The Takeaway–Penn State–Illinois

**sorry for the delay,being a student doesn’t always let me blog whenever I feel like it*

The final score really doesn’t do the game justice. Your average fan, if such a thing exists for Penn State basketball, will look at the score and think that the Lions stayed close but never really had a chance to win. They’ll assume that the game was something similar to the first meeting this season against Wisconsin. This really isn’t the case as the Lions showed quite a lot of fight in their 12th loss of the season and held a lead for a while during the second half.

The whole season has pretty much boiled down to not getting any bounces, not to scapegoat any issues this team has, but they haven’t exactly caught much of a break. This couldn’t have been any more evident than when Bill Cole hit 4 of 5 three-pointers, not that irony gets you any points, but he had only hit 9 the entire season. These sort of things added to Demetri McCamey’s wild 3 point dagger with less than 2 minutes left left the Lions searching for answers.

 For the most part the Lions played well. They limited turnovers to only 5 after giving up 19 against Wisconsin which was huge in climbing out of an early 10 point hole. Everyone played good minutes, Bill Edwards played smart, Andrew Jones did his best to get out of his funk scoring 7 points, and Chris Babb posted his second straight game of 15 plus points.

 If there is one darker spot in the game it is the limited bench production. The Lions played 5 players off the bench and only managed 10 points between them; all of which came from Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones, players who have both started this season. Frazier still seems confused to his role on the floor and will continue to see limited minutes until he can figure out how to use his small speedy body in the offense

.Speaking of offense, which is really the only issue I currently have with Ed, what exactly do we run?  I know he has a play sheet; he talks about it a lot in pressers, but it seems that he would prefer to have the guys make it up as they go. While that might work in the MAC, it isn’t going to fly in the Big Ten…incase you haven’t noticed. If the Lions are ever going to win they need to have some sort of structure to their offense that doesn’t follow the basic idea that if Talor isn’t open you should call a timeout

For 3 small payments of 25.99 I’ll show you how to win…..

 That being said, whatever they’re doing is working well enough to keep them in the game. They’ve held a lead in the second half in 6 of their Big Ten games, so it isn’t like the Lions are struggling to get themselves in the game, they just haven’t figured out how to close yet.

 The road doesn’t get any easier from here, anybody can see that, but at this point we’re just looking for win #1 and not trying to win it all so that makes losing at Purdue a little less painful. That isn’t to give up on the team before they play, but Purdue is really good, generally they make everybody look silly, so it isn’t going to be a surprise to see them do it to us too. Although knowing this team, they’ll probably give Purdue a run for their money for no apparent reason other than to make my head hurt more than it already does.

~ by blj1887 on January 29, 2010.

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