November 30, 2007 at 4:00 PM
Penn State's game with St. Joseph's tomorrow afternoon at 4 isn't going to be televised, but we will be making the trip to the historic Palestra and we hope to blog live from the game. The only thing that can prevent us from doing so is the wireless access at the Palestra, but hopefully we will be alright.
As for the game itself, it will be a tough test for Penn State. St. Joe's does not have any impressive wins yet this year, but it nearly beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome earlier this month, and took No. 19 Gonzaga to overtime at home last night.
One thing Penn State has going for it is that it will be the third game in five days for the Hawks. In addition to the Gonzaga game, St. Joe's played Ball State on Tuesday night, so the Hawks could be a little worn down.
November 28, 2007 at 9:38 PM
After a week of no school work and eating way too much turkey -- something that also appeared to afflict Kansas -- we return with our Top 10.
Like the career stats of Pat Verbeek, our contributions to the world of sports will never be forgotten.
1. Missouri (11-1)
They beat Oklahoma their in the BCS title game. It's as simple as that. But the task itself is harder than it looks.
2. West Virginia (11-1)
Ditto for the Mountineers. But they have to deal with the Backyard Brawl. For those laughing, remember Stanford-USC.
3. LSU (10-2)
Possibly the best team in the country, would be extremely dangerous in a playoff. And Les Miles, a loss is a loss, so stop whining.
4. Kansas (11-1)
Needed QB Todd Reesing to step up. He didn't.
5. Oklahoma (10-2)
Only thing left for the Sooners is to play spoiler. Oh, yeah, that would mean a conference championship. Motivation, anyone?
6. Ohio State (10-2)
Buckeyes have yet to beat a legitimate Top 25, but I hear their band's pretty good.
7. USC (9-2)
If there was a playoff, the Trojans and LSU would be my best bet to win it. USC plays UCLA for a Rose Bowl berth. Also the Bruins are playing for a chance at a much better bowl game. Winning doesn't look so easy anymore.
8. Virginia Tech (10-2)
The Hokies have been the best team in the ACC all year, except for the last five minutes of the first meeting with Boston College. Guess what, coach Frank Beamer will make sure they play a full sixty-minute game. Good luck Matt Ryan, you will surely need it.
9. Hawaii (11-0)
Beat Washington. Say hello to the BCS. Lose to Washington and watch every analyst in the country say, "I told you so."
10. Georgia (10-2)
This is where they should be. Seriously, they shouldn't even be sniffing the Top 5.
By Mark Myers and Joseph Dolan
November 28, 2007 at 9:22 PM
Well we're here at the Bryce Jordan Center for tonight's game between Penn State and Virginia Tech, but it sure doesn't feel like the BJC I'm used to. There are actually students here, as most of the student section is filled. We're still not close to a sellout, but there could be close to 10,000 people here tonight.
Andrew Jones has gotten the starting nod over Brandon Hassell, which doesn't come as a total surprise, as Jones got more minutes than Hassell in Florida.
They just honored Jeremy Herbstritt and the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting in a very nice ceremony and are getting ready for tip off in a few minutes.
The students have blue and white flashing pom-poms that look pretty cool with the lights turned off for the team introductions.
I'll have more after tipoff.
14:38 left in the first half
PSU 10 Va. Tech 10
Thanks to some nice rebounding from Geary Claxton and a nice steal and fast break from Talor Battle the Lions have kept it tied and kept the crowd into it. Brandon Hassell came off the bench and added a nice two-hand jam in the paint. Maybe starting on the bench motivated him.
Some kid has a pretty sweet sign that just says, "Beer!" I wonder how long before it gets confiscated.
8:55 left in the first half
PSU 20 - Va. Tech 18
Geary Claxton is on the bench right now, but his four rebounds have been a spark for the Lions, as has improved outside shooting from Danny Morrissey and Mike Walker, who have both connected from 3-point range.
The crowd is into it, and the players are too. It's a much different feel than in Florida and it's good to see. The team could have gotten down on itself after last week, but it hasn't.
5:35 left in the first half
PSU 30 Va. Tech 22
3-balls from Mike Walker and Stanley Pringle, as well as some nice play from Brandon Hassell have helped give the Lions an 8-point cushion. Walker and Hassell lead the team with six points each. What a difference some decent outside shooting makes.
They're doing the kiss cam on the jumbotron right now, and I must say it is nice hat the basketball game is more entertaining then the kiss cam tonight. However, they showed Collegian editor-in-chief Devon Lash and Arts editor Kevin Doran on the kiss cam which is pretty good stuff.
3:25 left in the first half
PSU 35 Va. Tech 22
The same Penn State team that lost to Rider and Central Florida last week is now leading Virginia Tech by 13. The team has played great, but remember in Florida they blew big first-half leads so it will be interesting to see how it ends the first half.
Most of the student section is wearing all-white, but there are two kids wearing ketchup and mustard bottle costumes. All I can say is why?
PSU 38 Va. Tech 28
Talor Battle finally hit a three to keep the Lions ahead by double digits.
Ed DeChellis couldn't ask for a better first half. The team has held its own underneath, as Tech only holds a 19-17 advantage in rebounding, and the outside game has made a triumphant return led by Mike Walker who leads the team with nine points on 3-of 5 from 3-point range.
The halftime show is a couple of former Moscow Circus performers called Bounce. Their act is a combination of jumping rope, juggling and bouncing rubber balls. It sounds lame but it's pretty entertaining.
15:55 remaining in the second half
PSU 45 Va. Tech 36
Danny Morrissey opened the second half with a three to put Penn State up by 13 momentarily but the Hokies have responded somewhat and kept their deficit to single digits.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Penn State's performance tonight is the fact that Geary Claxton only has six points. Claxton is in foul trouble with three fouls, but the Lions have gotten solid performances from pretty much every player tonight, and hasn't had to lean on Claxton. Despite being scoreless, Andrew Jones is having a nice game, collecting four rebounds, three of them offensive.
11:46 left in the second half
PSU 45 Va. Tech 38
The only basket since my last update was a put back by Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen. Allen leads all scorers with 12 points, and he has given Penn State trouble under the basket, collecting nine rebounds as well. Allen is a freshman, and he is really the type of player Penn State doesn't have, a physical big man with good hands.
Even so, Penn State is still leading and needs to maintain its intensity. The offense is stagnating and needs to make some plays to get the crowd back into it.
8:20 left in the second half
PSU 50 Va. Tech 49
What looked like it could become a Penn State blowout is now a close ball game as Virginia Tech has battled back. Deron Washington has led the way for the Hokies scoring six points in the past couple minutes.
With Geary Claxton on the bench with four fouls, Penn State has gotten a boost from D.J. Jackson and Mike Walker. Walker, who missed an open layup underneath drove and made a layup in traffic on the next posession.
Stanley Pringle has been noticeably absent in the second half.
6:27 left in the second half
PSU 54 Va. Tech 49
Mike Walker continues to lead the Lions, as he now has 13 points on the night.
Pretty shocking that Geary Claxton and Jamelle Cornley have only eight points combined. Claxton just re-entered the game and is playing with four fouls.
PSU 64 - Va. Tech 61
Shooting woes aside, Talor Battle is one of this team's most valuable players. His layup with 39 seconds left put the team up by three and paved the way for Jamelle Cornley to sink two big free throws to push the lead to five. Penn State has the ball now, and Tech will likely foul. If the Lions can sink their free throws, they will win.
PSU 66 Va. Tech 61
Mike Walker was almost the goat as he missed two foul shots that gave Va. Tech a chance to tie the game. Thankfully for Walker the Hokies missed their next shot and D.J. Jackson subsequently sank two foul shots to salt away the huge victory.
You really can't take anything away from Walker though, his performance was really the difference.
What a huge win for Ed DeChellis after such a rough week. We'll have more in tomorrow's paper.
November 27, 2007 at 6:22 PM
A couple of interesting things to mention before tomorrow night's game with Virginia Tech, set to tip at the Bryce Jordan Center at 9:30 p.m.
Remember those Orange and Maroon shirts that were sold before the Blue-White football game to honor the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting? Well the proceeds from the t-shirt sales will be presented tomorrow night in a pre-game ceremony featuring Ed DeChellis, Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and the family of Jeremy Herbstritt, a Bellefonte native killed in the shootings. 110,000 dollars in total will be donated, with 55,000 dollars going to the Herbstritt Memorial Fund and the other 55,000 dollars going to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.
Another item of note is that the student section, Nittany Nation, is declaring a "Blizzard Warning" which is like a football white-out. Students are encouraged to wear white to the game.
November 25, 2007 at 6:48 PM
Good afternoon Lady Lion basketball fans and welcome to another exciting installment of Penn State women's basketball. Im Brian Eller, and I'll be taking you through today's game as the Lady Lions will face off against the Drexel Dragons. Hope that Thanksgiving gut has deflated and those Black Friday bruises have helaed cause it's time for some basketball.
As the Lady Lions take the court they are greeted by a dissapointing crowd. The student section is nowhere to be found and even the Pride of the Lions band sounds like my 4th grade music class. But, the players are certainly here, and as both teams shoot around for warmups, let's take a look at how each team has fared over the past few weeks.
For Penn State, they enter today's matchup with a 4-1 record, including a perfect 3-0 at home. The Lady Lions come off of their first road win of the season last Tuesday, defeating South Carolina 70-63.
For the Drexel Dragons, a 1-3 start to the season has head coach Denise Dillon ready to get her team back on the winning track. Drexel is coming off a heatbreaking loss, dropping a 70-67 decision to Army last Tuesday.
Penn State: Guard-Mashea Williams
Drexel: Guard-Jasmina Rosseel
15:53 left in 1st half PSU 4, Drexel 6
A sloppy start so far for the Lady Lions. Despite an opening 3-pointer from Brianne O'Rourke, the rest of the team hasnt been able to hit their shots. Meanwhile, Drexel's Gabriella Marginean has four early points for the Dragons, as they have a two point lead.
10:00 left in 1st half PSU 14, Drexel 8
Penn State is starting to get into a nice groove as the 1st half continues. Brianne O'Rourke leads the Lady Lions with seven points, and freshman Janessa Wolff has two points off the bench.
Halftime, PSU 30, Drexel 28
An interesting first half here at the Bryce Jordan Center. What was originally thought to be a blowout is now a very tightly contested match, as Penn State leads by two heading into the locker room. Both teams have struggled in the turnover department. For Penn State, poor passing and missed shots have hindered its ability to put points on the board. Drexel forward Gabriella Marginean has 16 points in the first half, and had contributed largely to the Dragons' success in the paint. Brianne O'Rourke continues to shine for the Lady Lions, connecting on three 3-pointers in the first half.
13:00 left in the 2nd half: PSU 43, Drexel 39
With just 13 minutes left to play, neither team seems to want to take advantage of its opportunities. Gabriella Marginean continues to be a hassle for the Lady Lions. She currently has 23 points, 59% of her team's total points.
7:47 left in the 2nd half: PSU 51, Drexel 44
Well it looks like Penn State has finally found its groove. After finishing an 11-1 run to go up by 10, the Lady Lions have settled into a comfortable seven point lead. Freshman forward Julia Trogele just picked up her fourth foul of the afternoon, so it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more Janessa Wolff in the final minutes.
3:13 left in the 2nd half: PSU 56, Drexel 51
This will most likely be the last post for today's game. The Lady Lions hold a small five point lead with time running down. Julia Trogele has fouled out for Penn State, as she finishes the game with five points and five boards to go along with her five fouls. Drexel guard Jasmina Rosseel has heated up for the Dragons in the past few minutes. She now has 14 points, but just picked up her third foul of the afternoon.
November 23, 2007 at 1:05 PM
The high expectations surrounding Penn State basketball can once again be disregarded before conference play even begins.
It's only two games, but yesterday's 74-67 loss to South Carolina and today's 82-73 embarrassing loss to Rider are a good indication that Penn State is still not ready to challenge for an NCAA tournament berth.
The Nittany Lions played a decent game against South Carolina, outrebounding the Gamecocks 50-28. Usually if the Lions dominate underneath like that, they would win easily, but the outside game abandoned them yesterday, as they shot a putrid 4-25 from beyond the arc.
Against Rider, things got even worse. The team had a much better shooting day, but didn't have the rebounding presence, and the defense was horrendous, allowing Rider to shoot 9-18 from 3-point range.
Fouls and poor free throw shooting killed the Lions in both games, as the differences in free throws made between Penn State and its opponents was larger than the margin of the game both days.
There were some bright spots. Jamelle Cornley saw his first game action yesterday and scored eight points while collecting nine rebounds in only 14 minutes of action. He scored 17 points against Rider. Andrew Jones also played well in both games, and if he continues to perform the way he has, he could overtake Brandon Hassell as the primary big man.
All that being said, the Lions have to remain positive, as they still have one game left in Orlando (against either Kansas State or Central Florida) and a huge matchup with Virginia Tech at home on Wednesday.
November 21, 2007 at 1:54 AM
It's over! The Lady Lions finally ended their nine-game road losing streak by beating South Carolina 70-63 Tuesday night.
It was Penn State's first win on an opponent's campus since December of 2006.
The Lady Lions grabbed the lead on a pair of Janessa Wolff free throws two-and-a-half minutes into the contest and never relinquished their advantage.
Sophomore guard Tyra Grant once again topped the scoring column with 17 points on eight of 14 shooting. Wolff (12), junior point guard Brianne O'Rourke (11) and senior guard Kam Gissendanner (10) were the other Lady Lions to finish in double figures. Gissendanner also finished with 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
Demetress Adams led the way for the Lady Gamecocks with 17 points and three blocks, but it was not enough to fend off Penn State's balanced scoring attack.
This is head coach Coquese Washington's first win away from the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions return to action when the Drexel Dragons breathe their fire on Happy Valley at 2 p.m., Sunday Nov. 25.
November 20, 2007 at 6:09 AM
They Lady Lions will get another shot to snap their 11-month road losing streak at 7 tonight at South Carolina. Penn State's last victory in an opponent's gym was Dec. 17, 2006, at Georgetown (The Lady Lions beat Illinois at the Big Ten tournament in March, but at a neutral site).
Penn State couldn't hold a lead at Xavier last Thursday; mainly because of Musketeer star forward Amber Harris who delivered 30 points, including 21 in the second half.
The Lady Gamecocks are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents by 25 points per contest, including a 93-33 drubbing of St. Francis (Pa.).
South Carolina is led by guard Brionna Dickerson (17 ppg) and 6-foot-4 forward Demetress Adams (15.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.6 blocks, 2.3 steals).
Aside from on the court, this is a long road trip for the Lady Lions, especially during fall break when almost all of the students are home and campus is barren. But after coming so close at Xavier, head coach Coquese Washington should have her team mentally prepared for the game. She did not make any excuses for the loss in Cincinnati and said the quiet campus will allow her team to focus.
It'll be interesting to see how the team, and Washington, responds to its first defeat. Another loss could bring bad karma and start another trend, like last season. A win against the Lady Gamecocks (I love saying that) could give the Lady Lions renewed confidence and put them on the road toward Big Ten contention.
Either way, it should be a good game.
And for the record, a Gamecock is a rooster bred for cockfighting. They are usually strong, fierce and bred to be relentless fighters. Of course cockfighting is illegal in the United States, so why hasn't anyone gotten on South Carolina for its mascot? I mean Mike Vick is in jail, but a major university is condoning illegal chicken fighting rings. (Sarcasm everybody, what Vick did was abhorred able and he deserves as much punishment as possible).
And also, the paper at the University of South Carolina is the Daily Gamecock, now I love the Daily Collegian, but the Daily Gamecock sounds much cooler and definitely wins the battle of paper names.
November 19, 2007 at 6:29 PM
College basketball's early-signing period is upon us and Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington has inked her first class.
Penn State signed three post players last season, so it's only natural that a trio of guards comprise this year's class.
Leading the way is Renee Womack, a 5-foot-10 guard from Methacton High School in Lansdale. She averaged 16.4 points, 9 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2 blocks per game last season and is a four-star prospect according to Hoopgurlz.com. The site also ranks her as the No. 82 prospect in the country.
Zhaque Gray is a 5-foot-8 point guard from John Hope High in Chicago. A Hoopgurlz three-star prospect, Gray averaged 21 points and 5.7 rebounds while earning all-state honors last season. A natural scoring, Gray connected on 55 shots from beyond the arc last season.
The third piece of the class is 5-foot-4 guard Emily Phillips from Washington High in South Bend, Ind. Phillips averaged nine points, five assists and two rebounds from the Indiana state champions. Washington High is also the No. 11 team in the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 high school girls basketball national rankings.
Coquese Washington is familiar with Phillips from her days as an assistant at Notre Dame, which is about 5 miles from Washington High.
This class is centered around speed, which should allow Washington to continue to implement her fast-paced offense and quick, pressure defense.
It also shows Washington's ability to recruit. She was known for her recruiting prowess at Notre Dame and has already opened avenues to areas Penn State did not traditionally recruit (Chicago and Northern Indiana).
November 16, 2007 at 7:09 PM
We're here from the Bryce Jordan Center, where the Nittany Lions will be taking on the Canisius Golden Griffins (yes, that's really their name) in the second game of the season.
By my estimate, there are less than 30 people in the student section. Apparently, no one wanted to delay their Thanksgiving break to catch this historic college hoops rivalry. The elderly, however, are out in full force.
With less than five minutes until the game begins, the Canisius players came trotting out in some of the sweetest bright yellow sneakers I've ever seen. According to the game notes, the team's motto is "Be Bold - Wear Gold," so the players are outfitted with custom Nike gold sneakers. Sounds like something for the Christmas list (You hear that Santa?).
Freshman Talor Battle will be getting his first start as a Lion tonight. He is joined by Geary Claxton, Brandon Hassell, Jeff Brooks and Danny Morrissey. Starting for the Golden Griffins are Elton Frazier, Rishawn Johnson, Frank Turner, Willie Hassell and Jovan Robinson. I just made up that Willie Hassell is Brandon Hassell's cousin and someone believed me.
As the game is about to get under way, the student section has grown to at least 34 people.
Here we go...
15:21 remaining in the first half - At the first timeout, Penn State leads 9-5. Four of the Lions' starters have a bucket so far.
13:06 - Mike Walker, Andrew Jones and D.J. Jackson came into the game for Penn State. Hassell, Morrissey and Brooks came out. There's a pretty sizeable contingent of Golden Griffs fans sitting opposite the Penn State student section. There are about 20 yellow-clad supporters, which at this point is about a third of the size of the student section.
11:53 - Claxton hits a three for his tenth point of the game. When his shot is falling, Claxton is one of the Big Ten's best. (19-5 PSU)
9:54 - Greg Logins scores for the Griffs to end a 14-0 PSU run. (19-7 PSU)
The 20 or so Canisius fans have been more vocal than the 5,000-plus Lions supporters so far. They're also really classy. During one Penn State free throw, a Griffs fan yelled "Austin Scott!" Presumably, Austin Scott is not in attendance.
6:22 - Mike Walker drilled two straight 3s to give the Lions a 28-11 lead. It's starting to get ugly. But really, this game was essentially over when Penn State's opponents came out wearing warm-ups that said "Griffs" and bright yellow shoes.
3:31 - One of the Canisius players is wearing white shoes. Did they not have enough bright yellow ones for him? Is it just some guy they picked up off the street before the game? I would like to know. My prediction: this kid doesn't see the floor tonight.
End of first half - Penn State leads 44-24. If you're a Lions fan, you couldn't ask for a much better half. The team is shooting 42 percent and has turned the ball over only four times to Canisius' nine. Claxton leads the team with 19 points and has added five boards. If he gets enough minutes in the second half, he could easily have a 30-10 night. But Ed DeChellis will probably want to get him some rest. Hassell's grabbed six rebounds and Battle leads the team with three assists. Mike Walker has 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc.
Start of the second half - The Lions really need to keep up the pace in the secon half. They're going to win the game, but anything short of a 20ish point victory is not acceptable against the Griffs. If the team wants to fill the BJC, they have to prove they can win. That starts by putting bad teams away.
Canisius' Greg Logins is wearing 00, which is a sweet number to wear in my opinion. The game notes say that he is the first Canisius player since 2001 to wear 00 and the fourth in their history. I'd like to be the guy whose job it is to find out things like that.
16:03 - The Griffs haven't scored in the second half and the Lions are filling it up. They lead 55-24.
15:10 - Jeff Brooks just grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a big layup and the foul. He converts on the 3-point play. (61-24 PSU)
14:02 - Claxton grabs a defensive board for the double-double. This is his second double-double in two games this season and the 19th of his career. (62-27 PSU)
8:46 - Penn State just opened up a 50 point lead, 79-29. The Lions look really good right now, but it's safe to say that Canisius is not good at basketball.
7:14 - Nikola Obradovic and Joonas Suotamo enter the game for Penn State. This is the first action for both of them this season. (84-31 PSU)
The Golden Griffins fans are on their feet, but looking pretty dejected. It will be a sad 4+ hour drive home for them.
4:15 - Seldom-used Will Leiner just drove to the basket and made a lay-up that put the Lions up 90-32. More importantly, he got the crowd annd the bench on their feet. Why? Because the junior had one career point before tonight. So the guy just tripled his point total with that basket. Props to Will Leiner.
Penn State currently leads by 58 points. The most lopsided victory in team history was 58 points in 1953 against Ithaca. We're witnessing history here, folks... boring, boring history.
2:42 - Rishawn Johnson just scored to give the Griffs ten points in the second half. They're being outscored 46-10 this half. Needless to say, Canisius will need to play better than this if they are going to contend for a national championship this year.
1:11 - Leiner just hit a 3 from about 5 feet beyond the arc to give Penn State the 93-40 lead. I think that was the dagger right there.
End of game - Penn State wins 93-40. Sadly, no record.
Claxton led the team with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Morrissey had 17 points and Walker finished with 11. Battle contributed five points and eight assists.
The Lions did what they had to do. It will be interesting to see how they fare against some real competition next week at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
In the post-game press conference, Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said that he had to buy pizza for all the fans that came to the game to watch the team play. he seems like a really nice guy.
He also added that he thought his team could have beaten Penn State and polled his players, who agreed with him. Riiiight. Dude, you just got beat by 53 points.
So to recap: Tom Parrotta - really cool guy, but might need to lay off the pipe a little.
November 15, 2007 at 12:04 PM
As expected, Billy Oliver has signed with Penn State. He held a press conference at his high school yesterday.
The 6-foot 8 Oliver averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks per game last season. Oliver also has a decent outside game, as he shot 39 percent from 3-point range last year.
The outside shot is nice, but it will be interesting to see what kind of inside game Oliver has, as the Nittany Lions will have a hole to fill down low next year when Brandon Hassell is gone.
November 15, 2007 at 12:10 AM
As the college football season winds down, things become more clear. Well, usually.
One surprise: the Big 12 has three teams in the Top 5, but that doesn't include Texas.
Like Gordon Bombay's Triple Deke, our Top 10 is unstoppable.
1. LSU (9-1) (1 vote)
Our top spot was a point of discussion, but even though we split on who should occupy it, the decision was made the only way college students should settle a dispute: Rock, Paper, Scissors. And thus, the Tigers are No. 1.
2. Kansas (10-0) (1)
Losers of a close RPS game (the avalanche always wins), Kansas bides its time at No. 2, but wins against Missouri and Oklahoma will slide it into the top spot.
3. Oregon (8-1)
The Ducks are in no-man's-land at No. 3. Only a loss by a team above them will give Dennis Dixon a shot at a national title.
4. Oklahoma (9-1)
Oklahoma controls its destiny. A win in the Big 12 championship game will send them to the BCS title game.
5. Missouri (9-1)
Ditto with Mizzou.
6. West Virginia (8-1)
The Mountaineers need a lot of help. With the way this college football season has gone, they may get it.
7. Ohio State (10-1)
A HUGE game at the Big House. They need a miracle.
8. Arizona State (9-1)
All but out of it. The Sun Devils are playing for a Rose Bowl bid if the Ducks squeak into the title game.
9.Virginia Tech (8-2)
The Hokies are the class of the ACC. Beamer's squad is a lot better than people think. They would be a dangerous team in a playoff.
10. Gerogia (8-2)
You know that friend that hangs with you, and you don't really know why, but every weekend he shows up at your party, and doesn't pay for beer. Yeah, Georgia is kind of like that guy.
November 12, 2007 at 6:51 PM
Well it's finally here. That's right the Penn State men's basketball season begins tonight, and judging by the student section, not much of the student body has noticed. To say the crowd is sparse is a gross understatement. This is Steve and I'll be updating the blog tonight.
The team has taken the court for pregame warmups and D.J. Jackson is dressed, though he is not in the starting lineup. Jackson missed last Wednesday's exhibition with Slippery Rock when the foot stress fracture that caused him to miss most of last year flared up.
Here are your starting lineups:
If Sweetney's name sounds familiar, it should. His cousin is former Georgetown standout and current Chicago Bull Mike Sweetney.
Sweetney, Dieng and reserve Chris McFarland all played their high school ball at Riverdale Baptist in Maryland. Kansas State wunderkind Michael Beasley played his sophomore year of high school at Riverdale Baptist as well. Penn State could potentially face Beasley and the Wildcats at the Old Spice Classic next week.
More updates to come after the game starts.
13:56 left in the first half
St. Francis 7 PSU 6
Pretty ugly offensive performance so far by the Nittany Lions. Geary Claxton got his own rebound off a missed alley-oop to score the first points of the game, he also scored on a nice drive.
Devin Sweetney is in some foul trouble for the Red Flash, as he has picked up two fouls.
Talor Battle is going to enter the game after this timeout. Ed DeChellis didn't waste much time getting D.J. Jackson in there for Jeff Brooks, as Jackson subbed in with just over 16 minutes left in the first half.
8:13 left in the first
PSU 17 St. Francis 16
St. Francis is in some serious foul trouble. They already have 10 team fouls, and Devin Sweetney who leads the team with 7 points, already has 3 fouls. Talor Battle is at the line when this timeout ends.
Battle and Stanley Pringle have provided a nice spark on defense, but Penn State has had trouble converting its fast break opportunities.
4:54 left in the first
PSU 22 St. Francis 19
Andrew Jones is the primary big man on the court right now, and he needs to pick it up. He was unimpressive against Slippery Rock and he has been nonexistent tonight. This team absolutely needs him to improve, especially with Jamelle Cornley injured.
PSU 33 St. Francis 29
Penn State is leading, but I doubt that Ed DeChellis is very pleased with his team's effort so far.
The offense has been sluggish to put it lightly, shooting 34% from the field. Danny Morrissey and Mike Walker are a combined 1-3 from 3-point range. That has to change. The team also needs to start getting Geary Claxton some better looks. He leads the team with 9 points, but is just 3-8 from the field.
Aside from a pretty nice hook shot Andrew Jones has been invisible, collecting only one rebound. Brandon Hassell has four rebounds, but he has been unimpressive as well.
The Nittany Lions need to pull away in the second half. Although it was an exciting first-half, the students here want to see Penn State blow out opponents like St. Francis, and if Penn State doesn't start disposing of small non-conference opponents in dominating fashion, it can expect more small and cynical crowds like tonight's.
I heard a fan say, "I can't believe I pay to watch this crap," as he got up from his seat at halftime.
Even though it's only St. Francis, Penn State has a lot to prove in these next 20 minutes.
17:03 left in the second
PSU 42 St. Francis 29
Penn State has started off the second half nicely, going on a 9-0 run. Geary Claxton is entering double-double territory, as he now has 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Mike Walker finally got on the board with a long three, and D.J. Jackson provided a much needed layup with a nice move down in the post. Injured or not, Jackson is still one of Penn State's better post options.
Stanley Pringle just got his sixth steal of the night and then dished to Claxton for a beautiful dunk that has gotten the crowd fired up.
12:19 left in the second
PSU 46 St.Francis 40
St. Francis responded with an 8-0 run of their own that was broken up by Talor Battle being fouled on a 3-point attempt. Battle sunk two of the free throws.
D.J. Jackson had a nice baseline hookshot. He has eight points on the night.
St. Francis' Grant Suprenant has 17 points, including 5-8 from 3-point range. As long as he's hot, St. Francis will be in this game.
6:50 left in the second half
PSU 58 St. Francis 46
Geary Claxton finally took over. The senior has scored Penn State's last 7 points, and now has 20 points and 10 rebounds on the night. He did however, just pick up his fourth foul.
Devin Sweetney and Bassirou Dieng also have four fouls for St. Francis, which has finally cooled off from 3-point range.The Red Flash have missed their last two 3-point attempts, but are still shooting 9-22 from beyond the arc tonight.
2:30 left in the second
PSU 69 St. Francis 57
Brandon Hassell has stepped it up in the past few minutes, as he now has 11 rebounds on the night. Geary Claxton, playing with four fouls, just knocked down a trey.
D.J. Jackson has had a good game tonight, but we saw him limping off the court with about 6 minutes to play.
Stanley Pringle's seven steals equal the Bryce Jordan Center record and is one off the school record.
Final Score: PSU 74 St. Francis 64
D.J. Jackson re-entered the game with about minute left, so his foot must not be bothering him too much.
Geary Claxton fouled out. His final line is 23 points and 10 rebounds. He was 9-18 from the field, and his personal 7-0 run set the tone for the second half.
Check out the full game story tomorrow.
November 11, 2007 at 9:16 PM
Howdy yall, I'm Collegian Women's Basketball writer Andrew Wible and I'll be taking you through the final game of the WBCA classic with the host Lady Lions taking on archrival Pitt.
It's not much of a rivalry anymore, but my dad is a PSU alum and I was raised to cringe pretty much everytime I see the blue and gold of the panthers.
It should be a good game today as both teams come in sporting 2-0 records, and Pitt sitting at No. 20 in the country.
I'll be keeping you updated throughout the contest, and maybe we can have a little fun while we're at it. So buckle up women's basketball fans, and enjoy the show.
We're at the first television timeout with 15:47 remaining in the first half and the score is knotted at 5. The Lady Lions have missed a couple of opportunites but do not appear intimidated by the top-20 panthers.
Also, Pitt's All-Big East center Mercedes Walker is on the bench with two fouls. This is juge, not just because of Walker's caliber, but because, well, she's huge. She's listed at 6-foot-3 and unlike the men the roster's don't list weights. And since my momma raised me to be a gentleman, I'm not gonna register a guess. But let's just say Walker is a HUGE presence inside and if the Lady Lions can keep her in foul trouble, their odds of winning increase exponentially
Quick NFL update from the Bryce Jordan Center PA announcer:
Pittsburgh (Steelers, not Panthers) beat Cleveland 31-28 and Philadelphia topped Washington 33-25. And as a Steelers' fan, I'd like to add that the Pittsburgh scored received a much louder cheer than the Eagles' final.
Less than 10 minutes remaining first half and it's evident that both teams are fatigued playing their third game in three days. There has been a lot of sloppy play with both teams shooting less than 25 percent from the field and the two teams have combined for eight turnovers and 10 fouls.
2nd media timeout, and they're playing "cotton-eye joe." As a man from the country, I can appreciate this hick song, but what place does it have at a basketball game? This ain't Hoosiers, I want some Kayne or Jay-Z.
I just saw the Nittany Lion holding a baby, and I have to wonder just how traumatizing an experience that must be. You're less than a year old, and this giant thing in a brown suit with big teeth picks you up? I'm suprised more babies don't suffer from fear of Lions.
Walker is on the bench with her third foul of the game, bad news foer the Panthers. 18-15 Penn State with 5:50 remaining first half.
Pitt coach Agnus Berenato just took a 30-second timeout with 5:12 remaining first half. The Panthers have missed two breakaway layups and trail the Lady Lions 20-15.
The Panthers responded and promptly went on a 6-1 run to tie the game, 21-21 tie with 3:03 remaining first half.
Lady Lion captain Brianne O'Rourke promptly put an end to the Pitt run with a basket from the baseline, followed by drawing a charge at the other end. 3:00 remaining first half Penn State 23, Pitt 21, Lady Lions' ball.
Also, a fan just played the secret prize-in-the-box game and had the option of a Lady Lions visor or whatever was in the box. She took the box and received a pink floating noodle.
1:23 remaining first half and we have our first "safety school" chant from the "other Lady Lions" student section, 27-23 Penn State.
Halftime at the BJC with the score Penn State 31 Pitt 26. Neither team has played particularly well and but the Lady Lions have hit enough shots, especially from the free throw line, to make the difference. Both teams have made 10 shots from the field, but Penn State is 10-of-14 from the line while the Panthers are 4-of-6.
Probably most importantly for the Lady Lions, they are winning the battle on the glass, Penn State has outrebounded Pitt 23-19. Obviously, Walker's foul trouble is hurting the Panthers.
The first five minutes of the second half will tell us a lot about this one. Neither team is playing their best game, but for Pitt, great teams find ways to win, so this is their first big test of the season. For the Lady Lions, this game could give them confidence for a potentially strong.
But, great coaches make halftime adjustments, so we'll see what Berenato and Penn State's Coquese Washington do to try and run away with this game.
Although Pitt is down, the panthers do not appear too worried about trailing at the break.
We're about ready to start the second half, once again the score Penn State 31, Pitt 26.
Once again, Penn State leads Pitt 31-26 at the break.
Washington calls a timeout 1:26 into the half with her Lady Lions up 33-30. Mashea Williams scored the first points of the half to extend Penn State's lead to seven, but back-to-back buckets by Pitt's Walker (first points of the game) and Shavonte Zellous cut the Lady Lion lead to three, which is where we stand with 18:34 remaining in the second half, Penn State 33 Pitt 30.
Berenato's message in the locker room must have been to rebound, the panthers have a 7-4 rebounding advantage thus far this half, but the Lady Lions still lead 35-32 with 16:33 remaining.
15:20 to play and Pitt just took its first lead of the game on a Walker hook to make it 36-35 panthers.
14:04 remaining and we've reached the first media timout of the second half and Pitt leads 38-37, but Walker just picked up her fourth foul of the game and will be on the bench for a good while. Penn State's Janessa Wolff will be at the line for two shots and a chance to give the Lady Lions the lead when we return from the timeout.
Penn State's Mashea Williams hits a pair of shots as the shot clock runs out, a driving two and a three from the corner to make it 44-40 Penn State with 11:48 remaining.
I don't know whether it's the Penn State offense trying to burn clock or increased defensive pressure from Pitt, but the Lady Lions are taking the entire 30 seconds to find a good shot.
The Lady Lions may have found the post presence they've been looking for this season. Freshman Janessa Wolff leads the team with 13 points along with 6 rebounds. More importantly, she has shot 11-of-12 from the free throw line and caused Pitt some foul trouble.
8:29 remaining, Walker returns, as Grant drives to the hole, makes a layup and draws a foul. She hit the foul shot to complete the three-point play and the Lady Lions lead 54-48.
The panthers are beginning to heat up from beyond the arc and have hit three triples in the past three minutes of play, wow, that was some alliteration.
Berenato's move to play Walker with four fouls has paid off, she has four points and is at the line trying to complete a three-point play with 7:18 remaining. Penn State leads 58-55.
Penn State's Kam Gissendanner drives to the hole with 6:57 remaining, misses the bucket, but draws a foul on Walker. Her fifth and the All-Big East center is out for the remainder of the game and the Lady Lions lead 60-56. Fellow Lady Lions writer Brian Eller is predicting a "Lady Lions tear" now that Walker is out fo the game.
4:25 remaining and Berenato, Pitt's head coach, huddled her entire bench together while Gissendanner was at the line. Berenato has not been pleased with the officiating at all during this game and is itching for a technical. Timeout on the floor, Penn State leads 64-62 with 3:59 remaining.
3:40 remaining, Penn State's Brianne O'Rourke strips Pitt's Shavonte Zellous, dishes to Williams under the basket to give Penn State a 68-62 lead with 3:18 remaining.
Captain stepping up down the stretch, O'Rourke hits a driving layup with 2:40 to go to put the Lady Lions up by eight, 70-62.
O'Rouke just lost the handle on the ball, dove to keep it alive and called a timeout. But as she got up she was holding her taped wrist and grimacing in pain.
Pitt receives the ball after an alternate possession call, but throws it out of bounds to give the Lady Lions the ball with 1:04 remaining and a six-point lead, 70-64. I have a feeling we're about to witness the everlasting final-minute fouling from the panthers.
O'Rourke at the line with 58.7 seconds left, drains both, 72-64 Penn State.
50.9 seconds left, Pitt's Mallorie Winn drains a three to make it 72-67 Lady Lions.
Wolff misses the first, hits the second. 73-67 Penn State.
Pitt's Jania Sims hits a driving layup with xx to go to make it 73-69 Penn State.
The Lady Lions find Tyra Grant streaking down the court all alone for an easy bucket, 75-69 Penn State.
29.6 seconds left, Pitt's Taneisha Harrison makes a layup to cut the lead to 75-71 in favor of Penn State.
50.9 seconds left, Pitt's Mallorie Winn drains a three to make it 72-67 Lady Lions. Panthers immediately foul Wolff.
O'Rourke hits a pair of free throws to make the lead six, but Winn answers with another three, 77-74 Lady Lions, 18.9 to play, Mashea Williams at the line.
Williams makes one, 78-74 Penn State with 18.9 remaining, no timeouts left for the panthers.
Pitt's Jania Sims has just joined Walker on the bench after committing her fifth foul. Gissendanner goes to the line. Hits both to make it 80-74 Penn State, 9.9 left. O'Rourke grabs a Winn miss and that's it. Final score from the BJC, Penn State 80, No. 20 Pitt 74.
The all-tournament team and MVP have been announced.
Shavonte Zellous - G, Pitt
Jania Sims - G, Pitt
Mashea Williams - G, Penn State
Tyra Grant - G, Penn State
Ashley Whisonant - G, Arizona
MVP: Brianne O'Rourke - G, Penn State
Stat of the game, Pitt finished 7-of-9 from the foul line, Penn State shot 34-of-41
Quotables from the press conference:
Pitt head coach Agnus Berenato in reference to Walker's foul trouble: "We didn't have our best game but I think penn state had something to do with that. It's tough to play when my big girl plays 13 minutes."
Aight, well that's all for the WBCA classic, and let me tell ya something, the Lady Lions showed some moxie today. They were tired playing their third game in three days, but they came out, got a lead and did what they had to do to hold on against a legit top-20 team.
There was balanced scoring ( five Penn State players in double figures) and O'Rourke turned it on when she had to down the stretch with the clutch steal and some big shots. It was a total team effort and anyone of four Lady Lions (O'Rourke, Grant, Gissendanner or Williams) could have been selected MVP, but it was the junior point guard's 14.7 point, 6.3 assist and 1.7 steal average that earned her the hardware.
This was a huge win for Coquese Washington's team and it'll be interesting to see where the Lady Lions go from here.
That's it from the BJC, hope you had as much fun as I did, talk to you down the road.
November 11, 2007 at 8:01 PM
The early signing period for recruits begins on Wednesday, and sports information director Brian Siegrist said the team is expecting to have a recruit sign a letter of intent.
While the team cannot publicly comment on any recruit until he signs a letter of intent, Scout.com is reporting that Billy Oliver, a 6-8 forward from Chatham, N.J. has verbally committed to Penn State, so it would seem logical that he would be the mystery player expected to sign with the team.
Here's a link to Oliver's Scout.com profile. http://pennstate.scout.com/a.z?s=157&p=8&c=1&nid=3345739
November 10, 2007 at 11:34 PM
Hello Lady Lion fans and welcome to day two of the 2007 WBCA Classic. First off, I would like to apologize for last night's entry. My internet connection failed on me and I was unable to update on the game. But we are back tonight and here to take you step by step through tonight's matchup between the Penn State Lady Lions and the Charlotte 49ers.
Last night the Lady Lions defeated the Arizona Wildcats 87-78. Four Lady Lion starters ended up in double figures, and Penn State used an early second half rally to earn its first victory of the season.
Action in tonight's game is under way, and right now the score is knotted at three.. More action to come later.
8:10 left in the 1st half- Charlotte 22, PSU 21
An exciting matchup so far here in game 4 of the WBCA Classic. Penn State fell behing early, and is shooting an abysmal 29 percent. Thanks to an excellent contribution from freshman Janessa Wolff, who has 6 points and 3 rebounds, the Lady Lions are just one point away.
Halftime- PSU 37, Charlotte 37
The score is tied, and the majority of the stats are too. Penn State is led by junior guard Brianne O'Rourke who has 10 points, while 49ers center Danielle Burgin has 12. Here are some more halftime stats from both teams...
Points: PSU 37, Charlotte 37
Rebounds: PSU 24, Charlotte 22
Assists: PSU 7, Charlotte 6
Turnovers: PSU 8, Charlotte 4
Field Goal %: PSU 46.9%, Charlotte 34.1%
3-point %: PSU 0.0%, Charlotte 22.2%
10:54 left in the 2nd half- PSU 55, Charlotte 47
The Lady Lions have come out of the gate with a little more energy than the 49ers. Tyra Grant has gotten into some foul trouble, and head coach Coquese Washington is keeping her players fresh with multiple subs throughout the half. On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State is still having trouble containing Charlotte's Danielle Burgin. The center has 17 points to go along with six rebounds.
November 9, 2007 at 11:04 PM
Hello Lady Lion fans and welcome to the Bryce Jordan Center-the site of the 2007 WBCA Classic. If you're a women's basketball fans then this is your weekend, as over the next three days four teams will compete to kick off the season. For your Lady Lions, Penn State will kick off their part in the tournament tonight at 7:30 with a match against Arizona. I'm Brian Eller, and I'll be keeping you up to date with everything happening here at the BJC this weekend.
While the Lady Lions are getting ready to kick off their season, Pittsburgh and Charlotte are in the middle of a close one. The Panthers currently lead the 49ers 41-36, with just under 16 minutes left to play in the 2nd half. I would say there's about 200 people here right now, but as Arizona's squad sits down to catch some of the action, that brings the number up to a congested 210.
Alright Penn State fans, game one of the WBCA Classic has ended, with Pittsburgh defeating Charlotte 85-68. It was close until the second half, when Pitt took charge and extended its lead from one to 18. The 49ers battled back to cut the lead to eight, before the Panthers quickly closed the door with an 8-0 run.
Arizona is on the floor now, warming up with its match Penn State. The Lady Lions defeated intrastate rival Millersville 82-41 in an exhibition match last week.
As Penn State coach Coquese Washington makes her debut for the Lady Lions, the crowd is still filling in. Washington looks sharp, sporting an all-black blazer, as she takes a seat while the players continue their warmups.
Just heard the National Anthem...and it looks like that will be the last thing I'll ever hear.
15:26 left in 1st half- Arizona 9, PSU 8
First media timeout, and so far it's neck and neck. Kam Gissendanner and Mashea Williams lead the Lady Lions with four points each, and so far I'd say it looks like Penn State has been the more aggreseive team. They've already drawn three fouls, and it looks like we're going to hear a little "left, right, left, right" action later on tonight.
13:39 left in the 1st half- Arizona 15, PSU 13
Tyra Grant has made her first appearnce into the game for the Lady Lions as Arizona takes a timeout.
6:11 left in the 1st half- PSU 29, Arizona 22
Momentum has officially shifted to the Lady Lions, as Arizona is forced to take another timeout. It seems as though the four-guard formation is paying off for the Lady Lions, as all five starters are on the scoreboard.
It's mystery box time at the BJC. WIll the little boy take the mystery box??
HE DID!!!!!!! HE TOOK IT!!!!!!!
November 9, 2007 at 1:20 AM
So it's finally gametime for the Lady Lions (sorry Millersville) and this weekend should at least be action-packed, if nothing else. With three games in three days, we should learn a lot about the Lady Lions.
By the way, big props to head coach Coquese Washington, making her head-coaching debut on the bench for the Lady Lions. Washington has had success almost everywhere she's been, playing at Notre Dame, playing in the WNBA and being an assistant for the Irish. Washington has brought a new feel to the program and I'm interested in seeing how the players react to her style.
The Arizona matchup is an interesting one because the Wildcats weren't exactly world-beaters last year but have 6-foot-6 center Suzy Bofia. And considering only four Penn State men's players are taller than 6-foot-6, she could cause a lot of trouble for the young Lady Lion post.
Saturday the Lady Lions face Charlotte, picked to finish second in Conference USA. It'll be interesting to see if the Penn State starters show any sign of fatigue. And I'm sure this game should be more exciting than the football game in Philly.
Finally, intrastate rival Pitt comes to town Sunday afternoon. And while this rivalry may have lost some of its luster, especially on the hardwood, it's always nice to be able to talk smack to your friends living in Oakland. Then again, considering Pitt isn't even in the same class as Penn State, should Lion fans really take enjoyment in beating the Panthers? Yea, you're right, it always feels good to beat Pitt.
On the health front, sophomore guard Meggan Quinn has been cleared to play this weekend. She is recovering from ACL and MCL tears and should see some limited minutes Saturday night.
Well, that's what I've got for now, if your Lady Lions' itch is not fully scratched, check back for more updates during the weekend.
November 7, 2007 at 7:24 PM
Hello, everybody. Wayne here to bring you the action from the BJC.
Penn State is playing a Division II opponent tonight, but recent history suggests the Nittany Lions should be prepared.
No. 8 Michigan State has already lost to Grand Valley State in double overtime. So maybe that was a one-shot deal.
But Ohio State just lost to Findlay, 70-68. Maybe this is just coincidence.
But if Penn State falls today, that means Division II victories will become a trend.
The starting lineups:
Penn State: F Geary Claxton, F Jeff Brooks, C Brandon Hassell, G Mike Walker, G Danny Morrissey
Slippery Rock: F Jade Burka, F Joseph Vines, G Erroll Robinson, G Darnell Johnston, G Jamar Scales
Right now, it looks like redshirt freshman David Jackson is in street clothes.
Good start for the Lions, as veteran Hassell follows a missed shot with a putback to make it 2-0 PSU.
Penn State makes steals on two consecutive defensive sequences and followed it each time with a Claxton bucket.
Penn State 13, Slippery Rock 0; timeout SRU
The Lions are being a force defensively, one area coach DeChellis wanted to see his team improve on. Only three minutes in, and PSU has hit three 3-pointers.
Talor Battle, Stanley Pringle and Andrew Jones III have come in for PSU. This is ESPN 150 recruit Battle's first action in a game in front of the home fans.
Penn State 16, Slippery Rock 4
SRU gets on the board with two free throws from Burka, but the Lions answer right back with another 3 by Walker. It looks as though all those 3s in the Blue-White game will carry over to the season.
A little delay in action, as the scoreboard has gone out.
Penn State 16, Slippery Rock 10
A 6-0 for The Rock, led by Scales has put a damper on the Lions' quick start. Penn State seems a little out of sync on the offensive end right now. SRU is trying to slow down the Lions' speed game with a press.
Penn State 20, Slippery Rock 12; 11:26 left in the first half
What a first impression by Battle. He makes a steal and goes in for the dunk to excite the student section. That ends a scoring drought of about 4 minutes. Penn State continues to be strong on putbacks with another basket down low.
Penn State 33, Slippery Rock 14; 7:11 left in the first half
On a side note, the scoreboard is still not completely fixed, as the teams on the board are Blue and the P-Squad.
As for the game, there has been great ball movement for the Lions as Pringle hits the open jumper. The Penn State band has been entertaining, chanting "You can't do that" after SRU committed a foul.
Battle, Part II: another steal, another easy basket. Two more good plays by Battle, as he takes it in himself off of a turnover.
Penn State 35, Slippery Rock 20; 3:20 left in the first half.
The scoreboard went out again for a second or two. THe Lions have slowed down on offense, their second drought this half. But the defense continues to take advantage of poor passes by SRU.
Penn State 40, Slippery Rock 24; halftime
Morrissey continues to hit the open 3-pointer. He's been open everytime. Some sloppy play for both teams as the half ended, with many passes stolen. Battle tried to end the half with a half-court three, but he shot it up a few seconds early, mistaking how much time was left. He laughs it off, but he is 0-5 from 3 in the first half. But he has been a factor defensively, stealing the ball four times.
Balanced scoring for Penn State at the half, with Morrissey totaling 10.
Morrissey may have a challenger for 3-point shooting. A halftime contestant just hit a 3-pointer at the "buzzer" during a challenge to earn money.
In other Big Ten scores, Michigan State is beating Michigan Tech, 38-30 in the second half and Northwestern is beating Chicago, 27-15 midway through the first half.
Penn State 57, Slippery Rock 28; 15:34 left in the game
Penn State's lineup to start the second half is the same as the one that started the game. The Lions have gone to the press early on in this half. Again, Morrissey is hitting the open 3. Hassell has done well underneath the basket. It will be interesting to see if that continues once the regular season starts.
Penn State 68, Slippery Rock 34; 11:34 left in the game
Pringle joins in on the 3-point shooting. Penn State continues to crash the boards well on both offense and defense. Pringle also has shown his speed, breaking away from the pack a couple of times this game and scoring on an easy layup.
Battle has been a surprising success below the basket, scoring a couple of times in the paint without any initial cutting inside.
Penn State 81, Slippery Rock, 39; 7:04 left in the game
Morrissey continues to be left open, and he continues to knock down the open 3. Pringle has been taking the ball inside all game, and he has really been tough to stop due to his speed. The Rock continue to struggle on transition with the speed of Battle and Pringle.
Penn State 85, Slippery Rock 47; 3:21 left in the game
Lions catch a break on a possession, as Joonas Suotamo hits a long two-pointer with the shot clock winding down. Another steal for Battle. He has struggled on his touch tonight, but he has really put pressure on the ball handler.
Final: Penn State 94, Slippery Rock 57
It's only an exhibition game, but it's already apparent the impact Battle and Pringle will have on the team. Even though both had some trouble shooting, each used his speed to crash to the basket to get easy looks either inside or through kick-backs out to the 3-point shooters Walker and Morrissey.
Penn State hasn't played a regular season game yet, but it has already gotten off to a better start than last year after losing to Shippensburg to open 2006-07's campaign.
The Lions' first regular season game is on Monday, Nov. 12 against St. Francis (PA). This is Wayne, saying good night from the BJC.
November 5, 2007 at 7:19 PM
Geary Claxton has been named to the pre-season Watch List for the Naismith Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best overall player in the country.
Claxton is one of four Big Ten players on the list. Michigan State's Drew Neitzel and Raymar Morgan, and Indiana's D.J. White are the others.
Here's a link to the complete list http://www.naismithawards.com/pressbox_102507_preseasonwatchlist.asp
November 1, 2007 at 9:28 PM
After taking a week vacation, we are back. Not much has changed at the top, but there are still some surprises in our Top 10.
As Mario would say in Mario 64, "Here we gooooooo!"
1. Ohio State (9-0) (2 votes)
This time the "White Out" didn't bother the Buckeyes. OSU might be the least talked about top-flight offense in the nation.
2. Boston College (8-0)
Matt Ryan solidified his trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy finals. The Eagles beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., which is pretty impressive. BC is now a legitimate title contender.
3. LSU (7-1)
May be the best team in the country, but the overtime slip-up against Kentucky may cost Les Miles a national title. But the Tigers can take solace that they will beat up on former head coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide this weekend.
4. Oregon (7-1)
If two of the three teams above them lose, then the Ducks will go to the BCS National Championship game. It will take nothing less.
5. Arizona State (8-0)
Despite being ranked lower than Oregon, the Sun Devils have a better shot at a national title because they will get points for going undefeated, but it all starts with a win in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday.
6. Oklahoma (7-1)
Oklahoma is quietly the second best team in the country, but a loss to the Buffs has hurt thrm dearly.
7. West Virginia (7-1)
Pat White and Steve Slaton have pulled the Mountaineers out of their early hole, but they still need to beat surprising UConn -- a team on the fringe of this poll -- to finish the comeback.
8. Kansas (8-0)
The Jayhawks only stumbling block to the Big 12 title game will be their regular season finale against Mizzou in Kansas City.
9. Missouri (7-1)
Must beat Kansas. Must beat Kansas. This should be the only thing going through the minds of the players. But they do have a trap game against the other Kansas school prior to their biggest semi-road game.
10. Hawaii (8-0)
Colt Brennan. 'Nuff said.
-- By Mark Myers and Joseph Dolan
November 1, 2007 at 7:52 PM
Like I said, you can take my Danny Morrissey prediction to the bank. As for Talor Battle, he made it to the finals of the dunk contest, but couldn't put one down in 30 seconds. If the Big Ten Tournament is played out in gimmicky contests, expect to see more choking from the Nittany Lions if tonight was any indication.
But things did pick up, and the players really showed their personalities. And Joonas Suotamo, he will break you.
While I missed on my predictions, the team definitely put on a show for the fans. Those costumes were hilarious, even if DeChellis doesn't resemble Sly Stallone to any extent.
A second video was shown following the contests, and this one was much more involved and longer. Some pieces of game footage and players' faces were introduced to the video, two things that were missing from before.
And like DeChellis said, the team can definitely play better than it can dance. But then again, that's not saying much.
One thing I took away from tonight was that the Nittany Lion has big ups. During warm-ups the Penn State mascot threw down a pretty nice dunk. If the Lion had entered the dunk contest, he probably wouldn't have finished last.
November 1, 2007 at 6:24 PM
We're here live from the Bryce Jordan Center, where a mildly enthused crowd is on hand for the Dinner and Dunks event. So far, the cheerleading squad has been teaching the crowd some embarrassingly basic basketball cheers that show that Penn State is a football school through and through. (I didn't know people needed to be taught the De-Fense! Chant). This year's Penn State basketball video just showed on the scoreboard, and the crowd was not impressed. The announcer said that a new video will be unveiled next week, presumably at the Slippery Rock exhibition game.
The team is being introduced, and the players are in costume. The guards are dressed in an Ocean's 11 motif, and Stanley Pringle is rocking a pretty sweet white suit.
The forwards are dressed as NBA greats. Schyler King is sporting some green hair as Dennis Rodman, and the injured Jamelle Cornley came onto the court in one of those motor scooters dressed as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The centers are dressed as Rocky characters, with Brandon Hassell as Apollo Creed and Joonas Suotamo as Ivan Drago.
Ed DeChellis entered the arena to the Rocky theme music wearing a sweatshirt with the words, "Win Lions Win."
After the intros, the entire team did the "Soulja Boy" dance for the crowd.
Yesterday, director of basketball marketing Loren Crispell said that one of the goals of the event was to show the fans the players' personalities, and so far, mission accomplished. The crowd is finally starting to get involved.
We have word that Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood (who was a reserve on last year's team) will be the celebrity judges of the dunk contest. We have some predictions for the competitions.
Danny Morrissey was the leading three-point shooter in Big Ten games last year at 49.3 percent. I mean the guy is practically a 3-point shooting legend! Well, maybe not... but that's good enough for me. He'll win. Mark it down.
There's no doubt that Jeff Brooks has some hops. And we've all seen Geary Claxton light up the BJC with some spectacular dunks. But I'm going in a different direction. Remember the NBA dunk contest a few years ago when, little Nate Robinson (5-9) stole the trophy from Andre Iguodala, who remains one of the sickest dunkers in the Association, because the crowd had a soft spot for short people? (Plus, those judges were more corrupt than Philadelphia mayor John Street.) I see a similar result tonight, with Talor Battle (5-11) winning over Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood with pluck, grit and possibly a cash payoff.
Mike Walker. Walker admitted to us after the Blue and White game that he needs someone to get him open in order to be an effective shooter. Well, there won't be any defense tonight.
Jeff Brooks. After a quiet performance in the Blue and White game, Brooks has something to prove to the fans, and his dunking ability will help him do it. It will be interesting to watch Talor Battle in this contest, as he is generously listed as 5-11. We did however see him dunk at Media Day.
Mike Walker. He hit nine 3-pointers in the Blue White game on Saturday, so if he continues to hit from behind the arc with that consistency, not even 3-point marksman Danny Morrissey will beat him/
Jeff Brooks or David Jackson. Brandon Hassell won't compete in the event, so this figures to be one wide-open event. Freshman guard Talor Battle is also competing, as has already been discussed, but don't be surprised if another freshman steals the show from the judges.
November 1, 2007 at 2:45 PM
Another pre-season, another key injury for the Nittany Lions. Last year it was Geary Claxton, and this year it's Jamelle Cornley.
Sports Information Director Brian Siegrist informed me that Cornley will be out for the next 2-3 weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee sustained during Saturday's scrimmage. This means Cornley will likely miss the season opener against St. Francis on Nov. 12. His recovery just requires rest, and he will be on crutches for the next week to 10 days.