Blue White Illustrated

February 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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Page 36 of 67

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 2 3 7 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M MEN'S BASKETBALL W hat Penn State guard Jalen Pickett lacks in natural ath- leticism, he makes up for with guile. Pickett won't be bringing down the house with high-rising dunks or blow- ing past defenders with elite quickness any time soon. Instead, he thinks. "For somebody like me, I'm not a su- per athlete, so I think the game a lot, try to find ways to be effective on the floor," Pickett said. "That's something I do a lot, film study, trying to be as strong as possible, just to be able to find weaknesses that the defense has. Everybody has a weakness." Pickett, a fourth-year transfer from Siena, has been Penn State's engine through the first half of the year. A pick-and-roll maestro, he's the force that makes the Nittany Lions' new- look offense go. His remit, he ex- plained, is to try to find out what the opposition doesn't do well and then exploit it. Through 15 contests, Pickett aver- aged 13.3 points per game, 4.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds, doing a little bit of everything for a Penn State team that has exceeded the expectations of many by winning three of its first seven Big Ten games in Micah Shrewsberry's first season at the helm. The change brought by Shrewsberry — especially on the offensive end — has been significant. And Pickett holds the keys to the transition. A team that depended on points in transition last season, Penn State is now one of the slowest units in all of DAV I D E C K E RT | DAV I D E C K E R T 9 8 @ G M A I L . C O M Star Of Stage And Screen Transfer guard Jalen Pickett has found success at the Big Ten level through his mastery of the pick-and-roll Through 15 games, Pickett was averaging a team-high 36.5 minutes per game and was the Nittany Lions' sec- ond-leading scorer with a 13.3-point average. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL

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