Penn State Basketball
As Im sure you all know, Penn State basketball has hit an upswing. Last season was interesting to watch, Geary Claxton went down with an injury, and as odd as it may seem losing the teams best player may have been the best thing to happen to the young squad and maybe the entire Penn State program in the last 10 years.
The team rallied around eachother and found its soul and a drive to win that has lasted through two seasons. Young players like Talor Battle found their stride early on and the team learned how to win in tough situations, no matter how much time was left, the team never lost hope. That was an important principle for this season as the Nittany Lion overcame several foes who were leading by double digets, even sometimes while the Lions where on the road. This drive win and belief in the team is something that has been missing for quiet sometime.
While winning 27 games has done nothing but helped the recruiting class, the atmosphere inside the locker room and the feeling that every single game is winnable is something that I think has been overlooked. The Penn State basketball program has taken great steps towards building a sucessful long standing program these past two years. Although it may be several years before Penn State is known for its basketball across the country, the culture and additude of winning is being put into place so that the NIT Championship season as well as the work of Jamelle Cornely will not have been in vain.
Recently Penn State finished up its 2009 Recruiting class with Bill Edwards a 6’6 Small Forward out of Ohio. With the addition of Edwards, Penn State has brought in Jermaine Marshall,Tim Frazier (ranked #1 player in Texas), and Sasa Borovnjak. None of these recruits were graded lower than a 85 on the ESPN Grading scale and all of them have played against tough teams in high school, Borovnjak having played #1 Ranked Oak Hill 4 times while in high school and averaging more than 25 points a contest. (He’s next up in “5 Questions With..”)
Although the addition of Talor Battle’s half brother Taran Buie has made many Penn Staters excited (Taran was one of the most sought after Shooting Guards in the country or the class of 2010) the Class of 2009 should not be overlooked. The general speed, ability, and skill of this class could make the class of 2009 one to remember. Although they still have to lace up and play, it looks as though there could be another special season in the making for the Nittany Lions.
I have a link to Tim Frazier dunking in my interview with him, but I just found some really slick photos of him dunking that I thought I would share.