The Takeaway–Penn State–Ohio State
I’m not going to pretend to like Ohio State, I’m not going to pretend that I’m really going to root for them in March. Tonight didn’t help their cause any. Before I get into the recap, I just wanted to share a few things that might not have caught your eye.
Story #1. Evan Turner apparently didn’t take too kindly to the jeering he was getting by the student section, as soon as the game ended he made his way over to the student section yelling at us that we were all “F’n B*tches” before walking off the court.
Story #2. William Buford fouls out of the game, he too is rattled by the apparent harassment from the crowd and commences to grab his crotch, shake it at the student section, and point at the scoreboard. Trust me, that is going to be on Youtube by tomorrow.
All of the drama aside, Ohio State is a good basketball team, Evan Turner is going to be playing for the Nets next year, and they made the plays when it counted. So my hat goes off to a good team ranked 9th in the country for a reason.
That being said, the Lions could have beaten Ohio State tonight. As in almost every game this year, the Lions were hanging tough and climbed back from a 17 point hole to only being down by 3. Generally they didn’t execute like they had the past two games, but the ball distribution was there, the shots just didn’t fall.
The biggest problem was offensive spacing, and quick decision-making. The offense got jammed up a lot and really limited Penn State’s ability to find good open looks. When the Lions did get good looks they looked tentative, especially down the stretch to make the big shot. It also doesn’t help matters any that no matter who plays in the post, they get knocked around like they aren’t even there. The production down low is starting to occur, but they need to develop the physicality that will really make teams respect Penn State’s interior attack.
As a whole, this might have been the best all around effort by the Lions at home this year, but it wasn’t enough. And hey….Preston got a technical foul, which happens about as often as…well..it doesn’t happen. Passion on the sideline is something that you never can have too much of. While we’re on the subject of referees, I won’t claim that the refs gave Ohio State the game, but there were a lot of lopsided calls. For whatever reason the whistles didn’t go the Lions way when it mattered, and neither did the bounces. That isn’t exactly a new development though.