June 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM
The first family of Penn State basketball continues to make headlines this week.
Days after it became apparent his family would be moving to State College in July, Talor Battle booked himself a flight to Serbia for the beginning of the month.
The Nittany Lion point guard made the cut as one of the 12 collegiate players selected for the USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team, which will take place in Belgrade, Serbia July 2-11.
"I was nervous going into the room this morning," Battle said in Penn State's press release. "I'm excited to represent my country, and my family and my university back home. Going out there (Serbia), it's going to take a team effort. I'm not going to be able to score like I do at school. Running the point guard with such great players, I'm going to have to get people involved.
"I don't really think there are going to be any go-to-guys. A lot of guys here can score. The majority of the guys are the leading scorers on their teams. Everyone has to buy in to really playing as a team and sacrifice, maybe taking less shots and doing other things."
Battle will team with Big Ten rivals Evan Turner from Ohio State and Robbie Hummel from Purdue.
The rest of the roster is as follows:
James Anderson (Oklahoma State / Junction City, Ark.); Trevor Booker (Clemson / Whitmire, S.C.); Craig Brackins (Iowa State / Palmdale, Calif.); Da'Sean Butler (West Virginia / Newark, N.J.); Corey Fisher (Villanova / Bronx, N.Y.); Lazar Hayward (Marquette / Buffalo, N.Y.); Quincy Pondexter (Washington / Fresno, Calif.); Deon Thompson (North Carolina / Torrance, Calif.); and Jarvis Varnado (Mississippi State / Brownsville, Tenn.).
June 17, 2009 at 1:22 AM
It's a great day if you're a basketball fan at State College Area H.S. -- and a not-so-great one if you're a fan from Albany.
The Albany Times Union is reporting what has been suspected all along: Denise Murphy and her kids will be moving to State College.
Murphy, of course, is the mother of Nittany Lion captain Talor Battle and soon-to-be Penn State guard Taran Buie. She is a Pennsylvania native, and the move always seemed like a matter of when, not if. The "when" will reportedly be July.
Buie verbally committed to Penn State after it topped Baylor to win the NIT on April 2. The combo-guard was second-team Class AA all-state in New York this past season as a junior and is considered by many to be the Nits' biggest recruit ever.
What does this move mean? Well, the cynics who felt Buie was simply caught up in the euphoria of the moment after the Lions' win can all but lay to rest their doubts that Buie was not fully committed to Penn State. It's difficult to imagine a kid de-committing from a school in the town he resides in, especially when his half-brother is the school's best basketball player and his mother just settled there.
As for Bishop Maginn, his old high school? They'll now have to find someone to replace both Buie and Rich Hurley, as the Golden Griffins' head coach -- who coached both brothers at Maginn -- stepped down on Tuesday.
June 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM
David Taylor's decision to come to Penn State is huge.
This kid can flat out wrestle. He's a go-getter -- it seems like his motor is always going. Penn State fans are in for a treat for the next four (or five) years.
Two years ago, Sports Illustrated.com's David Krider did a piece on him and highlighted Taylor's personality. Taylor's mother told Krider how dedicated Taylor is to the sport, and how much energy her son has for the sport.
This type of energy should be contagious for the Lions squad. From videos I've watched of his matches, he reminds me of Quentin Wright -- a tall and lanky frame, who could put on some muscle and be even more dominating.
Check out this video from FloWrestling of Taylor's match against Collin Palmer, an Ohio State-bound grappler and brother of current Buckeye Lance Palmer. The two had an epic match in a dual meet, which had a crowd of about 1,000 packed into a tiny gymnasium. The atmosphere was pretty electric as you'll see when you watch the video.
It's an exciting time for Penn State wrestling.
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June 5, 2009 at 3:13 PM
It sounds like Cael Sanderson is getting treated poorly in Ames, Iowa as he prepares to move to State College. He's been forced to keep a low profile.
The Gazette reported that a fan went to Sanderson's house, rang the doorbell and threw Iowa State clothing at Cael's wife, Kelly, and their 2-year-old son, Tate. "They now don't go to the front door when it is someone the family doesn't know," the article states.
Not quite as violent as the scene from Remember the Titans when an angry fan throws a brick through Coach Boone (Denzel Washington)'s window, but it has the same, angry, 'We don't want you here' kind of tone to it.
As Sanderson tells The Gazette in this article, he expected people to be upset and disappointed. But when someone threatens your family like that, it's simply crossing the line. Even though his ties to Ames will surely run long, it sounds like those ties are severing.
Whoever knocked on Sanderson's door and put his family in a position like that should be ashamed. You're giving Cyclone fans a bad name.
Sure, he'll cherish the relationships he made with coaches, teammates and members of the community, but maybe Sanderson's legacy won't be as glossy as he would have hoped.
It will be interesting to follow how Cyclone fans treat him in the future. In the article, Sanderson said he wouldn't rule out having a dual meet with Iowa State.
If the meet took place in Ames, that would be the real test to see how he is received by the fans. My guess: a mixture of applause and clothes thrown by fans onto the mat.