With three wins in its last four games, Penn State is set to host Miami on Wednesday night in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup from State College, Pa.
The Nittany Lions (4-2) are coming off a 60-45 win over Oregon State on Saturday.
"I think we're taking steps in the right direction," new Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry said following Saturday's win.
In the offseason, Shrewsberry, who previously served as associate head coach at Purdue, quickly lured one of the nation's top transfers to State College, bringing in 6-4 guard Jalen Pickett, who has become an immediate starter.
Pickett was a star at Siena, earning Metro Atlantic Conference Player of the Year last season and Rookie of the Year honors the season before. He was also first-team all-league three times. This season, he leads Penn State in assists (4.7) and ranks third in scoring (10.5).
"I trust coach Shrewsberry," Pickett said. "I love the vision -- how he wants to play."
While Penn State is benefitting from the optimism of a new coach, Miami (4-3) needs a quick turnaround because the schedule is about to get much tougher in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said he was "very, very disappointed" with Miami's 96-64 loss to 10th-ranked Alabama on Sunday.
Miami led for most of the first half but got blown out in the final 20 minutes.
"They were just faster than us," Larranaga said. "They beat us down the floor. We couldn't stop dribble penetration, and we couldn't contest 3s well enough."
Miami's strength is in its three starting guards, including Kameron McGusty, who leads the team with a 17.6 scoring average.
Isaiah Wong, who averaged 17.1 points last season and entered this year as a preseason first-team All-ACC player, has been a bit off his game. He is averaging 15.6 points in part because he is seeing a lot of double teams on his drives to the hoop.
As a team, Miami is shooting 27.1 percent on 3-pointers while its opponents are knocking down 42 percent. Miami has made 35 3-pointers, which is 31 fewer than its opponents.
--Field Level Media