UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (WTAJ) — A season after Penn State basketball road its gritty defense to a 14-17 record, Micah Shrewsberry confirmed Saturday, that the “gritty, not pretty” mantra is here to stay.
“That’s going to be a standard, that’s never going to change,” he said.
In Micah Shrewsberry’s first season, Penn state finished last in the Big Ten in scoring. But those offensive struggles were met with one of the top defenses, a unit that was best in scoring defense in the conference.
“No matter if we have 15 guys on our team, and they’re just like the dude playing in the G-League the other day on TV, Victor Wembanyama. If we had 15 of those dudes, we’d still be gritty, not pretty, and we’d be really fun on offense,” he laughed. “But like that’s never gonna change. That’s who I am.”
A rebuilt Penn State roster added impact freshman like Kebba Njie and Jameel Brown, and transfers Andrew Funk and Cam Wynter. On paper should be better in 2021, something that coach Shrewsberry said he already sees in practice.
Saturday, speaking before an open practice for parents, coach said the offense is “miles ahead” of the defense, but its something he expects will fix itself.
“Our defense should be able to get better because it’s playing against a really good offense,” he said. “I heard Geno Auriemma talk about this at one point in time at the clinic that he does all offensive stuff first. Now his defense has to, you know, learn how to play fast, learn how to be more disciplined because they’re playing against really good offense every single day. So I’ll test it. Let’s see. I’ll call him if it doesn’t work.”