The Takeaway–Penn State–Michigan State
Whatever it is Talor Battle and Kalin Lucas eat before they plays against each other, they should figure out how to box it and sell it to basketball players around the world. The fifth meeting between these two players turned out to be one of the best combined performances that they have had. Battle had 30 points and 5 assists and Lucas had 24 points and 6 assists, both players were crucial to the operation of their respective teams offenses, but I guess that’s what a point guard is for.
On the Penn State side of things it was really more of the same, lots of passing, some bad shooting, and a whole lot of confused looks. I don’t really know how I feel about it, but for the first time in a rather long time people actually booed. Now, I would never boo a player on a college team. I’m older than a few of the guys and they aren’t professionals, so if I don’t want random people booing me when I’m in class then I’m not gonna boo the team. Coaches on the other hand are fair game. I think that was where the boos were being directed though.
At times during the game Penn State looked great, they passed the ball well, and didn’t seemed too freaked out by the fact they were playing the 10th ranked team in the country and hadn’t won in 11 games. It doesn’t hurt that Talor Battle hit seven 3 pointers, but that is besides the point. The team played stretches of the game like they can when everything is clicking. The hard part is always having that click.Then there were the times that they got overcoached and overmanaged. For about a 6 minute stretch Penn State resorted to passing the ball until the shot clock got to 10, then giving the ball to Talor and making him take on five guys at once. This was mostly by design and lead to three shot clock violations in a row and no points for Penn State in a critical point in the game. The Lions executed poorly when it counted most, and were substituded in and out of the game at random intervals with no real rhyme or reason.
I want to belive in Ed, I really do. While I am dissapointed in this season I still believe that the combination of losing Jamelle, Stanley, and Danny combined with the youth of some of the team was a big part of the lack of success. That being said, games like today really showed how outcoached Ed was by Tom Izzo. Now, it’s easy to blame bad defense on the coach, but Jeff Brooks isn’t controled by Ed on the court, so those sorts of things are on the team. The issues that plague the team are simple problems, not getting hands in a shooters face, not staring down your passing lane, using your hands to catch a pass. Those sorts of things are taught, yes, but in the heat of the game players make those mistakes, not the coaches. It becomes a bigger problem when the issues aren’t addressed and are ingrained into a players habits.
There is only so much more you can say at this point, I hope it turns around…
I would be remiss however to not mention the 14,000 people at the BJC, despite the 0-12 record Big Ten record, the fans are still coming out to support the team. Thats pretty respectable, and I hope it doesn’t stop.