The Takeaway–Penn State–Robert Morris
As if having your coach lean into you even when you’re playing well wasn’t bad enough, Robert Morris had to watch a 34-33 halftime score grow during a 31-8 run to start out the second half. After an outing against Penn just a few days ago many Nittany Lion fans had questions still waiting to be answered: Could the team function if Battle wasn’t scoring lots of points? Could the team play well when the game was close? Who would step up? All of these questions were answered as the Lions ran away with a 80-61 win in a 46 point second half. Here’s what you can take away from the game:
- Jeff Brooks has arrived: A lot of people have wondered how he would play with a more important role on the team. So far the answer is MUCH better. Putting up double digits in both games this season and improving his rebounding from the first place in the season has made Jeff a legitimate 2nd or 3rd scoring option for each game. If he keeps playing at this level he could very well be the most improved player in the Big Ten.
- Babb can shoot: It wasn’t really a question of if Babb would have big games, it was more of a matter of when. Tonight was as good as any as Babb went off going 5-9 from 3 all in the span of the second half. Expect Babb to keep up the 10-15 point pace and give the Lions a deadly 2nd option from beyond the arc.
- Talor Battle doesn’t have to score- Everybody was happy to see Talor score 27 points in the opener, but you can’t expect that sort of production every game. Well, after tonight everybody should be feeling a little better as it seems that at least in the OOC that scoring won’t be as tough as it may have felt like it could be. The Lions scored 34 points off the bench and have shown that the Lions could have some serious depth this year.
- Tim Fraizer is for real- After getting a little bit of criticism for his shooting Fraizer showed mid season maturity and scored 19 points and ran the offense for the majority of the second half, the long Talor Battle can sit on the bench the better, and the faster Fraizer can mature in his game the better the team will be.
4 things worth noting:
- Even though Battle only played 28 mins he still managed to score 8 points, get 6 boards and 7 assists. If he had played much at all in the second half it is reasonable to expect that he would have recorded a triple double.
- Adam Highberger is quietly 3-4 from 3 and has played only 8mins this season. He could be an interesting addition to the mix.
- Drew Jones should get the ball more, he played 24mins and had 8 boards and 6 points. He is 5/8 on the season and has shown the skill to be a talented inside big man. Keep them honest on the inside-outside game and get him the rock.
- Sasa is making the most of his time. In the 6mins he played tonight he score 6 points and was sure with the ball.
It’s hard not to be excited about this season, lots of talent and young talent at that. Come out to the BJC and see it in person.
Play that victory lute!