Penn State–Wisconsin Preview
Seems to me you have a problem..
Well here we go again. Time to move on to the next game, even though the pattern that seems to be appearing leads me to belive that we’ve only started down the long road of suck. Positive attitudes must prevail however, so lets talk about how the Nittany Lions can come away from Wisconsin with their first Big Ten victory. Sure, it is a little far-fetched, Wisconsin has had the Lions number almost ever since Penn State joined the Big Ten, but you’ve gotta play the game; so I’ll keep pretending that this will be the time that the streak is broken.
When Wisconsin beat Penn State just a few weeks ago, the game pretty much consisted of them matching baskets after the Badgers had gotten about a 10-15 point lead. Penn State never made a real serious run, and the Badgers played like they were content with the lead where it was. The Lions would have had a better chance in the game if they had played any perimeter defense at all, as the Badgers really got a lot of points from outside. The Lions forced shots, missed a lot of them, and had no inside presence at all.
Since the last meeting not a whole lot has changed. The Lions still struggle guarding the arc, and they haven’t really found their scoring touch. On a semi-positive note Andrew Ott seems to have turned a portion of a rather-large-yet-turnable-corner, and has started to give the Lions something on the inside. His 13 points were not only a personal high, but the marked the first game all season that the Lions had really anything going on down in the paint.
Last time, Penn State took John Leuer out of the game early by getting him in foul trouble. Generally speaking the refs have had a lot more respect for Ott than Jones, so if they can work it inside against Leuer and get him in foul trouble again, it’ll go a long way towards the cause.
Offensively the Lions should look to run the ball more than they did the first time around. While most of your points come from running the half court offense, the Lions should look to smartly capitalize on their speed and transition offense. On the defensive side being able to stop the three will be the only way that the Lions will really have chance. Last meeting the Badgers had too many open looks and too many easy shots. Making it harder on the jump shooters to get off good looks will only help your chances.
In the end it is a long shot that he Lions will come out with their first Big Ten win this weekend, but they have the skill to do it, now they just need to find the execution to get it done.
Heres to win #1