Brutal Internet Interrogations
It isn’t a secret that this season has turned into a bit of a wash. Ok, “a bit” is an understatement. Either way, the season has caused all of us around the program to do a bit of sports soul-searching. With a sizable break before the Michigan State game, now was as good as a time as any to reach out and see how the rest of the blogging world was handling the struggle fest of a season. For this I turned to the long time writer of HappyHourValley.com and now one of the writers for Linebacker-u.com, the blogger formally known as Tim Aydin. I highly suggest you check out his site, good stuff all the way around.So lets get to it. My half of the interview can be found here.
22+—-1.We knew that losing Danny Morrissey, Jamelle Cornley, and Stanley Pringle Jr. would be tough for the team offensively. Should we have expected the struggles that the team has had or are they not playing to their potential yet?—-
LBU–I certainly did not expect us to be serious contenders for an NCAA bid this year, you just can’t lose your toughest post player in Cornley, a 45% 3-point shooter in Pringle, and another solid 3-point shooting option off the bench in Morrissey and NOT take a step back. Cornley’s absence has obviously been the most glaring problem but let’s also remember that Tim Frazier is basically Stanley Pringle minus the 3-point shooting ability and the speed control and that while Chris Babb has certainly stepped up his game as of late, he can’t replace all that 3-point shooting by himself.
With that being said though, there is no excuse for being dead last in the Big Ten and still looking for our first win of 2010. We should have at least 4 or 5 wins and be squarely on the path to another NIT bid right now given the athleticism/talent we have. There’s also no excuse for blowing those two second half 16-point leads, you have to be able to finish those games off with a veteran team like this.
22+—– 2. Which player has surprised you the most, David Jackson or Jeff Brooks?—–
LBU–Coming into the season, Brooks was already labeled as an inconsistent player who wasn’t living up to his high recruiting rankings coming out of high school, so it’s not surprising to see him struggle the way he has. DJ though, has been a pleasant surprise and is playing above his head. DJ has been a consistent double-figures scorer of late and grabs his share of rebounds, for a guy who is more suited to be a role player, he sure as hell is stepping up like a go-to alternative from Battle.
22+—–3. Penn State has lost 7 games by 6 points or less, what should they be doing differently to squeak out those wins?—–
LBU–Everything. Part of it is coaching: Why we continue to stick with the same zone defense that most teams pick apart, is beyond me, it’s not as if we don’t have enough athleticism to man up and times. However, to just blame the coaching staff is short-sighted, Talor Battle also seems to lack trust in his teammates at times and the end result is him forcing up contested shots in the waning seconds of a game that he normally would pass to the open man, the final minute of the first matchup with Illinois illustrates what I just mentioned. Also, blowing those two 16-point second half leads, might indicate poor substitution patterns or just a complete lack of concentration on the players’ parts.
22+—–4. If you count the Big Ten Tournament the Lions have 8 games left, how many games do you think they have a chance to win?—–
LBU–Part of me likes to think that we can catch Michigan State or Purdue with their pants down but then again, a part of me thought when I was younger that I would be the next Pete Lisicky. Realistically speaking, the two games against Northwestern are our best shot, though I’m not feeling particularly confident about either game given how well Northwestern has played this year and given the fact they’re still fighting for an NCAA bid. I wouldn’t overlook the rematch with Michigan, even though the game is in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines are in a total freefall right now and may be giving up on their highly disappointing season.
22+—– 5. What do you think the likely-hood is that Penn State continues their recent ability to bug the hell out of MSU on Saturday?—–
LBU-There’s a better chance of a fat kid in a Star Wars t-shirt getting laid by a supermodel.
The Force is strong with this one…