to me,” Carr said Monday at the team’s media availability.
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Carr and the Nittany Lions (12-12, 4-7 Big Ten) have lost five of their last six games going into their matchup with No. 21 Maryland (20-3, 8-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. But neither Carr nor coach Patrick Chambers plan to let that keep them down.
Coming off a loss to last-place Rutgers, Chambers said his younger players have to become mentally tougher. Chambers is working to help his freshmen develop that trait through individual meetings and called the setbacks a learning experience for them.
“They’ve only played 11 Big Ten games,” Chambers said. “They need this experience, they need to go through these setbacks, they need to go through this adversity. They didn’t have much of that in high school because they were always the best player.”
Carr and fellow Roman Catholic product Lamar Stevens are the only two players who have started all 24 games this season.
In the loss to Rutgers on Saturday, Carr finished 3 for 11 from the field.
But he found a way to affect the game, attacking the rim repeatedly and finishing 11 for 13 from the foul line. Stevens finished with six points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 7:35 to play.
The Nittany Lions fell 70-68 to the Scarlet Knights — their fourth close loss in conference play.
Penn State lost to Michigan and Indiana by three points and to Indiana again in triple overtime.
“We got to keep learning, we got to keep getting better. Tony’s not a junior; he’s not junior. Lamar’s not a junior so he’s going to have those silly fouls,” Chambers said. “Tony might take a possession off. Mike (Watkins) might take a couple possessions off. We are where we’re supposed to be. Now we got to learn how to finish out those games, and I think that’s where we are now.”
Carr said he was over the loss to Rutgers by the time he got back to the locker room.
Later that night, Carr was shooting around with some friends from home, talking about the game and what he could do better. He played some one-on-one with his 9-year-old brother, too.
“He loves basketball,” Carr said. “And he just jumps at the opportunity to come in the gym with me and shoot around so that’s mainly what I was doing.”
Chambers was encouraged to see his players back in the gym Saturday night.
“That tells me that there’s a special group here that really loves to play and cares about this program,” Chambers said. “To me, that’s everything.”
Notes: Maryland’s Melo Trimble ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scoring with 17.2 points per game. ... The Terrapins are coming off a 73-72 loss to then-No. 23 Purdue. Maryland’s other losses came against Nebraska on Jan. 1 and Pittsburgh on Nov. 29. ... The Terrapins are 6-0 on the road this season.
Maryland at Penn State
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Bryce Jordan Center
Radio: WQWK 1450