The Takeaway–Penn State–Iowa

Expectations can kill you as a sports fan. Every offseason you wait for next year, always knowing that more often than not you’ll end up back where you started. This past offseason Penn State fans had real reason to be excited, most of last years starters returning, some talented freshman coming in, and a better OOC slate of games.

Well, forget a lot of the thoughts you had because we’re looking at a 8-9 record and 0-5 in the Big Ten. While lots of fans are up in arms about not making the NCAAs this year, you’ve really got to ask yourself if the NCAAs was what the program was aiming for this year. Of course it is the goal of every season, but what the program really needs is consistency.

While we might wish for that to be in the form of the NCAA any form of postseason besides the CBI is what the program really needs. It isn’t like Penn State is full of a rich tournament history that falls back on the NIT, Penn State is a program that has little to nother to brag about. To get real progress from the cellar of DI Penn State should be aiming for a NIT birth 2-3 times every 5 years. While it might be glamorous if you’re able to get that constancy going the steps needed to be taken to get to the NCAAs won’t seem as hard.

Boxscore

But back to Iowa, to start it looked like it was going to be a pretty good game for the Lions, defense was stout, Andrew Ott looked good, and the Lions were taking advantage of the Iowa youth and inexperience, opening up a 22-11 lead during which Iowa only had 1 field goal 10 minutes into the game.

Then the wheels started to come off the train, Bill Edwards continued to shoot outside shot that he hasn’t had all season, Chris Babb, who hasn’t gotten over his pinky injury from Illinois went 0-6 from beyond the arc. That was all the Hawkeyes needed to get going, turning a 11 point hole into a 3 point lead at halftime. The only thing the Lions could really be pleased with was the fact Jake Kelly was gone.

The second half started out just like most of the Lions second halves. Iowa came out firing and opened up a 12 point lead. For whatever reason after putting up 3 points in 7 minutes of play Andrew Ott saw no playing time in the second half and neither did Chris Babb. Ultimately the Lions did what they needed to do in the last 3 minutes to give themselves a chance to win, but they still haven’t found the tools to get themselves over the hump.

It might be difficult to swallow, but this team hasn’t put the pieces together and until it does, it is going to be a long season. Mental lapses and chemistry are plaguing a team with individual talent. Getting it to work together will be the difference between winning and losing. It’ll also be the difference between watching March on your TV or playing in the postseason.

**Talor’s 31 point game was his 3rd 30 point or more game. The team is 1-2 when he scores 30+*

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~ by blj1887 on January 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Takeaway–Penn State–Iowa”

  1. Another close loss, another lead lost, another chance to steal a win – lost.

    So I watched the Columbus Northland v. Oak Hill Acadamy HS game later this afternoon, not to see Jarred Sullinger (OSU commit) but Trey Burke (PSU commit). I was encouraged. Burke playing the point is an excellent ball handler, and on ball defender. He doesn’t have a scorers mantality, just one three made an only a couple of attempts, but did dish several really cool assists. As a junior he’s an impressive point guard, under control and passes well. Next year his senior without Sullinger and player of the game Witherspoon, also an OSU commit, will showcase his abilities.

    His class will include big man Peter Alexis, hopefully the next Kevin Love or Cole Aldritch, and 2011 will feature a backcourt of Tim Frazier, Taran Buie and Trey Burke. I am looking forward to seeing that trio in action at the BJC (provided I’m still around, these close losses are killing me)

    This year, well we’ve already concluded is merely practice for next year, Talor Battle’s senior season. I llke the fight in this team, but really they just don’t have the pieces to the puzzle. There’s going to be a lot of chatter about firing ED, but nobody can put a puzzle together without all the pieces. As I have said before, Jackson, Jones and Brooks are pretty much no names on the scoreboard. You need players with some name recognition, which you can only get with points. The entire league knew who Jamelle Cornley was, ditto Manny Harris, Robbie Hummel etc etc. We have one name guy – Talor Battle.

    But with the improvements in recruiting lately, I think help is on the way.

  2. I’ve heard that Burke is supposed to be one of the fastest rising recruits in his class, so he really is a great pick up. Alexis is a solid pick as well.

    Assuming everything holds together Ed has two pretty solid classes coming in. He really doesn’t get the credit he should get with how little he has to work with recruiting wise.

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