Penn State basketball: 3 players primed to level up in conference play

As conference play picks back up for Mike Rhoades' Nittany Lions he'll be leaning heavily on these three players who are about to step into expanded roles in 2024.
 Penn State Nittany Lions guard D'Marco Dunn (2)
Penn State Nittany Lions guard D'Marco Dunn (2) / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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The dynamic backcourt duo is quickly becoming a trio as Penn State’s other UNC transfer continues to emerge. D’Marco Dunn has played all 13 games this year, but his four highest-minute totals of the season have come in the past four games. 

The 6-foot-5 junior guard is looking like an essential bench scorer who can survive on the court with both Clary and Baldwin, but more importantly, can provide efficient scoring bursts when either of the starting guards is on the bench. 

Dunn may also be the team’s best outside shooter, which the Nittany Lions desperately need. Last season, Micah Shrewsberry created a wildly efficient offense that relied heavily on three-point shooters, but this team looks a lot different. 

As a team, Penn State is shooting 32% which ranks 250th despite taking the 74th most attempts in the country. Dunn however, is shooting 39.4% on 2.5 attempts per game. Over his last four games, he is 7-17 from beyond the arc and his presence on the court will provide some much-needed spacing for Baldwin. 

Dunn’s increasing minutes will result in a boom in production, and with real size, Dunn can survive on the wing and will help the rebounding deficiencies. There may come a point where Dunn takes minutes from the 5-foot-11 Kanye Clary, who despite being the leading scorer sacrifices a lot on defense.