The Lady Lions have a lot of pieces. They have a go-to scorer in Tyra Grant. They have height with Nikki Greene. They have a new point guard in Alex Bentley. They have role players like Zhaque Gray and Julia Trogele.
They don't have consistency.
After starting the season 5-1, the Lady Lions are set to face off against higher-profile teams like Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh before entering Big Ten play.
The team has to be more consistent.
This past Friday, Gray had herself a career day shooting 6-for-9 from the field for 19 points.
How did she follow up her performance?
She shot 0-for-5 and finished with no points the following day against Holy Cross.
It's still early in the season, but through five games, Gray has finished in either double figures scoring or under four points.
She's not the only one.
Trogele's numbers have fluctuated from game to game as well. One night she puts up a double-double and the next night she is shut out for no points and only one rebound.
The same goes for Grant, Greene and a lot of other players on the team.
So far the Lady Lions have found a way to pull out a victory in most of their games thus far but the schedule is suddenly going to get much more difficult and teams aren't going to let Penn State shoot poor from the field and the free throw line and still win.
The team is young and they are learning but the team needs its players to step up each and every night, not just every other game.
Up next is Georgia Tech and then Minnesota.
Grant can't shoot 30 percent from the floor. Gray can't go 0-for-5 again. And Greene and Trogele can't finish with ten rebounds one night and three the next.
The Lady Lions have potential to play well every night.
Some things we noticed while gearing up for "The Showdown at the Superdome" or whatever bland alliterative name ESPN gave the Pats-Saints game:
1. Thanksgiving came and went without a semblance of good football. The Lions lost their traditional home game for the sixth-straight year and the Giants were too full of stuffing to play, while Dallas won its fourth-consecutive Turkey Day game.
This streak would be more impressive if the Cowboys had played anything close to a respectable team on Thanksgiving. Those four W's came against Oakland (3-8 so far this season), Seattle (4-12 in 2008), the Jets (4-12 in 2007) and Tampa Bay (4-12 in 2006). The last good team the Cowboys played on this festive holiday was Denver in 2005. The Broncos went 13-3 that year and beat Dallas on Turkey Day in overtime.
Oddly enough, that was the last truly good game the fans have received on Thanksgiving, a day that almost everybody's watching football as they digest the day's gorge-a-thon. Please, Roger Goodell, fix this. For America.
2. Sunday may have been one of the most exciting days of the NFL season. Four games came down to the final possession, and we saw the Colts come back from a 17-0 hole against Houston. Sophomore stud Matt Ryan led his Falcons down the field and delivered the game-winning TD pass on fourth-and-goal with 26 seconds left. Eagles kicker David Akers booted the game-winner against division rival Washington with 1:46 to go. Baltimore nearly sneaked in the game-winning field goal at the end of regulation before taking it in overtime Sunday night against the Steelers. And of course ...
3. Vince Young made everyone who thought his career could be over look silly. His play in Tennessee's 20-17 win over Arizona gave us all flashbacks to his stellar performance in the Rose Bowl all those years ago (and no, it wasn't just because he was facing off against Matt Leinart again). Young drove the Titans the length of the field -- literally, 99 yards -- before buying the extra time on the game's final play and hitting Kenny Britt in the back of the end zone as the clock hit zeroes.
Maybe it's hard to remember because he didn't play last season, but Young has won his last nine starts. That streak will be put to the test next week against 11-0 Indianapolis, and you know what? It could very well continue.
4. Speaking of the Titans-Cardinals game, what are we supposed to make of Matt Leinart? Remember, the USC quarterback who won the Heisman on those uber-talented Trojan teams? They won back-to-back national titles? He handed it off to Reggie Bush and LenDale White a lot? It's easy to forget his lauded collegiate career since he's been floundering in the desert for four years while Kurt Warner has made what seems like his 400th comeback.
Sunday against the Titans, Leinart threw a modest 21-for-31 for a decent 220 yards. He had no touchdowns but threw for no interceptions. He didn't look great, but he didn't look awful either. Is this guy really going to be left backing up Warner until the old man finally rides off with Brett Favre into the sunset? I doubt it. Look for this kid to hit the road the second he becomes a free agent.
5. Holy moley, Princess the Camel made two picks last week! And she missed on both of them! She had the Giants and the Panthers, and the Broncos and the Jets came away with the wins. We at MAKE PLAYS are sure showing that camel who's boss.
What's up hockey fans? Miniaci back with some more hockey bloggin'. Hope you all enjoyed your turkey dinners and are ready for another exciting blog post.
This time, I've got Icers beat writer Tom Copain (AKA Train) sitting with me to talk NHL.
Penguins Matt Cooke got suspended for a headshot during a Saturday game. Copain, what are your thoughts?
Copain: This is the hot-button issue in the league and the sport right now. Unfortunately, since the league has yet to take an unified stance on what the penalty will be for shots to the head, it will not be a deterrent. According to the AP story, Cooke has to forfeit $29,268 in salary because he is considered a "repeat offender." But until the league makes a hard stance on head shots and a uniform suspension, then there will be nothing other than gray areas and subsequent overreactions.
Matt Cooke's hit:
OK. I feel the same way. Now, the Sharks have to most points in the league and are off to a strong start. Tom, I ask you, are you surprised by this hot start? Is there any team that has surprised you, good or bad, thus far?
Copain: It's interesting to me seeing how many hockey pundits who jumped off the San Jose bandwagon back in April are now jumping back on and saying this year will be different than the last few years. They'll be in the race, but again we'll have to see in the playoffs whether they have the secondary scoring to advance because teams will be focusing on shutting down that line of Thornton, Marleau and Heatley.
That being said, what Colorado is doing is amazing. The Avalanche is doing it right now with Craig Anderson standing on his head and little else. They'll probably fade, but there's hope that Colorado's finally found a goalie.
Last question Tom. Who ends the season with more points? Joe Thornton, Anze Kopitar, Zach Parise, Alex Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin?
Copain: Ovechkin will have more goals but Thornton will have more points. Very few players in the league are fortunate to play with one dynamic winger, let alone two. Fifty or so more games with Thornton dishing out passes to Marleau, Heatley, Dan Boyle and Devin Setoguchi and Thornton can easily get close to 100 assists.
Thank you for that, Copain. Maybe we'll bring you back for another post this year. If you want to read more of me, keep checking MAKE PLAYS. And if you want to read more Copain, check the Between the Pipes blog. Thanks for reading.
The opening game of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge is the best game tonight. The Nittany Lions look to be the first Big Ten team to win three straight games in the Challenge tonight against UVA at 7:00 on ESPN2.
All eyes are on the Michigan State/North Carolina game -- the rematch of last year's national championship game -- but Penn State/Virginia is a game that could go either way and may decide the eventual winner of the challenge. Penn State hasn't played its best game yet, but has a lot to prove on the road. The Nits will play five of their next six games away from the BJC so they will have to solve these road troubles pretty quickly. Virginia, meanwhile has two losses against South Florida and Stanford. Those are two OK teams, nothing special about those squads.
Vegas has this game at -5.5 tonight with the Lions struggling on the road, but if they can find success shooting the ball then a win is a definite possibility.
Prediction: Penn State 67 - Virginia 66
Player of the Night: Talor Battle, Penn State
If Penn State wins, Talor Battle will have a good night. If Talor Battle has a good night, then Penn State will win.
I think that was a reference to the associative property and my eighth grade math teacher would be proud, but anyways, Talor Battle must play like a leader on the road. He's got the experience and talent to do it, it's just a matter of executing.
The star point guard is 15-for-50 (30 percent) from the field away from the BJC, and 6-for-23 (26 percent) from 3-point range. He must improve those numbers if Penn State is to go down to Virginia and come away with a win.
I sat down with the coaching staff last week to talk about the newest addition to the program, assistant coach Jay Hosack.
Mark Pavlik and Colin McMillan are ecstatic with their new "brother."
Make sure you check out my story on Hosack in today's Collegian to understand the brother reference.
I will be bringing some of the conversation to you solely through ATN.
Hosack brings some new passion and fire to the program, some things that both Pav and McMillan said the team needed.
The first question I asked Pav was, quite simply, Why did you hire him?
Pav's response to this five word question:
"I've asked myself that many times (laughs). In all seriousness, the growth of the program over the last twenty years has really taken Penn State and put it smack in the middle of the map for collegiate volleyball. Certainly both on the women's and men's side. Anytime that your administration shows the support that we've been fortunate enough to get, and says, 'Go out and get the best people that we can find, we'll see what we can do the get them here.' You look at 2006 it was just Dennis [Hohenshelt] and I. Then Dennis moved over to the women's side, we hired Craig Dyer. A year later we got the OK to hire another assistant, brought Colin on board. Craig left to go to Marquette. And you look at the success we've had, 2006 NCAA runners up, 2007 lost in the semis to the eventual national champion Irvine, 2008 won the national championship, 2009 tough semifinal lost I think it's kind of put our names out there. We were looking for somebody that could come in that could really mesh well with Colin and I, mesh well with the guys. And most importantly come in with a solid base of knowledge as a coach that could even add to our practice gym. We had probably about 30 to 35 people that contacted me various ways officially, unofficially, was told by some people hey you gotta take a look at Jay. The more we look into it, it became pretty clear to me this is a coach that could take our coaching staff and really start to expand some of the expertise in it, and it's worked out really well that way. He's brought a very comfortable yet extremely confident approach in how he believes volleyball should be played and how it should be taught. It meshes really well with what Colin and I have always believed. It seems after four months now, the guys have really bought into it, and I think we're functioning as a very cohesive coaching staff. The guys come up here and look at video sitting down with Jay on a regular basis and Colin on a regular basis. I think they're really doing some of the things that in the past we either didn't have the expertise to do we didn't have the time to do when it was two of us. Now I think we're setting up a pretty good routine and process that these guys feel if they put hard work into they're gonna see results. I think we're seeing results. A lot of that is with Jay just bringing a fresh approach saying here's what I'd like to do and here's how I'd like to do it.
Any questions as to why he was hired? Didn't think so. You'd think I would've just ended the interview then with all that information, but keep checking ATN this week for more information from the conversation with the coaching staff.
A few things on the PSU alumni playing internationally that didn't make the paper:
Matt Proper played in Italy and Turkey, but likes his current league in Cyprus best. Why? "Even though the league isn't too great, we are the best team in the league," he said. Also to be noted: his fiance Morgan Beck, a former UC Berkley standout, is also playing professionally in Cyprus. Not a bad setup, eh?
Proper also had some funny thoughts on the "time-warp" factor in his new life: "The thing that I miss most about being in the US is that time seems to go at a normal pace there. Here, it's like a time warp. It seems to take forever, but when you get back and realize that you're a year older, you're kind of taken back. Like, 'Whoa- I'm getting old. What just happened to 23 & 24?'"
Luke Murray had a lot to say about former teammates Max Holt and Max Lipsitz including a couple compliments and a couple inside jokes. On Holt: "There was never really any doubt in my mind that he would go to a top league if he wanted to," Murray said. "In fact, if I may, I'd like to go on the record saying that Max Holt is the second best middle blocker in the world, the top spot going to none other than current Penn State middle blocker Max 'The Hebrew Hammer' Lipsitz. Please quote me on that."
Max Holt seems to be transitioning well in Italy, but he still has Penn State on his mind. "I miss my family, my friends, especially my friends at PSU," Holt said. "I grew so close to my teammates at PSU and I miss being around those guys. Shout at to everyone on the team."
Lastly, all of the guys attributed a lot of their success to the preparation they received at PSU, mainly from coach Pavlik.
Proper on Pav's philosophy on development: "Volleyball skills and success are obviously important, but they're not the only thing. They're not sustainable in and of themselves. He gets that."
Holt: "I am very fortunate to have been around great players and coaches at Penn State to prepare me for this league."
The Lady Lions have passed the test so far. At 5-1 Coquese Washington's squad has taken care of business against its mediocre opponents, but now the real test starts.
When the Lady Lions take the Bryce Jordan Center court Wednesday night and face Georgia Tech, the Lions will begin what I like to call their "real season."
Starting the season with the likes of NJIT, Bucknell and Buffalo make the Lions' 5-1 record a bit inflated. While the six games have helped the Lions' four freshmen adapt to the college game, come Wednesday night, we'll see what type of team Washington really has.
If the Lions want to be serious Big Ten contenders this season, they need to prepare for a strong Georgia Tech team like they would for any conference foe. In order to do this the youthful Lions need to move beyond these five costly mistakes that have plagued them so far this season.
Through six games the Lions have averaged a 42 percent field-goal percentage. Out of the team's most consistent starters, senior Tyra Grant's 33 percent shooting percentage is the worst, yet she leads the team averaging 15.8 points per game. The Lions haven't even been streaky shooters, they've just struggled. Zhaque Gray had her success from beyond the arc against Buffalo, but just one day later the sophomore was held scoreless. The Lions need to work the ball inside and take shots that will yield a higher success rate, rather than forcing their shots.
Nikki Greene's fouls
The Lions need the freshman to contribute, but she can only make a difference when she's actually on the court. So far Greene has fouled out of two games and her 24 personal fouls are a team high. While adapting to the physicality of the center position has been an adjustment for her, it won't get any easier from here on out. Greene needs to get her body in front of the opposition and rely on her technique, rather than her size to out-muscle the competition. At 6-4, Greene has the natural build to help any team both offensively and defensively, but she isn't of assistance when she's on the bench.
The Lady Lions won't be able to win games in the upcoming weeks with the amount of turnovers they are producing. With 119 turnovers throughout six games, the Lions aren't doing a good enough job of protecting the ball. Sloppy passes and mis-communication between a young team have all contributed to the amount of turnovers, but against good teams the Lions won't be able to win if they can't maintain possession.
Make no mistake about it the Lady Lions like to shoot the long ball. This team will continue to force the three-pointer as they've proven through six games. The Lions have only converted on 21 of 68 shots from beyond the arc, but they continue to try and score from the outside. While they certainly can't abandon any long-range jumper, the team needs to try and be more selective and look to work the ball into the post when the three isn't open.
Good teams can seal victories by having success from the charity stripe. The Lions haven't taken advantage of their opportunities from the line as they are shooting just 70 percent from the stripe. The positive is that the Lions got to the line 133 times, or about 22 times per game, but once they get there they've only made 98 of the shots. In the team's 63-56 loss to South Carolina the Lions missed nine free throws. Had they been able to capitalize from the line the Lions could be sitting at 6-0, but rather the team continues to struggle from the line.
While this may seem pretty critical of a team that's 5-1, the Lady Lions will need to make these adjustments. There's a big difference between beating up on NJIT and trying to keep pace with Ohio State and Michigan State and the Lady Lions may find this out the hard way when they take on a Georgia Tech team that is on the cusp of breaking into the top 25.
Since the Lady Lions won't be available to the media until coach Washington's press conference Tuesday afternoon, keep checking here for updates.
Penn State coach Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lion wrestling team received some national publicity. Joe Drape of the New York Times shed light on Sanderson coming to Penn State and the coach's goal to build a dynasty at State College in an article which ran yesterday.
In other news, Lions Quentin Wright and David Taylor won the 2009 Mat-Town U.S.A. Tournament in their respective weight classes. Wright pinned teammate David Erwin in the final bout en route to a 3-0 performance at 184. Erwin finished in second place at 184 with a 3-1 record. Taylor won at 157 with a 4-0 record. Redshirt freshman James English finished second at 149. Bubba Jenkins ended with a 4-1 third-place finish at 165, and David Crowell was 3-2 at 184 with a fourth-place finish.
Other Lion results:
133- Tyler Saltsman (2-2); 141- Colby Pisani (1-2); 141- Adam Lynch (2-2); 125- Eric Caschera (0-2); 165- Nick Fischer (2-2); Heavyweight- Brendan Herlihy (0-2)
Clark: Dolphins over Bills, Seahawks over Rams, Eagles over Redskins, Falcons over Bucs, Texans over Colts, Bengals over Browns, Panthers over Jets, Chargers over Chiefs, Jaguars over 49ers, Titans over Cardinals, Vikings over Bears, Ravens over Steelers, Patriots over Saints
Miniaci: Dolphins over Bills, Seahawks over Rams, Eagles over Redskins, Falcons over Bucs, Colts over Texans, Bengals over Browns, Jets over Panthers, Chargers over Chiefs, Jags over 49ers, Cards over Titans, Vikings over Bears, Steelers over Ravens, Saints over Pats
Rorabaugh: FALCONS over Bucs, BILLS over Dolphins, EAGLES over Redskins, Seahawks over RAMS, Panthers over JETS, BENGALS over Browns, Colts over TEXANS, CHARGERS over Chiefs
49ERS over Jaguars, VIKINGS over Bears, TITANS over Cardinals, RAVENS over Steelers (sans Roethlisberger), Patriots over SAINTS
Rung: Falcons over Buccaneers, Dolphins over Bills, Eagles over Redskins, Seahawks over Rams, Panthers over Jets, Bengals over Browns, Texans over Colts, Chargers over Chiefs, 49ers over Jaguars, Vikings over Bears, Cardinals over Titans, Ravens over Steelers, Saints over Patriots
Oplinger: Falcons over Buccaneers, Bills over Dolphins, Eagles over Redskins, Rams over Seahawks, Jets over Panthers, Bengals over Browns, Colts over Texans, Chargers over Chiefs, Jaguars over 49ers, Vikings over Bears, Titans over Cardinals, Steelers over Ravens, Saints over Patriots
Gentile: Falcons over Buccaneers, Dolphins over Bills, Eagles over Redskins, Seahawks over Rams, Panthers over Jets, Bengals over Browns, Texans over Colts, Chargers over Chiefs, 49ers over Jaguars, Vikings over Bears, Cardinals over Titans, Steelers over Ravens, Patriots over Saints
Friday night's win gave the Lady Lions an opportunity to show coach Coquese Washington that her Lions (4-1) can shoot the ball better than they had in the past. With an 86-65 win over the Buffalo Bulls, the Lions have some momentum heading into Saturday's championship game against Holy Cross (3-3), but can Penn State keep it going? Here are three things to look for during today's match up.
Whether or not the Lions can once again shoot 52 percent from the floor will be the focus. After the Lady Lions struggled offensively just six days ago and only shot 28 percent from the floor against South Carolina, which Penn State team will show up? While I don't think the Lions will see Zhaque Gray shoot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc again Saturday, Gray still has helped the team by becoming a consistent offensive contributor. Will we see the team that looks to distribute the ball between Gray, Alex Bentley and Tyra Grant or will Grant be the only scorer in double digits? A balanced offensive attack, coupled with a post presence, is what the Lions need to work on most against the Crusaders.
Limit the Fouls
Against the Bulls freshman center Nikki Greene was the only player to foul out. While the Lions still got too sloppy and committed 22 fouls, it was an improvement over the slap-happy performance the Lions turned in against the Gamecocks. Against South Carolina Greene was one of four players who fouled out as the team totaled 25 fouls. Washington repeatedly said limiting the number of fouls was a huge focus of the offseason, but we've yet to see the Lions do this. The Crusaders have three players, Bethany O'Dell, Whitney Fremeau and Briana McFadden, all averaging more than 10 points per game. If the Lions get into foul trouble it limits their up-tempo style of play and puts pressure on their defense. Fouls will undoubtedly be a huge factor in whether or not the Lions can stop the Crusaders' three-player attack.
Build confidence for the showdown with Georgia Tech
It's going to take contribution from the bench and less turnovers for the Lions to win the Dead River Company Classic. The Crusaders are a team that has already been tested by the No. 1 Connecticut Huskies. Even though Holy Cross was dismantled by the Huskies, the Crusaders won't shy away from playing a Big Ten opponent. If the Lions can string together two wins, and do so in a dominant fashion, they will have some confidence heading into Wednesday's matchup with Georgia Tech.
Stay tuned to Washington's Post as we'll keep the analysis and observations coming throughout the Lady Lions' entire season.
Game of the Night: No. 7 Duke (-3) vs. No. 13 UCONN
A November meeting between Hall of Fame coaches Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski at Madison Square Garden has been known to foreshadow postseason success. The NIT Season Tip-Off is structured to simulate a postseason regional in the NCAA Tournament with two games in three days on a neutral site. Duke and UCONN dismissed sub-par big conference schools (Arizona State and LSU, respectively) to set up this intriguing matchup. Both teams have the talent, experience and coaching to make a run in March and will vie for conference championships.
Duke has won this tournament (formerly the Preseason NIT) twice in the last 10 years and always seems to play at its best under the lights of the mecca of college basketball. Calhoun has a really talented group with Kemba Walker and Jerome Dyson, who both put up 20 in the 81-55 LSU win. Calhoun has won six Big East titles on the MSG floor since 1990, so you can expect the Huskies to get up for a big-time game at this venue.
Prediction: UCONN 78 - Duke 72
Player to Watch: Kyle Singler, Duke
As much as Duke haters love to hate Singler, the 6-foot-8 forward is a stud. He's got phenomonal 3-point range and is one of the best triple-threat players in the nation. Singler had an uncharacteristically bad night shooting the ball on Wednesday, missing eight of his first nine shots, but has a talented core that picked up his slack. With such a solid combo behind him (Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith), Singler will get his shots against UCONN and should light up the MSG floor.
Coach Mark Pavlik has announced that four players have signed letters of intent to join Penn State in the fall of 2010 -- three hitters and a libero. Here's a closer look at the newest Nittany Lions:
Jace Olsen - Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Olsen, a 6-foot-7 outside hitter, is a dual threat. He's had success on the court -- ESPN RISE ranks Olsen's high school team, Mira Costa, No. 10 nationally -- and on the beach -- Olsen played for Team USA this summer in Alanya, Turkey for the SWATCH FIVB World Championships.
"Jace is a very exciting player," Pavlik said. "And we're very happy to have him at PSU."
Like Olsen, Curry is from volleyball hotbed Southern California. Also like Olsen, Curry is coming to Penn State with some national recognition -- he was one of 19 players selected to train with the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team this summer.
Pavlik is excited for Curry's skill -- "He is one of the top scholastic liberos in the country," the head coach said -- but perhaps even more excited for the work ethic and energy that he will bring to the court. "Connor has a great personality," Pavlik said. "He works hard, is enthusiastic, and is very competitive. It's the type of personality that makes the guys around him want to play better."
Nick Goodell - Baden, Pa.
Goodell, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter, led Ambridge High School to the 2009 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Class AA Championship. He had 25 kills in the championship match, held at PSU's Ashenfelter Multi-Sports Facility last spring.
Goodell attended some summer camps at Penn State throughout high school where he caught the eye of the coaching staff. "He just kept getting better and better," Pavlik said.
Pavlik said that Goodell, an honor roll student at Ambridge High, has "worked very hard to be a collegiate student athlete."
"Nick has great athleticism but he's also very smart," Pavlik said. "He's a great all-around kid."
Peter Russell - Ellicott City, Md.
Peter is the eldest of five sons to 1986 PSU grad and Honorable Mention All-American Stew Russell. "Peter definitely has some good blue and white in his veins," Pavlik said.
The 6-foot-5 Outside Hitter from Ellicott City, Maryland has been going to Penn State alumni matches with his father nearly all his life. "Peter has developed into a nice outside hitter," Pavlik said. "I really like his quickness."
Pavlik said that with the additions of Russell, Olsen and Goodell, Penn State has "great depth at outside hitter for the next four, five years." And that is something Pavlik will look to as a strength for the Nittany Lions in the near future. "Couple these new guys with Joe [Sunder] and the guys we have now and we are going to have some of the biggest, strongest, sturdiest outside hitters in the country," he said. "There are going to be some great competitions in the practice gym."
Notes:Curry, Olsen and Russel were all named to Volleyball Magazine's 2009 "34 Underclassmen To Watch" list... Pavlik expects Curry to redshirt his freshman season (spring, 2011) when current Penn State liberos Dennis Del Valle and Jesse Wagner are seniors.
Lindenwood is coming off one of its closest games of the season, a two-goal victory over Western Michigan last Saturday. The Lions were obviously the better team, winning Friday's game 10-1, but Saturday's game seemed to prove the Lions might not be the invincible team they have appeared to be for the past few months. Lindenwood played one game against Adrian earlier this year, winning 4-1 on the road. This weekend will serve as a tune-up for the Lions, who take on Ohio and Oklahoma in the two weekends following this one. Although all of those games are at home, they should test the Lions in a way they haven't been yet this year.
No. 2 Illinois
Dec. 4-5 vs. No. 16 Kent State
Aside from two losses to the nation's top team and a Halloween loss to No. 5 Iowa State, the Illini have cruised through the first half of the year. Next weekend's games against Kent State will be Illinois' last until Jan. 8 when the Illini return to the ice to take on No. 25 Eastern Michigan. The second half of Illinois' slate includes matchups with No. 5 Iowa State, No. 4 Ohio, No. 1 Lindenwood and No. 10 Central Oklahoma. With a schedule like that, the Illini will surely enjoy the next month in which they play only two games.
No. 3 Liberty
Dec. 4 vs. Virginia Tech
Liberty will look to use this game against an ACHA Division II opponent to bounce back from a very disappointing weekend last week. The Flames, who entered the weekend 16-0-0 and as the only team other than Lindenwood to receive a first-place vote, dropped back-to-back games against No. 13 Oakland. Those games opened eyes from both ends, showing Liberty's potent offense could actually be controlled and that Oakland just might be for real. Despite the Grizzlies' 13-4-0 record entering the weekend, Oakland's only impressive win until this point had been a 4-2 victory at Central Oklahoma. Look for Oakland to rise big in the next rankings and for Liberty to come back strong against Virginia Tech.
No. 4 Ohio
Nov. 28 vs. No. 23 West Virginia, Nov. 29 vs. No. 18 West Chester OR Duquesne
Although the Bobcats are on a 10-game winning streak, their schedule during that stretch hasn't exactly been difficult. That pattern continues this weekend when the Bobcats take on the Mountaineers and then, based on results, either West Chester or Duqesne. Ohio hopes to leave the weekend on a 12-game winning streak heading into next weekend's showdown with No. 1 Lindenwood -- the team's first real test since Oct. 17 when the Bobcats took on the Fightin' Blue Hens of Delaware.
No. 5 Iowa State
Dec. 5-6 vs. Saint Louis
Iowa State continued its consistent play last weekend, posting a sweep in the ACHA's biggest series last week. Taking on No. 9 Arizona State, who had yet to lost a game this season, the Cyclones won both games over the weekend, defeating the Sun Devils 2-1 in a shootout Friday and 4-1 Saturday. Iowa State has now swept Oklahoma, Central Oklahoma and Arizona State this season, along with splitting a series with Illinois and playing two close contests against Lindenwood back in October. The Cyclones' second-half schedule doesn't seem as difficult as the first half on paper, so it should be interesting to see what kind of impact this team can have come nationals.
No. 6 Penn State
Nov. 28 vs. Southern New Hampshire (NCAA Division III), Nov. 29 vs. UMass - Boston (NCAA Division III) OR Stonehill (NCAA Division III)
The Icers look to represent the ACHA as they travel north to take on a pair of NCAA Division III opponents. Penn State waited until winter break last year to take on two NCAA opponents, but this year it chose to do so over the Thanksgiving break. After losing a heartbreaker in the opener on a short-handed goal late in the third to Salem State last year, the Icers bounced back with a dominating 8-0 victory against Salve Regina. Any win against an NCAA opponent is a good thing, but the Icers are expecting nothing less than two wins this time around.
No. 7 Oklahoma
Nov. 27-28 at No. 9 Arizona State
This might be one of the most interesting matchups of the year. As we've talked about in past ACHA recaps, it's been really hard to decide what to make of this Oklahoma team. The Sooners' only impressive win is against West Chester, but the way the Golden Rams have been playing lately even brings that win into question. Other than that, Oklahoma has lost every game it has played against top teams like Lindenwood, Illinois and Iowa State. At the same time, Arizona State comes into this weekend after suffering its first two losses of the year last week at the hands of No. 5 Iowa State. Despite the previously undefeated record, the Sun Devils had really gone untested until the games against Iowa State. Which team is for real? Maybe both? Maybe neither? Should be an interesting matchup.
No. 8 Rhode Island
Dec. 4-5 at Drexel
Rhode Island needs a sweep against Drexel. Having this weekend off and then the semester break after this series, it will be the Rams' last chance to get back on track after a couple of sub-par weekends. Last weekend the Rams split a series with a struggling West Chester team. The week before they were swept on their own home ice by rival Penn State. And the week before that, Rhode Island lost to an NCAA Division III team. That makes Rhode Island just 1-4 over its last five games, four of which have been against divisional opponents. Anything other than two wins against Drexel would leave the Rams in a very difficult spot when the second half of the season starts up.
No. 9 Arizona State
Nov. 27-28 vs. No. 7 Oklahoma
The Sun Devils are no longer undefeated after losing a pair of games to No. 5 Iowa State last weekend. For a preview of this weekend's key matchup against No. 7 Oklahoma, see above underneath No. 7 Oklahoma's recap.
No. 10 Central Oklahoma
Nov. 28-29 vs. TBD
The Bronchos will take part in the Wooster Thanksgiving Tournament, playing one game on Saturday and one on Sunday. Central Oklahoma enters the tournament on a four-game winning streak and will look to extend it to six before its top-10, intrastate showdown against No. 7 Oklahoma next weekend. The Bronchos have a great opportunity to gain some momentum, cement their spot in the ACHA's top-10 and enter the semester break on a roll with some wins over the next two weekends.
Like so many great athletes before him, Allen Iverson goes out as one of the greatest to play his sport, but also does it in shame.
He does it after three games with the Memphis Grizzlies.
He does it after a tenure with the Detroit Pistons that set all of this into motion.
He does it after never changing who he was.
He'll never change who he is.
Iverson will never blame himself for this. Ever. Don't expect some teary-eyed interview where a middle-aged Answer tells a reporter he wishes he had done it differently. He won't. Iverson always did it his way and only his way.
Come off the bench for Rip Hamilton, a player that clearly gave the Pistons a better chance to win? No chance.
Iverson bristled at every coach that ever called him to the bench. Iverson, for all of his speeches about wanting to win a championship never wanted to do what it took to reach the mountaintop.
After the Sixers, the Pistons of last year were his last hope. Yes, star point guard Chauncey Billups was gone, but he was joining a group that was always playing deep into the summer and had reached two NBA Finals, winning one.
He had his chance. He blew it.
Those Pistons won off of selfless team play. They won playing for each other. They did it the way it's supposed to be done.
What part of that sounds like Allen Iverson?
He was "The Answer". For a long time he truly was. He was the Answer to the NBA's problem in the late 90s and the start of the new millennium. He was electric. He was tapped into America's youth. I know I owned more than one pair of his shoes and at least one jersey. Who didn't?
Allen Iverson was the NBA. But he never was a leader. He made a Finals in spite of his teammates. If you live outside of the Philadelphia area or are a displaced Sixers fan and can name four Sixers from that team that weren't Iverson, you deserve a certificate.
Iverson did it his way. He took the bad shots, the misplaced cuts through the lane, the scowls, the frowns and the pouting, but it got him to the Finals.
But at the same time he was The Answer, he was also The Canswer, for all of those reasons I just listed and so much more.
Everyone loves to look back on Iverson's "Practice Presser" and laugh and say "oh that's just A.I." While it was just Iverson, it was also symptomatic of why teams never got over the hump or ever progressed.
Great players do make their teammates better by practice, by being with the team. By being a leader. Iverson never practiced, he never spent time with the team, and he most certainly never made anyone better.
The true greats help their teammates rise to another level, LeBron James helped get Anderson Varejao paid. Iverson was always about his stats, his paper, his glory and no one else's.
That's why Iverson landed in Memphis. He couldn't win a title there, he obviously didn't fit there. He was there because he could make his money. He was there because everyone saw him burn bridges league-wide with his stunt in Detroit.
That was the last straw.
He quit on Philly, he quit on Denver and he quit on Detroit. Then he just quit.
Iverson is one of the greatest scorers of all time. There will never be another Allen Iverson, and if there somehow is, I hope that person learns from this sad story of a star burning out because of his own doing.
For years, Iverson was marketed with "Only the strong survive," something that was on his shoes, his ads and even tattooed on his body.
Yes, the only strong survive Allen, but the stubborn always fade away.
Tonight, the star of Allen Iverson burns a little less brighter and he only has himself to blame. Iverson will be remembered as a prolific scorer yes, but we will all remember the malcontent, the rebel, the quitter.
We'll all remember how The Answer became The Canswer.
The Lions battle Sacred Heart tonight at 6. Here's what to watch for as the Lions play their last game before a crucial ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at Virginia on Monday:
AJC's watch points
1. Corey Hassan is playing 35 minutes per game for Sacred Heart and averaging 27 points and 7 rebounds -- leading the team in each category. The Lions must either get him in foul trouble or beat him up down low - he is the Pioneers' lone offensive weapon.
2. How many minutes will Bill Edwards, who missed almost a month, play in his first game in the BJC? The Lions need another option quickly at swing man, and Edwards could be the guy.
3. Can Jeff Brooks assert himself and increase his rebounding total that now sits at 3.4 per game. Brooks has improved in every facet of his game since last season (shooting, scoring, passing and defense) except rebounding - perhaps where the Lions need him most.
A-Rob's areas of note
1. How does Chris Babb respond after a nightmarish shooting performance in Charleston? Last time he was at home, the sophomore lit up the BJC from deep, can he recapture some of that mojo and get back on track?
2. Will Tim Frazier remain a starter? The freshman guard got his first collegiate start against Davidson and is going to be relied on more and more as the season wears on. We know he has the talent and potential, its just a matter of adjusting and bringing it out
3. Can the Lions keep up the FT magic? So far this year, the team has been very good at converting their foul shots, something they must keep up going through this upcoming slate of nonconference games and the Big 10.
With their recent shooting woes, the Nittany Lions may try to work the ball through their offense to get better looks. Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones are capable of scoring inside, which opens up the outside shot, this will be especially key for Big Ten play
No ranked teams in the final of the Maui Invitational, but you can bet that will change by next Monday. The Bearcats and the Zags are already turning heads and the winner of tonight's game will start turning some more.
The Bearcats took out ACC power Maryland last night led by their stars Yancy Gates and Deonta Vaughn, who scored 17 and 16 points, respectively. Gates has been a beast, starting the tournament with two straight double doubles.
For Gonzaga - it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. And while they may not be as good as Janeiro Pargo in the backcourt, Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin are doing a good job filling those shoes. The Zags, who are the only team to even play No. 2 Michigan State close, are a very fun team to watch.
Cincinnati plays a bruising brand of Basketball typical of the Big East that combats the Zags' run and gun style well enough to make us stay in Maui for the third straight game of the night. But with close games every night, it's been that good of a tournament so far.
Prediction: Cincinnati 71, Gonzaga 66
Player to watch: Jerome Dyson, UConn
The UConn guard has taken over Jim Calhoun's offense in a way similar to Ben Gordon and Richard Hamilton. He single-handedly took over UConn's first-round matchup in the preseason NIT against William & Mary - calling an isolation and hitting a go-ahead jumper.
After struggling early in the contest, Dyson used that moment to propel himself to 20 points and 6 assists per game this season. Now, in the semifinals of the preseason NIT, Dyson has a chance to assert that dominance at the world's most famous arena with a possible matchup with Duke looming if the Huskies can get a victory.
Powered by a dominating 36-6 win over Harvard and a decisive 22-9 win over then-No. 13 Edinboro, Penn State saw its team ranking jump from No. 19 to No. 13, one behind Lehigh.
Cameron Wade also got a boost in the rankings at heavyweight after his big win over then-No. 11 Chris Birchler of Edinboro. The sophomore rocketed all the way up to 12th nationally.
Frank Molinaro moved up one spot to No. 7 at 149 after a 3-0 weekend, while PSU's three other ranked wrestlers (No. 6 at 125 Brad Pataky, No. 4 at 157 Cyler Sanderson and No. 9 at 165 Dan Vallimont) all stayed stationary.
Penn State's star 125-pounder, Brad Pataky, was rewarded for his dominating effort Sunday at the Sprawl and Brawl Duals with Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors. Pataky shared the award with Ohio State's Reece Humphrey.
Sunday, Pataky went 3-0 with a pin and two decisions. His highlight bout was a 4-0 decision of then-No. 8 Eric Morrill of Edinboro.
Pataky is undefeated through five duals this year with the pin, a technical fall and a major.
The junior becomes the second straight Penn Stater to take home the weekly award after Cyler Sanderson claimed it last week. Prior to the two straight awards a Nittany Lion wrestler hadn't won the award since February 2008.
Pataky leads Penn State with 20 team points and has been a force in the early goings for new coach Cael Sanderson.
Although it is technically the semifinal of the Maui Invitational, this game may end up being about as important as the championship game. Of the eight teams invited to Hawaii, Cincinnati and Maryland have looked the most impressive in the early stages of the season. The winner of the contest should be able to take care of Gonzaga or Wisconsin to claim the title.
The Terps have been led early in the season by Landon Milbourne, Sean Mosely and Eric Hayes, each of whom is averaging double figures. Notice that Greivis Vasquez isn't on that list. Vasquez, who led Maryland in scoring in each of the last two seasons, has struggled early, but the Terps are still 4-0, having won each game by at least 25.
The Bearcats are in a similar situation with their leading scorer from last year, Deonta Vaughn having problems with his jumper. But the Bearcats' physicality has made up for his slump, as Yancy Gates and Rashad Bishop have dominated down low and have turned every game the Bearcats have played into a slugfest.
Expect nothing different tonight in a battle of two teams we believe merit a higher ranking than what they have now.
Prediction: Maryland 62, Cincinnati 60
Player to watch: Wesley Johnson, Syracuse
Wesley Johnson established himself on a national stage last week at Madison Square Garden. He looks to continue his hot play tonight against Cornell.
Johnson, who sat out all last year as a transfer from Iowa State, is averaging 17 points and eight rebounds on the young season and has the Orange in the Top 10 less than a month removed from an exhibition loss to Le Moyne.
Johnson can shoot, defend and rebound. He can create shots with the ball and he can get open for shots without the ball. He is the most athletic player on the team and he even leads the team - a team with bruisers Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku - in blocks per game.
Yes, I'm here again. Thanksgiving break won't keep me from getting another musing up.
The start to MLB free agency has been slower than a LenDale White touchdown run. Usually a bunch of signings happen in the first 24-48 hours. So far? The Cubs overspent on mediocre lefty reliever John Grabow and the other Chicago team, the White Sox, gave a one year deal to Omar Vizquel, who is now solely a defensive replacement at this point in his career. Exciting? Not really. The economy no doubt has a role in this. Even Yankees' GM Brian Cashman said he plans on not necessarily spending much money this offseason. Still, things should heat up soon with Matt Holliday on the market and Roy Halladay and Curtis Granderson as trade candidates. It's only a matter of time.
Some other things important and not so important:
- I'd be doing myself and my readers an injustice by not bringing up a certain restaurant encounter in which Jimmy Clausen's face became acquainted with a Notre Dame fan's fist. He probably panicked when he saw the guy get through his offensive line.
- Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols were named MVPs this year. Fortunately the writers got something right. If a Jeter or a Rollins won, I'd start a boycott of the award.
- That Browns-Lions game was something else. Two of the worst teams had the best game of the day. I guess in the end a Lion is better than a....Jim Brown? I don't know, whatever the Brown's mascot is. Regardless, the Lions are on the upswing, sort of.
Video of the week: House, MD is one of my favorite shows. One of the stars, Omar Epps, looks like a certain Steelers head coach. And Hugh Laurie's title character is known to make fun of/ make jokes with his team. So, it was only a matter of time before the writers inserted a Mike Tomlin lookalike joke. Enjoy.
With the week off before traveling to Maine for the Dead River Company Classic on Friday, the Lady Lions will have the next few days to let the team's first loss of the season sink in. Leaving the state of Pennsylvania for the first time this season, Penn State went down to Columbia, SC looking to pick up its fourth regular season victory in as many games. After dominating the Gamecocks last year to the tune of a 56-42 victory, the Lady Lions couldn't muster the same defense against USC this season losing 63-56. Although the margin of defeat doesn't seem so bad, there was a lot to take out of the game to work on for Penn State. Here are a few key observations from the first loss:
Not good. Period. In the first half against the Gamecocks, the Lady Lions barely shot 20 percent from the field. Penn State shot 6-for-29 in the first half and finished the game with a 28.6 percent field goal percentage. Both Tyra Grant and Zhaque Gray shot exactly 20 percent and Nikki Greene went 2-for-9 in the loss. The Lady Lions shot 2-for-9 from three-point range and made exactly two-thirds of its free-throws finishing with a sub-par 66.7 percentage from the charity stripe.
Against team's like South Carolina, no disrespect but the Gamecocks aren't the Buckeyes, the Lady Lions must capitalize on poor shooting from its opponents. As worrisome as its own shooting was, USC didn't shoot much better from the field as the Gamecocks took one more shot and made one more basket. In terms of free-throw percentage, South Carolina shot even worse, finishing the game shooting 62 percent. Penn State needs to take advantage of bad offenses and turn those misses into fast break opportunities to put up points. To catapult up from the bottom to the top of the Big Ten, Penn State must feast on teams that shoot this poor because the Michigan State's and Ohio State's aren't going to shoot 30 percent from the floor later in the season.
Four Lady Lions fouled out. Take a second to let that register. That is a ridiculous number of players to foul out in any game, no matter how physical the teams are playing. Janessa Wolff, Julia Trogele, Greene and Grant all received five fouls and a permanent spot on the bench for the rest of the game. The Lady Lions must be more aware of what they are doing on defense and stop committing so many fouls. The game was much closer in the final minutes but South Carolina was able to pull away in the end because not a single player of theirs fouled out. The Gamecocks' 20 fouls matched the Lady Lions' 25 fouls; however, there was one major difference: not a single USC player fouled out. South Carolina took penalties when necessary but they didn't let them all pile up on the same players. Coach Coquese Washington will need to monitor this problem in games and pull out players like Trogele and Greene when they pick up fouls. For instance, Trogele picked up five fouls in only eight minutes of playing. That's not good.
Penn State has a couple days off to enjoy the holiday before heading up north to Maine but this loss has to be lingering in all of the players' minds. The Lady Lions have yet to put forth a dominating, complete game of basketball this season despite its 3-1 record and this weekend's loss to South Carolina has given the team something to work on and think about.
Megan Hodge was named ESPN the Magazine Acadmeic All-American of the Year today.
The award is the fourth overall for Penn State women's volleyball and the second consecutive. Christa Harmotto won the award last year.
Hodge won the award for her success in the classroom as a business major, in which she holds a 3.45 GPA.
No stragner to accolades on and off the court, Hodge was an AVCA All-American in her first three years at Penn State and looks poised to win the award again this year. Hodge also earned Most Oustanding Player in the last two NCAA Championships. She was also named Second Team Academic All-American last season.
Never mind the midnight start time, this game will be worth watching. The Badgers and the Wildcats each lost key contributors from last year's squads, and in turn lost some of the respect they had earned as well. The two teams get a crack at making a name for themselves with new faces tonight at in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Without Jordan Hill and Chase Buddinger, the Wildcats have had to look to senior guard Nic Wise to lead them. He has done just that, averaging 15 points and 6 assists in two easy victories. Perhaps more intriguing, however, is the Wildcats' balance with five scorers averaging at least eight per game, and eight players with more than 20 minutes.
Bo Ryan's defense has been up to the challenge in Wisconsin's first two games allowing an average of 44 points, but IPFW and Oakland aren't quite Arizona. That said, a game this good in the first round of a holiday tournament is a rare treat.
Enjoy it folks,
Prediction: Arizona 62, Wisconsin 59
Player to watch: Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati
We'll stay in Maui with our player to watch as the Bearcats take on Vanderbilt in another first round matchup of major conference schools. Vaughn is one of the best players in the Big East when his shot is on. It hasn't been on yet this year - he is shooting just 25 percent from beyond the arc - and he is still averaging 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Vaughn maybe one of the most talented athletes in the Big East, but if the Bearcats want to advance in Hawaii and challenge in a tough conference he will have to start knocking down shots.
Although we were unable to attend the Sprawl and Brawl Duals in person, there are some points of emphasis to take away from Sunday's action.
The Penn State wrestling team started the day with an 18-17 win over Rutgers and followed that up with a 36-6 blowout of Harvard. In what was to be the toughest matchup, the Nittany Lions controlled Edinboro for a 22-9 victory.
After a successful 3-0 day, here are five things that stuck out from the results:
1. The Lions aren't morning people. The first win of the day was very tight, and it looked like it could be difficult for the Lions to fight through two more duals. However, the team seemed to get stronger as the day went on. The victory over Rutgers may have been tighter than coach Cael Sanderson would have liked, but the wins over Harvard and Edinboro were both by convincing margins.
2. David Erwin may have plugged a hole in the lineup. The senior was struggling at 174-pounds, but won two critical matches Sunday while wrestling at 184. If not for Erwin's win by major decision against Rutgers, the Lions may have begun the day with a loss. Justin Ortega, who is in the process of moving down to 174, also won his match at 184. If Erwin can continue this success, the lineup could be very stingy near the end of meets.
3. The Lions are having success in marquee matchups. In bouts featuring two ranked wrestlers, Sanderson's team has held its own. Though they were just 2-3 in those matchups Sunday, Lion grapplers were ranked lower in four of those bouts, and each loss was by regular decision. Cameron Wade, the No. 19 heavyweight ended the day on a high not with a 9-2 win over No. 11 Chris Birchler.
4. Brad Pataky is "batting 1.000" in the leadoff spot for the Lions. Pataky continues to put the Lions on the board first at 125-pounds. The redshirt junior was 3-0, including a pin against Harvard at the Duals. He provided one of the Lions' victories in the marquee matchups, defeating No. 8 Eric Morrill of Edinboro. His continued success could really help the Lions as the season wears on.
5. Justin Ortega has to take it easy at Thanksgiving dinner. If Ortega can transfer his good performances from 184-pounds to 174, it would put an end to an area of struggles for the Lions, as that's the only weight class yet to score this season. The sooner Ortega can prepare himself to wrestle down at 174, the better it will be for the Lions.
Should Penn State press the panic button? Are the Lions' tournament dreams dead?
Answers: No, and not yet
Yes, the losses to UNC-Wilmington and Tulane are bad, but it's still early in the season and unlike football, basketball teams can overcome early-season losses. If any team is going to slump, it's better to happen in the early going rather than during the thick of conference play.
There's no reason to panic yet, despite Talor Battle's shooting woes. If last year and his play this summer are any indication, this kid can ball and he'll breakout of this early struggle and start making shots.
Each basketball reporter offered his thoughts on the Lions' 1-2 performance at the Charleston Classic.
1. The Lions will live and die by their shooting. If they're not hitting shots, it's hard for them to win a game.
2. Talor Battle won't score 25 points every game. Teams know stopping Battle is the key to beating Penn State, which puts pressure on Battle to score the rock when he has the opportunity to do so.
3. A certain 6-foot-10 forward has to step it up. Andrew Jones combined to shoot 3-of-16 (18.7 percent) in Penn State's losses to UNC-Wilmington and Tulane. That's just not acceptable. Jones showed signs of improvement from the Lions' first game (Penn) to the second (Robert Morris), but his success is vital to the team's. Jones had nine points in 19 minutes against Davidson -- a nice sign -- but Davidson isn't known for its dominant big men.
1. Jeff Brooks is definitely the Lions' second scorer, but still can't use his 6-foot-8 athletic frame to get rebounds.
2. We already knew that when Chris Babb gets hot, he stays hot. Now we know when he gets cold, he stays ice cold. He shot just 3 of 17 from behind the arc this weekend.
3. If the Lions are in the picture in March we will be hearing Jay Bilas tell us that they shouldn't go dancing because of losses to UNC Wilmington and Tulane. Fortunately, however, they avoided a loss to Davidson which may have sealed their fate one week into the season.
1. The shots will fall. Every player on every team goes through slumps, unfortunately for the Lions, the whole team seemed to have hit a slump at the same time. As they play more games however, expect to see Battle, Frazier and Babb start to be more consistent
2. The foul line will be a strength this year. Last season, the team had struggles converting their FTs, but if the tournament proved anything, its that this year's squad can and will use the line as a weapon, both to climb back into games and to close out games.
3. The kids are still learning. Tim Frazier lit up the BJC at the Lions last home game, but had some trouble away from home. But, he has all of five college games to his name, so he's going to turn it on eventually. Forward Sasa Borovnjak has been a solid contributor off the bench, so we will see if his minutes start to jump as the season wears on.
One last thing to note, we haven't seen this team at full strength yet. Freshman forward Bill Edwards is on the way back and he should make an impact. Edwards is 6-foot-6 and can guard the 2 through 4 positions, has range out to 3 and is a very good passer.
posting a little late, but these were in before the games began.
Clark: Ravens over Colts, Cowboys over Redskins, Lions over Browns, 49ers over Packers, Bills over Jaguars, Steelers over Chiefs, Vikings over Seahawks, Falcons over Giants, Saints over Bucs, Cardinals over Rams, Chargers over Broncos, Patriots over Jets, Raiders over Bengals, Eagles over Bears, Texans over Titans
Miniaci:Steelers over Chiefs, Ravens over Colts, Packers over 49ers, Bills over Jags, Falcons over Giants, Saints over Bucs, Lions over Browns, Cowboys over Redskins, Vikings over Seahawks, Cards over Rams, Pats over Jets, Chargers over Broncos, Bengals over Raiders, Eagles over Bears, Texans over Titans
Rorabaugh: (home team in CAPS)
Colts over RAVENS, COWBOYS over Redskins, LIONS over Browns, PACKERS over 49ers, JAGUARS over Bills, Steelers over CHIEFS, VIKINGS over Seahawks, GIANTS over Falcons, Saints over BUCS, Cardinals over RAMS, Chargers over BRONCOS, PATRIOTS over Jets, Bengals over RAIDERS, Eagles over BEARS, TEXANS over Titans
Some perspective on the Penn State women's volleyball team's stats thus far in relation to the rest of the Big Ten (which is arguably the best league in the country.)
Hitting percentage: .369, First Opponent's hitting percentage: .099, First Assists per game: 13.79, First Kills per game: 14.80, First Blocks per game: 3.17, First Aces per game: 1.44, Third (First place: Michigan- 1.66) Digs per game: 12.77, Ninth (First place: Minnesota- 15.16)
The Lions are first in every major category except aces and digs. Obviously, Russ Rose would appreciate more aces. But the head coach might not want a similar increase in digs. The low digging rate has a lot to do with the Lions' rank in blocking -- .38 blocks per game higher than Minnesota who is second in the conference. With so many blocks, the Lions' back row rarely even gets an opportunity to dig the balls.
The final score is 2-1 Maryland. Check back to the Collegian Web site for stories on the game.*****Substitution: Braga for Lee. Lee cramped up again. 2 minutes left*****A cross from Terrapin Billy Cortes hits off Jason Herrick's head for a goal. Warren Gross left the net to play the ball but was too late. 2-1 Maryland with 3 minutes left*****After kicking the ball for the clear, Brian Forgue grabs the back of his knee and screams as he falls to the ground. It appears to be cramps as Fetrow helps stretch the cramped leg. Lee will substitute for Forgue. 4 minutes left*****Lee limps off the field. Cramps have plagued him all season. Smallwood replaces Lee. Arment substitutes for Braga. 6 minutes left*****A Maryland opportunity results in no goal. An uncontested Maryland shot is blocked after a cross from the left side. 7 minutes left*****Hertzog feeds Costigliola down the wing. Costigliola centers it back into the box for Hertzog. Hertzog's shot hits off a Maryland defender, and Yeisley pleads to the referee for a hand-ball call. 11 minutes left*****Substitutions: Cost for Arment and Hertzog for Gelsinger -- 18 minutes left*****Lions squander a set piece. Braga passed to Arment near the corner, but Arment's kick hits off a Maryland player, and the Terrapins gain control.*****A lot of inaction as the ball bounces around in the midfield. Mackenzie Arment substitutes for Drew Cost 25 minutes left.*****Hertzog's throw-in is headed by Yeisley but cleared before another Penn State attempt could be made. 33 minutes left*****Yeisley trips over a referee's foot and falls to the ground after he leads Braga down the wing. The pass didn't amount to an opportunity. 35 minutes left*****Casais serves the ball about 15 yards from midfield. It sailed over the huddled mass of Penn State and Maryland players and to the head of Brian Forgue, who bats it to the back of the net. It was Forgue's first collegiate shot. 1-1 with 41 minutes to play.*****Isang Jacob throws his hands up in an attempt to pump up the Penn State crowd to start the second half.*****Other NCAA second-round scores:2-0 Duke over Michigan State in first half.0-0 Ohio State versus Drake at halftime.4-0 Virginia over Bucknell at halftime.1-0 Portland over NC State at halftime.1-0 Harvard over Monmouth at halftime.*****This is Collegian writer Brendan Monahan. I'll be covering the second half. Here are the first half stats:ShotsMaryland 5Penn State 10CornersMaryland 2Penn State 3SavesMaryland 4Penn State 2FoulsMaryland 9Penn State 16*****Penn State had another chance to score with two minutes to go. Yeisley led Hertzog up and across the field, and Hertzog came in on goal from the left side. However, his first and second attempts were both stuffed by MacMath and Maryland was able to clear.That will do it for the half with Maryland ahead 1-0.*****Barry Gorman, for the first time I can remember all season, is agitated enough with the officiating that he has some words with the head official. Penn State has been whistled for about twice as many fouls as Maryland at this point. Five minutes left in the half.*****With just under eight minutes left in the half, Brian Forgue serves a nice free kick into the box, but no Penn Stater can get to it and MacMath cleans it up for Maryland.*****Penn State thought they had a goal, as Matheus Braga's cross found Corey Hertzog and Hertzog scored. However, officials ruled a handball on Hertzog, so no goal. 16:30 to go in the half.*****Maryland opens the scoring with 20:41 left in the half. Drew Yates cruises through the middle of the Nittany Lion defense and then leads Billy Cortes off to the left. Cortes fires the ball past gross into the far side of the net for the 1-0 lead.*****Penn State had the best chance of the day at the 24-minute mark. Drew Cost passed from the right wing to Braga on the left wing, and Braga perfectly led Hertzog into the box. Hertzog's shot beat MacMath, but it was cleared off the line by a Terp defender.Cost had another chance 40 seconds later after splitting two defenders at the top of the box, but his shot to the far post went just wide.21:30 left in the half, 0-0.*****Andres Casais makes a trademark sliding tackle to dispossess Casey Townsend. Townsend stays down after the hit, but looks like he'll run it off and stay in.26 minutes left in the half.*****Maryland has a chance after a corner, but Ethan White's shot is saved nicely and held by Gross. Penn State comes back the other way, but Yeisley's soft header goes over the goal. 16 minutes gone.*****With 14 minutes gone, the Lion has arrived. Warren Gross is forced to make a play on a long Maryland free kick, he drops the ball initially but picks it up quickly to end the chance.*****Another chance for Hertzog, as he beat his mark to a through ball. MacMath came out of the net and forced him to play the ball early, and his shot went wide.13 minutes in and still no score.*****An impressive performance thus far by the Maryland students. They are well coordinated and loud.*****Corey Hertzog won the ball nicely to himself in the offensive half and then was run over by a Maryland defender to win Penn State a 30-yard free kick. It turns into a shot for Frank Costigliola that's deflected and saved easily by Maryland keeper Zac MacMath.*****About 25 dedicated Maryland students have made the three-hour trek north to State College and have formed a rowdy student section at the south end of the east stands.*****Jason Yeisley has an impact early, sending a cross from the right wing into the box that Corey Hertzog gets his head on, but the sophomore sends the ball over the goal.*****We're ready to start the game here after the national anthem plays. Penn State goes right to left and Maryland goes left to right for the first half and will take the ball to start.*****Penn State is starting Justin Lee, Mark Fetrow, Andres Casais and Brian Forgue along the back line. Matt Smallwood, Drew Cost, Matheus Braga and Frank Costigliola will man the midfield with Yeisley and Hertzog up front. Warren Gross will start his 22nd game in goal.*****Penn State will wear its all-white home kit, while Maryland is sporting some crisp red jerseys with white shorts and red socks.*****Teams have cleared the field now in preparation for player intros. 11 minutes to kickoff.*****Good afternoon. Ben Skalina here to open up the live blog for Penn State's NCAA tournament second-round match against Maryland. State, seeded seventh, had a bye to the second round, while the Terrapins beat Loyola (Md.) Thursday to advance to this game.Temperature is currently a breezy 45 degrees. Both teams are currently warming up. It appears Andy Parr will miss today's game with his right MCL sprain suffered in last Thursday's Big Ten tournament opener against Michigan.Penn State enters the game with a 12-7-2 record. The Terps have a 13-5-2 record after Thursday's game and are defending national champions. Penn State is in its first NCAA tournament since 2005.Expect the Terrapins to lean on junior captain Jason Herrick, who leads the team with eight goals. The Nittany Lions, of course, count on the dangerous trio of Jason Yeisley, Corey Hertzog and Matheus Braga, who have eight, 11 and seven goals respectively.Maryland also plays outstanding defense. Despite having to replace all four defensive starters from 2008, the Terrapins have surrendered just 15 goals this year -- 0.75 per game.
As if the scoreboard wasn't enough to tell the tale of this weekend's set, the box scores do it more justice.
To be blunt, the Icers pummeled Navy this weekend. There's no two ways about it.
Here's how it breaks down for the weekend. These are combined stats from both games.
Shots: Penn State - 120. Navy - 30.
- Any time you can get four times more shots on goal than you opponent, you're doing something right. Teddy Hume faced eight shots through two periods on Friday night. That is just a testament to how stifling Penn State's defense was this weekend.
Power Play: Penn State - 3/15. Navy 0/5.
- The Icers finally got on the board this weekend with the extra attacker after a small drought. Penn State also clamped down on the penalty kill, giving Navy no chance to get any momentum the entire weekend. Penn State isn't being penalized and when they are, its penalty kill is just taking the momentum right back.
Eric Steinour: I think that the Midshipmen are going to have nightmares about Steinour for the next couple of nights. Steinour logged four goals and two assists Friday night in the best performance by any Icer this season. Let's put that performance into perspective.
The four goals are more goals than 17 of the 28 Icers forwards and defensemen have for the entire season.
It's also more goals than 32 members of the Navy team have this season and ties him with two others.
Those goals also moved him from sixth on the Penn State scoring column to second behind Dominic Morrone who has 11 goals for the season after the weekend.
In my estimation, it was the best weekend Penn State has had all season. No, it wasn't against an opponent like Ohio or Rhode Island or Delaware, but the Icers had struggled with some of the lesser teams on their schedule and had issues with expecting these teams to roll over. The Icers came in, took care of business and then left.
Penn State is on a 10 game win streak and it'll be interesting to see how that streak and momentum hold up against some NCAA schools this weekend.
The fourth regular season rankings have been released, and for the second rankings in a row, no team dropped out of the rankings. Also, despite some big wins from top-ranked teams, including Penn State, the top-6 teams all remained the same. The lower half of the top-10, however, became a little jumbled. Delaware, who had spent all season in the top-10 and was ranked as high as No. 4, fell to No. 11. The Fightin' Blue Hens, who the Icers play the first weekend back after break, have now fallen at least two spots in every poll this year.
The top two teams, No. 1 Lindenwood and No. 2 Illinois, remained the same yet again, but Lindenwood was not the unanimous No. 1 this time around. Liberty received one first-place, which it also received in the second poll before Lindenwood regained its unanimous No. 1-ranking in the third.
Arizona State finally cracked the top-10, rising three spots to No. 9 with its still undefeated record of 14-0-0. All three teams that were undefeated when the last rankings came out -- the aforementioned No. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils, No. 1 Lindenwood and No. 3 Liberty -- all remain undefeated still.
On the other end of the spectrum, three teams in the rankings actually have losing records, including No. 21 Robert Morris (IL) who sports a record of just 4-13-1. The other two are No. 20 Western Michigan, who have dropped four straight games to fall to 5-9-0 and No. 25 Easter Michigan, who is 5-10-0.
A quick look at where some of Penn State's recent and near future opponents are now ranked:
- Ohio is still No. 4
- Rhode Island dropped only one spot to No. 8
- West Chester fell another spot to No. 18
- West Virginia moved up a spot to No. 23
- Delaware fell out of the top-10 to No. 11
- Towson, Drexel and Navy all remained unranked.
Here are the rankings:
1 Lindenwood (20-0-0)
2 Illinois (14-3-0)
3 Liberty (16-0-0)
4 Ohio (17-1-1)
5 Iowa State (12-4-2)
6 Penn State (12-1-1)
7 Oklahoma (8-5-1)
8 Rhode Island (11-4-1)
9 Arizona State (14-0-0)
10 Central Oklahoma(12-6-0)
11 Delaware (9-5-0)
12 Adrian (12-4-1)
13 Oakland (13-4-0)
14 Michigan-Dearborn (8-5-2)
15 Minot State (11-2-0)
16 Kent State (11-6-0)
17 Robert Morris (PA) (10-6-0)
18 West Chester (8-5-1)
19 Stony Brook (8-5-1)
20 Western Michigan (5-9-0)
21 Robert Morris (IL) (4-13-1)
22 Indiana (PA) (8-2-1)
23 West Virginia (8-4-1)
24 Buffalo (8-5-1)
25 Eastern Michigan (5-10-0)
The next rankings come out in two weeks on December 4.
North Carolina and Ohio State played in an early season game we won't forget come March, ending in a four-point Tar Heel victory. They led the Buckeyes by a comfortable margin for most of the game and dominated the first half. But Ohio State made it interesting down the stretch, as David Lighty and Jon Diebler made clutch three-pointers.
Even though the Tar Heels escaped with the victory, the Buckeyes came back from a 16-point deficit to make it a close game. That's a sign of a good team. It's early in the year, but the comeback was a nice sign for Buckeye fans. A bad sign for Buckeye fans, though, is Evan Turner turning the ball over 10 times. Even though North Carolina's defense was very good, he finished with a triple-double: 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 TO's.
No. 6 Villanova 69 - George Mason 68
With proven shooters Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes on the floor for the Wildcats, no one would have expected, nor wanted, freshman Isaiah Armwood to put up a shot with the game on the line.
Armwood's first collegiate score of his career was the game-winner for Villanova, propelling them over George Mason. With a win, George Mason could have improved its record to 3-1 in its last four games against top 10 teams. But Villanova avoided the early-season loss.
Fisher was only 1-for-14 from the field in the nail-biting win, so Jay Wright probably did not want the ball in his hands. Reynolds finished with 18 points, but only two assists.
Even though Jonny Flynn wasn't on hand, Scoop Jardine and Wesley Johnson paced the 'Cuse with 22 and 17, respectively. Johnson took advantage of Cal's lack of frontline players and had a nice double-double with 17 pts and 11 rebounds.
We'll see how the Orange fares against North Carolina tonight.
The Nittany Lions will host Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins defeated Loyola (Md.) 2-1 on Thursday. Maryland ranks No. 7 in the latest NSCAA poll while Penn State received no rank.Instead of Maryland, it was the Lions who received the first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament and the No. 7 tournament ranking. Whereas the NSCAA has six ACC teams and two Big Ten squads in the top 25, the NCAA Tournament gave byes to four teams in both conferences -- giving the Big Ten more respect. Here is how the rankings stack:NCAA TournamentBig TenNo. 4 Ohio StateNo. 7 Penn StateNo. 9 NorthwesternNo. 14 Michigan StateNot Ranked: IndianaACCNo. 2 VirginiaNo. 3 Wake ForestNo. 5 North CarolinaNo. 15 NC StateNot Ranked: Boston College, Maryland and DukeNSCAABig Ten No. 13 Ohio State No. 21 Northwestern ACCNo.2 Wake ForestNo. 3 VirginiaNo. 4 North CarolinaNo. 7 MarylandNo. 15 NC StateNo. 20 DukeSo far today, the Big Ten is 1-0 with Indiana defeating Louisville 2-0. Boston College defeated Dartmouth 2-1, Maryland beat Loyola (Md.) 2-1 and Duke took down Winthrop 3-2. That makes the ACC 3-0 in tournament play. The second round will mark the first time the conferences go head-to-head in the tournament with the Penn State-Maryland showdown and Michigan State hosting Duke.-MonahanComments
Hello everybody and welcome to Sojka Pavilion. It's Audrey here to deliver you all of the action from the first half as the Lady Lions take on the Bucknell Bison.
Landis and I made the trip to Lewisburgh and even though we're without Angert (I think he's sunbathing at home in Florida) we came to deliver all of our followers a live blog of tonight's action.
I must admit this facility exceeded the expectations of Landis and I and it's a remarkable gymnasium. We're sitting court side and just finished some pizza and chips. We even have a little stat view television-like thing sitting right in front of me. Just in case I miss the action that's happening about one foot in front of me I can sit in my cushioned chair and catch the replay. Just my opinion, but I prefer this gym over the BJC. Everyone is a lot closer to the action and the sound system makes it loud enough that you actually feel like you're back watching a premiere high school matchup.
The seats are quickly filling up as we're now just about 10 minutes away from tip off. stay tuned for starting lineups.
Landis and I just spotted coach Coquese Washington and she makes her first appearance just seven minutes before the scheduled start. Washington previously said she doesn't watch the warmups as senior Megan Quinn and the assistants have the Lions running through their pregame routine.
The Lions are huddled right in front of Landis and I and they just sprinted over infront of their bench to get ready for player introductions
Tyra Grant isn't starting for the Lions tonight although she did participate in the warmup.
Lions' Trogele maintains possession but the Lions are unable to score
Ensuing Lions' possession Monroe scores.
The pace of the game seems to be going very fast as Trogele was on the ground once already and had to run to try and get back on defense as the Bison missed a three.
Greene was able to draw the foul down low and is shooting two. So far the Lions have looked to Monroe and Greene in the paint a few times already as it looks like they have a bigger lineup on the floor.
7-4 Lions lead
Trogele attempted to stop the ball from going out of bounds on the Bison side of the court, but was called out of bounds. Bison capitalize and hit a three.
Janessa Wolff checks in for the Lions, replacing Monroe.
Trogele takes out some frustration with a hard drive along the baseline and converts for a bucket.
9-7 Lions lead
It's very hard to hear the announcer, I suppose it's because we're so close that he sounds so mumbled.
Back on the court Greene at the line shooting two. Greene is playing pretty physical tonight. She converts one of two from the line and manages to pick up bently's air balled three attempt and put it in for two after a Bison turnover. The bison entered the game with 63 turnovers so far this season so seeing them fail to maintain possesion is not much of a surprise.
After a quick pump up chant from the Bison emotional support student leader we're back underway.
Trogele good for two from the left corner.
14-8 Lions lead
Gizelle Studavent and Bentley check in for the Lions replacing Greene and Gray.
We are still Tyra Grant-less as the team's returning leading scorer is on the bench with her warmup shirt still on.
Studavent hits a long two and the Lions respond with some tough D down low as Meredith Monroe, who just entered the game, denied the Bison of a shot down low.
We got another timeout as the Lions lead 18-10 with 11:41 remaining in the first half.
I'll admit I'm a little disappointed that this Stat View thing right in front of me isn't working, but I guess the bison want to make it tough on the opposing writers as well.
Back to the action. Bison force a turnover off of Emily Phillips as the ball rolled right infront of press row.
Voss drains a three for the Bison and they get the ball back after a teraveling violation on Monroe. The Bison take it to the hoop for two as they now trail by just three points.
Gray silences the Bison crowd by hitting a three of her own, extending the Lions' lead to six.
Off a Bison miss Phillips gets a fast break and feeds it to Bentley who makes the layup.
23-15 Lions lead 9:55 remaining in the first half
with the shot clock winding down the Bison try for a layup but can't convert.
Monroe picks up a foul when she hacks a player down low.
Renee Womack enters for the Lions
Shot clock violation on the Bison as the Lions' D is doing a nice job of matching up and pressuring the ball.
Off a miss from Greene, Womack was there to rebound the ball and put it back up for the Lions. After a missed shot by the Bison Womack is fouled attempting a shot down
25-15 Lions lead, 7:58 remaining in the first half
Trogele checks in for the Lions
Womack at the charity stripe, makes both to give the Lions a 12 point lead, their largest of the game.
Gray with the fast break for the layup. Greene was trailing the ball and was very quick down the floor.
Off a Bison miss the Lions gain possession and force the Bison to pick up their sixth team foul.
Greene charged with a questionable traveling violation. Looked like she had her feet ready to pivot, but the ref didn't see what I was seeing.
Bison come right back down the floor and get a basket after missing their initial shot. The Bison haven't had much luck shooting the ball tonight as they've been getting many of their points off of their own put backs.
31-19 Lions lead, 3:54 remaining in the first half.
Without their top scorer the Lions have been working the ball down low and are taking much better shots than they did in their two home games this season. Also impressive is their physicality and it's been transferring to the play of the defenders who've been all over the floor fighting for loose balls.
Bison drive through the lane for a layup with three seconds left on the shot clock.
Lions respond with two of their own, but Trogele picks up a defensive foul, her first of the game.
Off of two Lady Lion layup misses Womack forces a turnover and is able to convert on her second shot.
End of the first half with the Lions leading 39-27.
Perhaps the most interesting storyline tonight may come from off the court. With Tyra Grant not taking her warmup shirt off we're wondering what's the deal with her status. Grant appeared fine participating in all the warmup drills so we'll have to wait until after the game to figure this out.
There a children's basketball skills clinic taking place on the floor and with the average kid being about 5 years old, let's just say the skills are still developing. There are basketballs rolling all over the court as the kids stampede up and down the floor.
I'll be handing it over to Landis to provide insight for the second half.
Landis here to take you through the second half.
The Lions are out on the court for a shoot around and Tyra Grant is on the floor shooting, but with my keen reporter's eye I just saw Grant wince a bit as she threw a pass.
Audrey is speculating that she may have an ankle injury, but we haven't heard anything just yet.
Grant went over to sideline and got her legs stretched out by a trainer. We'll keep an eye on her and see if she comes in at all during the second half. If she is hurt, I would count on Coquese bringing Grant in, especially with the Lions up by 12.
Penn State starts the second half with possesion and a swarming Bucknell defense creates a jump ball. Nikki Greene still doesn't look too comfortable down low on the offensive end.
On the ensuing Bucnell possesion, Morgan Wrightson hits a three to bring the Bison to within nine.
Trogele picks up a cheap foul after fouling to box-out her shooter. Bucknell hits both free throws.
Trogele then gets a board off a Zhaque Gray miss and banks it in for two, putting the Lions back up by 11 at 43-32.
The Bison 2-3 zone is putting a lot of pressure on the Lions post players and forcing the guards to do the bulk of the work on the offensive end. Nikki Greene flashes high and sets a pick for Bentley who penetrates the zone and gets two.
Tyra Grant has checked in for the Lions, so apparently she is OK.
Nikki Greene puts in an easy layup and there's a timeout on the floor.
16:41 Second Half
Penn State 47 Bucknell 37
Tyra Grant grabs a rebound and runs end-to-end a misses the layup. The didn't seem to hampered by any kind of injury, though, as she dove to the floor to grab a loose ball.
Another timeout on the floor.
15:51 Second Half
Penn State 47 Bucknell 37
Grant spots up from the free throw line and hits her first shot of the night.
The Lions defense forces the third Bucknell shot-clock violation of the night. Penn State is basically playing a straight-up man-to-man defense, but the Bison can't seem to find any open looks.
Surprising, because Bucknell has some pretty good post players. They're just not utilizing their picks enough.
The Lions go out on a fast break and Tyra Grant hits the layup and draws the foul. Grant hits the free throw and that's a 10-0 run for the Lady Lions who now lead by 20.
Trya Grant takes a long three thats off the mark, but follows her shot and throws the ball off a Bucknell defender and out of bounds to maintain possession. Grant seems to have changed the defense of the Bison a bit.
Bucknell seems to be paying a little more attention to guards and not helping down low as much with Grant now in the game.
Grant gets fouled on three and hits two of three foul shots. Trogele rebounds the third and passes to Grant who finds Marissa Wolfe on the baseline for the jumper and the Lions open up a 21-point lead.
Timeout on the floor after a blocking foul on Grant.
11:39 Second Half
Penn State 63 Bucknell 42
Emily Phillips hits a three to increase the Lions lead to 24.
The Bison just can't seem to get anything going offensively this half.
Timeout on the floor as Eddie Money begins to play in the gym
9:35 Second Half
Penn State 68 Bucknell 42
Rachel Voss spots up from the corner and hits a three for the Bison, cutting the Penn State lead back to 20.
Janessa Wolff appeared to roll her ankle a bit and seemed to be favoring it a little as she ran back on defense.
Timeout on the floor.
6:55 Second Half
Penn State 70 Bucknell 50
Wolff remains in the game out of the timeout, so it appears that she is fine.
Alyssa Dunn drives hard to the basket and picks up the layup for the Bison while getting fouled. She fails to connect on the free throw and the Bison still trail it by 16.
Tyra Grant gets fouled and hits one of two from the line.
With her team not able to get into a play on offense, Bucknell coach Kathy Fedorjaka calls a timeout.
4:42 Second Half
Penn State 71 Bucknell 54
Bucknell breaks out and gets a layup to cut the Penn State lead to 14. The Lions need to be careful here and not let Bucknell back into this game. Still plenty of time for the Bison with just under four minutes to play.
Penn State hits a couple of free throws to increase its lead.
Timeout on the floor.
3:56 Second Half
Penn State 73 Bucknell 57
Penn State looks to have this one locked up. The Lions are up 16 with just over a minute left. That'll do it for us here at Bucknell ,be sure to check the Collegian tomorrow for more coverage of the game.
Fans Want Dunleavy Clipped: See what I did there? I bet you did! So if you didn't notice, the Los Angeles Clippers stink. No, like, they stink. They're atrocious, pitiful, the list goes on and on. They're so bad that Frankie Muniz from Malcolm in the Middle is their most famous fan. Yep, that annoying little punk.
So what little fans the Clippers have left decided enough is enough (finally) and are circulating a petition to have Dunleavy fired. As of when I wrote this, there were 32 signatures. So here's my idea: Let's help the Clippers fans out. It's the holiday season, why not spread some holiday cheer by helping some long suffering fans take away a man's job right before Christmas. If my calls to action aren't enough, check out these photos of the Clippers during the fourth quarters of games. Just makes you wanna cry.
Click the hyperlink, sign the petition, tell your friends, have them tell friends and let's get this rolling before Bill Simmons sinks his claws into it. Edmund Burke said that al is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Don't let evil continue to coach the Clippers. Sign the petition.
A Canswerous Apple: According to Howard Beck of the New York Times, the Knicks are going to pursue Allen Iverson. Yep, well the Mayans were right. Doomsday is upon us. One can only imagine the events this could set off. There will be sold out supermarkets, bomb shelters in every backyard, the sounds of screaming children and the gnashing of teeth. Okay, that does describe a doomsday scenario, but the last two are also heard at Knicks games.
The 2009-10 New York Knicks: We Make Your Children Cry.
LeBron James and Jason Maxiell Are Throwing A Party: What kind of party? A block party. Who's invited? Everybody.
Here's two great videos from this week of some straight up nasty blocks. First off, LeBron runs down Monta Ellis and straight crushes the ball. I'm sure it kept the Cavs fans from realizing their team is a fraud for a couple of seconds.
Secondly, here is Pistons forward Jason Maxiell telling Shannon Brown that if he's going to bring it, he better come correct. How Maxiell doesn't get his wrist broken by Brown is beyond me, but you've got to love the stare down after. I guess you need to get fired up when you finally produce for the first time all season.
Playoffs?!: Okay, so an apology. Collegian men's basketball writer Andrew Robinson and I have been trying to pin this podcast down for a while now but with our schedules, it just hasn't panned out. We're going to try out best to get one out before the holiday break after finals but we can't make any promises. Try your best to forgive us. Pwease?
Either way, as a small treat, we're giving you our postseason predictions. Enjoy!
Atlantic Division: Boston. Central Division: Cleveland. Southeast Division: Orlando
Other Teams: Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and Washington
Evan Turner has breezed through Alcorn State and James Madison, posting a triple double in his first game and 24 points in the next. It's tough to make an argument against Turner as the best player so far this season. But tonight he will get his first chance to prove himself on a national stage against the Tarheels in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
In three games this season, UNC has four players averaging double figures in points, and the Tar Heels have won each game by at least ten as well. Senior forward Deon Thompson leads the Heels with 17.7 points per game despite only averaging 24 minutes.
As with any Roy Williams-coached team, the Heels are a team that can spread the scoring around. The question tonight is: can they make the Buckeyes do the same? Ohio State doesn't have much else after Turner.
That task, however, is easier said than done.
Prediction: Ohio State 71, North Carolina 67
Player to watch: Jerome Randle, Cal
The Golden Bears take on Syracuse in the other semifinal matchup of the CVC Classic. Our player to watch: another early-season star looking to prove himself on a national stage.
Jerome Randle is averaging 20 points per game for the Bears, and has already exhibited his senior leadership. The 5-foot-10 Randle has seen an increase in scoring by six points per game in each season at Cal. That would put him on pace for 24 points per game this season. Don't be shocked if he accomplishes it in an offense-first conference.
Expect Randle to use his quickness to penetrate Jim Boeheim's zone, and his shooting ability to stretch it out. If the Bears, who have the highest expectations the program has seen in over a decade, pull off the win, Randle will likely be the reason why.
OK, we've put it off long enough. It's time to start talking football. No, not that stuff you watch on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I'm talking about futbol, the beautiful game -- soccer.
This is Lady Lions and women's volleyball reporter Bill Landis here to do one thing and one thing only, and that's talk about soccer. I'll be joined by fellow Collegian writers AJ Cassavell and Wayne Staats along the way. We'll probably have some other Collegian writers join us later in the year.
We're goning to be talking about all things soccer: MLS, Premier League, La Liga, Champions League and of course, World Cup. We'll talk about games, transfers, make predictions and show videos of some the most majestic footwork you've ever seen.
Please feel free to comment on any of the posts and send us your thoughts.
We had a busy day in the world of World Cup qualifying.
Much to the dismay of my colleague Wayne, Algeria bested Egypt 1-0 to earn the final African bid for the 2010 World Cup. Sadly, the Pharaohs will not be playing for glory in South Africa this summer.
In Europe, Greece earned a bid by defeating Ukraine 1-0. Slovenia upset the favored Russians 1-0 to earn a bid and Portugal is in after beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0.
In other qualifying action, Uruguay played to a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica and advanced on a 2-1 aggregate to earn the final bid for the World Cup.
But the story of the day comes from France. Les Bleus were in dire straits when the Irish took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal from Robbie Keane. Keane's goal evened the aggregate at 1-1 after the French beat the Irish 1-0 in Dublin over the weekend.
Keane's mark was the only goal scored in regulation and forced extra time to decide the World Cup bid. Late in the first half of extra time, France striker Thierry Henry corralled the ball with his hand in the penalty area but there was no call of hand ball by Swedish referee Martin Hansson.
Henry fed the ball across the box to teammate William Gallas who headed it into the back of the net and in effect ended Ireland's chances of reaching South Africa.
Needless to say, Hansson can never show his face on the Emerald Isle.
But Henry's goal does bring up an interesting question, should replay be used in soccer. Ireland striker Sean St. Ledger brought up the topic of replay after the match.
Myself and fellow Collegian writers AJ Cassavell and Wayne Staats weigh in on the issue:
I hate instant replay. I don't think it belongs in any sport. Yes, it helps the officials get the calls right, but they shouldn't need any help. For me instant replay in any sport takes the human element out of the game. I love controversial calls. Now, if a situation presents itself where an official is continuously blowing calls, then get rid of him. Did Hansson make the wrong call? Definitely, but he made the call and both teams have to live with it. And yes, my reaction would be the same even I was an Ireland fan.
Let's get one thing straight. Instant replay shouldn't have been a necessity in Wednesday's World Cup Qualifier between Ireland and France. 22 players on the field, 81,000 people in the Stade de France and millions of viewers at home saw that Thierry Henry effectively cheated the French into the World Cup (not to blame him - it's not cheating if you don't get caught). One of four officials with intense training should have seen the same. That being said, instead of a fourth official on the sideline, why not put a fourth one in a booth in front of a TV just for calls as blatant as the one made Wednesday. But for those who think baseball is a traditionalist sport, America's pastime is incredibly liberal compared to FIFA. They haven't changed much about soccer in the last 100 years, and don't expect them to switch to replay now.
Soccer needs instant replay. Wednesday's no-call on the hand ball effectively handed a World Cup bid to France and kept one of the sport's powers from an embarrassing no-show at soccer's biggest stage. Not surprisingly, Henry admitted after the game that it was a hand ball. But fans shouldn't hold their breath waiting for instant replay. FIFA is an organization that has had its old ranking system exist way too long before making adjustments, so this will probably be a slow process at best. But people should also be careful to direct anger toward Henry and France. Clearly it was an illegal play. But it's the official's job to see it and make the call. Yes, instant replay would probably ruffle feathers of traditionalists. Perhaps an easier solution for them would be to hire refs who weren't blind. But action must be taken.
There you have it. Feel free to share your thoughts with us about it.
Tonight, we'll leave you with a video of the goal in question. We also have probably the most notorious hand ball goal of all time, Diego Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. Otherwise known as the "Hand of God" goal because after the match Maradona said the goal was scored, "un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios," (a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.) You can be the judge.
Maradona Goal and Photo (sorry for the annoying techno music)
When the Nittany Lions tip off the Charleston Classic, they'll have to contend with a challenge of the round, orange variety.
Though the NCAA does not have a required ball, many teams use the Nike 4005 Official Tournament ball, including Penn State, and the Lions have grown accostumed to using it.
In Charleston, Chris Babb and his fellow shooters will have to deal with THE ROCK. No, not the Sean Connery movie, a different make of ball.
"It's a little different," Babb said of the ball. "But as long as I get enough shots up with it, I'll be fine."
Babb was the first player out to shoot Tuesday at practice, working his way around the arc and draining most of his shots. Freshman guard Tim Frazier said THE ROCK is similar to an outdoor play he uses at home and adjusting to it is just another challenge on the trip.
Lions coach Ed DeChellis said the ball is a little bit harder, but it's nothing that will change the team's game plan. Point guard Talor Battle, who will spend the most time with THE ROCK in his hands, said practicing with the new ball is important, just to feel how it bounces and if he has to change the way he passes, but in the end, "a basketball's just a basketball."
ESPN The Magazine named Jason Yeisley an Academic All-America First Team selection. Yeisley has a 3.61 cumulative grade point average and seeks a Business Management degree. He will also graduate after this semester.This is one of several awards which Yeisley received this year. Yeisley won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, garnered an All-Big Ten First Team selection, took the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Penn State and received the True Grit Award. Yeisley is in the running for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and one of the NCAA Today's Top VIII Awards.-MonahanComments
Senior Tyra Grant continues to add to her list of preseason accolades. She is a preseason All-Big Ten selection, a Wooden Award preseason watch list candidate and now a Naismith preseason watch list member.
Each year, the Naismith award goes to the nation's top collegiate basketball player and is compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. In February, the 50-player list will be reduced to 30 players before the final four players are chosen by the votes of the Naismith Trophy voting academy.
Through two regular season games this year, Grant is averaging 18 points and 7.5 rebounds. She will need to keep this pace throughout the season in order to continue to be among the nation's elite players.
Playing in the Horizon League, the Butler Bulldogs know they have to get quality wins early in the season. Despite their reputation as a team worthy of tournament consideration, the Bulldogs' success continues to hinge on their nonconference schedule. That begins tonight with a game in Evanston against Northwestern.
The Wildcats are without last season's leading scorer Kevin Coble -- a huge blow to a team that had tournament aspirations at the beginning of the season. They face their first test tonight as well in the No. 11 Bulldogs. Northwestern also lost senior small forward Jeff Ryan to an ACL tear on Friday, which ended his season.
The Cats are going through the loss of two of their biggest offensive weapons. Although they are playing at home, expect Butler -- a team that fully understands the importance of this game in the scheme of their season -- to try and jump on Northwestern early.
Prediction: Butler 69, Northwestern 60 --AJ
Player to watch: Harouna Mutombo
The name is all you need to know. Yes, he is related to Dikembe Mutumbo. But no, he's not a menacing, gigantic, finger-wagging center. Harouna Mutumbo is a 6-foot 4, 195-pound guard for Western Carolina. He's the nephew of Dikembe, the former NBA star who played in eight All-Star games and won the Defensive Player of the Year award four times.
Harouna's about to make a name for himself, too. He was named to the Southern Conference's All-Freshman team last season after a stellar end to his season. He put up three consecutive 20-point performances -- 28 points against Appalachian State, 25 points against the College of Charleston and 20 against Elon.
He begins his sophomore season with a lot of expectation. Playing against No. 3-ranked Texas tonight at 9 p.m., is a chance for him to be discussed in the college basketball community.
Former Devil, Whaler, Blue, Red Wing and Ranger Brendan Shanahan announced his retirement from the NHL after 21 seasons. He was drafted by the Devils in the first round back in 1987 and ended his career with them last year. He left the team just before the start of the 2009-10 season and after months of debating, decided to hang up his skates. In his career, Shanahan scored 656 goals and registered 1,354 points in 1,524 games. Also a bit of a fiery guy, Shanahan also rang up 2,489 career penalty minutes. He was a leader and, by all accounts, a good teammate. We raise our glasses to a great player. He has a clear path to the Hall of Fame.
Blue Jackets' promising 2008 first rounder Nikita Filatov was loaned to a team in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League for the rest of the season. Filatov was unhappy with his playing time this season. He has touched the ice in 13 games this year, but only gained minutes sparingly.
Hopefully for the Jackets, Filatov gets over his frustrations with the club. He could be a good goal scorer down the road.
The Blackhawks insane amount of spending from this summer is now carrying over into the season. They are reportedly close to extending contracts with three of their biggest stars, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.
This is big for the Hawks. All three are budding stars. Terms have not yet been disclosed but there's no doubt they'll be worth a lot.
The Lady Lions are off to a 2-0 start and it's taken a total team effort.
The starters are producing, but Penn State is also receiving quality production from players off the bench.
In the exhibition against Indiana (Pa.), the Penn State bench outscored the Crimson Hawks' bench 36-11. In the season opener on the road against Drexel, the bench points again favored the Lions by a 31-9 margin.
The home opener Sunday against NJIT saw much of the same as the Lions' bench added 19 points, compared to just 8 from the Highlanders.
After Sunday's game, coach Coquese Washington talked about how her bench has contributed thus far in the young season.
"Everybody that came off the bench gave us something," she said. "That also gives us an opportunity to spell our starters so that they can play at a high level for the majority of the minutes that they are out there."
For this young Lady Lions team to be successful, the contribution from the bench needs to continue. As freshman starters Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene learn how to adapt to the college game, Washington needs to count on the older players to come off the bench and make an impact.
Such a situation presented itself in the exhibition against Indiana (Pa.). With Greene struggling to find her rhythm, junior forward Janessa Wolff came off the bench to add 11 points and nine rebounds.
Against NJIT, senior forward Meredith Monroe scored seven points and added six rebounds off the bench. Even freshman Marissa Wolfe played a key role off the bench, scoring four points and grabbing four boards.
If the players on the bench continue to put out the type of numbers they are now, this team could exceed some expectations. But Washington knows that the team as a whole is still a work in progress.
"We've got a deep team," Washington said. "We've got people that can make shots. We've got people that can make plays, but we're still finding out how to play together."
Key Contributors off the bench for the Lions thus far:
Following this weekend's three exhibition games, the preseason portion of the schedule is just about over. Coach Mark Pavlik gave the team this week off -- time for the guys to relax and focus on their schoolwork. But with the time off for Thanksgiving break just after that, it's a two-week sojourn from the court.
Don't think the guys don't have volleyball on their minds.
The team has made a concerted effort to watch more game tape. The players -- on their own free time -- have been regularly stopping by the volleyball office to watch footage.
Who goes the most?
"Oh, it's everybody," Pavlik said. "[Ed]Gardo [Goas] comes in here a lot. So does Alan [Mars], and Mark [Shipp] and Tor [Covello], and [Ryan] Wolf, and..."
And pretty much the entire roster.
"Pav made a statement the other day that we probably have had more guys come in to watch video this year than the previous five, ten years combined," said new assistant coach Jay Hosack.
Pavlik accredits a lot of that Hosack. Hosack, who joined the staff this year, has been working extensively with the team on analyzing footage.
"The guys come up here and look at video sitting down with Jay on a regular basis and Colin [McMillan] on a regular basis," Pavlik said. "I think they're really doing some of the things that in the past we either didn't have the expertise to do we didn't have the time to do when it was two of us."
Hosack knows watching game tape can often seem like a burdensome, tedious task. So he's put emphasis on making it a positive learning experience.
"When the guys were coming into to watch video at the beginning there might have been some trepidation," Hosack said. "But once they heard that I wasn't hammering them but I was more or less instructing them on things they could do differently they really started to come in in droves."
Bud Adams is a gem. The 86-year old owner of the Tennessee Titans gave the Buffalo Bills a two finger salute during the Titans' win over Terrell Owen's current team. The gesture cost Adams a pretty hefty sum. He also apologized. He probably deserved the fine he got, but Adams' gesture is just down right hilarious. He's old. Cut him some slack. I'm sure more people found it amusing than offensive. The video is now plastered over Youtube. I probably shouldn't post it here, but go have a look if you haven't already. Thank you Bud Adams for speaking your mind.
Some things important and not so important:
- Who remembers David Duval? Who thought they'd hear his name again? Well, it's not for good reasons. The former world No. 1 golfer is in danger of losing his PGA Tour card. Duval could possibly slip out of the top 125 golfers, meaning he would lose his membership. The last time he won? 2001. Been a rough decade, huh?
- Well, Evan Longoria is the new coverboy for MLB2K10. If he breaks his face colliding with Jason Bartlett going for a pop up, we'll know who to blame.
- Eric Bruntlett and his sterling 22 OPS+ were released by the Phillies. I'm sure the Phils will miss the 105 at bats of .224 on-base percentage he gave them last season. Time for them to acquire a middle infielder who can give Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins a day off without striking out three times in a row and making two errors in the field.
Video of the week: What happens when you get your video camera too close to Bill Belichick? You get a throw down from a security guard and a farewell wave from the Pats coach himself.
How can this not be the game of the night? The Calipari-less Tigers face the number one team in the country at 10 p.m. to conclude ESPN's ridiculous 24 hours of college basketball. There are two watchable games in this whole marathon: this one and the 4 p.m. meeting between Georgetown and Temple.
Talented backcourt mates Sherron Collins and freshman phenom Xavier Henry lead the Jayhawks as Memphis travels to Conseco Fieldhouse for a rematch to the 2008 NCAA Championship game. For Henry, the game will be especially interesting. Initially signed to Memphis, Henry was released from his committment and travelled to Kansas.
With Preseason All-American candidate Cole Aldrich anchoring the frontcourt for Kansas, Tigers coach Josh Pastner faces a daunting task in his second game.
Player of the Night: George Monroe, C, Georgetown
The Hoyas best player last year, Monroe decided not to try the NBA and return for his second season. The move should prove a wise one, as Georgetown is a much better team than the one that struggled through the Big East last year.
Monroe's sophomore campaign should help both parties, as the Hoyas will need his size and skills in the paint and the center needs a good season to improve his draft stock. With what looks like a guard-heavy NBA Draft, a strong showing by Monroe coudl allow him to move up the draft board to a team in need of some size.
After two victories this past weekend, Nittany Lion wrestler Cyler Sanderson was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week and is now ranked No. 4 in the 157-pound weight class. Sanderson defeated Lehigh's Sean Bilodeau, 5-2, on Friday and then-No. 2 Matt Moley of Bloomsburg on Sunday. Moley dropped below Sanderson to No. 5 at 157.
ESPN reported earlier this morning that former Nittany Lion running back Larry Johnson was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Johnson is expected to be the fourth-string running back on the team. He will be looked to for depth behind the beat-up Cedric Benson and to contribute on special teams.
Cincinnati, the team of second chances in the past few years in the NFL, was the choice of the college star because he didn't want to take the rest of the season off. He will make a little more than $4 million, as a veteran's contract is guaranteed.
The star of Penn State's 2002 season -- in which he ran for over 2,000 yards and finished third in the Heisman race -- argued with coaches over playing time while in college, was involved in numerous spats with women and now decided to bad mouth his pro coach and own fans, using homosexual slurs in the process.
Despite his previous troubles and the black eye he has given Penn State, I want him to succeed. After living through the humiliation of Ki-Jana Carter, Curtis Enis and Tony Hunt -- even though they were spectacular as Lions -- it was great to see Johnson break through with the Chiefs and become a high-caliber player.
He is an exciting player to watch, he just needs to be a little more boring off the field.
Here's our take on how each Penn State player played in Monday's 80-61 victory over Robert Morris at the BJC.
Coach Ed DeChellis: B
DeChellis made a nice move bringing in Tim Frazier early in the game at the 14:35 mark. Robert Morris was pushing the tempo early and Frazier's style of play was a perfect suit for the flow of the game. He also got Talor Battle more rest than he ever gave him last season. Battle's 28 minutes was lower than any minute total he posted in a game last year. That will likely be a benefit when Penn State hits the road to play three games in the Charleston Classic this weekend.
Talor Battle: C+
Battle's 8 point was his lowest total output since failing to score against No. 20 Purdue last year. Robert Morris did a nice job on him defensively, taking away his driving capabilities. At the half, he was 0-for-4 from 3-point range, 1-for-7 overall. He finished 2-for-9 from the field, but did add seven assists and six rebounds to his stat line. He had a nice steal and dunk in transition to culminate a 13-2 run for the Lions out of the gate at half.
Jeff Brooks: B+
DeChellis wanted Brooks to increase his rebounding production and he did so. He put up five rebounds after only grabbing one in the first game. He posted his second straight double digit scoring night, too, with 12 points. He was limited in the first half, however, picking up his second foul and only playing nine of the first 20 minutes. Brooks played better all-around than the Penn game.
Drew Jones: B+
Still would like to see more output from the 6-foot 10 forward, but he looked more confident with the ball and on the glass against Robert Morris. He finished with six points and eight rebounds and went 3-for-4 from the floor. He only had two fouls, too, after fouling out against Penn.
Chris Babb: A-
Babb's early foul trouble prevents him from getting a solid A. He stole the show in the first five minutes of the second half, hitting four 3's. Babb has stepped up and shot with confidence in each game this year. His 15 points all came off 3-pointers.
D.J. Jackson: B
Jackson did what he was asked to: made sound passes, collected seven rebounds, drew an offensive foul. He's a role player and he played his role, finishing with eight points and a nice 3-pointer.
Cammeron Woodyard: C+
Woodyard hit a 3-pointer in the second half and played a solid eight minutes in the first half. He saw a lot of minutes once again with Babb's foul trouble.
Andrew Ott: C+
Didn't see any time in the second half, but played solidly in the first half, collecting two boards and making a hustle play on the sideline.
Adam Highberger: B+
Highberger entered the game in the first half once again and hit a crucial 3-pointer with 1:26 left to tie the game at 31.
Sasa Borovnjak: A-
Sasa has been solid all season long off the bench. He finished with six points and hit the deck to pick up a couple loose balls off the ground.
Billy Oliver and Steve Kirkpatrick: B-
Can't really assess them on much. Nice that they got in the game. Oliver played four minutes and Kirkpatrick played three minutes, each finishing with no points.
Team Grade: B
The Lions played really lackluster in the first half but came out in the second half with a desire to win the game. They posted a 29-6 run to start the half to shutup the Colonials. All in all, it was a nice sign of resiliency to come out with such fire after struggling in the first half. Still, the sluggish start is a concern.
Last week, I touched on coach Hosack seeing Will Price's ankle injury as a positive. Hosack took that a step further when I sat down with him.
He said it's a positive in more than one way.
Last week, he mentioned that some of the younger guys tend to take some time off when Price is swinging because he is so powerful. He also said there are a lot of little things that Price takes care of that the younger guys need to learn to add to their games.
He was hoping those younger guys would step up, and take the opportunity to learn and improve in his absence.
Hosack said the couple days of practice without Price went really well with all the freshmen and sophomores.
In the exhibition's this weekend, as Emily did a great job keeping you up to date on ATN, freshmen Kyle Mars and Tom Comfort stepped up and played well. Coach Mark Pavlik took the opportunity, with the exhibition environment, to try out a different lineup in each and every game this weekend. He said everyone played well.
Hosack said Price is in pretty good spirits, and was at practice every morning with the team, rehabbing.
As far as the second positive goes, here's Hosack:
"[The injury] also gives Will the opportunity to kind of take a break. He played a lot of volleyball over the past summer, so maybe it's good for him to get a little rest and kind of regroup and get that fire back in. Will's a very, what we would call a heady player, analyzes a lot of things, and this might give him a chance to kind of see things from a different perspective. Really give him just a chance to kind of regain the energy and passion to play again. I think he was getting got the point of where he was making some strides but he was frustrated that he wasn't getting better. I think that's a good thing all the way around. It also sends the message to the kids, 'Hey even though I'm not able to play I'm here working with you. I'm up just as early as you.' When they see a leader both because he's a captain, because he's a senior, but also because of the actions that he does those are the kind of instances that the kids kind of look at and say OK the bar has been raised to this level and there is expectations of me as a player and we tell [the seniors, captains] all the time that the freshmen that come in and imitate what they see so if you come into practice and you go at half speed they're gonna think that's the level that they have to reach. If you come into practice and you're injured and you just sit there and do nothing then they think OK when I'm injured I just sit down and do nothing. If you don't show up at all in practice when you're injured they think that that's the standard, and so that message was sent by Will coming in early and by working and doing his things while they're doing their things so that message is sent real loud and clear to our freshmen this is what you gotta do when you're injured. We talk about opportunities, and when it's your opportunity it's your time to shine and you never know when that opportunity's in gonna come."
Hosack said to touch the last part of his quote about opportunities Pavlik shared the story about Lou Gehrig replacing an injured starter for one game, and he never gave the spot back. Gehrig took advantage of his opportunity.
Let's not be naive, Price is getting his spot back when he's healthy. It doesn't mean some other starting positions aren't up for grabs, or as Hosack said a player can earn the right to be called first the next time someone is needed to step up.
Continue to check ATN for updates on Price's rehab and the progression of the role players.
Ariel Edwards is the latest high school player to join the Lady Lions' 2010 recruiting class. Edwards is a 6-foot-2 forward who will play at either the three or four spot for Penn State.
She is the 66th ranked player by ESPN HoopGurlz and last season was a McDonald's All-America nominee. At her high school, Christ the King, Edwards managed to average 13.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Edwards joins Maggie Lucas, Talia East and transfer Mia Nickson as members of the 2010 recruiting class. Lucas and Edwards are used to playing together as both are members of the AAU team Philly Belles, which is one of the top-rated teams in the country.
Be sure to check Washington's Post often as we'll be sure to keep you updated with information about the Lady Lions' latest recruits as well as the 2009-2010 season.
THings look to be comfortably in hand for the Lions, as they've brought in Billy Oliver and Adam Highberger to wrap things up. Battle hasn't played in the last six or seven minutes -- finally getting a break. DeChellis has talked about wanting to give him more breathers during the offseason. He played 39 minutes out of 40 in the Penn game, but he's getting his breaks tonight.
Tim Frazier is looking really comfortable at point guard -- he just drew the fourth foul on Robert Morris' Velton Jones -- arguably the best player for them. He's got 19 points and he's on the line right now.
And an update on UPSET alert -- Kentucky edged it out over Miami (OH) by two. John Wall led the Wildcats with 19 and hit a jump shot with one second left to lift the Wildcats over upset city.
We're heading down to the media room. Thanks for tuning in!
7:39 to go, Penn State 67-45
The Lions have retained their momentum of the game and are still dominating. Jeff Brooks had a nice dunk off a smart pass from D.J. Jackson in the paint.
There's now three Lions in double digits: Chris Babb with 15, Tim Frazier with 15 and Jeff Brooks with 12.
Battle has eight, 13 away from the 1,000-point mark.
Sasa Borovnjak has made his way into the game as well. He's yet to get on the stat sheet, though.
14:39 to go, Penn State 54-37
A 20-4 run out of halftime has lit a fire under this Penn State team. The Lions are shooting the ball extremely better, defending great and looking like a new team.
Chris Babb is shooting the lights out. He has four 3-pointers in a little under five minutes.
After each three, he's held his hand in the air and turned to the crowd. He just caught the ball and was double-teammed, but the crowd groaned when he didn't hoist up another jumper. He's got 15 points now.
The Lions are quickly running away with it and I'm currently loving this song as it's blaring over the speakers.
18:10 to go, Penn State 42-35
The Lions have taken their biggest lead of the game thanks to two quick 3-pointers from Chris Babb, who missed most of the first half with foul trouble. Babb now ties Frazier for the team lead with nine points.
Brooks also had a really nice take from the foul line and drove to the hole for a layup.
Halftime - Penn State 34-33
Talor Battle's first field goal came at a great time.
He caught a pass from Adam Highberger in transition and layed it up and in to give the Lions the lead at half, 34-33. Battle finishes the half with five points, four rebounds and three assists.
Tim Frazier has led the offense, taking the ball up the court and running the point. He leads the team with nine points.
Penn State really hasn't gotten anything going offensively, settling for 13 3-point attempts out of 27 total shots. Not many points have come from the paint. Penn State also had first-half seven turnovers. Against Penn, the Lions only had 10 in the entire game.
Here's the leading scorers at the half:
PSU - Tim Frazier 9 pts
PSU - Jeff Brooks 6 pts
PSU - DJ Jackson 6 pts
RMU - Dallas Green 6 pts
PSU - Talor Battle 5 pts
RMU - Russell Johnson 5 pts
UPSET ALERT: Kentucky trails Miami (OH) 50-48 with 11:13 to go in the game.
3:43 to go in 1st half, 28-26 Robert Morris
Penn State can't hang onto a lead.
Robert Morris has scored numerous 3-pointers in transition and caught up with the Lions with 3:43. Battle has one point, coming off a free throw.
Tim Frazier is doing his best Battle impression -- scoring eight points so far.
Now, our favorite part of the game -- the Hershey Kiss cam. As usual, there was a lot of comedy.
7:12 to go in 1st half, 21-20 Robert Morris
A quick bucket in transition for Robert Morris' Dallas Green gives them the lead back.
Score updates: Miami (OH) 39 - Kentucky 36 at half
Villanova 56 - Penn 25 at half
8:48 to go in 1st half, 20-19 Penn State
Tim Frazier has woken the crowd up a little bit.
His 3-pointer has given Penn State its first lead of the night. Chris Babb and Jeff Brooks have found foul trouble and are currently sitting on the bench. Andrew Ott has played a significant amount of minutes and grabbed two rebounds.
Battle still hasn't gotten on the scoreboard -- hope I didn't jinx him.
11:48 to go in 1st, 13-11 Robert Morris
Talor Battle is still scoreless.
Robert Morris has done a good job holding him to only 3-pointers, and he's 0-for-2 from there. He's now 2-for-11 from 3-point range on the season -- that's 18.1 percent.
D.J. Jackson has 6 points to pace the Nits so far.
Not exactly the start Penn State probably envisioned. The Nittany Lions trail Robert Morris 6-5 with 15:47 remaining in the first half.
D.J. Jackson hit a three pointer to get the Lion scoring going and Jeff Brooks had a nice jumper from about 15 feet out, but other than that there's not much cooking for the Lions on offense.
Robert Morris has four of its six points in transition after a steal and a rebound. Drew Jones has looked good defensively, albeit only four minutes in the game. He has two blocks and played Rob Robinson nice on two possessions.
More to come at the next timeout.
The national anthem has come and passed, and now the starting lineups are being announced. No surprises for Penn State -- same lineup as it has put on the floor for the season opener.
Mezie Ngwigwe, 6-foot 4, #2
Gary Wallace, 6-foot 3, #14
Dallas Green, 6-foot 8, #24
Rob Robinson, 6-foot 8, #1
Velton Jones, 6-foot 0, #3 (awesome name)
Chris Babb, 6-foot 5, #10
Jeff Brooks, 6-foot 8, #25
D.J. Jackson, 6-foot 7, #15
Andrew Jones, 6-foot 10, #22
Talor Battle, 6-foot 0, #12
Hey everybody, we're coming to you live from the Byrce Jordan Center for tonight's matchup between Penn State and Robert Morris. I'm Steve Hennessey, joined by A.J. and Andrew on press row. There's about five minutes to tip-off and the crowd is still pretty small.
The big storyline behind tonight's game is Talor Battle's impending arrival at 1,000 career points. The junior guard starts the game 21 points away from the milestone, which would make him the 29th Nittany Lion to eclipse the plateau.
Make sure to stay with us for live updates on his pursuit of the point total, in addition to updates from the rest of the action.
This Should End Well: Well by now I'm sure you heard the news that forward Stephen Jackson was traded with Acie Law to Charlotte for Raja Bell and Vladmir Radmanovich.
I'm just not sure what Charlotte is thinking here. They trade for Jackson, who said he only wanted to play for Cleveland, New York or any of the Texas teams and you trade for him? I know you need a scorer but where does he fit? Is Gerald Wallace being moved? All of this confuses me, not to mention that Jackson is owed $35 million over this year and the next three years. All of this is just another chapter in the saga of bad Larry Brown and Michael Jordan personnel moves if you ask me. I'm sure it won't take long for Jackson to be disgruntled there either.
The End of The Answer?: Well now we have reached endgame with the Allen Iverson saga. Memphis owner Michael Heisley has evidently told Iverson's agent that he has until the end of the week to decide if he wants to rejoin the team or retire. Seeing as playing for the Memphis Grizzlies is probably a fate worse than death, Iverson may just be better off retiring. Mainly cause of that and the fact he's a ball hogging team-wrecker that nobody wants anymore because he refuses to admit that his best days are behind him. Or that.
EDIT: I just saw that the two sides agreed to release Iverson to waivers. It'll be interesting to see where he lands from here. Will a contender possibly scoop him up to make him that final piece? I'm not sure that will happen since none of them did it this offseason and this stint in Memphis will do nothing to help that perception of him as a team-killer. Although one thing is certain, the tales of the Allen Iverson Era will always echo through the halls of the Memphis Grizzlies' facilities.
Sportsmanship by Ron Artest: Oh Ron Ron, shine on you crazy diamond. Take a look at this little gem from this weekend's game between the Rockets and the Lakers. At the beginning of the game, Rockets (and former Lakers forward) Trevor Ariza loses his shoe. Artest, (who played for Houston last year, see what these two did there?) being the warm and loving soul that he is, decided to play keep away with Ariza's shoe. Note the body language of Ariza on the replay. It just screams "C'mon son."
Coming Soon To A Poster Near You:
Talk about insult to injury. Here is Ty Lawson throwing it down over Lakers DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell. I hope that Mbenga's publicist (who was hired after the Lakers championship victory this summer) can really smooth this one out. I feel bad for the poor guy. I mean the nation held it's collective breath as we hoped and prayed that the illustrious career of DJ Mbenga would be completed with a championship. Huh? I was the only one hoping that? Oh well. Either way, Lawson did Mbenga dirty, not to mention every Sixers fan out there who's out there watching Jrue Holiday eat up garbage minutes. Tough break.
Game of the Night: Portland (8-3) @ Atlanta (8-2). A great clash of two teams who have had great starts to the season. Atlanta is coming off of a very impressive win against Boston over the weekend and Portland is trying to continue to grow into a future Western power and make that next step this season. The Hawks are undefeated at home this season while Portland is 5-1 on the road. It should be interesting to see who walks away victorious.
Have you heard of this small school in Northern California? Well this time of the year is a great chance to learn about these schools that you otherwise wouldn't realize exist.
William Jessup has about 352 undergraduates enrolled (the size of my high school class) and the average age of an undergrad is 22. The university also has 163 students enrolled in its School of Professional Studies program, where the average age for a student is 39.
Tonight, though, those numbers don't matter. It's about the five basketball players who will suit up and take the floor against San Jose State.
I spoke with Head Coach Aaron Muhic on the phone and he's excited for the opportunity to play San Jose State. He said his team will play three Division I teams this year, the first time in the basketball program's history.
"It's just a great opportunity for our guys to play in a big-time venue," Muhic said. "A lot of basketball players dream of playing at that level. It's a time for us to have fun and compete a little bit."
Muhic said his squad will throw everything it has at San Jose State. But with only a couple days to prepare for the big school -- as Muhic noted, "every school we play is bigger than us" -- it might limit the scope of things William Jessup could do.
Last season, William Jessup took Morgan State to the wire. After being down by 17, Morgan State needed a buzzer beater to fight off the pesky Warriors.
"If I was in their shoes I probably wouldn't want to play a smaller school like us," Muhic said. "Their guys probably overlook us. But the message we try to send is we can't be any different than the team we are."
Wall had to sit out the Wildcats' opening victory against Morehead State, but the nation gets the treat of finally seeing Wall in action tonight when UK takes on Miami (OH).
Wall is a freshman but is a consensus preseason All-American pick by ESPN.com's writers. Many mock drafts have Wall going in the Top 3 of the NBA Draft, too, so this very well could be our only chance to see Wall play in a opening game.
Kentucky has dreams of a national title this year and Wall is one of those main reasons. For a program that did not even make the NCAA Tournament last year, there's a lot of pressure on coach John Calipari to produce a quality season with an incredibly talented group.
Wall and forward Patrick Patterson lead that group and will be counted to lead Big Blue back to the top of the basketball world.
Coble averaged 15.5 points a game last year for the Wildcats. Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said Coble is going to opt out of surgery and rest his foot for four months.
Coble will see a second foot specialist Monday, the Chicago Tribute reports. But Carmody wasn't optimistic when he talked to Katz.
"Basically the bones are out of alignment [in his foot] and he needs to get this done for stability," Carmody told Katz. "He has no choice."
The injury apparently came on a layup attempt in practice last week and Coble came down awkwardly on his ankle. Carmody said he thought Coble just twisted it and didn't think it looked serious.
In the article, Carmody says that he and Coble have talked about a redshirt year and having the senior return for a fifth year next season.
A lot of people were talking about a possible NCAA Tournament appearance this season for the Wildcats, which would be the first time in 104 years of Northwestern basketball. Those chances go significantly down without the versatile Coble.
Coble only scored 11 points in Penn State's 61-57 victory over the Wildcats in the Lions' Big Ten opener last season.
Northwestern will also be without the services of senior Jeff Ryan, who tore his ACL in the Wildcats' opening win vs. Northern Illinois.
Even if the Lady Lions had a slow start, there were still a lot of plays, players and situations that stood out in my mind.
The Lions improved to 2-0 on the season and during Sunday's win the team showed flashes of its potential as well as spurts of its inexperience.
Without further ado, here are four key points I took away from the Lions' 79-57 win over the visiting NJIT Highlanders.
Alex Bentley is getting acclimated to college ball
The freshman point guard's 16 points and nine assists were all part of a solid performance for the youngster. What impressed me about Bentley was her poise on the court. While there were six lead changes through out the first half, Bentley didn't appear to be rattled by a surging NJIT squad. There was a two minute stretch mid way through the first half where the Lions cut the Highlander's lead to four points and during that critical two-minute span Bentley recorded four assists. With the Lions going back and forth with the Highlanders it must have been a pleasant surprise for coach Coquese Washington to see the freshman take charge and distribute the ball.
The team has a lot of scoring potential
There are plays that Tyra Grant makes that are simply impressive. Her nifty pass to Meredith Monroe just five minutes into the game was one of those moments where it was obvious that Grant is head and shoulders above the competition. But other teams certainly know about Grant's playmaking abilities. After having her first career double-double against Drexel Friday night, Grant was the focus of the Highlanders' defense. NJIT limited her to 11 points, but the Lions proved that if you slow down Grant, they can beat you will someone else. Fellow starters Bentley, Julia Trogele and Zhaque Gray all scored in the double digits which is something the Lions need to be able to do on a consistent basis.
Nikki Greene is ready to dunk
With just 13 seconds left in the game, Greene took off on a fast break and you could tell by the looks on her teammates' faces it was coming. As the Lady Lions' bench stood up with their eyes fixed on the 6-4 Greene, the team prepared for some type of dunk. While Greene was unable to control the ball as it fell through her hands and rolled out of bounds, her teammates and the Lady Lions' faithful let out a sigh. It seems as if it's only a matter of time until Greene connects and throws one down.
Fouls are piling up
Washington knows her team needs to stop playing undisciplined ball. The third-year head coach has no problem pulling a player out of the game after they commit an unnecessary foul and on Sunday the team had plenty of them. The Lady Lions committed 18 throughout the course of the game, three of which came from Marisa Wolfe. The freshman only played for 11 minutes but still managed to find a way to get whistled. Many of the fouls the Lions committed came from plays down low where the Highlanders would flat out beat the Lions with a drop step or a simple post move. Rather than trying to move their feet and regain position, the Lions ended up hacking at the Highlanders. Fouls will continue to be a point of emphasis as the Lions move forward.
After seeing her young team play in two regular season games over the weekend, Washington now has a better idea of what to expect from her team and we will keep an eye out for some of these reoccurring issues.
A few thoughts I had while realizing Tom Brady and the Patriots are officially back ... and the Colts are still better.
1. Oh, look, Thursday Night Football is back. Jay Cutler certainly showed up for the primetime matchup, tossing five interceptions, a career-worst for the gunslinger from Vanderbilt. Remember back when Cutler came to Chicago from Denver, how that was going to put the Bears back atop the NFC North? And remember Chicago's 3-1 start? Well, now the Bears are 4-5, four games back in the division and a game behind in the Wild Card.
2. Hey, speaking of floundering teams, it's the New York Jets! They started 3-0 behind "The Sanchize" Mark Sanchez. Since then, their only win has come against the Raiders and New York is now 4-5. The rookie quarterback from USC has nine touchdowns to 12 interceptions this season with a 66.5 QB rating. Maybe it's not such a great idea to throw a rookie into the fire quite this early, especially in the Big Apple.
3. On a lighter note, look at these Bengals! This was a team famous only for having players in constant trouble with the law just a few short years ago. Now, with its win Sunday over the Steelers -- its second over the defending champs, by the way -- Cincy is in charge of the AFC North. I'm pretty sure that's a sign of the apocalypse. Any day now, a meteor's going to hit, the horsemen are going to grace us with their pressence, and the Lions are going to go on a winning streak.
4. Brandon Marshall had one excellent first quarter. The Broncos' stud receiver's first two catches were 75- and 40-yard touchdown catches. Too bad his team ended up losing ... to the Redskins. Ouch.
5. Princess is in a bit of a rut. The game-picking camel tabbed the Jets to beat the Jaguars, and as it was previously stated, they lost. So Rung and myself get to go one game up on our spitting, graham cracker-eating friend from New Jersey -- no, not Miniaci.
Match of the Day: No. 2 Matt Moley vs. No. 5 Cyler Sanderson at 157.
This could have been dubbed the marquee matchup prior to the match, but it lived up to the hype. The match was a close throughout, with both wrestlers particularly cautious in the beginning. Each had his opportunities to get a takedown, but neither could manage to out-muscle the other. Sanderson's takedown in the third period drew a large ovation from the crowd that didn't die down until Sanderson jogged off the mat with the victory. If there was a 1a. pick, it would be Clay Steadman's come-from-behind win at 197.
Wrestler of the Meet: This could easily have gone to Sanderson, Steadman, or Cameron Wade, but we're giving this prestigous honor to Dan Vallimont. The No. 9 165-pounder beat his second ranked opponent in three days. Following the intermission, he was able to back up Sanderson's win with a 2-1 victory over No. 19 Rick Schmelyun. Vallimont was able to fend off his Schmelyun in the final period to hold on to the win and put the team up 14-9. The points were vital with the next two matches being weak spots for the Nittany Lions, making Vallimont's win even more important.
Positives to Take Away: The team was able to get Cael Sanderson the always important first win as Lions coach...Brad Pataky continued to take care of business at 125, winning 22-7 on tech. fall...the Lions' ranked wrestlers proved they belong near the top, with each winning his match...Steadman showed good fight and conditioning in coming back to win a critical match...Nick Fischer battled hard while wrestling up a weight at 174 despite losing 11-5.
Negatives to Take Away: Bryan Pearsall looked to be wrestling pretty well, but was pinned while up 10-4...The spots at 133, 141, 174, and 184 still seem to be a concern...Many of the Lions seemed to have trouble closing out matches.
Crowd: The official attendance was 4,063. The fans were very energetic and could be heard yelling pointers and giving support throughout the match. At critical points in the meet, the cheering intensified and helped back the Lions to victory. A bunch of youngsters showed dedication by sticking around afterwards and getting a chance to spend some time with coach Sanderson.
Penn State coach Barry Gorman said Matt Smallwood started over Mackenzie Arment and Vince Salvatico because of his good play as of late. Smallwood also added a defensive prowess in the middle of the field, but Gorman said defense wasn't the sole purpose of Smallwood starting and tallying increased playing time.With Smallwood at the center-midfield position, Drew Cost moved to the outside. Gorman stated Cost didn't play as a typical winger such as Matheus Braga, Arment and Salvatico do. Cost crossed the ball to Yeisley on two plays Sunday but still maintained a more central position than a typical outside midfielder. When Arment substituted for Smallwood, Cost moved to his usual center-midfield position.*****In other news, Gorman said Andy Parr's sprained MCL will be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. His status is unknown as of now.-MonahanComments
Greetings Lady Lions followers! It's Audrey here to bring you all the action from today's match up at the BJC. The Lions opened up the regular season on Friday night with a win over the Drexel Dragons.
The Lady Lions are huddled under the basket near their bench and as the pep band plays Fight On State Coquese Washington's squad seems ready to open their home season.
Things to watch for:
The youthful Lions will look to score early, but need to stay out of foul trouble to be successful. Grant is coming off of her first career double double and looks to follow that up with another strong scoring performance.
Lions gain possession but Gray misses a shot down low.
The Highlanders have no response as the Lions came down with the pull and worked the ball inside to Greene for a basket.
Greene picks up her first foul
Gerald makes her first free throw, misses the second
After a Lions fail to do anything on their possession Gerald hits for two
Gray responds to the Highlander's three points with three of her own.
Substitioons: Meredith Monroe in for Trogele
Janessa Wolff enters for Greene
The Highlanders just missed on three consecutive shots down low and Bentley came down the court and notched two points of her own
Lions lead: 7-5
Renee Womack enters for the Lions
7-5 Lions lead, 15:49 remaining
Wolff converts on both free throws
Grant with an exceptional ball fake and pass to Monroe who converts for two.
I think I just spotted the Lady Lions' biggest fans as there are five gentlemen in the front row on the side opposite the Lions' bench with PSU jerseys painted on their chests.
Gizelle Studevent enters for the Lions. Washington didn't waste much time getting Studevent in the game today after just one week ago she was the last freshmen to enter for the Lions.
NJIT is capitalizing on their inside shots while the Lions are struggling to make a basket.
Emily Phillips enters for the Lions
Trogele picks up her first foul as Gerald drove through the land. the Lions already have five team fouls and there are 12 minutes left.
NJIT now leads 12-11
Greene picked up her second foul and is out of the game. On the ensuing possession Phillips picked up a foul as well.
12-11 NJIT leads, 11:22 left in the half
While it is a beautiful day outside the Lionettes are trying to make it nice in the BJC as they dance at half court to Beautiful Day. Fellow Lady Lions reporter Bill Landis wondered how they'd dance to the song and he thought it resembled more of a river dance.
Gerald hits both free throws
Wolff picks up her first foul as the Lions are now up to seven team fouls.
NJIT converts on both free throws to extend their lead to five points.
Womack answers with a jump shot
Gerald continues to shoot lights out as she hit a three pointer, bringing her game total to 10 points.
Grant for three
19-16 NJIT leads
The Lions are struggling defensively and the Highlanders and scoring almost at will in the paint.
21-16 Highlanders, eight minutes left
Coming out of the timeout the NJIT called, Gerald hits an NBA range three pointer
The Lions respond as Bentley drives through the lane for a basket.
Freshman Marisa Wolfe enters for the Lions
24-18 NJIT leads, 6:57 remaining
Perhaps the loudest cheer of the afternoon just came as the PSU cheerleaders handed out Subway.
Wolfe scores on an inbounds play and nets her first two of the game off of her shot from the elbow.
Washington is bending the referee's ear a bit as she wanted a traveling violation to be called.
Monroe notches two for the Lions, who have cut the Highlander's lead to two
Gray responds to a missed Highlander's basket with another three pointer, her second of the game.
Lions now lead 25-24, 5:34 remaining
Wolff picks up her first foul, the Lions' eighth
Bentley with a fancy inside pass to Wolff who makes the basket and gets the foul
Wolff misses the free throw
Lions remain possession when a Highlander slaps the ball out of bounds
Trogele scores from down low
29-26 Lions lead
The Lions are starting to work the ball inside and the results have been pleasant for them as they've now taken a five point lead
31-26 Lions lead, 3:42 remaining
Seric scores two coming out of the timeout
Grant drives through the lane and with an open player on the wing decides to keep it herself, but can't make the basket
Off a Highlander's miss, Gray scores a layup
33-28 Lions lead as Bentley and Trogele re enter the game
Highlanders hit both free throws as Grant comes down the floor and misses a layup
Trogele makes the inside bucket and is fouled in the process. She converts from the charity stripe
Grant takes a charge from Rayven Johnson. As Grant got up off the court she was showing some emotion as she pumped her fists and looked fired up running back down the court.
Trogele at the line shooting as the Highlander's reach the penalty
Trogele makes both as the Lions extend their lead to eight points
End of the half with the Lions up 38-30
We're at the half here at the BJC and I'll admit I'm a bit confused about this quick change act that's happening at half court. However, I'm also a bit stumped by the Lions' desire to take the outside shot. They've been having success in the paint as they've scored 14 points down low, but they've settled for the outside shot quite often.
The Lions shot just 37 percent from the floor in the first half and have overcome six different lead changes.
The Lions now hold their biggest lead of the game as they head out of the locker room and run through a line formed by Washington's Woopsters.
That's the buzzer for the start of the second half
Trogele, Gray, Grant, Greene, Bentley and Trogele start the second half for the Lions
Just 10 seconds into the half Grant picks up a foul
Highlanders for three
Gray converts on the layup
T. Oyelola beats Greene inside for the basket
Trogele picks up her second foul and leaves the game
Monroe and Womack enter for the Lions
Foul on Womack
Highlanders hit both free throws to cut the Lions' lead to three
Womack gets called for the travel
Highlanders turn it over with a carry
foul on T. Oyelola
40-37 Lions lead, 15:46 remaining in the game
Monroe misses the first free throw, makes the second
The lions have done a better job of shutting Oswald down this half. After giving up 13 points to her in the first half, she's only scored two points in the first five minutes of the second half.
Bentley goes to the line and makes both free throws
43-37 Lions lead
Trogele with the pull, pushes it up to Grant who converts on the layup
Trogele with another rebound, this time Bentley makes the basket.
As Grant walked over to the bench and gave Bentley a high five the crowd has come to life as the Lions hold their biggest lead of the game, up 47-37
Lions struggled to move the ball around and as Gray made a pass to an open Lion, Washington already motioned for the timeout.
Womack enters for the Lions
Grant appears to be working with trainers off to the side who appeared to be looking at her eye. Grant was all over the floor on the possession before the timeout and perhaps got poked in the eye while going for the loose ball.
Studavent enters for the Lions as the Highlanders pick up their sixth team foul
Highlanders work it inside for an uncontested bucket
Grant cuts through the lane for two
51-39 Lions lead, Timeout
Bentley for three.
Bentley follow her three up with an easy two. The freshman is having a career game with 13 points and a slew of assists
Bentley scores on her third consecutive possession, her 15th of the game
Lions stretch their lead to 15 points, their largest of the game
Highlanders convert on both free throws
Trogele helps the Lions with two points from down low
Trogele for three to get the Lions over the 60-point barrier
Gray with a foul, her second of the game
Lions up 63-47, 6:55 remaining
Gray forces a jump ball, Highlander possession
Bentley hits one out of two free throws
Gray in for the layup
Highlanders called for a foul and Bentley hits the free throws
Grant for the layup.
This game is almost in the books as the Lions now extend their lead to 20 points, their largest of the game.
With three minutes left in the game I expect we'll see a lot of the younger players enter the game to try and get them more experience. One younger player who got plenty of action today was Bentley who has scored 16 points.
Out of the timeout freshman Studavent hits a three as Studavent, Greene and Bentley are all on the court, along with Nicole Arcidiacono and Trogele.
74-54 Lions lead
Greene records her third foul of the game
The Lions tried a lob pass to Greene who was unable to hold onto the ball, however Greene converts on the in-bounds
Greene fouled on her attempt in the paint. the Highlanders have nine team fouls.
Greene makes the first, misses the second
Off of a turnover Greene has a fast break and you could tell the fans and her teammates wanted to see her throw down a dunk, but she was stripped of the ball within a few feet of the basket.
We're heading down to the media room, check back after the game for my analysis of the Lions' victory over the Highlanders.
The Nittany Lions kicked off their season with a victory, but aside from Talor Battle, they looked very sluggish in the first half. Andrew Jones struggled, and as a team the Lions shot just 53 percent from the line. That said, they are still unbeaten, albeit after just one game in.
Coach Ed DeChellis: A-
DeChellis' choice to insert Adam Highberger seemed questionable at the time, but the junior walk-on hit two clutch threes and covered Penn's leading scorer despite a four-inch height disadvantage. We'll see if he can change his team's free throw mentality before Monday's game against Robert Morris.
Talor Battle, PG: A
Battle was the lone offensive threat for the Lions in the first half, scoring 17 of their 36 points, and recording two key assists on the Highberger 3s. He did almost everything for the Lions with 10 boards as well. Now the question is, where will the help come from offensively.
Chris Babb, SG: B-
Babb hit a key three in the second half and racked up eight points, but two early fouls limited him to just 23 minutes. With a young backcourt behind him and Battle, the Lions can't afford to have Babb missing those minutes in the future.
David Jackson, SF: C
Jackson had similar problems to Babb, picking up two fouls in the first six minutes and totalling just 26 total. He put up five points, but the Lions could have used his athleticism on the boards when he was on the bench instead.
Jeff Brooks, PF: B
Brooks was the only player who stepped up for Battle, knocking down key jumpshots, and scoring in double figures. But Brooks only used his 6-foot-8 frame for one rebound -- the reason the junior forward didn't earn an A.
Andrew Jones, C: D-
Jones fouled out, only scored four points and was visibly frustrated with the referees throughout the contest. As the main replacement for Jamelle Cornley, Jones struggled in his first game as the No. 1 scoring threat down low.
Adam Highberger, Bench: A-
Highberger came off the bench to shut down Penn's best player and knock down two 3s that gave the Lions the lead for good. Not bad for a former walk-on.
Sasa Borovnjak, Bench: C
With two points and one rebound in 13 minutes, Borovnnjak's performance is a difficult one to assess. One thing we did learn: the freshman will in deed get playing time.
Tim Frazier, Bench: B-
Frazier played only eight minutes -- mostly because of Highberger's performance. He had two assists and looked better on the fast break but needs work on his outside jumper.
Cammeron Woodyard, Bench: C+
Woodyard did what he could with limited playing time. His first half 3-pointer ended a streak of woeful shooting for the Lions and he added a board and an assist in 16 minutes.
Billy Oliver, Bench: C-
Oliver picked up two fouls and no points in his five minutes on the floor. More production will be needed if he wants a role increase.
Andrew Ott, Bench: B-
Just 14 minutes, but he put up five points and four rebounds. Expect an increase in his time on the floor against RMU.
Clark: Falcons over Panthers, Dolphins over Bucs, Vikings over Lions, Jets over Jaguars, Bengals over Steelers, Saints over Rams, Titans over Bills, Broncos over Redskins, Raiders over Chiefs
Cardinals over Seahawks, Cowboys over Packers, Chargers over Eagles, Patriots over Colts, Browns over Ravens
Miniaci: Falcons over Panthers, Dolphins over Bucs, Vikings over Lions, Jets over Jags, Steelers over Bengals, Saints over Rams, Bills over Titans, Broncos over Skins, Chiefs over Raiders, Cards over Seahawks, Cowboys over Packers, Chargers over Eagles, Colts over Pats, Ravens over Browns
Rorabaugh: Home team in CAPS: Falcons over PANTHERS, DOLPHINS over Bucs, VIKINGS over Lions, Jaguars over JETS, STEELERS over Bengals (though Cincy and the torn-up turf will make things interesting), Saints over RAMS, TITANS over Bills, Broncos over REDSKINS, RAIDERS over Chiefs (to win the Toilet Bowl), CARDINALS over Seahawks, Cowboys over PACKERS, Eagles over CHARGERS (all year long, Philly has lost one, then won its next two), Patriots over COLTS, Ravens over BROWNS
Rung: Falcons over Panthers, Dolphins over Buccaneers, Vikings over Lions, Jaguars over Jets
Steelers over Bengals, Saints over Rams, Titans over Bills, Broncos over Redskins, Raiders over Chiefs, Cardinals over Seahawks, Packers over Cowboys, Eagles over Chargers, Colts over Patriots, Ravens over Browns
Gentile and Oplinger: did not make picks before kickoff
1st- The meet comes down to this match. The announced crowd of 3,763 sees Wade take down Walsh to take a 2-0 lead. After Walsh scores off an escape, the period ends 2-1 with Wade in the lead.
2nd- Wade's riding time increases to two minutes before a stale mate is called. Wade gets on top of Walsh and gets two near fall points awarded to him. The crowd erupts with applause as Wade caps of the dual meet by pinning Walsh to give the Lions a 23-15 victory.
197- Clay Steadman vs. Jake Dabashinsky
1st- Both grapplers are fighting for position in the first two minutes. As the first period comes to a close, the match remains scoreless.
2nd- Dabashinsky starts down, and Steadman doesn't allow him to escape until there are 30 seconds remaining in the period. Dabashinsky leads 1-0, but Steadman has a 1:28 riding time advantage.
3rd- Steadman starts down. Dabashinsky gets him in a leg lock and a stale mate is called. Steadman is unable to escape, and there are several "boos" coming from the crowd wanting a stall warning from Dabashinsky, who finally gets the warning with one minute remaining. The crowd is really into this crucial match, as Steadman escapes. A load cheer erupts and Rec Hall's volume increased its intensity as Steadman earns a takedown to take the match 3-1. Penn State leads 17-15.
184- Justin Ortega vs. Derek Coffey
1st- Neither wrestler can get anything going as there is no score or riding time after one period.
2nd- Coffey gets an escape point to grab a 1-0 lead. Ortega has a slight lead in riding time with eight seconds, but trail 1-0 after two.
3rd- Two near fall points are awarded to Coffey, as he takes a 3-0 lead. Coffey is control of the match, with a riding time point ensured with 30 seconds remaining. The riding time point makes it a 4-0 win for Coffey. Bloomsburg now leads 15-14.
174- Nick Fischer vs. Nate Graham
1st- Graham gains a take down to open the period and rides Fischer for over a minute. Graham lets Fischer go after Bloomsburg coach John Stutzman informs him to. Graham leads 4-1 after one period.
2nd- Graham wriggles out of an ankle-locking grip from Fischer. Fischer gets an escape and has avoided a take down for two periods. 6-2 Graham after two periods.
3rd- Fischer locked on Graham's leg but couldn't muster enough strength to flip him. He got caught on a two-point reversal. 11-5 Graham win. 14-12 Penn State.
165- No. 9 Dan Vallimont vs. No. 19 Nick Schmelyun
1st- The two roll around and change positions on the mat. Vallimont almost got caught for back points but scrambled out. The score is 0-0 after one.
2nd- A nice reversal for Vallimont. Schmelyun rode Vallimont for a while but couldn't get a take down because of Vallimont's strength. Vallimont gained a take down. 2-0 after two.
3rd- Schmelyun rode Vallimont for nearly a minute, but Vallimont avoids a take down and holds on for the 2-1 decision. It's 14-9 Penn State.
157- Cyler Sanderson vs. Matt Moley
1st- A ranked bout here. Moley is No. 2 while Sanderson is No. 5. Sanderson avoids a take down and pushed Moley away. A lot of neck-tying between the two and an uneventful first period - 0-0 after one.
2nd- Sanderson avoids another take down as Moley picked up his leg and attempted to force him to the ground. Sanderson hopped to remain balanced and escaped. After Sanderson escaped to start the period, it's 1-0 after two.
3rd- Crowd cheers as Sanderson locked both arms around Moley's right leg, but he couldn't conjure enough strength for the take down. After grabbing Moley's waist, Sanderson danced around the mat with Moley and forced Moley down for two points. A fast-clap chant erupts with 20 seconds left. Moley forces Sanderson to the ground but couldn't take control. Sanderson wins the bout 3-2 to a standing ovation, and Penn State leads 11-9 at the intermission.
149- Frank Molinaro vs. John Roosa
1st- Molinaro picks Roosa up and turns him on his stomach for the take down. After one period, it's 6-2 Molinaro.
2nd- Molinaro grabs Roosa's left leg and shows his brute strength by picking him up and throwing him to the mat for the two-point take down. Molinaro leads 8-3 after two.
3rd- Another take down for Molinaro. He wins by major decision, 12-3.
141- Colby Pisani vs. Frank Hickman
1st- Pisani gets his first start of the season after Lynch was pinned Friday night. Pisani tallied some near fall points. Hickman gains one escape point and a waist-grabbing take down for three straight points. It's 6-3 Pisani at the end of one.
2nd- Hickman explodes in the second by gaining points on multiple back-point opportunities. It's 14-7 Hickman.
3rd- Pisani gains two near fall points and shows some energy at the end of the bout. He was close to a pin on the back points. Hickman takes the 19-12 decision. It's 9-4 Bloomsburg after three matchups.
133- Bryan Pearsall vs. Dan Gaylord
1st- After Gaylord takes two near fall points, Pearsall battles back for the take down. Applause erupts as Pearsall gains three near fall points. Gaylord lay trying to wiggle away, but Pearsall wouldn't let go of his stern grip around Gaylord's waist.
2nd- Fans scream for stalling points as Pearsall has Gaylord down on the mat. Pearsall takes a commanding lead after two periods. 10-4 Pearsall.
3rd- A huge reversal. Pearsall almost had a take down, but Gaylord reversed his attempt with a leg-tangling back twister. Gaylord then pinned Pearsall for the win.
125- Brad Pataky vs. Jason Guffey
Pataky gains his first take down. He took Guffey's legs and tried to flip him to the mat. Guffey tangled his legs around Pataky's neck to hinder the take down, but Pataky took control and gained the two points.
Guffey escapes - 2-1 Pataky.
Pataky gains another take down to the crowd's enjoyment 4-1.
2nd- Pataky wraps his hands aroung Guffey's waist and methodically takes him down. It was one of several Pataky take downs in the second. 15- 5 Pataky at the end of the second.
3rd- Pataky gains the riding time point and a stalling point. Guffey has been stalling all period. Pataky takes Guffey down after the stall warning. 22-7 Pataky for the technical fall.
This is wrestling beat writer Brendan Monahan. We're about five minutes away from wrestling's first home dual against Bloomsburg. Here are some lineup notes.
David Erwin did not pass his pre-dual skin test and will not wrestle today. 165-pounder Nick Fischer will move up a weight class and wrestle in place of Erwin at 174.
Justin Ortega will get the nod at 184 again. Ortega fought hard on Friday in his loss to Lehigh's David Craig.
Both 133 and 141 are still in the air. At 141, Adam Lynch was pinned Friday by Seth Ciasulli so maybe Colby Pisani will get his first start of the season. At 133, Tyler Saltsman lost to No. 12 Matt Fisk in the Lehigh dual. Bryan Pearsall is the other option in the 133-pound weight class.
Two of Penn State's top freshmen put on a show at yesterday's Washington & Jefferson Open in their first intercollegiate action.
David Taylor went 5-0 to win the 157-pound weight class. His dominant run included technical falls by scores of 17-2, 20-5, 19-4, and 20-5 in the final over Kyle Eason of West Virginia. His other win was a forfeit.
At 165 pounds, Jake Kemerer posted a 5-1 record to take third. Among his five wins were two pins and two technical falls, and his lone loss came to No. 14 Donnie Jones of West Virginia in the semifinals.
Coach Mark Pavlik said it was an exhausting day, but his team "handled it like champs." Just hours after polishing off Nazareth College in a three game sweep, the Nittany Lions were on the floor again. This match --- against familiar foe Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne -- wasn't nearly as easy, but Penn State got it done. They defeated the Mastadons 30-20, 30-18, 26-30, 30-24 to improve to 2-0 in preseason play.
Pavlik rested captain Max Lipsitz, Joe Sunder and Edgardo Goas after game one.
Stepping up big time was frosh Tom Comfort. The 6-foot-6 opposite hitter, of Orchard Park, NY, started games two and four and finished the match with a team-leading 10 kills.
- Blair Brown served for the Lions to start the third set and started a rally that ended with a kill for the Wildcats who opened up an early 1-0 lead.
- A kill from Megan Hodge gave the Lions a 4-2 lead. Hodge and Kabbes followed up the the kill with a block to increase the lead to three.
- A nice rally ended in a kill for Darcy Dorton from the left side. The kill gave the Lions a 10-5 lead. Dorton followed up with a block with the help of Ari Wilson to give the Lions a six-point lead. Chan called a timeout for the Wildcats.
- Darcy Dorton took a big swing an found a spot in the corner to give the Lions a 12-7 lead.
- A big kill from Megan Hodge made the score 14-9 Penn State. And Kelse Ream came into to serve for the Lions. Her first action of the season. Ream made a nice serve that was handled by the Wildcats and ended with a Northwestern kill.
- 5, 312 the attendance tonight. The fourth-largest crowd ever for Penn State women's volleyball.
- We're gonna head down to the floor with the Lions up 17-11 in the third set.
Some stats during the break:
- Penn State is hitting .352 for the match after posting a .364 mark in the first set and .333 in the second.
- A -.138 hitting percentage for the Wildcats dropped their overall mark to .078.
-Megan Hodge leads the Lions with 10 kills, while Naomi Johnson leads Northwestern with eight kills.
-As a team, the Lions have 7 blocks.
- Northwestern served to start the second set. A kill from the Lions and a hitting error from the Wildcats made the score 2-0 in favor of Penn State.
- Megan Hodge continued her strong play and notched her eight kill of the match to give the Lions a 3-1 lead.
- A kill from Alexandra Ayers gave the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.
- Katie Kabbes off the bench for the Lions notched her second kill of the match to tie the score at 7. Rose went with Kabbes early in the set in what looked like a substitution for Fatima Balza.
- Penn State built its largest lead thus far at 11-8 after four hits by the Wildcats.
- A ball off the antenna by Northwestern gave Penn State a 12-8 lead and prompted Coach Chan to call a timeout for the Wildcats. It was a sloppy set up to that point, but the Lions made the better of the sloppy play.
- A block from Wilson and Glass ended a mini run by the Wildcats and gave the Lions a four-point lead. Two more points for Penn State made the score 17-11 and prompted another Northwestern timeout.
- A service error from Northwestern gave the Lions a seven-point lead at 20-13.
- Megan Hodge unleashed her jump serve, a tough ball to handle for Northwestern. Blair followed with a kill and made the score 23-13.
- Hodge served the ball into the net on set point to make the score 24-14.
- A block from Katie Kabbes and Darcy Dorton gave the Lions their 25th and deciding point, and gave the Lions a 2 set to none lead.
- I'll be back after the break to bring you the third set action.
-The Lions got off to a quick start with a Blair Brown ace in front of a crowd that is filling Rec Hall and was on its feet for most of the first few points. They extended the momentum from that opening point into a 5-0 lead.
-Glass and Wilson put together a nice block that again got the crowd into the game and the bench into the typical routine of its "block party."
-Wilson has two kills and two assisted blocks thus far, and Hodge also has two kills for a Penn State team that looks clearly superior -- not only in talent, but in its mindset.
-Can't help but wonder how much the Lions start is a credit to their largest home crowd of the season.
-With a 14-6 lead the Wildcats took a timeout. Most of the crowd rose to its feet as the two teams headed back to the bench.
-An 8-3 run by the Wildcats cut the lead to six, but a Northwestern hitting error -- a ball of the antenna and another wide on the far side caused the Wildcats to call another timeout, with the Lions up five.
-After a quick start for Penn State, the Lions fell into a funk, but thus far their early lead has been enough to carry them. But following a Naomi Johnson kill the Lions called a rare timeout with the score 21-19.
-Megan Hodge proved too much for the Wildcats in the end, and a hitting error gave the Lions the set two win, 25-20. Wild Bill will be blogging set two.
We're at Rec Hall again tonight as the No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team takes on Northwestern. The Nittany Lions continue their current NCAA record of 91 consecutive wins, and are looking for their 28th win this season.
The stands are packed again tonight, so it should be another loud match. Sorry about the delayed coverage last night, the wireless died here in Rec Hall meaning we could not bring you play-by-play coverage.
The band riles the crowd up just moments before play gets underway here in State College.
The starting lineups are as follows:
-Senior outside hitter Ariel Baxterbeck
-junior middle Naomi Johnson
-Redshirt freshman middle Kathryn Chrystal
-Freshman libero Julie Chin
-Sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Ayers
-Junior setter Elyse Glab
-Redshirt junior middle Sabel Moffett
And for Penn State:
-Freshman outside hitter Darcy Dorton
-Junior middle hitter Fatima Balza
-Senior setter Alisha Glass
-Junior middle hitter Arielle Wilson
-Junior middle hitter Blair Brown
-Senior outside hitter Megan Hodge
-Junior libero Alyssa D'Errico.
And now AJ will take over for me (Jocelyn) to bring you action from the first set.
Just got word from coach Mark Pavlik that the Nittany Lions swept their first exhibition game against Nazareth 30-15, 30-23, 30-16 at Buffalo Niagra Court Center this afternoon.
Pavlik used three different lineups in each of the games. The first game had captain Max Lipsitz and 6-6 freshman Nick Turko in the middle, Thomas Periera and Joe Sunder on the outside and freshman Tom Comfort (a NY native) at opposite. Edgardo Goas was the setter and Dennis Del Valle was at libero. PSU was up 18-12 when Sunder went to the line and served the team to a 7-0 run. A kill by Comfort sealed the game.
Lipsitz stayed in the middle for game two and was joined by frosh Ian Hendries. Kyle Mars and Ryan Wolf played outside, Sunder stayed at opposite, Goas at setter and newly-elected captain Jesse Wagner played libero.
"Nazareth started to serve a little tougher and seemed to get used to these hitters a little more quickly," said Pavlik of game two. "But they had no answer for Sunder and Lipsitz."
Pavlik said the team "stayed sharp" in game three, closing out the match. Turko and sophomore Mark Shipp played middle, Jason Ambrose and Periera at outside, and Alan Mars at opposite. Tor Covello was the setter and De Valle was back at libero.
Obviously a lot of different guys seeing action as Pavlik is still in experimental mode -- trying to find combinations that work. The team, of course, is without captain Will Price this weekend so it's an opportunity for the younger players to earn valuable playing time this spring.
The team will play IPFW at 7p.m. Should be hearing from Pavlik shortly after the completion of that match so stay tuned to ABTN for an update.
It's opening night at the BJC. I'm Emily Kaplan and I'll be live blogging tonight's game. A-Rob is off covering women's soccer at Jeffrey tonight -- he missed a nice spread of pulled pork. Thanks, Robinson.
It's Penn vs Penn State in the Nittany Lions' first game since winning their first-ever NIT last spring. It's just before tip-off and the Nittany Lion is at center court, hoisting the trophy. "Nittany Nation" - mostly wearing white for tonight's opener - is getting riled up. The banner is raised to a nice ovation.
Penn returns three of its top four scorers from their 10-18 2008-9 campaign in juniors Tyler Bernardini, Jack Eggleston and sophomore Zack Rosen.
Just got word that Denzel Washington is in the building. Having a celebrity in attendance is definitely not a bad way to kick off the season.
Here are the starting lineups:
Timeout 11:43 in the first. It's 13-12 Penn State and the game is just as the score indicates - pretty close so far.
The Nittany Lions already have two substitutions. Cameron Woodyard checked into the game at 14:57 for Chris Babb, who had two fouls in the first 5:03.
Tim Frazier went in for Jeff Brooks and the freshman out of Houston Texas received a nice ovation from the crowd. He responded by assisting on a three pointer from Woodward just minutes later.
Battle already has eight points, Bernadini with ten.
Brooks is back in the game for D.J. Jackson and we're back to play.
Timeout with 9:12 remaining as it looks like Penn State is starting to pull away. A 14-7 run and they now lead 24-17.
Jones -- the second leading returning scorer -- is scoreless more than ten minutes into the game.
Jones misses two free throws at 6:53. Still without a point. He gets subbed out less than a minute later for Andrew Ott.
Ott comes off the bench and right away gets a rebound. He's fouled and heads to the line. Misses the first, sinks the second. Penn State is now 2-6 (33%) in free throws.
Jones comes back in with about five minutes to go. He commits a foul -- his second of he night -- with 3:16 remaining. He's visibly frustrated.
Timeout with 1:30 remaining. 36-28 Penn State. Adam Highberger hit two three pointers -- just 1:05 apart -- to give PSU a boost. Battle has 17 points, five rebounds.
Halftime. Penn State's up 36-29. Penn didn't score a FG in the last 6:37 of the first half. It's clear Bernardini is their go-to-guy. He leads the Quakers with 10 points. Junior Adam Highberger has been guarding him pretty closely in the latter part of the first half.
Andrew Jones went scoreless in the twenty minutes. He averaged 10 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds in Penn State's five game run to the NIT championship last spring. Talor Battle, meanwhile, has picked up right where he left off. 17 points and five rebounds.
Stay tuned for some second half updates.
Four minutes into the second half and Andrew Jones is finally on the board. A layup in the paint and he now has two points on the night. Just 15 seconds later, however, the junior forward commits a foul by the Penn basket.
Not too much variety from Penn State with scoring. Battle has 19 points. The next leading scorer for the Nittany Lions? Adam Highberger with six points from his two first half three-pointers.
Just as Andrew Jones looked like he was heating up -- he scored again less than a minute from his first basket -- he is called for a foul with 13:04 remaining. A Penn State turnover. Jones is replaced by Andrew Ott. 45-40 PSU.
Chris Babb is on the board. A three pointer by the sophomore guard and Penn State now leads 53-44 with 9:39 remaining.
Penn State up 54-44. A D.J. Jackson free throw with 8:19 and the Nittany Lions have their largest lead of the night.
Penn State still has a 10 point lead with 4:58 to go. They're up 59-49 and we're headed down to the floor. Check the Collegian website later for a wrap-up and Monday's paper for complete coverage of the game.
Welcome to Rec Hall where tonight the No. 1 Penn State women's volleyball team will take on No. 5 Illinois. Collegian volleyball reporter Bill Landis here to preview the match.
This is the second meeting between the Lions and Illini this season. Penn State swept a match in Champaign, Ill., back on Sept. 26.
Since that match, Illinois has lost just one match and Penn State has hasn't dropped any.
Illinois is in the middle of an eleven match winning streak, but faces a tough task tonight if it hopes to keep the streak alive.
The Illini took a major hit about two weeks ago when they lost senior libero Ashley Edinger in a match against Purdue. Sophomore Rachel Feldman has taken over the libero duties and has shown promise in two matches against Michigan and Michigan State.
Still, expect the Penn State hitters to test the young libero early as she has played a team with caliber of hitter that Penn State has.
This is most likely Penn State's toughest test the rest of the way in the team's quest for another Big Ten Championship.
Should be an entertaining match. We'll be back to bring you the first set action Comments
Your LeBron Jerseys Will Now Be Collectors Items: Yep, that's right. For all of you people out there who own those snazzy No. 23 LeBron James jerseys (myself included), get ready to remember them as an era gone by. LeBron announced that he is changing his number to six after the end of the season.
"I just think what Michael Jordan has done for the game has to be recognized some way soon," James said. "There would be no LeBron James, no Kobe Bryant, no Dwyane Wade if there wasn't Michael Jordan first.
"He can't get the logo, and if he can't, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I'm starting a petition, and I've got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I'm not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it."
Good luck with that there 'Bron. For reference, here is a list of playerswearing the 23.
Stephen Graham (Bobcats)
C.J. Watson (Warriors)
Marcus Camby (Clippers)
Jodie Meeks (Bucks)
Devin Brown (Hornets)
Toney Douglas (Knicks)
B.J. Mullens (Thunder)
Lou Williams (76ers)
Jason Richardson (Suns)
Martell Webster (Trail Blazers)
Kevin Martin (Kings)
Wes Matthews (Jazz)
Courtney Lee (Nets)
Ah yes, the great C.J. Watson. That robust 7.6 points per game. Does he even warrant being sent a petition? They should just take his number between games and when he asks why his number is gone, the athletic staff should look at him and go "You know EXACTLY why C.J."
Coming Soon To A Poster Near You:
Wow. Just wow. Ouch. Sorry Anderson Varejao, but you sir, have been utterly embarrassed on national TV. Tough break. You tried so hard. You positioned yourself right, you got ready to stop Dwyane Wade, you timed your jump and you went for it.
Probably should have gotten out of the way.
The next thing you know, you're flying into the basket head over heels as the crowd roars and Wade steps over you like a Roman Gladiator. Don't think you won't be hearing about this for years to come. You ended up on every highlight reel in America and now you're on this blog. Congrats Anderson. There's no way anyone tops this dunk this year. Book it.
Game of the Night: LA Lakers (7-1) @ Denver (6-3). A re-match of last year's Western Conference Final, the defending champion Lakers head to the Pepsi Center to take on Melo and company. Not only that, but it's on ESPN! Enjoy! Should be some great action.
Penn State tips off its regular season tonight, but six other Big Ten teams begin regular season play as well.
Only one game presents a huge risk to the Big Ten teams, but here's a look at all six conference openers.
No. 2 Michigan State vs. Florida Gulf Coast 7 p.m. on ESPN360
Spartan star Raymar Morgan should sit out this game to make sure he's ready for their game against Gonzaga next week. He's recovering from a severe ankle sprain in late October and his health is imperative to a successful Michigan State season. Even without their 6-foot 8 forward, the Spartans will roll in their home opener.
Prediction: MSU - 77 Fla. Gulf Coast - 48
No. 7 Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge 7 p.m. ESPN360
Cal State Northridge is coming off its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, but its too early in the season to expect them to compete against a great Purdue squad. Robbie Hummel and Chris Kramer will ensure the upset-minded Matadors are kept at bay. Boilermaker sophomore guard Lewis Jackson will miss the opener after pleading guilty to illegal alcohol consumption and drug paraphernalia.
Prediction: Purdue - 80 Cal State Northridge - 62
Minnesota vs. Tennessee Tech 8 p.m.
This is a very solid Minnesota squad going up against a Tenn. Tech team predicted to finish in the middle of the pack in the Ohio Valley. Tech lost Lester Huston, a second-round pick in the NBA Draft this year, so scoring will be a struggle.
Prediction: Minnesota - 73 Tenn. Tech 51
Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois 8 p.m.
Kevin Coble's injury is crippling to a Wildcat squad hoping to make its first NCAA Tournament birth in school history.
"You take, I don't know, Kobe (Bryant) out, what happens to the Lakers?" Carmody said on NUsports.com Wednesday. "Then, besides the scoring and the rebounding, he makes the other guys feel like they belong out there. He lifts guys, like (Michael) Jordan lifted Steve Kerr."
Without Coble, Northwestern will have to grind out each game. Northern Illinois is picked first in the SportingNews magazine rankings, so this will be a tough first game for the Wildcats. Despite going 10-20 last season, the Huskies return its starting backcourt and many other key reserves.
Take a closer look at what else coach Coquese Washington and Tyra Grant have to say about Friday evening's season opener against Drexel University:
On her past experience against Drexel- "They are a hard scrappy team. They are a real all-around good team with a couple good shooters. They can do a lot of things. We have to look at them with a lot of consideration and make sure we're patient and do what we have to do on offense and defend them well.
- Tyra Grant
On what kind of matchup problem Gabriela Marginean poses- "She's just tough. You put a big kid on her and she drives right by you. You put a smaller, quicker player on her and she goes right in the post. But the biggest problem is her experience versus our youth. Just her being savvy and crafty and finding ways to get her shot attempts, get to the free throw line. I just think her savvy and experience is what's going to be key for her.
On what the Lady Lions can do to contain her- "We got to make her work. We're going to put a number of different defenders on her and just try to make her work and take tough shots. She's going to make tough shots, but make her take tough shots. Then we've got limit their other players and not let anybody else have a career night.
On Drexel's style of play- "Its just the wackiest and so unlike any of the games you're going to play. So the good thing for us is we can prepare for it early and it won't be so much different. We played four or five games of traditional so to speak basketball. It's a tough style to prepare for. They put five people out who can all shoot 3's and you have your post players running around on the perimeter. They are not used to it so it's going to be tough for our young kids.
Fellow Lady Lions reporter Bill Landis said in today's paper that Drexel will be no cupcake of a non-conference season opener. Don't believe him? Take a closer look at Drexel's Colonial Athletic Conference championship victory and what to expect the Dragon's to bring against PSU...
"I wasn't expecting it," Yeisley said. "It's a nice honor, but once again, I look at it as a team award. The guys we have on the team are an outstanding group."
Yeisley also noted that Patrick Krispin's goal is on his list as one the best he's seen in his lifetime.
"That shot and Corey's goal against Gonzaga were the top goals this year," Yeisley said. "Their goalkeeper didn't have a chance."
Yeisley also reacted to recently passing South Florida's Zak Boggs in fan voting for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Yeisley holds 26.1 percent while Boggs hold 26.0 percent with fan voting ending today.
"My thanks go out to everyone -- everyone who is voting," Yeisley said. "I especially want to thank John Regenfuss, what he's done. He does a lot behind the scenes."
Along with Regenfuss, Yeisley also thanked Tim Curley, Alumni Jeff Maierhofer and Mike Donlon, coaches, family and his Allentown friends for their support and voting.
When the Michigan clearing attempt rolled off Patrick Krispin's foot in double overtime on Thursday, the sophomore defender was oblivious to everything around him.
"I was trying to stay focused on getting the shot off," Krispin said. "A couple of the guys actually told me that when they were on the bench, they were screaming for me to not shoot."
But who could blame the bench players for yelling. The shot sailed from 23 yards away with the ball stationed off the ground -- moving from Krispin's chest.
Luckily, Krispin, who suffered a concussion at Indiana last Friday, blocked out the surrounding noises. His cross-field goal meant a 1-0 Nittany Lion win and a matchup against Michigan State in the semifinal today. Krispin, in only his second game back from a left ankle sprain, thought the left-footed kick's quality was one of the best he'd ever taken.
"I felt really lucky," said Krispin, who switched from forward to defender last season. "I remembered what it was like to score again."
Before the play, Krispin stationed his mind on taking the shot if the ball bounced his way. He said he was in a great position and didn't have to adapt drastically to the ball.
There was one thing he did have to adjust to -- the post-game team cluster and Frank Costigliola's celebratory punches.
"He got a little rowdy," Krispin said. "It was all worth it -- all completely worth it."
Krispin remembered seeing assistant coaches Ryan Defibaugh and Isang Jacob join in the bouncing bunch but didn't recall whether head coach Barry Gorman hopped into the player circle.
"I honestly wouldn't know," Krispin said. "We'd have to look at the tape for that."
Yeisley is second on the Nittany Lions with 21 points and co-leads Penn State with eight goals. The other goal co-leader is sophomore Corey Hertzog. Hertzog and Drew Cost were named Second Team All-Big Team selections while roommates Matheus Braga and Andres Casais were featured on the First Team All-Big Ten along with Yeisley.
In addition to the offensive honor, Yeisley garnered the 2009 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the Lions. One player on every Big Ten team received the sportsmanship award.
The award banquet capped off a thrilling day for the soccer team. The Lions' win over Michigan came off a Patrick Krispin goal in double overtime.
The Big Ten Network will air the Penn Stat-Michigan State semifinal showdown Friday at 4:30 pm. The Lions defeated Michigan State 1-0 at East Lansing earlier in the year despite playing a man down for nearly 40 minutes.
This is far from a gimme game for Penn State. Drexel is going to be tough. If anything, Drexel may be going into this game looking at the Lady Lions like a guaranteed victory. If PSU is going to be the underdog this season, this will be the perfect game to start with. Drexel is coming off of a CAA championship and a tournament bid. In a sense, the Dragons are where Penn State is trying to get to. The Dragons finished 24-9 last year and 16-2 within its conference. Drexel looks to make the tournament again this year and a victory against Penn State would be a good start for this up-and-coming program.
More on Friday's showdown:
The Dragons return CAA Player of the Year Gabriela Marginean. She averaged over 20 points per game last year and over 7 board, she will be a good early test for freshman Nikki Greene. Compared to the relatively young Penn State team, the Dragons are very experienced. Eight letterwinners return for Drexel, also including junior Jasmina Rosseel and senior Jennifer Stjarnstrom.
The Lady Lions didnt play the Dragons last year but they faced off the two before, winning both games. Grant had a typical solid performance both times, scoring 16 points in a 66-60 victory. The year before that the Lady Lions won an easy 74-56 game against the Dragons on the road in Philly. Don't expect such an easy game this time around.
The opening tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at the Daskalakis Athletic Center. Be sure to check tomorrow's paper for more coverage and remember to go to psucollegian.com Friday evening after the game to see how the Lady Lions do.
The already short-handed Icers took another hit today when they found out they will be playing without forwards Chris Pronchik and Marek Polidor in Friday night's clash with No. 7 Rhode Island.
After the final buzzer of the team's most recent game against Navy last Saturday, an altercation broke out after the Navy goaltender came out of the net and made a hit on a breakaway attempt.
The Icers took exception to the unusual play and players started shoving as both teams came together before being separated. Pronchik and Polidor received game disqualifications, which carry with them an automatic one-game suspension, even though the game had already ended.
Both Navy's coach and Penn State's Scott Balboni protested the suspensions, but despite both coaches from the game and the league's commissioner agreeing to overturn the ruling, the referee's commissioner denied the appeal and the suspensions will stand for Friday night's league clash.
Losing two players to suspension will be especially hard on the sixth-ranked Icers this week, as they continue to struggle with injuries. Balboni listed the following players as definitely out for this weekend earlier this week:
- Matt Kirstein
- John Conte
- Taylor Cera
- Kurt Collins
- Carey Bell
- Ryan Erbe
- Dave Herel
- Alan Clark
On top of those injuries, Dan Loucks and Dan Petrick are both listed as day-to-day, but assistant coach Bill Downey just told me earlier tonight that Petrick is available to play this weekend. Having Petrick available will at least allow the Icers to dress six defensemen, after playing with only five last Saturday following Petrick's injury the night before.
Penn State has only 28 players on its roster, not including the three goalies, and at least 10 of those skaters will be unable to play Friday because of either injury or suspension. That leaves the team with exactly 18 players to dress, assuming anyone else nursing an injury is able to go.
This is certainly not the start to the weekend the Icers were hoping for as they prepare for two league games against a bitter rival in a matchup of the No. 6 and No. 7 teams in the ACHA.
We talked to goalkeeper Warren Gross at Tuesday's practice for the Big Ten tournament edition of the Wednesday Six Pack (yes, I know it's Thursday). Here's what the big man in goal had to say.BKS: Favorite professional soccer player?WG: I'd probably have to say, right now, Wayne Rooney from Manchester United. That's my favorite team.
BKS: Best FIFA player on the team?WG: I would say I'm probably the best FIFA player on the team. Treavor and I are really good, so we're probably pretty close to even sometimes. I'd say I get the benefit of the doubt. We play a ton of FIFA. We play 2-v-2 all the time, not as much 1-on-1, we have four controllers so we team up.BKS: Favorite place to eat downtown?WG: I like McLanahan's for the breakfest sandwiches, and I'd say the deli sandwiches too. Mclanahan's and an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade).BKS: Favorite city you've been to?WG: In the world, Rio (de Janeiro). I've been there twice, with the team last year and a couple years ago (with the under-19 team).BKS: Best joke you've told:WG: I can't even remember. I have no idea to be honest. Anything that makes people laugh.
BKS: What's your favorite part of soccer at Penn State?WG: I'd say everyone on the team. I feel like a lot of teams have kind of cliques, but I feel like on our team we pretty much all come together pretty well. Just the friendships I guess, being on the team and knowing each other for so long.-SkalinaComments
Bye Bye Byron: As reported by Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans has fired coach Byron Scott. Scott went 203-216 in his five-plus seasons in New Orleans, and was named Coach of the Year in 07-08.
Did Scott deserve to be fired? Yes and no.
While the team did quit on Scott, management did him no favors either. They are slashing payroll left and right and there is no end in sight as New Orleans is still over the cap and are struggling to move their bigger deals (I'm looking at you Emeka Okafor...you too Peja Stojakovic) to get under for next year.
The fact of the matter is, the team quit on Scott and he had to go, but it won't be long until they quit on the next guy too. It's a mess in New Orleans and it happened really quickly. They went from title contenders to jokes in two years. It just happens that way sometimes.
Performance of the Night: Kevin Durant - 30 points, 10 rebounds. Get used to this, Durant is going to blow up in a big way this season and this is just a taste of what to expect on a nightly basis from KD. Sure it came against the Clippers, but it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
Coming Soon To A Poster Near You: A double dose today. I would like to welcome Brook Lopez and Tyson Chandler to the club. Andre Iguodala inducted Lopez with a sick reverse dunk along the baseline while Will Bynum (how high does he jump?!) christened Tyson Chandler in the Pistons rout of the Bobcats. Enjoy the carnage.
Game of the Night: Phoenix (8-1) @ LA Lakers (6-1). A real no brainer here. The Suns try to continue their shockingly impressive start against the defending champions on the road. Phoenix totally blew the hapless Hornets out of the building last night and I think tonight's game will feature a lot of fireworks.
Enjoy the games tonight and I'll catch you tomorrow on the Full Court Press!
It's the only game of the night featuring a ranked team, making our decision just a bit easier tonight. But the real reason to watch this game is the performance of Ohio State guard Evan Turner, who posted the schools second-ever triple double on Monday.
The Dukes have not played yet this season, but are led by Julius Wells, who was the team's second leading scorer last season with 12 points per game.
The 21 wins JMU racked up last season were the most it has earned since the 1992-93 season.
They have beaten Ohio State once before - in the 1982 tournament - but the Buckeyes are too deep for that to happen again. Even with Turner's individual performance, the Bucks managed to get four players into double digits in scoring.
Prediction: Ohio State 81, James Madison 63
Player to watch:
Evan Turner, Ohio State guard
In Jay Bilas' column earlier this week, he said Turner might be the best all-around player in the country. One game into the season Turner is already beginning to make that bold prediction a reality.
In Ohio State's 100-60 victory over Alcorn State on Monday Turner posted 14 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists - something only done once before by a Buckeye.
He will be playing against stronger competition tonight--albeit not by much - and he may be the key for the No. 17 Buckeyes this season.
If he continues to play like he did on Tuesday, expect OSU to start turning some heads.
It's been talked about for some time, but now it's finally official.
After yesterday's signing day, Taran Buie will officially become a member of the Penn State men's basketball team next season, inking his letter of intent to play for coach Ed DeChellis.
Here is a look at how we got to this point:
Nov. 11, 2009: Buie officially signs with the Lions, noting how excited he is to try and be a pioneer for the program. He says his ultimate goal in his four years is to be playing for a national championship.
Summer, 2009: Buie and his family move to the State College area, and he will play his senior season for the Little Lions at State College Area High School.
April 7, 2009: Buie's decision-making process behind his choice to come to Penn State is outlined. He said the NIT victory was the clincher in that process. Buie's half brother, Talor Battle, also says if Buie comes to Penn State, there is no chance he will forego his senior season for the NBA draft.
April 1, 20009: Buie verbally commits to head coach Ed DeChellis on the bus after the Lions knocked off Baylor to capture the NIT crown.
March 4, 2009: Buie and Battle's mutual success is noted in a Daily Collegian article. Although Buie hadn't yet made a decision, it marks one of the first times the rumor of him becoming a Nittany Lion is brought up.
Some reaction from current Lions:
Chris Babb: "It's real exciting we haven't had a player as high caliber sign in a while. It's good to see that our program's going up over the past couple of years. It's great to have players like that, and hopefully there will be more to come."
Jeff Brooks: "I'm very excited. We have his big brother here in Talor Battle, and I know he's very proud of him. We're proud of him signing with us, and next season as well were going to have the same expectations with him on our team: Big Ten championship and the NCAA tournament bid."
Coquese Washington continued her successful recruiting Thursday, landing another elite class. The 2010 recruiting class for the Lady Lions will once again feature two top-ranked recruits. Maggie Lucas and Talia East signed their National Letters of Intent and Mia Nickson, who is currently with the Lions, is also considered part of the recruiting class.
Lucas is a 5-foot-8 shooting guard from Germantown Academy and leads the list of recruits. Lucas is ranked No. 34 by ESPN HoopGurlz and has already surpassed 1,000 career points for the Patriots.
Germantown is ranked No. 22 in ESPN's preseason poll after Lucas helped lead the Patriots to a 31-0 record last year. The shooting-guard averaged 21.4 points as well as 3.8 rebounds per game last season.
I've watched Lucas play from time to time throughout her high school career and the Lions will be aided by her shooting skills. Lucas has great range and isn't afraid to step up and bury a three pointer.
Next season, the Lions will need to find more scoring to make up for the loss of Tyra Grant and with some young guards on the roster, Lucas could see some valuable playing time. Once again Washington found another player who comes from a very successful high school program, and Lucas has already played against many of the elite teams in the area, which may help ease the transition to college ball.
At 6-foot-3 Talia East will give the Lions another body in the post. Next season, the Lions will have Julia Trogele, Janessa Wolff, Marisa Wolfe and Nikki Greene to solidify play down low. East is the 29th ranked center by ESPN HoopGurlz and in the Big Ten the one thing team's can never have enough of are post players. In the conference, the team's that can work the ball down low and out muscle the competition are the team's that have the most success. The Big Ten is built around the physicality of Ohio State's Jantel Lavender and Illinois' Jenna Smith, and judging by Washington's last two recruiting classes, she's trying to give her team a more physical presence as well.
We're looking forward to watching Lucas' Patriots and East's Phoenix play each other on January 5. We'll have a much better idea about what the Lions can expect after watching both players compete after being well into their respective seasons.
This weekend we're getting our first look at the 2010 Nittany Lions as they travel to Rochester, NY for three exhibition matches. Here's a little preview of what to expect..
The rundown: The Nittany Lions have a Saturday double header -- they'll play Nazereth at 1 p.m. then face off with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Penn State will take on Loyola-Chicago at noon.
Scouting Nazareth: The Golden Eagles are a tough team to gauge. Yes, it's a DIII program. But it's a good DIII program -- it held the No. 1 national ranking in 2008 and finished at No. 5 last year. Nazareth is an up-and-coming team on the volleyball circuit, definitely someone to keep your eye on in the next couple years. The program was launched in 2005 and since then has compiled a 109-41 record. Its only common opponent with Penn State is St. Francis (PA). Last year, the Nittany Lions played the Red Flash twice, sweeping both games. Nazareth lost to St. Francis in their first game of the 2009 campaign, then bounced back to finish the season 28-5. Look out for the Golden Eagles' Frank Leahy, a senior setter, and Billy Gimello, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter who last year ranked nationally in hitting percentage and kills per game.
Scouting IPFW: Penn State is certainly familiar with the IPFW -- the teams played twice last year and are scheduled for two more meetings in 2010. The Nittany Lions handled the Mastodons easily in 2009, with a 3-1 victory on Feb. 21 in Fort Wayne and then a 3-0 win at Rec Hall on March 20. All time vs IPFW, Penn State holds a 37-13 record. Look for that win column to keep growing this year as the Nittany Lions are just a better, more experienced team than the Mastodons. IPFW has just three seniors on their roster, and they're likely to start a freshman, J.W. Kieckhefer, in the libero position.
Scouting Loyola-Chicago: Revenge. That still might be on the minds of some of the Nittany Lions. Penn State was a perfect 10-0 and held the No. 1 national ranking when they visited Chicago last February. Loyola upset the Nittany Lions, 3-2, ending any Penn State hopes for an undefeated season or top seed in the national tournament. Yes, Penn State already avenged the loss -- they swept the Ramblers when they came to Rec Hall on March 21 -- but the Nittany Lions are still looking to send a message. Especially because they only play Loyola once this season, a January 30 matchup...... in Chicago. Keep an eye on sophomore Mike Bunting, a Pennsylvania native. The outside hitter absolutely owned Penn State's defense in their loss to the Ramblers last Feburary. Bunting totaled 32 kills in the match.
Empire state of mind: Alan and Kyle Mars are headed home. The brothers, natives of Rochester, attended Gates-Chili High School, just ten miles west of Nazareth College.
Stepping in: Will Price will not be playing this weekend (right ankle) so coach Pavlik will use the opportunity to try some new players and see where they fit in. Who is going to impress? I'm going to go with Thomas Pereira. The junior from Brazil seems to be the most consistent out of the crop of guys looking to fill in for Price, and I'm expecting a breakout season for him.
Well Mr. Miniaci, your clip of a Rhode Island high-school soccer brawl is quite disturbing. But I've got one better for your consideration. It happened last week, and chances are, if you're a regular watcher of ESPN, you've already seen it.
Consider: You're a player on the BYU women's soccer team. You're taking on New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament, and you're up 1-0. Then all of a sudden, Lobos defender Elizabeth Lambert makes her presence felt. Literally.
What I can't quite figure out is why the refs didn't eject her on the spot after that hair-pulling incident. That may be something that just happens in a physical sport like soccer, but to be that blatant and violent? Just uncalled for.
The important thing to note here is Lambert wasn't the only one being physical in this match. Yes, her actions definitely crossed the line, but all reports from the game indicate this was a fierce match on both ends. You'll notice early on in the clip when a BYU player elbowed Lambert in the ribs. Granted, a punch in the back is hardly an appropriate retaliation, but still, this thing was clearly getting out of hand from the onset.
But hey, at least the officials got in to settle things down. Did you see Lambert get a yellow card after kicking the ball directly in the Cougar player's face? (Remember, that was the fifth overly aggressive incident of the highlight reel, and the second to last.) Wow. Way to really assert yourselves, zebras. That's how you lay down the law. You know there's another color card available for you, right?
New Mexico stepped in afterwards and indefinitely suspended Lambert, but this could have been resolved a lot quicker. And the Mountain West could have been saved a lot of humiliation.
On the first day of early signing period, Cael Sanderson made a splash -- signing brothers Andrew and Dylan Alton, Dirk Cowburn and Sam Sherlock.
Andrew Alton is the No. 1 recruit at 145 pounds while Dylan Alton is No. 1 at 152 pounds. Cowburn hails at No. 4 in the 160-pound weight class, and Sherlock takes the No. 2 spot at 130 pounds.
Sanderson has been able to tap into the Pennsylvania recruiting hotbed as all four reside in the Keystone State. Nico Megaludis, another Pennsylvania wrestler, has also verbally committed to Penn State.
As Miniaci blogged about in 10 Minute Misconduct earlier today, head shots are a hot-button issue in hockey right now. In recent weeks, it has taken the limelight after a few much-discussed hits in the NHL and a hit on a junior player in Canada that left him with skull and facial fractures.
Head shots have become such a topic that the NHL General Managers spent today discussing head shots during their meetings in Toronto. The concensus today, according to a report from the Globe and Mail in Canada (via Puck Daddy of Yahoo Sports), that there will be a rule change in shots to the head. That came a week after Chris Drury was the latest player to be knocked out by a shot to the head.
That came a week after Mike Richards' heavily publicized hit on David Booth of the Florida Panthers that forced Booth to leave the game on a stretcher.
That hit came after Vancouver defenseman Willie Mitchell hit Chicago's Jonathan Toews with his head down:
Tuesday after practice, I asked a couple of the Icers about head shots in hockey.
"Coach is always saying, 'keep your sticks down, keep your hands down, make the clean hit when it's there,' " sophomore forward Paul Daley said. "Because you don't want to be in the box and at the same time, you don't actually want to hurt anyone or jeopardize their careers."
Daley is an interesting example because of the physical nature of his game, and how successful he's been so far this season throwing the body and changing the momentum of a game with a check. A big part of this debate has also been whether these hits are on purpose or by coincidence. Daley added that "hockey instincts" take over in those situations.
"When I'm going in for the hit, I'm going in as hard as I can and if I have a good hit lined up, I get excited," Daley said. "Basically your instincts will take over if a guy turns his back, or if he's two feet off the boards, you try to avoid it at the last second. Your hockey instincts will take over."
Physicality has always been a part of the game and luckily there hasn't been a situation involving the Icers so far this season like there has been in the NHL. Icers coach Scott Balboni said despite the debate, he hasn't addressed the issue with his team.
"We're in a situation by at this point of the game, guys should know what they're doing and hopefully that doesn't occur," Icers coach Scott Balboni said. "And if it does, we'll deal with it."
Freshman forward Dominic Morrone added that it won't change the way the team plays.
"That's just a general rule of hockey," Morrone said. "We know what a clean check is, we know what isn't. For the most part though, we're not gonna shy away. At the same time, I wouldn't consider anybody on our team cheap. So, it just comes down to playing hard and clean."
Eating Your Words: Today is not the day to be Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey. Morrissey, who two years ago wrote a column that Chicago draft pick Joakim Noah would never amount to anything. He was so sure this would happen that he declared he would physically eat his column (covered in salsa) if he ever did.
Noah is averaging a double-double this year and Morrissey, being a man of his word, showed up to the Bulls training facility with a column and salsa in hand. Of course, there is video. Enjoy.
Coming Soon To A Poster Near You: Welcome to the club Rudy Gay! I believe I'm going to make this a recurring series. We started this with a vicious Carmelo Anthony jam over Paul Millsap in the first week of the season and now Rudy can pull up a seat and enjoy the view for the rest of the season.
Rudy tried to get in the way of Travis Outlaw who was driving the lane on a mission. He ended up a casualty. Enjoy.
Game of the Night: Cleveland (4-3) @ Orlando (6-2). This was a no brainer. A rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James against the U.S.S. Stan Van. If this were an 80s action TV show it would be "LeBron Harbor." Tonight's episode: Redemption.
Can Cleveland finally make a statement after a slow start? Can Orlando continue to show it can make another run at a championship? We'll see tonight at 8 pm on ESPN.
Until tomorrow, enjoy the games and remember, no one touches the Shaqtus.
Robert Morris v. No. 25 Syracuse. Penn State's second opponent of the year takes on the 25th-ranked Orange in the 2K Sports Coaches vs Cancer Classic. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is coming off his 800th career victory. The Colonials should put up a fight in this one, but 'Cuse's defense and Big East pedigree will be too much as the Orange take their second win of the year.
Prediction: Syracuse 79 - Robert Morris 66
Player to Watch:
Ed Davis. The UNC forward shot 5-for-8 with 13 points, 11 boards and 4 blocks in the Tar Heels' uneven season opener against Isaiah Thomas and Florida International. Although he might not get as many minutes as he did in the opener against a terrible North Carolina Central squad, look for the projected NBA lottery pick to dominate tonight.
Will Price watched practice from the trainer's table. As my beat partner, Eric Book, first reported yesterday, the returning all-American suffered an ankle injury in a team practice Tuesday morning. Today, he came to the South Gym at Rec Hall in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and spent a majority of the three hour practice with the trainers. While his teammates worked on situational plays with blocks and passing, Price worked on rehabilitating his ankle with small flexing exercises.
The severity of the injury -- to Price's right ankle -- is still unknown. But as the team leaves for Rochester this Friday in preparation for Penn State's first exhibition games this weekend -- against Nazareth, Loyola and IPFW -- it seems certain that Price will not be on the court.
"It's just going to be a chance for our younger guys to really step up," senior captain Max Lipsitz said. "Obviously it's tough losing an impact player like Will. But we don't know much about it yet and right now it's a chance for the other guys to come in and fill that role."
Make sure you stay tuned to ATN this weekend as we'll be bringing you periodic updates on the Nittany Lions' first exhibition games.
NHL general managers voted to keep the trapezoid rule in effect. The rule limits where the goalies can control the puck and is designated with two diagonal lines behind the net. The rule was implemented when the league returned for the 05-06 season after the lockout and was aimed to reduce the amount of time goalies can handle the puck. It is often called the Brodeur Rule because of how often the Devils goalie skated out of the crease to pass a loose puck.
Next the GMs will look into a rule reducing the amount of headshots in the league. Players are often injured from a blow to the head and the GMs hope to reduce injury.
I never really agreed with the trapezoid rule. Just let everyone play. That's my rule. And while it is nice the GMs want to reduce injuries, in no way should any new rule curtail exciting gameplay. People want to see big hits, crushing blows. Sure, no one wants anyone to get seriously hurt. But this is hockey. It's brutal. It's supposed to be brutal. It's a physical game. Hopefully the GMs don't get too control happy.
I enjoy reading Yahoo! Sports' blog Puck Daddy. My favorite part? Jersey fouls. Here's a few more. There are some fun ones in this edition. Why anyone would want "Swine Flu" on the back of their jersey is beyond me.
Thrashers Ilya Kovalchuk could return to the ice Thursday. The Thrashers' captain broke a bone in his right foot Oct. 24 and was expected to miss three to five weeks. However, he's now being called a game-time decision for Thursday's game.
This would be a big return for Atlanta. The Thrashers are in third place and getting their star back would be huge. He had nine goals and one assist in eight games before the injury and still leads the team in goals despite missing the past three weeks.
Seeing as how I talked about hits earlier in this post, I figured I'd end it with a video on hits. And it only makes sense for it to be a video (or two) of Dion Phaneuf taking someone's life.
Hi there Penn State Volleyball fans, Eric Book here. I'm sorry to say my first post on Above the Net brings some unfortunate news for the Nittany Lions.
I went to practice this morning at Rec Hall, and senior co-captain and All-American Will Price sprained his ankle attempting a triple block with Max Lipsitz and Edgardo Goas. He got tangled up with Lipsitz on the way down and landed awkwardly on his right ankle.
Coach Mark Pavlik confirmed the sprain this afternoon.
This is pure speculation here, but I would have to assume the sprain is relatively severe. Price was in absolute pain, and his ankle was extremely swollen.
The fortunate thing for the Lions (as Lipsitz and assistant coach Jay Hosack pointed out after practice) is the timing of the injury. Penn State is about two months away from its first regular season match, a rematch of last year's national semifinal with the USC Trojans Jan. 7 in Hawaii.
Pavlik can afford to allow Price to take his time healing and rehabbing, and some younger players can fill in the void in the meantime. The experience gained by these guys practicing with the first team will be vital during the season.
Hosack mentioned that a lot of the guys tend to play less aggressively when Price is out there because he is so dominant, and his injury will give them the opportunity to step up.
The question is who will step up.
Pavlik mentioned Ryan Wolf and Thomas Pereira as possibilities.
Emily Kaplan and I will be updating you as much as possible on Price's injury and who is filling in for him at practice. Stay tuned to the Collegian and ABTN.
There's Ohio State. There's Michigan State. And after that? Well, there's a mess. The Lady Lions could finish anywhere in the conference after you factor out the two powerhouses. If the freshmen are able to find a chemsitry early on in the season and Tyra Grant has the season she is expected to, the Lady Lions could finish as high as towards the top of the conference. If the freshmen struggle on the collegiate level and the team is unablet o find another scoring option other than Grant, the Lady Lions could find themselves in the cellar of the conference. With such uncertainty after the top two teams, parity has turned into the word of the season for the Big Ten.
Here's what coach Coquese Washington has to say about the conference-
"I think the Big Ten is going to be arguably the most competitive conference in the country. I think there may be some other conferences that may be a little more top-heavy, but from top-to-bottom, I don't know that there's another conference that's as deep as this conference is. Again, last year we had five teams make the tournament, three of them made the Sweet 16. One of them was 30 seconds away from going to the Elite 8. I mean we had a great run for our conference overall and we've got great, strong players coming back: Tyra Grant, Jantel Lavender, Kamille Wahlin at Iowa, Allyssa DeHaan at Michigan State. We've got some really strong players coming back and I think it's going to be a very tough conference. Road wins, wins period, are going to be tough to come by in this conference."
Last year, Penn State struggled in conference against its Big Ten rivals picking up victories against only Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern. Against the conference's stronger teams and middle of the pack teams, Penn State failed up to pick up a signature win.
Take a closer look at how the Lady Lions fared against its Big Ten opponents who had the team's number last year-
Going up against the then fourteenth ranked Buckeyes, Penn State was overmatched by the duo of Star Allen and Jantel Lavender. The two combined for 53 points and 21 rebounds while taking advantage of the Lady Lion's lack of interior defense. Penn State won't have to worry about the graduated Allen but Lavender returns to lead Ohio State. Let's see if Nikki Greene can match up with the OSU star to pull off the upset.
Penn State kept it close against Michigan State in both of their games last year leading up to the half. However, in both games, the Spartans pulled away in the end to win the first game, 67-60, and the second game, 70-59. In her first game against MSU last year, Tyra Grant was able to exploit the opponents defense for 22 points. In the second game, the Spartans defense shut her down and held her to only 3-for-11 shooting. MSU returns 6'9" Allyssa DeHann this season, another touted center who will welcome Greene to the Big Ten.
Purdue was another Big Ten team that the Lady Lions couldn't solve last year, defeating them twice by double digits each game. Closing out games was a problem area for Penn State last year, but Purdue jumped on them early in both games, especially in the second game when they led by 17 at the half.
The Hoosiers were another Big Ten team who attacked the Lady Lions in the second half. In both losses to Indiana, Penn State either led or were tied at the half but failed to close out the ball game. Both teams were fairly evenly matched across the board in terms of shooting percentage, rebounds and turnovers, but Indiana was able to pull away for the victory.
The Penn State football team isn't the only one with Hawkeye nightmares. The Lady Lions lost, not one, but two heartbreakers to Iowa last season. The first was a triple overtime contest that Penn State stayed in until the final overtime period when Iowa pulled away for a 97-89 victory. Grant finished with over 30 points after throwing up over 30 shots but Iowa's depth was too much for the Lady Lions as all five starters finished in double digits. The second game against Iowa is one PSU would rather forget. Leading at one point by 20 points in its Think Pink game, Penn State blew the lead as Iowa led a furious comeback in the second half to win 63-57. PSU will have to shake their demons when Iowa comes to town this year as revenge must be in the back of the players' minds.
Sophomore Chris Cerutti burst onto the scene as a freshman last year, recording 25 points in just 26 games. With a balanced offensive attack, Cerutti lit the lamp 13 times and set up another 12 goals, all while gathering a +/- rating of 27. Now in his second year, Cerutti has become a fixture in the Penn State lineup and an offensive threat night in, night out. But here at TQT, we put all those stats and numbers aside, and look to find out more about Cerutti off the ice than on it.
Here we go:
1. Who are your three favorite bands right now?
A: I'm going to diversify a little bit and go with Kenny Chesney, Linkin Park and Kanye West.
2. Who is your favorite Penn State athlete, not on the Icers?
A: I'm gonna go with everyone else and say Sean Lee for this one.
3. What story or name are you tired of hearing about in the news?
A: Well last week I was getting really sick of hearing about the Favre returning to Green Bay story.
4. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Well I'm going to get made fun of for this one, but "Hollywood's Not America" by the Ferras.
5. What's the best Disney movie of all time?
A: D-2: The Mighty Ducks.
6. Who is the funniest guy on the team?
A: I'm going to have to go with John Conte just because during the day he always sends out this quick, one-line texts to people and always gets a laugh out of me when I'm in class or something.
7. Best meal in town?
A: I'm a personal fan of Rotelli's.
8. If you had to go to school anywhere other than Penn State, where would it be?
A: P-I-T-T, let's go Pitt.
Paul: How come?
A: I have a lot of friends that go there, it's 20 minutes from my house and it's a fun time.
9. If you could pull off the ultimate prank on anyone on the team, coach of player, who would it be and why?
A: It'd be Tim [O'Brien] just cause we go back-and-forth all the time trying to get each other.
10. What's the most exciting play in hockey?
A: The big hit because it can really change the momentum of a game and get in the heads of guys on the other team.
That does it for this time around. Be sure to check back throughout the week as we keep you updated on the myriad of injuries the team has been dealing with lately and as we take a look around the ACHA to see what the other top-10 teams will be doing this weekend when the No. 6 Icers travel to Rhode Island to take on the No. 7 Rams.
After 11 weeks of indecisive voting, the Penn State women's volleyball team finally earned all 60 votes this week in the AVCA poll.
After Texas' loss to Iowa State (see below) the Lions are the nation's lone unbeaten team.
Head coach Russ Rose said he addressed the Texas loss to his team before Saturday's match in Iowa, but only to note the parity in NCAA volleyball. He mentioned as well, that the team that had knocked off No. 2 Texas the night before also came from the Hawkeye state.
The Lions proceeded to sweep the Hawkeyes; 25-17, 25-22, 25-13.
The Longhorns remain at No. 2 in the poll, and Penn State's opponent on Friday, Illinois, is ranked No. 5, behind Hawaii and Washington.
Here is the top ten in full:
1. Penn State 2. Hawaii 3. Texas 4. Washington 5. Illinois 6. UCLA 7. Stanford 8. Iowa State 9. Nebraska 10. Florida
Well, there you have it. The Yankees won the World Series. Now, we can finally move on with our lives and get to the offseason. The GM meetings are currently taking place in Chicago and rumors are flying. No trades have been made yet, but there have been talks regarding players such as Milton Bradley, Lyle Overbay, Adrian Gonzalez and Roy Halladay. It's possible we can see any of these guys dealt in the next couple days, but the GM meetings usually serve to lay groundwork for these trades later on. Still, anything can happen and once the unrestricted free agent period opens up, things will really heat up. Excited? I know I am.
Some things important and not so important:
- College basketball is returning. Many people are excited. That's fine. Just wake me up when it's March.
- Michael Vick is unhappy playing for the Eagles. Good one, Mike. I'm sure those dogs were even unhappier playing for you.
- Everyone's least favorite "reporter" Stephen A. Smith will apparently be re-joining the Philadelphia Inquirer. Great. Quite frankly, Stephen, you should've just stayed away.
Video of the week: Ah, nothing like a good soccer brawl. Between two girls teams. In Rhode Island. That carried over into the post-game awards ceremony. Sportsmanship at its finest.
If any number gauges the impact of Cael Sanderson on Penn State wrestling, it's season tickets sales. So far, 2,047 season tickets have been sold for the five dual meets this year. This is a jump from the 1,058 season tickets sold for the nine-dual package last season. The only meet not included in the package is the Nittany Lion Open.
157-pounder Vollrath defeated three opponents before losing in the finals to Steve Fittery of American. 197-pounder Macchiaroli finished in fifth place after a 3-2 record. 174-pounder Church finished 2-2. In the 133-pound weight class, Reynolds ended with a 1-2 record.
Last week's intrasquad dual left fans questioning who would be competing against Lehigh at a few weights. Cael Sanderson doesn't seem too anxious to give a set-in-stone lineup, but did say Monday that he plans on taking two wrestlers for at least three of the weight classes.
At 133, Sanderson has the option of Tyler Saltsman, Bryan Pearsall, or Jack Chidester. Saltsman defeated Pearsall 6-4 during the intrasquad, but Sanderson didn't specify which two wrestlers will be traveling with the team to Lehigh.
141 was left undecided last Thursday when Colby Pisani couldn't finish his bout with Adam Lynch because of cramps. Because of that, 141 is another class Sanderson mentioned would be carrying both grapplers.
Possibly the toughest decision is at 174. Both Justin Ortega and David Erwin will be traveling to Lehigh, Sanderson said. Ortega defeated Erwin in the intrasquad, 6-2.
Sanderson said it is yet to be determined who will actually be wrestling on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions may get some help for the future Wednesday with the start of the early signing period for the 2010 recruiting class.
Here are some possible names that could be signing to wrestle for the Lions:
125: Ryak Finch (Safford, AZ); Ty Mitch (Aurora, Ohio)
133: Sam Sherlock (Mifflintown, Pa.)
149: Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.)
157: Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.)
165: Dirk Cowburn (Coudersport, Pa.)
197: Max Huntley (Blair Academy, N.J. (Va.))
Check back later in the week to see if any of these recruits sign to wrestle for Penn State.
With much hype surrounding Nikki Greene and her quest to become the first Lady Lion to dunk, I couldn't help but wonder what it will look like when the 6-foot-4 Greene finally throws one down.
Will it be fancy or will Greene make it look easy? Perhaps it will be Dwayne Wade like ... ok maybe that's pushing it. But, to ease my curiosity I came across some Youtube videos of Baylor freshman Brittney Griner. At 6-foot-8, Griner was the nations most sought after recruit and she could very well be the future of women's basketball. This girl can flat out play and the Texas native has been energizing crowds with her high- flying skills since her days at Nimitz High School in Houston, TX.
While Griner and Greene's respective high schools were just shy of 100 miles apart, I find it interesting that both can do what so many women who came before them couldn't: dunk.
Griner is on the verge of becoming just the seventh player in NCAA history to throw one down in a regular season game. On Saturday, she gave the No. 7 Bears a glimpse of what she can do when the team called a play specifically designed to give her the chance to dunk. Griner delivered with a one-handed jam that helped lead the Bears to a victory in their exhibition.
While Lions' coach Coquese Washington said she's excited to see Greene dunk during a game, I'm not so sure we will see a special play designed for Greene any time soon. Although, Washington did say she is willing to take the occasional technical foul if Greene has the chance to excite the crowd.
Griner and Greene are just prime examples of how much the sport has grown since Lisa Leslie rattled the rim seven years ago.
The Lions open the regular season Friday night with a game against Drexel while the Golden Bears don't play until Sunday. This gives Greene an extra game to beat Griner to becoming the NCAA's seventh player to dunk in a regular season game. Let the countdown begin.
The No. 1 Nittany Lions are the only undefeated team left in Division I women's volleyball. With Texas' loss to Iowa State in five sets (25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-20, 12-15) last Wednesday, Penn State now stand alone.
The No. 8 Cyclones win over the No. 2 Longhorns was Texas' first this season, and the Longhorns are the highest-ranked opponent that Iowa State has beaten in the program's history.
Iowa State held Texas to just a .198 hitting percentage. The Longhorns are currently third in the nation in hitting percentage behind Penn State (.404) and Hawaii (.319) at .318.
Here's a little taste of the atmosphere in Ames, Iowa after the Cyclones big win.
The new AVCA Coaches poll has not come out yet, but Texas' loss could shake some things up at the top of the polls. The Longhorns were receiving 10 first-place votes last week.
Kentucky - John Wall is awesome, and John Calipari has a full regular season to get Wall and the rest of the ridiculous freshman class acclimated to his Dribble, Drive Motion offense. The Wildcats haven't made a deep tournament run in a while, but they also haven't had this type of talent in awhile. Patrick Patterson returned for his junior season, and he's out to prove he's one of the top five players in the nation.
Michigan State - Tom Izzo always finds a way. Not many expected the Spartans to make the championship game last season, and now this year, the expectations are high. They'll handle the expectations and peak in the postseason, as Michigan State always seems to do.
Villanova - Scottie Reynolds returns for his senior season and has a decent-enough supporting cast around him to carry this team into the Final Four. Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes both return and will need to increase their scoring output, but Nova should get quality minutes from a deep incoming class. Taylor King, who transferred from Duke, is a legitimate scorer with outside range and the ability to drive to the hoop.
Kansas: Not a whole lot to debate here. The Jayhawks are the most talented team in the nation and also one of the most experienced. A few offseason troubles aren't going to be enough to slow down Aldrich and Collins.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers return three of their four leading scorers from a team that underachieved last season. Da'Sean Butler should emerge as one of the Big East's finest.
Kentucky: The Cats are back. It doesn't matter that Calpari brings baggage with him to Lexington. That didn't affect him at UMass or Memphis. Coaching a team with John Wall and Patrick Patterson shouldn't hurt either.
Connecticut- Exit Price, Thabeet and Adrien. Enter Alex Oriakhi and Darius Smith. Head coach Jim Calhoun doesn't even know the meaning of the word "rebuild." The Huskies are poised for another deep run in the tournament -- but then again has there ever been a Jim Calhoun-coached team that wasn't?
Title pick- Kansas over Kentucky
Villanova- Led by senior Scottie Reynolds, the Wildcats will use their depth and experience in the loaded Big East to make it back to the promised land. Jay Wright's team will finally have a legitimate front court, something the skilled guard combo of Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes will be thankful for
Texas- The Longhorns bring a senior-led frontcourt, headlined by versatile forward Damion James, brusing center Dexter Pittman and an exciting, young backcourt into 2010. Avery Bradley, J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton highlight one of the best freshmen groups in the country
Kentucky- This team is stacked. There's no other way to look at it. Patrick Patterson leads the nation's top recruiting class not only back to the NCAA tournament, but all the way to the Final Four. Look for freshman John Wall to dazzle before he bolts for the NBA Lottery.
Kansas- Two years ago, a deep and talented Jayhawks roster made a winner of Bill Self. This year, senior guard Sherron Collins would like to add a second title to his resume. Joined by preseason All-American Cole Aldrich, the Jayhawks will be in a battle with Big 12 foe Texas all year.
The college basketball season tips off tonight with four games, all featuring a Top 25 team. None of the games are particularly good, but in the first round of the 2K Sports Coaches vs Cancer Classic, No. 12 Cal will host Murray State tonight in Berkeley.
This is only the third time in school history that Cal has been ranked in the Top 25 at the start of the season. The last time was when Jason Kidd was dropping dimes, back in the early 1990's. Coach Mike Montgomery, former head coach of the Golden State Warriors, led his team to an NCAA appearance last year, but they're primed to make a deep run this year. Cal has the right players to make a run, too.
Two gigantic keys to victory in the tournament always seems to be guard play and experience. Cal has both in the same two players -- the senior backcourt tandem of Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher return as the team's two leading scorers. Randle is listed as a candidate for the Wooden Award. He averaged an impressive 18.3 ppg last season.
This game, however, doesn't seem to be good on the surface, but look deeper. Murray State returns its three top scorers from a 19-win season last year and were picked as co-favorites with Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Conference. They'll make it competitive against the Golden Bears because Cal lacks a solid frontline player. If Murray State senior forward Danero Thomas can score 20+, they'll have a shot at the upset.
For three years Rautins was the guy who made threes. With the game on the line, he waited on the perimeter for Gerry McNamara, Johnny Flynn and Eric Devendorf to kick the ball out to him for a shot.
That role will change. Sure, the senior shooting guard now has Scoop Jardine to give him the ball, but as a fifth-year senior, Rautins role as both a leader and a creator will be significantly increased. It starts tonight as the Orange take on Albany at 9 p.m. on ESPNU as part of the 2K sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Much has been said about the Orange this preseason following a loss to Division II Le Moyne. Rautins posted 13 points in that contest -- coming off a season in which he averaged 11 points in 29 minutes.
The Orange are strong down low this year, but for a team that won a national title and two Big East titles this decade mostly because of its perimeter play, Rautins may be the key to another successful season in up-state New York. That season and that new role start tonight.
With the final weekend of the men's soccer regular season in the books, the Big Ten conference standings are complete and next weekend's conference tournament is set.Penn State finished tied for second with Northwestern, but the Nittany Lions won the tiebreaker and thus have the second seed. The Wildcats are seeded third.All the seedings:1. Ohio State - First-round bye2. Penn State3. Northwestern4. Indiana5. Wisconsin6. Michigan State7. MichiganSo the draw sets up like this:Ohio State vs. Indiana/Wisconsin winnerPenn State/Michigan winner vs. Northwestern/Michigan State winnerObviously, the winner of each side of the draw has a spot in the finals.First-round play is Thursday, semifinals are on Friday and the final match is Sunday.Penn State has to like their chances of getting through to the title game. They rolled Michigan at home by a 2-0 margin on the first weekend of Big Ten play and beat Michigan State in East Lansing after going down a man in the second half.Also, they tied Northwestern at home in a game they controlled and probably deserved to win.Meanwhile, I wouldn't be surprised to see Indiana make a run through to the final on the other side. The tournament is being held in Bloomington, so obviously the Hoosiers will have home-field advantage on every team they play.There is also no questioning Indiana's talent. The Hoosiers have made 17 College Cups in their 33 NCAA tournament appearances, and they have the talent that that kind of tradition always draws. Their aggressive schedule hurt them in the wins department this year, but three of their eight losses came in overtime, including one to Ohio State, their opponent if they get past Wisconsin in the first round.Should be a fun weekend out in Bloomington.-SkalinaComments
All four of the Lady Lions' freshmen saw significant action in Sunday afternoon's exhibition victory over IUP.
As promised, here is a little breakdown of what each of the four players did and what to expect from them in the coming weeks.
The guard managed to crack the starting lineup and also collected four rebounds. Bentley has nice ball-handling skills, but the Lions are going to need her to step up and quickly learn how to execute the offense. Playing alongside Zhaque Gray and being able to dish the ball to Tyra Grant will help ease this process.
On Sunday, Bentley shot 1-for-5 from the floor, but missed all three of her free throws. She only recorded one assist during her 25 minutes played, but she's going to be a big contributor this season. The Lions will need her to learn quickly as teams will prepare to stop Grant and Gray, thus leaving the freshmen open to drive to the hoop. However, four turnovers are too much against IUP, and that will be a focus for Bentley and the rest of the Lions as they move forward.
At 6-foot-4, Greene had moments where you could definitely sense her presence in the post. Greene also started and while she got in foul trouble and eventually fouled out toward the end of the game, she could still be more assertive offensively. The soft-spoken center had five points as well as five rebounds, but the Lions need to work the ball down low more often.
After the game, Greene said she was trying to have fun making her first collegiate start and said she tried to have a "block party." Green had a team-high two blocks during her 16 minutes of play and while the blocks were not too ferocious, Greene still got the job done.
Unfortunately for the spectators, Greene didn't have the opportunity to dunk during the exhibition, but her athleticism was still on display. The play that stuck out to me came with about eight minutes left in the first half and after Greene missed a shot off the glass. She got her own rebound and made it look effortless as she hung in the air for the put in. If Greene can stay out of foul trouble, she will be exciting to watch.
Coach Coquese Washington said Wolfe's ability to quickly pick up on the plays has impressed her, and Wolfe made the most of her 16 minutes of play. She went 3-for-4 from the floor and also converted on both of her free throws. The 6-foot-2 forward did a nice job of coming off the bench and working in the post as well as recording two steals.
Look for Wolfe to be a consistent contributor coming off the bench, but just like the rest of the post players, she's got to stay out of foul trouble.
Coach Coquese Washington said Studevent's play was a pleasant surprise. While Studevent was the last freshman to enter the game, she turned in an impressive second half. After coming off the bench, she drained her first three shots and she has a very natural, smooth shot. I would like to see her take more shots from beyond the arc, but she did have the third most shot attempts on the team, even though only one of her eight shots was an attempted three pointer.
After a strong showing in the exhibition, Studevent may make a case to see increased minutes during the season opener Friday night.
Sunday's game was proof that this class will be looked upon to really step up and contribute. On Sunday, the freshmen responded to the speed of a college game and the four players' combined 25 points must have Washington pleased.
A few things I pondered as I screamed in both joy and agony watching Cowboys-Eagles on Sunday Night Football:
1. When I saw these classic uniforms, I thought the Bucs were done for sure. After all, they didn't exactly have much success while wearing those orange unis, and the new set took them all the way to the Super Bowl. But what do I know? I picked the Lions and Chiefs to win this week. Maybe Bucco Bruce used his extended absence to gather a little pixie dust.
2. What happened to the Giants? Didn't they start the season as the predicted NFC champs? Didn't they kick off the year with five straight wins? Now, they've lost four straight to New Orleans, Arizona, Philadelphia and San Diego, whose combined record is 23-8 as of 8 p.m. EST on Sunday. New York's first five opponents -- Washington, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Oakland -- are 11-28. Oh.
3. Props to Peyton Manning. The Colts' superstar quarterback and the sponsors' superstar pitchman became the first player in league history to pass for 40,000 yards in a single decade. He also recorded an NFL-best seventh 300-yard passing performance, something that's come to be expected of the field general. Now if only he can grow this for real.
4. Oh, so nooooow the Titans are winning. What's been the difference? Could it be that in place of the aged wonder Kerry Collins they've re-inserted former Rookie of the Year Vince Young? The Texas grad was fairly efficient, going 12-for-19 for 172 yards and running for a touchdown. Would the 36-year-old Collins have been able to do that? Probably not. In fact, definitely not.
5. Hey look, it's Princess! Good to see her back again. She picked the Chargers to beat the Giants, and as you know, they did just that. She's not having that sharp a year overall, though, going 5-4 through the first nine weeks. But she's still smarter than Clark, Rung, Gentile and yours truly. Whoops.
With the time running down, Penn State's offense seems to have stalled with the game all but put away. The free throws and lay-ups aren't falling for the Lady Lions. Nevertheless, Penn State is going to come out of this game with a win, some positives and some things to work on. If Washington can get her players to build off of their paint play and convert some of their put back opportunities, the scoring can greatly increase. However, the team needs to work on their discipline and shooting with their season opener against Drexel coming up on Friday.
The final score here at the Bryce Jordan Center is 67-49 with Penn State on top. Check back later for a postgame wrap up and be sure to pick up tomorrow's paper for more coverage. This is Alex Angert signing off from the BJC.
With 4:24 remaning, Greene picks up another foul and fouls out of the game. Walking to the bench with her head down, the crowd gives the freshman an applause for a good game in the post.
Penn State 59-42 with 3:59 left in the game.
Penn State continues to work their paint while committing silly fouls and making careless turnovers. This team shows promise but there is a lot of work to do. With six minutes remaining in the game, Studevent and the team's post play has been a bright spot. However, the amount of turnovers and Grant's play has been a cause for concern.
The freshmen look to play a big role in this year's team as they have today but for this team to win big games they are going to need more production from veterans Trogele and Grant.
Penn State leads by 19 with with five and half to play.
Freshman Marisa Wolfe makes a layup after a nice pass by Phillips as Penn State starts to run away with this one.
Studevent steps up and hits a big three. This freshman looks like she can be the real deal. With all the hype around Greene and Bentley, Studevent may have been overlooked but she has some touch on her shot.
As I'm writing, Studevent nails her third jumper from the same spot on the floor. Penn State leading 46-28 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Emily Phillips hits a bucket from downtown for three as she sends the crowd into a frenzy according to Landis.
Freshman Gizelle Studevent nails an open baseline jumper, a lost art in basketball Landis chimes in. With 14:16 remaining, Penn State has stretched their lead to 16 as they are showing more discipline this half.
Original starters on the court to start the half as Penn State opens with another off the mark shot. The Lady Lions continue to own the paint as Trogele gets a nice block and Nikki Greene picks up another offensive rebound. However, the team cannot capitalize.
After a timeout, Trogele picks up another basket in the paint. If the shots don't fall, the Lady Lions will need to pound the paint with Trogele, Wolff and Greene.
With 15:37, the Lady Lions lead 32-22. On a side not, the Cheerleaders are passing out boxes of pizza to people in the stands. I must have missed this promotion at Beaver Stadium during the Ohio State game.
The Lady Lions are back on the court warming up for the second half. The band is playing some Jackson 5, Rockin Robin, but no sign of Mia Nickson out there dancing but I'll keep you posted. My bet is if they play Thriller she'll put on a show for us. Penn State leads by ten with the second half about to start, stay posted for our next update.
Free throw shooting looks to be improved since last year as the team has only missed one from the stripe. What looked to be a question mark is saving Penn State, as seven of their 22 points are off of free throws so far.
After an impressive block on the defensive end, Wolff has a chance for a three-point play after a layup but misses on the free throw. Penn State has increased their lead to double digits with two minutes left to play.
Grant's troubles continue in the first half with another miss as she is putting up a surprising goose egg.
On their next possession, Grant finally finds her touch hitting a mid-range jump shot for her first points on the day. For the Lady Lions to have a big season, Grant needs to be a big-time scorer.
After a third foul by Grant, Washington elects to leave her in the game with a minute remaining. Landis is in shock here that Grant is still on the court with such little time and three early fouls.
Nevertheless, the senior comes up with a layup to increase the score.
With 3.3 seconds remaining, Landis is excited to see what Washington pulls out of her bag a tricks but no half court shot for Penn State as the Lady Lions turn the ball over.
The first half is over with Penn State leading by ten, 28-18. The Lady Lions head to the locker room with some things to work on and adjustments to make for the second half. Penn State is fortunate to be leading this one but come Big Ten play, a first half like this is going to be unacceptable. We have 15 minutes until the second half begins, let's see if Penn State can run away with this one and shore up their play.
Penn State comes out of the timeout with a couple quick fouls and off the mark passes as they continue to show their youth. This team has a long way to go but there is a lot of potential here especially with Greene in the paint.
Greene continues to be a positive to take out of this first half as Penn State's offense has been stalled for the last couple minutes. Penn State is leading 20-14 with just under four minutes left.
The Lady Lions continue to own the offensive glass but to be successful they are going to have to convert on their second chance opportunities.
Grant dishes the ball to Trogele for an easy layup showing what this team can do if the two are on their game on offense.
A lot of careless turnovers, poor shots and inability to convert second chance shots shows this team is very raw and has work to do. But the number of offensive rebounds and good passing shows the potential this young team has.
Washington continues to sub her players in and out as she looks for a lineup to use when the real games begin.
Another timeout is called with 7:50 as Penn State leads 18-12. The team must have been expecting a little more success off the bat, but from the looks of it Washington is using this game to test out her young players and the ones who will be coming off the bench as she knows what to expect from her senior leader Tyra Grant.
Penn State shows some nice passing ability after the first timeout as this team looks like they can run the court. It's just an exhibition game but this could be something to watch this season.
Renee Womack adds a jolt from the Penn State bench as she adds aggressive defense and a quickness on offense.
Offensive rebounds continue to save the Lady Lions as the three pointers are not falling for them thus far in the first half.
With 11:43 left in the first half, the second time out is called with the Lady Lions leading 11-8.
Grant has yet to score today which is never a good sign for the Lady Lions. Nevertheless, her scoring will come and the seven points so far for Gray is a good sign that Washington may have found another scorer. If she can cut down on the three-pointers and wait for her shot, this player can have a big year for Penn State.
Nikki Greene wins the opening tip off and the Lady Lions push the court and score a quick layup by Gray. If that's any indication of things, looks like Washington wasn't lying when she said this team will be faster.
One minute in and the Lady Lions have already taken two three's and missed on both, this is going to be something to watch for this season.
After IUP takes a quick 6-2 lead, Trogele is called for a travel while in the post and Bentley for a double dribble on the next possession.
Nikki Greene shows some post presence with a block as Emily Phillips comes in for Bentley.
Trogele drives and draws the foul. First look at the Lady Lions free throw shooting, Landis is sweating with Trogele on the line. So far so good as she sinks both easily.
Gray sinks her first three-pointer of the season after some nifty passing by the Lady Lions to open up the floor.
Greene comes to the bench as Janessa Wolff replaces her.
Penn State throws up two threes on their next possession thanks to a nice offensive rebound by Grant but fail to come up with anything. Penn State leads, 7-6 with 15:33 remaning.
Hey Lady Lions fans, Alex Angert here to keep you up date on this afternoon's exhibition match-up between Penn State and IUP. Both teams are on the court warming up as the band plays to a larger than expected crowd for a preseason game.
Today's probable starters for the Lady Lions are Alex Bentley, Tyra Grant, Zhaque Gray, Julia Trogele and Nikki Greene. We're unsure if this starting lineup is set in stone, but one thing for sure is this is going to be an interesting year with such a young, unproven lineup. The only returning starters from last year are Grant and Trogele, while Bentley and Greene are freshmen.
Who and What to watch for today from the three Lady Lions reporters- Bill Landis, Audrey Snyder and myself.
Who- Julia Trogele. In need of a second scorer behind Grant, coach Coquese Washington warned us to watch out for the junior forward this year.
What- Nikki Greene dunking. She can do it and she has in practice. Normally illegal in a game, dunking is not prohibited in an exhibition game so let's see if the freshman goes for it.
Who- Nikki Greene. Let's see how she performs against a smaller IUP lineup.
What- Free throw shooting. Can Penn State improve at the charity stripe, a problem for them last year.
Who- Alex Bentley. How will she lead this team and execute the plays as only a freshman.
What- Post play. Will the experience Trogele gained in Europe over the summer pay off on the court this year.
The players are being announced now and we are almost underway here at the Bryce Jordan Center. Stay tuned.
Clark: Falcons over Redskins, Cardinals over Bears, Bengals over Ravens, Texans over Colts, Chiefs over Jaguars, Dolphins over Patriots, Packers over Bucs, Saints over Panthers, Lions over Seahawks, Giants over Chargers, Titans over 49ers, Eagles over Cowboys, Steelers over Broncos
Miniaci: Falcons over Redskins, Cards over Bears, Ravens over Bengals, Colts over Texans, Jags over Chiefs, Pats over Dolphins, Packers over Bucs, Saints over Panthers, Seahawks over Lions, Chargers over Giants, 49ers over Titans, Eagles over Cowboys, Steelers over Broncos
Rorabaugh: (Warning: I'm taking some risks today) FALCONS over Redskins, Cardinals over BEARS, Ravens over BENGALS, COLTS over Texans, Chiefs over JAGUARS (see?), Dolphins over PATRIOTS (what did I tell you?), Packers over BUCS, SAINTS over Panthers
Lions over SEAHAWKS (is this crazy or what?), GIANTS over Chargers, NINERS over Titans, EAGLES over Cowboys, BRONCOS over Steelers
Gentile: Falcons over Redskins, Bears over Cardinals, Ravens over Bengals, Colts over Texans, Chiefs over Jaguars, Patriots over Dolphins, Packers over Bucs, Saints over Panthers, Seahawks over Lions, 49ers over Titans, Giants over Chargers, Eagles over Cowboys, Steelers over Broncos
Rung: Falcons over Redskins, Bears over Cardinals, Ravens over Bengals, Colts over Texans, Jaguars over Chiefs, Dolphins over Patriots, Packers over Buccaneers, Saints over Panthers, Seahawks over Lions, Giants over Chargers, 49ers over Titans, Eagles over Cowboys, Steelers over Broncos
The third regular season rankings have been released, and although a lot of teams moved around in the rankings, all 25 teams in the ranking remained the same from the last set of rankings. And not only did all the teams that made the rankings last time around find their way into the top-25 again, but the top-10 teams were all ranked somewhere amongst the nation's 10 best again.
The top two teams, No. 1 Lindenwood and No. 2 Illinois, remained the same yet again, and Lindenwood regained its unanimous No. 1-ranking this time around. Liberty took over sole possession of the No. 3 spot, breaking a tie with Ohio, who fell to No. 4. Other than that, there were no other changes in the top-7, including Penn State staying at No. 6.
Three teams remain undefeated in the ACHA -- No. 1 Lindenwood, No. 3 Liberty and No. 12 Arizona State. Although the Sun Devils don't sport the most difficult schedule so far, it's still difficult to figure out their ranking, especially since one of their 10 wins this year is against the team ranked one spot ahead of them, Adrian. ASU beat Adrian 4-3 at a neutral site in the ACHA Showcase on Oct. 11. Arizona State will definitely be tested in the weeks to come though, as it takes on No. 21 Robert Morris (IL), No. 18 Minot State and No. 16 Robert Morris (PA) this weekend and still has games remaining against No. 10 Central Oklahoma, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 5 Iowa State and No. 1 Lindenwood.
A quick look at where some of Penn State's recent and near future opponents are now ranked: Ohio is No. 3, West Chester continues its free-fall dropping to No. 17, West Virginia is No. 24, and Towson, Drexel and Navy all remain unranked.
Here are the rankings:
1 Lindenwood (16-0-0)
2 Illinois (9-3-0)
3 Liberty (12-0-0)
4 Ohio (13-1-1)
5 Iowa State (9-4-1)
6 Penn State (8-1-1)
7 Rhode Island (11-2-0)
8 Oklahoma (5-3-1)
9 Delaware (7-3-0)
10 Central Oklahoma(9-4-0)
11 Adrian (10-3-1)
12 Arizona State (10-0-0)
13 Michigan-Dearborn (7-3-1)
14 Oakland (10-2-0)
15 Kent State (8-5-0)
16 Robert Morris (PA) (7-4-0)
17 West Chester (6-4-1)
18 Minot State (7-1-0)
19 Stony Brook (5-3-1)
20 Western Michigan (5-5-0)
21 Robert Morris (IL) (4-8-1)
22 Eastern Michigan (5-6-0)
23 Indiana (PA) (6-1-0)
24 West Virginia (5-4-0)
25 Buffalo (6-4-0)
The next rankings come out in two weeks on November 20.
Penn State got out to an 19-0 lead and own a 46-23 advantage over Slippery Rock as the Nittany Lions ran into the locker room at the half.
The Rock doesn't look one bit like a Big Ten squad -- it must have attempted close to 15 three pointers in the first half, only connecting on three of them. They haven't tried to score from the post once.
Every Nittany Lion player saw action in the first half as well, excluding the three walk-ons. Freshman forward Sasa Borovnjak had a nice three-point play, cashing in on a shot-fake and converting on the foul shot.
Sophomore guard Chris Babb finished the half with 10 points and two three-pointers in a row. Talor Battle paced the team with 12 points.
More to come at the conclusion of the game, and of course, check here first for any news pertaining to the Nittany Lions basketball team.
1. how Tim Frazier and Talor Battle play together in the backcourt
2. besides Chris Babb, who can replace the 3 point shooting of Morrissey and Pringle
3. how much has Jeff Brooks improved
1. Andrew Jones sets out to prove he's the dominant big man on this squad and dominates undersized Slippery Rock front line
2. The BJC gets its first chance to watch Tim Frazier in the guard role
3. A big crowd for an exhibition game -- who would have thought? But on a night before the football team's biggest game of the year, the crowd should be energized to greet the defending NIT champion Lions
1. Big crowd before Rally in the Valley gets fans excited for the season
2. Some potential football and basketball recruits the night before the Ohio State game
3. Ed Dechellis's rotation in the front court sans Jamelle Cornley
The Icers will take on Navy tonight after an unusual week of practice. Instead of the typical on-ice practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, coach Scott Balboni gave the Icers Wednesday off in terms of skating. He did have the team show up and do a workout session in the gym, but they didn't take the ice.
Thursday, they were back on the ice working on special teams and other systems work.
With the injuries continuing to pile up for Penn State and all the exams this week and next, Balboni said it was best for the team to have a day off this week.
"We've lightened up this week in terms of on-ice physical contact," he said. "Right now, we're just trying to get through the weekend, survive and get some guys healthy."
While the team is spending less time on the ice, it doesn't mean Balboni is expecting any less intensity from his players. Although there was no practice Wednesday, he said he wanted the guys to not just hit the weight room, but to go "hard" during their workout to makeup for not practicing.
"We're not going as much this week, but when we do go we're going hard," Balboni said. "We might not be on the ice, but we're going to lift hard Wednesday and, when we are on the ice, we're going to go hard, but we won't be out there as long."
Unlike some other ACHA teams who start their seasons in September and hold scrimmages, Penn State doesn't start its season until the first weekend of October and doesn't participate in any preseason games or scrimmages.
Therefore, the Icers only have a few weeks before the season to get in their conditioning and try to get in game shape before actually playing in any game situations against other teams.
But regardless of what other teams are doing, Balboni said he likes to give his players time to settle into school and their academics before jumping into the hockey season.
While Balboni acknowledged some opponents might have an advantage in conditioning and on-ice time right now, he said that time will all even out over the next five months.
"We're a little behind in games played right now," he said, "but come nationals time, we'll be right there with everybody."
Artest said the Rockets were getting extra-physical with him and it led to certain thoughts he had to suppress.
"I wanted to (choke Ariza) because he hit me with the elbow," Artest said. "But then I thought about David Stern, and I thought I wasn't going to do this. I got hit with three or four elbows. It's just not fair. I don't want to fight."
If he doesn't explode and cause a controversy before the end of the season, I'll be stunned.
Performance of the Night: Deron Williams - 27 points, nine assists, five rebounds. A big performance in a big game for the Jazz as Utah topped San Antonio. Utah has struggled early on in the season and getting a big win against a Western power will do wonders for Utah in the short term. Honorable mention goes to Carlos Boozer, who had 27 points and 14 rebounds on the night in his best performance of the year.
Game of the Night: Denver (5-0) @ Miami (4-1) - So many great players in one game, there's no way this isn't a game to keep an eye on. Carmelo Anthony is playing out of his mind so far in the early season and has emerged as a very early MVP candidate. There's also Dwayne Wade who is also tearing it up early in the season. Don't forget, these two were taken in the same draft. Denver is looking like a team that could knock the Lakers off in the spring and it'll be interesting to see how they handle a tough road game across the country.
On Wednesday, the soccer team discussed how its nerves were faring for the big game against Indiana. The Nittany Lions are one of the most easy-going teams I've ever seen - jesting with Gorman and each other before every practice. And it may be this relaxed atmosphere which has brought the Lions to the top of the Big Ten. But with the regular season title within reach today at Bloomington, Ind., nerves still are bound to arise.
Are nerves arising within the team?
Justin Lee:I wouldn't exactly call them nerves. We're just anxious to get the game over with - go in there, try to get that win.
Mackenzie Arment:I guess you could say nerves. It's a lot of excitement just in the position you're in. To be able to win this Big Ten regular season, it would be great - going into tournament and everything. We're nervous, but it's all good stuff.
Corey Hertzog:Maybe not yet. Maybe after this practice - when we go to sleep. Maybe on the bus ride there it will start kicking into people, and when we get off the bus and go to bed Thursday night, maybe then it will start kicking in - waking up for breakfast. Usually the nerves hit me at warm-ups. And then after warm-ups, I'm not nervous any more. That is when it usually hits me - that morning or right before warm-ups. Nerves are always good. I guess just build off that.
Barry Gorman:The anticipation is there, but they want to play. There is a big prize at the end of it so they have to be ready. You play to be in this situation so you want the adrenaline to be flowing. If you're nervous about it, then you're not in the right level of competition. You have to be welcoming it and anticipating it.
Biggest surprise: Easily redshirt freshman Justin Ortega's 6-2 win over senior David Erwin in the night's first bout at 174. Ortega, who went 6-4 unattached last year, wasn't previously mentioned as a contender at the weight class, which seemed to be Erwin's spot to lose. Trailing 4-2, Erwin chose the down position to start the third period, but Ortega simply didn't allow him to get free and added a stall point and a riding point to finish with the four-point margin.
Most impressive: Cyler Sanderson. The Iowa State transfer and coach Cael Sanderson's younger brother didn't waste any time showing Penn State fans why he was an All-American in 2008. In his bout with top recruit and freshman David Taylor at 157, Sanderson showed his explosive moves and quickness. He notched three takedowns and two two-point near falls of Taylor to score 10 points in the first period, and he'll clearly be a point-scoring force for the Nittany Lions at 157 this season.
Biggest disappointment: Dan Vallimont's 4-3 loss to true freshman Jake Kemerer at 165 in the night's last and most exciting matchup. Kemerer certainly showed why he was the top grappler in the country at his weight last year, but it had to be disheartening for Vallimont to not be able to beat him. Remember, Vallimont is a guy who was third at NCAAs two years ago at 157, but so far that same success at 165 has eluded him.
Crowd: 2,400 fans showed up to watch the Intrasquad Dual, an improvement over last year's 1,800 at Wrestle-Offs. However, the crowd was fairly subdued, as it's tough to choose between rooting for a Penn Stater and a Penn Stater. The biggest crowd reaction definitely came during the Sanderson-Taylor match, as twice Sanderson had Taylor on his back for more than just a split second. However, the referee didn't award Sanderson a pin either time.
Coach watch: There was no coaching by Cael Sanderson or any of the coaches last night given the awkward, teammate-against-teammate nature of the dual. The coaching staff merely watched the matches from their mat-side seats.
What we learned: Given Ed Ruth's 10-1 domination of J.R. Brown at 184, Luke Macchiaroli's 5-3 decision of Clay Steadman at 197 and the probable redshirts for all of the freshmen and Quentin Wright and Bubba Jenkins, it's apparent Penn State won't be wrestling its best at every weight class this year.
However, it should set the team up for some serious success next season, when the starting lineup could include Brad Pataky (16-1 technical fall), Frank Molinaro (12-4 major decison), Jenkins, Taylor, Kemerer, Ruth, Wright, Macchiaroli and Cameron Wade (15-0 technical fall).
-133 shouldn't be a hole in the lineup for this team. While Tyler Saltsman got the 6-4 win over Bryan Pearsall in sudden-victory, both wrestlers looked capable of winning matches.
-Could 184 be a problem spot? Most likely, yes.
-How good is Cyler Sanderson? See above.
Questions to answer:
-Who goes at 141? The coaches ended the match in the first period because of Colby Pisani's cramps. Adam Lynch had the early lead, but it was too early to tell which way the bout would go.
-What do at 174? While Erwin was supposed to be the man at this spot, Ortega's decisive performance last night had to raise some questions in the coaching staff's minds.
While watching the Virginia Tech-East Carolina game tonight, I couldn't help but notice this amazing artistic display in the middle of the field.
Just ... wow. What a design. The Pirates unveiled this sweet design for Thursday night's nationally televised broadcast against the No. 23 Hokies. And while they didn't pull off the upset, they certainly did impress.
Notice the state of North Carolina in black around that ridiculously wicked pirate logo. ECU even did away with the old purple unis and ushered in the Jolly Roger era:
With five seconds left, Kemerer gets the opening he was looking for and holds on for a takedown and a 4-3 win. Definitely the most exciting pairing of the night.
That'll do it from Rec Hall. Thanks for reading, and check tomorrow's paper for more coverage of tonight's Intrasquad Dual.
The 2008 All-American gets an escape as soon as the ref blows his whistle to tie the bout, 1-1. Then he gets Kemerer's leg and turns it into a take down with 1:20 left to go up 3-1. Kemerer's escape makes the score 3-2.
Vallimont starts the third down. He trails 1-0.
A quick escape for Kemerer gives him the first points of this bout. He leads 1-0.
The first period ends scoreless. Kemerer down to start the second.
Half the first period is passed with no score still. Kemerer certainly looks the part. He's one of the more muscular true freshmen you'll ever see.
The final match of the night will bring Dan Vallimont against Jake Kemerer at 165.
Taylor is now assured the riding point. The match finishes 11-4 in favor of Cyler Sanderson. A tough debut for the phenom freshman, but he'll at least take away that he earned a riding point against the 2008 All-American.
The decision to start on top seems to be working for Taylor, as he's been able to maintain the position and is close to going over the one-minute mark for a riding point.
The period ends with Sanderson up 11-3. Taylor chooses top to start the final frame.
After Taylor rides the first 44 seconds of the period, Sanderson escapes just before going out of bounds. The score is now 11-3 with one minute to go in the period.
It's only Taylor's scrambling ability that's saved him from a pin so far. 10-3 Sanderson at the start of the second period, and the former Cyclone starts on bottom.
Taylor is taking a licking right now. Sanderson had another almost pin, then notched another takedown and two more back points to strech out the lead to 8-1. Taylor's escape makes it 8-2, but Sanderson grabs another takedown to lead 10-2 with 25 seconds to go in the first period.
Sanderson shows his stuff early, as he turns Taylor's aggressiveness against him for a near pin. He does get a takedown and two back points to lead 4-0, and Taylor brings it back to 4-1 with an escape.
Two newcomers up next: Iowa State transfer Cyler Sanderson and top recruit David Taylor. They'll go at 157 pounds.
Molinaro gets his fifth takedown with under a minute in final period, as he reversed English's hold and got on top for an 11-3 lead. English escapes to make it 11-4. Molinaro adds the riding time point for a 12-4 win and the night's first major decision.
English starts down for the final period, and his escape makes the score 9-3.
Molinaro gets another takedown to push his lead to 9-2. He led 7-2 after an easy escape to start the second period.
Molinaro showed his quickness on a third takedown, working all the way around English to gain control and earn a 6-2 lead. The New Jersey native starts in the down position for the second period.
English escapes to bring the lead to 2-1. English then gets ahold of Molinaro's leg, but he somehow scrambles away to avoid a takedown, and then adds a takedown of his on to push the lead to 4-1. English gets a point back as Molinaro is called for a potentially dangerous hold.
It takes Molinaro just 13 seconds to bring English down for a takedown and a 2-0 lead.
The match is called with Lynch leading 2-0, as Pisani apparently couldn't go on. Next up is All-American Frank Molinaro at 149 against redshirt freshman Jack English.
After the restart, Lynch gets a takedown for a 2-0 lead. He briefly had Pisani on his back but couldn't control for a pin. Pisani goes down again with more cramps in his right leg.
Just a few seconds in Pisani goes down with what appears to be some cramps.
Saltsman gets the takedown late in the period to win 6-4 with one second left in the period. Look for him to start next week's dual at Lehigh. Next up is Colby Pisani and Adam Lynch at 141 in another battle of challengers for a starting spot.
The third period ends tied at 4-4 with Pearsall's riding time point. We move to a sudden victory period to decide the starter at 133.
Pearsall now assured of a riding point, as he continues on top with 20 seconds in the period.
At the end of the period, Saltsman makes a clutch move, grabbing a takedown and then two back points for a 4-3 lead. He starts on bottom for the final period, and Pearsall will be reluctant to let go as he looks for a riding time point.
Pearsall escapes for a 3-0 lead. Saltsman got a hold of Pearsall's ankle at the edge of the mat but couldn't convert for a takedown.
The period ends with Pearsall up 2-0 and holding a 1:24 riding advantage. He starts on bottom for the second period.
Saltsman grabbed onto Pearsall's ankle quickly, but the compact New Hampshire native couldn't turn it into a takedown. Pearsall almost reversed the position for a pin at the edge of the mat, but he had to settle for a takedown. Pearsall now riding with a minute to go in the first.
Pataky starts down and escapes quickly to start the second period. Then he posts a quick takedown to go up 16-1 and record a technical fall. Next is Bryan Pearsall and Tyler Saltsman at 133.
Pataky is aggressively moving around on the ground as he tries to get a pin. He adds two more back points before Reynolds escapes to make the score 11-1. Pataky quickly notches another takedown for a 13-1 lead after one period.
Pataky starts fast, with a takedown and three back points for a 5-0 lead. He gets two more back points to push the lead to 7-0. And two more again. Now 9-0.
Wade gets another takedown, and gets another five-count for an additional three back points. 14-0 now in favor of the No. 20-ranked heavyweight in the country. With the riding time point at the end of the third, Wade wins 15-0 and earns the night's first technical fall.
Next up is Brad Pataky and Tom Reynolds at 125 pounds.
At the end of the period, Herlihy gets a second stall warning, so Wade leads 8-0 at the start of the third. Wade starts the final period on bottom, and gets a quick escape to push the lead to 9-0.
The two big men start in neutral for the second period. No points scored in the first minute, but Wade gets a takedown with 40 seconds left for a 7-0 lead.
Wade starts the scoring by grabbing Herlihy's ankle, hugging it and turning him for a takedown. 2-0. Then Wade gets Herlihy close to the mat, and the ref counts to five for three back points. The period ends with Wade up 5-0.
The match ends with a hard-fought 5-3 win for Macchiaroli. Next up is Cameron Wade against Brendan Herlihy at heavyweight.
Steadman doesn't want to let Maccharioli go after the period starts, and now he controls the true freshman as he looks to get back some riding time. Macchiaroli escapes to lead 5-3.
Macchiaroli almost gets a third takedown, but Steadman pulls him off the mat before he can record the points. Period ends, and the score stays 4-3. Macchiaroli starts down to start the third.
Macchiaroli gets another takedown to go up 4-2. Just over a minute to go in the second as Steadman escapes to cut the lead to 4-3. Steadman quickly gets a hold on Macchiaroli's ankle, but the official rules a stalemate and we have a restart.
The period ends with Macchiaroli up 2-1, and Steadman starts on the bottom to start the period. Another escape for Steadman to tie the score at 2.
Macchiaroli gets the first points in this bout, as he gets Steadman's ankles at the edge of the mat, and the official rules the freshman was in bounds. 2-0, and a quick Steadman escape to cut the lead to 2-1.
The first minute has gone by with the pair locked in the neutral position.
After a Crowell escape, time runs out and the final is 8-2, Wright. Next up is the 197 bout, featuring Clay Steadman and Luke Macchiaroli.
Crowell goes for Wright's legs, but Wright reverses on the sophomore and records another takedown to push the lead to 7-1. 18 seconds in the period.
Crowell gets on the board with an escape. Score now 5-1 for Wright.
After nearly 90 seconds of inaction, Wright gets a takedown with 15 seconds in the period to lead 5-0. Crowell in bottom position to start the third.
A quick escape for Wright, and now his lead is 3-0.
Back underway. Wright rides Crowell the rest of the period, and then chooses bottom to start the second period.
Looks like Crowell is shipshape now after some treatment, and we resume with Wright riding. Check that, more blood from Crowell, so we'll hold up again.
Over half the first period gone already, and still no score as Crowell and Wright seem evenly matched.
Hold that, Wright just got a takedown for a 2-0 lead, and now we have an official's timeout for blood with 1:03 to go in the period.
Next up is another 184-pound match. This one features All-American Quentin Wright and Pitt transfer David Crowell.
The match ends with Ruth coming close to another pin, but time expires before he can finish the move. Final score is 10-1.
Under one minute to go in the third. Ruth has over four minutes of riding advantage now.
The period ends with Ruth up 7-1, and he has over three minutes of riding time already, so he'll gain at least a point from that at the end of the third here. Brown surprisingly picks neutral to start the period, and Ruth gets another take down, and then almost gets a pin. Lead now 9-1.
Brown goes for Ruth's legs after Ruth escapes. Ruth reverses the position on Brown and gains control for another takedown, and the lead stands at 7-1 for the true freshman.
At the end of the period, Ruth leads 4-1 with 1:44 of riding time. Ruth on bottom to start the second period.
After the pair spend more than a minute in the neutral position, Ruth gets another takedown to stretch his lead to 4-1.
Brown escapes with 2:21 left in the period to bring it back to 2-1.
Ruth starts fast with a takedown of Brown for the early 2-0 lead.
The horn blows to end the period, and Ortega wins 6-2. Interesting match. Didn't seem like Erwin tried much of anything. Next up: J.R. Brown and Ed Ruth at 184 pounds.
Ortega rides Erwin as the third period progresses, and Erwin gets one stall warning and then another to give Ortega a 5-2 lead. Ortega's riding time goes over a minute. If he can hold the advantage he'll earn another one.
After Erwin goes for Ortega's ankle, the redshirt freshman makes a nice reversal and notches a takedown just before the end of the period. 4-2 Ortega, and Erwin takes the down position to start the third.
After Ortega is given a stall warning, the wrestlers go out of bounds.
That's the way the first period ends, with Erwin up 2-1 and with 16 seconds of riding time. Ortega takes the down position to start and escapes quickly to knot the match at two.
Erwin starts off strong, getting a hold of Ortega's ankle and then bringing him to the mat for a takedown. Ortega escapes to make the score 2-1 for Erwin.
First up is the 174-pound match. Justin Ortega takes on David Erwin.
Hello wrestling fans, and a warm welcome from press row here at Rec Hall as the Nittany Lions get set to showcase their skills in their first action of the 2009-2010 season. Player introductions are going right now. Ben Skalina here to bring you the action, along with Brendan Monahan and Ryan Loy.
Game of the Night: Chicago (2-2) @ Cleveland (3-2). While there isn't much of a slate tonight to choose from (San Antonio and Utah being the other), I feel this game has enough dynamics where it warrants your attention.
I feel that Cleveland might be one of the most interesting stories in the NBA this season. The Cavs are trying to do all they can to keep LeBron James in town. They went for broke in trading for Shaq and so far the move has had mixed results.
The Cavs dropped their home opener (a place where it was almost impossible to win for opposing teams last year) and now sit at 3-2. By comparison, it took Cleveland 11 games last season before they were beaten twice.
Chicago is also interesting as last year's rookie phenom Derrick Rose starts to take over this team. The Bulls are currently winless on the road this season and it's definitely going to be hard for Chi-City to get its first road win having to travel to the Q to take on Cleveland.
If that doesn't tickle your fancy, you could always tune in to watch the TNT studio crew. It may be, by far, the best studio crew in all of network sports. I love the randomness of the entire thing, plus there's Charles Barkley. Who doesn't love the Chuckster?
Well everyone enjoy the games tonight and for now, enjoy the top 10 plays from last night's action.
Lady Lions guard Tyra Grant has been selected as one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award is given to student athletes who excel on and off the court.
The list of 30 finalists will be narrowed down to 10 and the winners will be announced at the NCAA Women's Final Four in San Antonio.
Grant has been receiving multiple recognitions early this season. Along with the Lowe's Award, Grant is an All-American candidate and was also on the preseason Wooden Award watch list. She has also been named preseason All-Big Ten.
Off the court, Grant is active in her community. She has worked with the United Way and the Special Olympics.
Fans will have the chance to vote for Grant if she is one of the 10 finalists chosen.
Hey, all you NHL fans out there. Welcome to 10 Minute Misconduct, the new NHL/hockey section of the MAKE PLAYS blog. Sports Chief Dave Miniaci here and I'll be spearheading this whole thing. Now don't worry if you're a fan of my weekly Musings. Those will still happen every Tuesday. What I will be doing with this is talking about all things hockey. I will also hope to have commentary from other hockey-loving Collegian Staffers, possibly Icers reporter Tom Copain, men's basketball reporter A.J. Cassavell, columnist Patrick McDermott and Web editor Ian Brown. You can definitely feel free to email me, let me hear your thoughts and even provide ideas for me to blog about. I'd love to hear from you. So, without further delay, let's get this show on the ice.
With Alex Ovechkin scratched from the lineup, the Devils took advantage of the Caps last night. While the Caps have other strong players on the team, such as Alex Semin and Mike Green, they need Ovechkin to be healthy. He's the catalyst.
Bruins' center David Krejci is the latest athlete to be diagnosed with the H1N1 disease. He will be kept way from the other players on the team until he displays no symptoms for 24 hours. It's a blow for the Bruins, as Krejci posted 73 points last season with a +/- of 37. Though he only had one goal and four assists in 14 games this season, he's still a scoring threat.
Do you enjoy skating? Do you have $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Well, you're in luck!. You can rent out the rink at Fenway Park. Fenway is hosting the next Winter Classic in January between the Bruins and the Flyers, and the rink will be rented out in December for those rich people what want to skate somewhere other than their local rink or frozen pond. I wish I had $10,000 to spend.
Because we all love big hits, I can't think of a better way to kick this thing off with than a video of big hits. Enjoy:
Well, that's all I'll touch on for now. Be sure to keep checking MAKE PLAYS regularly for more coverage of the NHL and keep checking Tuesdays for my Musings.
Joe D's At It Again?: With Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince missing his second straight game after playing 496 in a row, it was only a matter of time before trade talks started to swirl. Detroit is pretty much capped out after signing Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Ben Wallace in the offseason. As everyone knows, there is a deep 2010 class that Detroit (and every other team) would like to take a run at. Not to mention that that the salary cap will likely shrink last year and teams will need to drop salary in preparation for that (See: Milwaukee).
Prince's contract (five years, $47 million signed in 2005) is one that could be moved for an expiring deal, most likely for another front court player, someone like Amare Stoudamire (who was rumored to be traded to Detroit last year) and Chris Bosh (the player the Pistons should have drafted instead of Darko).
Dumars has denied these rumors, but as always, you never know what to expect. With the Pistons lack of a solid big man, I wouldn't be shocked to see a Prince/Jason Maxiell package heading to another squad.
The USS Stan Van Is Sounding The Alarm: Following the Magic's 122-100 win over undefeated Phoenix last night, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy decided he's had enough of the refs calling fouls on Dwight Howard.
Howard picked up another five fouls against the Suns the night after fouling out against Detroit and Van Gundy believes Howard is being unfairly penalized for his size and strength.
"He gets penalized for being so strong. We give guys an advantage in this league for being quick, but we penalize them for being strong like Dwight,'' Van Gundy said. "If you hit a perimeter guy on a drive the way they are allowed to hit Dwight all the time around the basket, it would be a flagrant foul.''
Yep. That's it. It's his strength and his size. Because that's what happened with Shaq his entire career. That's why I watched Shaq bully his way through the paint for years and years. Just ask Dikembe Mutombo what happens when you try to guard Shaq on the block. You get your face smashed in with an elbow. That's what you get.
Maybe Van Gundy should stop whining about the refs, as he's done his entire career and focus on not costing his team a championship with his boneheaded rotations and poor coaching decisions. Remember Stan, if you have a foul to give, USE IT! Otherwise, this happens.
The Memphis Grizzlies have Canswer: Well this didn't take long. After Allen Iverson's outburst following his first game, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins spoke out after being asked about Iverson for probably the million time this season.
"My frustration is I have to talk about Allen Iverson in every press setting," Hollins said. "I want to talk about the Memphis Grizzlies, and even when Allen was out, I was having to talk about Allen. That's my frustration. I want to talk about the Memphis Grizzlies."
Oh Allen, how many teams must you kill? I know how everyone likes to talk about Kobe Bryant being a selfish player, but isn't Iverson the textbook definition? He skipped a practice in Detroit on Thanksgiving last year specifically called because they wanted to work him into a rhythm with his new teammates. Then he quit on them with a phantom back injury. Now he's already whining in Memphis. I just wanted to know what he expected. Did he expect to win? Did he expect to compete? Did he expect to be anything more than something to put butts in the seats? If he did, he's sorely mistaken. Your days as a superstar are over Allen. I know it, everyone else knows it, why don't you?
Performance of the Night: Kobe Bryant - 41 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals. I would have given this to Dwayne Wade for his heroic 40 point effort, but since Kobe's came in a one point win over the scrappy Rockets, I sided with Bryant. Can't go wrong with either one in my opinion.
We're rolling out a new feature here at B, K and S as the soccer team steams toward the Big Ten tournament at beyond. Every week, we'll start the weekend early with a six-pack of questions to one of the Nittany Lions. This week: central defender Andres Casais.BKS: It's your third season in the program. How's your Barry Gorman impression coming along?AC: 'Well done son.' (in a Gorman accent) He always has these sayings in practice that you just know. Just because you're here for a long time, for newcomers it might be a little joke when you come in, but once you've been in here for three years it starts getting a little bit old. But it's still funny just because he always says it. BKS: How's your FIFA game these days?AC: Ooooh. Last year, I was playing a lot more. This year the guys are playing,
and now everytime I go in to practice I always hear, 'Oh yeah, I won last night.' I'd
rather go to class and stuff and be more focused, but FIFA's always
FIFA. I think when we're 40 years old we're still going to be playing that.BKS: Favorite Penn State dining hall food?AC: I'm going to have say I still eat at the West Wing. Today I ate at the West Wing. Those paninis are good. And West, sometimes they have prime rib. It's pretty good with chipotle.BKS: Favorite team prank that you've seen?AC: Team prank? Team prank, wow...I'm going to have to come back at you with that one, just because that's a good question.BKS: Favorite team moment?AC: Just a win. Any win. Any win is a favorite team moment. This year beating Michigan State away, 10 men, just coming back and sitting on the bus, that's great.BKS: Best part about having satellite TV on the bus?AC: Live games, watching live soccer games. If we travel on a Wednesday and
a Champions League game is on, hopefully Real Madrid is playing.-SkalinaComments
The 2009 season started on a cold Sunday night in Philadelphia and a 4-0 Phillies loss to Atlanta. The season ended on a cold November night in New York and a 7-3 Phillies loss in Game 6 of the World Series.
For Philadelphia, the title defense came to an end up in the Bronx. But Phillies fans can be proud of the season they've had to make it back to the series after what they've had to deal with this season, injuries and otherwise. Most of this team will be back next year, and there's no reason why they can't be back here again in 2010.
For New York, it's the end of a nine-year championship drought and finally, No. 27. The huge amounts of money poured into CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Teixeira delivered the desired result and finally, the billions poured into the roster in recent years produced a championship. This team will look somewhat different next year. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, named the World Series MVP, have their contracts up after this season. But the key pieces, like Sabathia and Jeter and Rodriguez, will be back and there's no reason they can't be back here next year.
And with that, we conclude our live blogs here on Make Plays. Thanks for reading.
McCarver throws an interesting statistic out there. Yankees have led by four runs 204 times with Rivera in the game. They've lost once.
Stairs pinch-hits and hits a rocket to the upper deck foul. He then lines out to Jeter for the first out.
Ruiz up now with the crowd getting louder and walks. He's on base for the fourth time tonight. Definitely been the best Phillies hitter tonight.
Rollins has hit into two double plays already tonight. He's up and gives it a ride but Swisher gets it at the wall for the second out. Yankees are one out away.
Victorino up and swings at strike two as Ruiz takes second. Rivera needs one more strike...
Victorino fighting to the last strike as he fouls off a couple...
...but eventually grounds out to second to end the game and the series. Rivera mobbed at the mound as the Yankees win World Championship No. 27.
More to come in a bit.
Game Over. 7-3 Yankees. Yankees win series 4-1.
A "Win It For George" sign shown on the broadcast. No sign of Mr. Steinbrenner yet, would be really interesting to see if he is here.
Feliz makes a fantastic play on a grounder by Swisher for the first out.
Gardner grounds out to second for the second out of the inning as Manuel probably makes the last Phillies pitching change of 2009, replacing Eyre with Ryan Madson.
Madson's in and is greeted with a single by Jeter. Hairston then pops out to Rollins to end the inning.
End 8. 7-3 Yankees.
Marte still in the game to face Howard and strikes him out on three pitches. Girardi comes out to the mound to take the ball and "Enter Sandman" starts blaring on the loudspeakers. Rivera'll need five outs to seal the series.
Final line on Marte: 0.2 innings, no runs, no hits, two strikeouts, six pitches.
Rivera comes into to face Werth with most of the stadium standing. Rivera strikes out Werth for the second out.
Ibanez up next. Apparently it's misting according to Joe Buck, who's using mist to make a metaphor about the copious amount of inclement weather during the postseason.
Ibanez bloops a double over the head of Gardner. Claps from the office while Rorabaugh cries "Why do you keep giving me hope?"
The double extends the inning for Feliz. He can't get the ball out of the infield as he pops out in foul territory to end the inning.
Mid 8. 7-3 Yankees.
We're getting philosophical here in the office, with a debate about how this decade will be remembered. Unfortunately, it probably will be remembered in the annals of history by Survivor and a can of Chicken of the Sea tuna.
Park starts the inning with Teixeira as Rivera tosses the resin bag in the bullpen. Any doubt to who's pitching the last two innings?
Teixeira strikes out for the first out in the seventh.
Rodriguez up next and ducks from a pitch somewhat high and inside. Somewhat reminiscent, but not completely alike how Manny Ramirez ducked at an outside pitch that started that infamous brawl in the 2003 ALCS. Really surprised Fox hasn't shown Pedro throwing down Don Zimmer...really thought that would've been shown four times in the pregame alone.
Rodriguez hits a seeing-eye single to the left side and Manuel will make another change, bringing in Scott Eyre to face Matsui.
Matsui gets a standing ovation as he steps into the batters box accompanied by the "M-V-P" chant. Possibly his last at-bat as a Yankee? If it is, it's a strikeout in the dirt on a check swing. Two outs for Posada and he'll be intentionally walked to get to Cano.
Cano steps in as Fox does a celebrity scan. Cameras catch Jimmy Fallon, Donald Trump, Regis Philbin and Spike Lee among others.
Last half inning Rorabaugh was wondering why there was so much commotion about Francisco and how good he really was (he's been quite the eager beaver tonight). Sports Copy Desk editor Eddie Gentile replied wondering why Rorabaugh would ask a question he already knew the answer too. Rorabaugh's point is proved when Francisco strikes out to start the inning.
Ruiz hits a single to center field. Still hope in the office.
Rollins hits into a fielder's choice at second. Ruiz retired at second and Rollins safe at first with two outs.
Victorino up next as Damaso Marte warms up. Rollins steals second and Chamberlain goes 3-0 on Victorino with Utley on deck. Marte really hustling as Victorino walks, putting two on with two outs. Utley up next and he'll face Marte out of the Yankee bullpen.
Debate among sports staff right now as to who is the Series MVP. If Utley does it again, it would be hard to ignore him.
Huge at bat right now, might be the series right here. Marte strikes him out on three pitches, the third on a check swing that could've gone either way. Inning over as Philadelphia misses a big opportunity.
Mid 7. 7-3 Yankees
I said losing Damon could be a big loss for the Yankees...if it is, it hasn't showed yet.
Swisher walks as Fox promos its Sunday football, including its special two-hour pregame with the troops from Afghanistan. Great idea for the troops and good timing too because their games this week aren't that great. When you're pushing Lions-Seahawks as watchable television...
Gardner strikes out for the first out.
Jeter up and Manuel to the mound. It'll be Chan Ho Park to face Jeter.
Jeter faces Park and grounds to first. Howard throws to second to retire Swisher but Jeter reaches on the fielder's choice.
Hairston comes to the plate for the second time tonight as this game has grinded to a halt. Has the feeling of a Yankees-Red Sox game right now with the pitching changes.
Rorabaugh's a little down about his Phillies, so he's reading about the latest Dallas Cowboys drama. Says it picks him right up.
Hairston flies out to right to end the inning.
End 6. 7-3 Yankees.
Only the sixth inning and already Buck starting to prepare the crown. Meanwhile the Yankee fans are chanting Andy Pettitte's name as they are probably starting to count down the outs. Might be a little too early.
Victorino grounds out to start the inning.
Utley works a one-out walk. He's been the best Phillies position player in the series by far.
What did I say about it being too early? Howard finally arrives in the series with a two-run home run to left field. Phils fans in the office that were once silent now cheer, followed by "We're still in this," and "What took you so long?" 7-3 Yankees.
Werth strikes out looking for the second out as Joba Chamberlain warms up.
Ibanez lines a double down the right field line with two outs. Phillies trying to rally as Girardi walks out to the mound to make the move to Chamberlain. Pettitte gets pats on the head and a standing ovation from the crowd as he leaves. Another solid postseason outing for Pettitte.
If there's been a criticism of Girardi, it's that he's had a tendency to outthink himself sometimes. He brings in Chamberlain to face Feliz, who homered off him back in Game 4. He's preparing to bring Rivera in in the eighth.
No such luck for Feliz as he grounds out to third to end the inning.
Mid 6. 7-3 Yankees.
Bottom of the fifth so the game's official. With that comes our first pitching change as Chad Durbin takes over for the Phils. Final line on Martinez: 4 innings, 4 earned runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts.
Jeter up first and just barely misses a home run. Instead lands on the warning track and hops over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Hairston has his first at-bat since entering the game. He's 2-for-8 in the postseason but he lays down a sacrifice bunt that moves Jeter over to third. One out for Teixeira as Hairston out at first.
Teixeira lines a single to right field. Jeter scores as the Yankee Stadium crowd can start to sense it. 5-1 Yankees.
Rodriguez up next and walks. Matsui coming up and Charlie Manuel is heading to the mound. This will be it for Durbin as J.A. Happ will come in.
Happ enters the game as Matsui gets a large hand at the plate. Making a strong case for World Series MVP in possibly and listening to Ken Rosenthal, probably his final game as a Yankee.
Matsui crushes a 3-1 pitch and just barely misses another home run, instead hitting a double that hops over the outfielders' heads on the rebound. Both runs score and Matsui drives in his fifth and sixth runs of the night. 7-1 Yankees.
Posada strikes out swinging for the second out of the inning.
Cano up now and strikes out to end the inning.
End 5. 7-1 Yankees.
Almost half way through the game. No contribution from Audrey Snyder yet. We'll keep you posted.
Francisco strikes out looking at a beautiful pitch as Copy Desk starting to get frustrated.
Ruiz up for the Phils and earns a walk. He's been the best Phils batter by far.
Finally a contribution from Snyder via text message. As a Braves fan, she's enjoying this. No slams against me so I'll take it.
Rollins grounds into a double play to end the inning.
Mid 5. 4-1 Yankees.
Band Hero commercial airs again and Rorabaugh starts the debate again. Tensions are wearing thin.
Cano leads off the inning and flies out to the warning track in left. Footage of Pettitte having a heated argument with the umpire last inning airs. Microcosm of the postseason right there.
Swisher up for the Yankees. Newly re-elected Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg in attendance and behind home plate. Live shot of former mayor Rudy Guiliani can't be far behind. And there he is in a shot of Gardner in the on-deck circle. Swisher strikes out.
Gardner lines out to second to end the inning.
End 4. 4-1 Yankees.
Big surprise in the top of the inning as Jerry Hairston Jr. is in the game in left field. Apparently Damon got hurt running the bases the last inning. Big loss for New York...
Utley leads off the inning for Philadelphia. Joe Buck is reporting it's a pulled calf for Damon as Utley strikes out.
Howard steps up next. He's one strikeout away from setting the record for Ks in a World Series. Girardi better be careful. He's already talking about how many innings he can use Mariano Rivera tonight. Howard lines out to Cano.
Werth now up and earns a walk. Second time Werth has walked tonight.
Ibanez now up. Philadelphia needs a spark right now before the innings start becoming their enemy. Maybe a break as Posada can't handle a pitch and Werth advances to second on the passed ball and Ibanez walks. First and second with two outs for Feliz.
He works the count to 1-1. Just that Feliz didn't swing at the first pitch is a complete antithesis of his M.O.
Feliz finally swings and grounds out to first to end the inning.
Mid 4. 4-1 Yankees.
Just think. In the next two days, it'll be 2010 before we see a baseball video set to "Boys of Summer" again. Getting nostalgic...
Gardner swings at the 86 mile per hour heat and strikes out
Jeter steps in and Fox addresses the Post front page and the accompanying poster as Jeter drops a single in front of Victorino
Fox is all over the place. They just went from a graphic of Jeter's postseason hits to a shot of Harry Kalas' memorial patch of the Phils' uni, followed by a shot of his blue sportscoat and white shoes hanging in the dugout. Now they're showing blimp images of the old Yankee Stadium (in the dark, with no lights on) as Damon's having another lengthy at-bat.
Damon works a walk on Pedro's 50th pitch of the night. Teixeira up next as Rich Dubee goes for the bullpen hotline in the dugout.
Teixeira gets hit on the first pitch of the at-bat. The office is calling for the hook right now as Rodriguez steps up with the bases loaded. Dubee makes a trip to the mound as J.A. Happ gets loose.
Fox shows two banners at the park, apparently the Yankees don't have a problem with signs like a Washington D.C. NFL team does.
Rodriguez steps in and strikes out looking on three pitches. Big out for Pedro.
Matsui steps in and lines a single to center field. Two runs score and Teixeira stops at second. Matsui has driven in all four runs for the Yankees. 4-1 Yankees.
Posada flies out to left to end the inning.
End 3. 4-1 Yankees
Just saw the Band Hero commercial with Taylor Swift. Rorabaugh (a devout Guitar Hero and Rock Band player) is completely confused, asking what's the difference between Band Hero and Guitar Hero with instruments.
Francisco grounds out to third for the first out of the inning.
Now Ruiz (or Senor Octubre or Chooch or as McCarver calls him, Rues) steps up and crushes it to left center. It hits the ledge of the wall and bounces past Gardner as Ruiz pulls into third with a triple.
Rollins up with a runner in scoring position and less than two outs. They've struggled in this situation all year, but Rollins hits a sacrifice fly to right that gets the job done and scores Ruiz. 2-1 Yankees.
Victorino flies out to right to end the inning.
Mid 3. 2-1 Yankees.
It's the bottom of the second and Tim McCarver hasn't had one of his Captain Obvious moments yet. Don't worry, it's gonna happen.
Rodriguez is up first, continuing his October Redemption tour. The Phillies have stopped hitting him, instead Martinez walks him on four pitches.
Matsui's up next and he's having one of those Yankee at-bats. He works the count full on a close 2-2 pitch. Rorabaugh wants the pitch and begins to contest the call. Then he sees the replay.
Matsui cashes in, launching a pitch into the second deck in right field for a two-run homer. The Phillies' pitchers not being able to finish off hitters has hurt them in this series. 2-0 Yankees.
Yankee Stadium is buzzing as Posada is up next. For a moment, it feels like they're back across the street at a stadium that doesn't separate ultra-expensive and uber-expensive seats with a concrete moat. Posada strikes out for the first out of the inning.
Cano makes his best contact of this season but lines out to Utley.
Swisher's up next and he continues to struggle, flying out to Francisco to end the inning.
End 2. 2-0 Yankees.
Glad to see Fox has worked out their production issues. Another night, another abrupt return to action from commercial just before the first pitch.
Sports Copy Desk Chief Dan Rorabaugh thinks Howard's series' struggles might be linked to his playoff beard.He grounds out to first to start the inning, so he continues to struggle. But hey, Phillies' fans, at least he put the ball in play.
Werth's up next and Pettitte is looking like vintage Pettitte so far. It would be complete if he picks someone off first before the night's done. Of course, as I type this, Werth earns a walk.
Ibanez swings at the first pitch and shatters his bat, the barrel going almost as far as the ball does as he flies out to shallow right. Rorabaugh went "Blamo!" when Ibanez hit it. I think he meant the ball, but the bat proves him right.
Feliz is up next. Pettitte throws a few times to first, trying to keep Werth close. This backfires, however, when he throws in the dirt and Werth goes to second on the wild pitch. Feliz pops up to Posada to end the inning, so the wild pitch doesn't hurt him.
Mid 2. No score.
Martinez steps to the mound and Fox quickly cuts to a large "Who's Your Daddy" banner. Won't be long before the chants start.
Jeter makes good contact but he lines out to Francisco for the first out.
Now it's Damon, who's had the at-bat of the series to this point. But Martinez gets him to strike out.
Since I mentioned the NY Daily News' back cover, the NY Post's back cover had a picture of Teixeira with the headline "Earn Your Stripes." For a reference point, the front cover was Pedro's head photoshopped onto a baby's body.
Teixeira doesn't help his cause by flying out to right to end the inning.
End 1. No score.
Jimmy Rollins - SS
Shane Victorino - CF
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Jayson Werth - RF
Raul Ibanez - DH
Pedro Feliz - 3B
Ben Francisco - LF
Carlos Ruiz - C
Derek Jeter - SS
Johnny Damon - LF
Mark Teixeira - 1B
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Hideki Matsui - DH
Jorge Posada - C
Robinson Cano - 2B
Nick Swisher - RF
Brett Gardner - CF
Pettitte looks to be on as he gets Rollins to ground out to first to start the game.
Victorino is starting for the Phils and gets an infield single. His hand may be hurting, but his legs are still fine.
Now it's the man Yankee fans are seeing in their nightmares - Chase Utley. But if there's anyone who can neutralize him, it's Pettitte, who's made a career off of down-and-away. And sure enough he gets Utley to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Mid 1. No score.
Hello Baseball Fans,
Icers reporter Tom Copain back again to bring you Game 6 of the World Series. You can go ahead and run for the hills or a TV with sound now.
For those who have stayed, I thank you. It should be a great game in what's already been one of the better series in a while. For the Yankees, it's the second opportunity to clinch their 27th World Championship and they have possibly their best big game pitcher on the mound tonight in Andy Pettitte. The lefthanded pride of Baton Rouge, La., is 17-9 with a 3.88 ERA in the postseason and has won both series clinchers for the Yankees this postseason.
The Phillies try to fight off elimination and hold their championship throne for at least one more night. They'll counter with Pedro Martinez, who is 0-1 but has a sparkling 2.08 ERA this postseason. In Game 2 of the World Series, Martinez pitched six strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out eight. It's absolutely amazing that in their long postseason histories and those epic Yankee-Red Sox playoff series, that Pettitte and Martinez will face each other for the first time in the postseason.
The Phillies are playing with desperation, but the Yankees have all the pressure heaped on them. They're leading the series, they have the chance to win it at home for the first time since 1999 and their first championship since 2000. Not to mention this will be the biggest test to date of Joe Girardi's three-man rotation experiment.
The phrase that says it all was the headline on the back page of the NY Daily News this morning. It's a picture of Girardi with the phrase "You'd Better Be Right". I'm going to go out on a limb and say if they lose tonight, there will be outright panic tomorrow morning.
Starting lineups and first pitch coming up.
Yes, they do exist. It's not a mythical creature like the unicorn.
There are people around who are Yankees and Phillies fans, like myself, although they are very rare. In fact right now I only know of one other than me, and I don't even know him.
It's a relatively new phase for me. Honestly I would have never thought I would be in this situation a couple of years ago when New York and the Yankees was all I knew. Maybe it's because I live in Philadelphia now and I see a lot more of the Phillies now that I became a Phillies fan too.
Pretty much everyone I know here in State College has been asking me what would happen if they met in the World Series and I kept saying I'd decide if it got to that point. I'd made up my mind I'd root for whoever got the farthest, but I dismissed the notion of the two meeting in the Series.
Then it happened. And for the first time, I was a little conflicted. My loyalties since I was a child made me lean toward the Yankees, but a part of me deep inside was wondering if the Phillies could do it, partially because this team has such a gutsy nature about it. Like the Boston teams earlier this decade...only likeable.
I've taken a lot of heat for being a Yanks and Phils fan. The only other person I've heard of in my situation is that poor sap Doyle, the other Yankees and Phillies fan, who's been ridiculed and ex-communicated in print by Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez.
But the biggest difference between me and him? According to Gonzalez, he told a friend "it didn't matter" who wins because he gets a victory parade either way. That's my threshold for dual fandom.
So tonight I'll watch, rooting for the Bronx Bombers to win their 27th Championship. And next April, I'll be back, rooting for both my teams to succeed.
Hate me if you want. But at least I've chosen a side.
Cael Sanderson announced some changes to the Intrasquad meet on Thursday. Here they are:
133-pounders- Bryan Pearsall versus Tyler Saltsman
Sanderson said Saltsman was suffering from an injury but will be available to compete on Thursday.
Exhibition 1- Jack Chidester versus Eric Caschera
Exhibition 2- Quentin Wright versus David Crowell
Sanderson said Wright initially was going to wrestle in the 197-pound weight class match but dropped to 184 pounds, which pushed him into the exhibition match. Sanderson also said Crowell will not be eligible until Spring semester.
Sanderson responded to fans' Cameron Wade critiques, Wade wrestling aggressively at the Big Ten tournament and Wade wrestling in the offseason:
"Wade is young. He is only a sophomore. He was a big recruit, but we're counting on him to do well... He's a big strong kid. He's tough on the mat. He's capable of scoring a lot of points. He just needs to tighten up his strategy. Really, I've been trying to make him neater because a big, strong kid like that -- he should really go out there and throw the guy down, crank him over and have his way. There are some things we're working on. We're working on technique -- sharpening skills up. He's close. He's a guy we're really depending on this year."
Sanderson responding to Brad Pataky's inconsistency and misjudging throws:
"He's one of the leaders on the team. He's a guy that has been to the national tournament I believe twice now. He wins matches. We think he can do very well at the national tournament. He has his areas of concentration just like everybody else. He's just has to keep his focus, make sure he's thinking about the right things throughout his match. It's really not panicking or if he's not scoring all the time or if things aren't going 100 percent as planned, which they usually don't -- realizing that that is OK and keep plugging away, little steps. If he can do that, which I think he's going to, he's going to do real well."
So I stumbled across this video today on a couple of hoops blogs. It's Indiana forward Tyler Hansborough in a commercial for a local auto dealership. I must say, this is one of the finest pieces of acting I've seen in a long time.
This is like Pacino in The Godfather, this is like Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. His range and his on-screen presence captivated me from start to finish. Just the way he says "Wow!" I can almost feel the raw emotion of his surprise at what a great car it is.
I guess Psycho T had nothing better to do while he sat out nursing a shin injury. Sadly for Pacers fans, this ad will pretty much sum up his style of play and his NBA career -- boring and uneventful.
Game of the Night: Phoenix (4-0) at Orlando (3-1). Two of the best teams out of the gate clash tonight and there's a couple of matchups to keep an eye on. Steve Nash vs. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard vs. Amare Stoudamire in particular. It'll be interesting to see how the Magic respond to dropping a game that they shouldn't have last night and it'll be even more interesting to see if this undefeated Suns team is for real.
But if for any reason this game gets a little boring or turns into a rout, maybe turn your attention to the Lakers at the Rockets tonight. Trevor Ariza and Ron Artest face their former teams and not to mention that Houston is 3-1 without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. A scrappy team and a squad that should be fun to watch every night. Let's see how they handle the defending champs.
Enjoy the games tonight and we'll catch you back here tomorrow on the Full Court Press
A strong list of high school juniors will also reportedly make visits, too. And most of the guys are big men, which Penn State desperately needs.
Rakeem Christmas, a 6-foot 8, 210 pound 5-star recruit from the Academy of the New Church Boys in Bryn Athyn, Pa., will also come. It's a small municipality a half hour outside of Philly. Christmas is listed as the No. 1 center in the 2011 class on Scout's list. Judging from YouTube videos, this guy is incredibly athletic and can throw the ball down with authority. Reminds me a lot of Dwight Howard. He'd be a HUGE help to the frontline.
Christmas has offers from high-profile schools such as Texas, Florida, Villanova, Georgetown and Oklahoma.
Malcolm Gilbert, a 6-foot 10, 200-pounder center playing for the same school as Christmas is, will also visit. Gilbert is rated as the No. 10 center in his class. His frame fits more of a center role. He can bulk up and become a beast in the paint. In this video, you can catch a 15-second interview with him after a Five Star basketball camp in Philly.
Also visiting from this class of juniors will be Trey Burke, who announced last week he would come to Penn State, and Desmond Hubert, a 6-foot 8, 190 pounder from New Egypt, N.J. Hubert has offers from Pitt, Villanova and Maryland.
In the class of 2012, two stars will also visit. Amile Jefferson and Savon Goodman, considered by ESPNU as the No. 21 and No. 24 recruits, respectively, have a lot of talent from what I've been reading.
I caught up with coach Coquese Washington after her press conference Tuesday afternoon to ask her a quick question. The question is the first in a series of offbeat questions that are strictly for Washington's Post. We will ask her a random question every week to try and learn more about the Lions' third-year head coach.
In this week's CoQuestion we asked the Lady Lions coach about the most-pressing issue in sports this week ... the World Series.
Question: "So who are you rooting for in the World Series?"
Washington: "I'm going for the Phillies. I'm in Pa. now so I'm going for the Phillies. The Yankees, they buy their championships so you got to go for the Phillies."
Question: What's your reasoning for going with the Phillies?
Washington: "I just read an article recently on Lidge. It was about his little struggles and how the Philly fans are still supportive of him and behind him. It was about how he's a really good guy and hasn't gone off the deep end since he struggled this year. And I was just like, that was such a good, inspiring story and I was like, 'I'm going for the Phillies just because of Lidge.' "
Junior point guard Talor Battle continues to add to his preseason recognition, as he was named to the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List.
The 50 person list was composed Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, and features 33 upperclassmen and five Big Ten players. Joining Battle are Purdue's Robbie Hummel, Ohio State's Evan Turner, Michigan's Manny Harris and Michigan State point guard Kalin Lucas.
The Naismith Trophy is presented annually during the Final Four to the men's College Player of the Year, and past winners have included David Robinson, Michael Jordan, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Kevin Durant and last year's winner, Blake Griffin. Battle was also listed a nominee for the Wooden Award earlier this year.
As Kinslow tweeted last night, forward Kurt Collins will be out for a "couple of weeks" according to Penn State coach Scott Balboni.
Collins hurt his shoulder when he was tripped and landed into the boards during Saturday's 8-2 win against West Virginia, but Balboni said there was no major damage and the x-rays were negative.
Forward Nick Seravalli, however, will be back in the lineup this weekend at Navy. Seravalli hurt his finger during the second period Saturday, but practiced Tuesday after the team's off day and Balboni said he's "good to go."
Hey all you hoops fans out there, Tom Kinslow here, back with another installment of Full Court Press. If you missed any of last night's action, here's some of the highlights.
Oh, oh It's Magic: ...for the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons, who were without Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince, (snapping his streak of 496 consecutive games played) defeated the Magic 85-80 at the Palace last night.
The Pistons were led by Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum who finished with 23, 20 and 20 points respectively.
Dwight Howard finished with eight points, five boards, three blocks and six fouls. To say this is poor performance is an understatement. The Pistons ran with a frontcourt of Ben Wallace, Charlie Villanueva and Jonas Jerebko. Howard should have been in full on Superman Mode from the jump but was stifled somehow by the Detroit bigs.
This is why Dwight Howard has not taken the full leap to the next level yet. He disappears in games, he has no post move or a jumpshot in his arsenal and can be taken out of games with the right strategy. Howard and the Magic get the Pistons at home on Friday night, let's see how they respond.
From the Land of Three: Note to the Philadelphia 76ers. GUARD THE PERIMETER! The Sixers gave up 14, that's right, 14 three pointers to the Boston Celtics last night as new look Celtics ran Philly out of their own gym 105-74. New addition Rasheed Wallace had six of those 14 as Boston ran away with this one in the second half.
This performance comes after the Sixers gave up 16 treys to Orlando in the season opener. It's going to be a bumpy road for the Sixers and their fans to start this season (maybe the whole season). Elton Brand looks lost in Eddie Jordan's Princeton offense and they clearly can't defend the arc. This could get ugly fast. The Sixers had just two players reach double figures last night. Show me some sign of life Philly. Please?
Performance of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki - 40 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, five blocks. Not only is that stat line impressive, but 29 of those 40 came in the fourth quarter as Dallas scored 44, no that's not a misprint, 44 fourth quarter points to defeat Utah 95-86. That's what great players do, they take over games and will their teams to victory. Good night to have Dirk on your fantasy team.
Coming Soon to a Poster Near You: I figured I'd find my favorite play from the first week of the NBA season and share it with you. Here Carmelo Anthony puts Paul Millsap all over the highlight reel with this facial. Not even a hot shower will wash that shame off you.
Penn State Icers senior Ryan Paradis took an interesting path to Penn State. He started out his collegiate career at Elmira College in New York, but after realizing that wasn't for him, he transferred to Penn State and joined the Icers for his junior year. For more on Paradis' journey to Penn State and the Icers, be sure to keep an eye out for the story in the Collegian this week. But for now, let's get to now Paradis a little better through a little something we like to call TQT:
1. Who are your three favorite bands right now?
A: Umphrey's McGee, Moe and probably Lynyrd Skynyrd. No matter what kind of mood I'm in, I can always listen to Skynyrd.
2. Who is your favorite Penn State athlete, not on the Icers?
A: Former volleyball player, Nicole Fawcett. She's a good friend of mine and was national Player of the Year last year on a team that went undefeated, only dropping two sets.
3. What story or name are you tired of hearing about in the news?
A: Well it seemed to be quiet lately, but all the talk about when Tom Brady is going to step back up and be the Super Bowl-winning quarterback he always has been for my Pats.
4. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Oh, there's so many. Favorite song of all-time is "Sweet Home Alabama" by Skynyrd, and two more just pure vibe and beat would be "Granny" by Dave Matthews Band and "Best Feeling" by Keller Williams.
5. What's the best Disney movie of all time?
A: I'd probably have to say Miracle.
6. Who is the funniest guy on the team?
A: Everyone pretty much contributes in their own way. We don't really have a flat out jokester this year, but if we do, I'd say it's Paul Daley. We don't really have a Mike Diethorn like last year where the kid is just always a goof ball, but probably Daley on the most consistent basis.
7. Best meal in town?
A: Qdoba. Chicken Burrito.
8. If you had to go to school anywhere other than Penn State, where would it be?
A: Hockey-wise, UNH. School-wise, probably UCLA.
9. If you could pull off the ultimate prank on anyone on the team, coach or player, who would it be and why?
A: I think the most conventional answer here would be Kirstein, just because he gets so rattled with everything that happens, but I'm gonna actually say coach Balboni. Just because of the coach, authority figure thing and I'd say he's pretty much off limits, so it'd be good to get him.
10. What's the most exciting individual play in hockey?
A: Most exciting individual play in hockey? Even though it's not a single play, I'm going to say a Gordie Howe hat trick is the most exciting play in hockey.
Editor's note: For those not familiar with a "Gordie Howe hat trick," it is when a player scores a goal, records an assist and gets in a fight all in the same game.
That does it for another edition of TQT. Check back Thursday when we reveal another TQT, this time with sophomore forward Chris Cerutti.
Welcome everyone to the first installment of "Full Court Press," the Collegian's home for coverage of the NBA. I'm Tom Kinslow, one of the Penn State Icers beat writers and I'll be your host for all things related to the Association.
I hope to get some great segments in here for all of you to enjoy. We'll talk about award chases, standings, who's hot and who's not, up-and-coming stars, fantasy sports, you name it, we'll have it. I'm hoping to start a weekly podcast with men's basketball reporter Andrew Robinson so be on the lookout for that, hopefully starting next week.
I greatly encourage all of you out there to contact me. If you click my name at the bottom of each post, it'll link you to my e-mail address and I'd love to hear from you. What you like, what you don't like, what you'd like more of, or just asking questions. I'd love to start doing mailbags answering some of your questions so don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail.
Just so this isn't a hokey introduction, let's get this started off right with some hoops talk.
First off, Stephon Marbury. *sigh*. Remember when he was relevant? Those were fun times. Now he's reduced to being kicked out of the Knicks home opener for sitting in the wrong seat. So as Marbury was making his not-so-graceful exit from the premises, he decided to stand up and start filming the action on the court, blocking spectators' view.
When is someone going to get Marbury some help? This summer, as Marbury had a public meltdown on his UStream channel, that culminated with him actually eating Vaseline, everyone pointed and laughed. However, at some point, something needs to be done and someone needs to get this man help before it's too late.
Let's take a quick look at how the Allen Iverson Experiment is going in Memphis. What? He's already tired of playing off the bench? How many minutes has he played this season? 18? Sounds about right.
Iverson made his Grizzlies debut on Saturday night after battling a torn hamstring and scored 11 points on 5/9 shooting. After the game Iverson made his priorities known.
"I had no problems (with the hamstring)," Iverson said . "I had a problem with my butt from sitting on that bench so long. That's the only thing I got a problem with. Yeah, I'll be disappointed (if he's a sub this season)," Iverson said. "I'm not a reserve basketball player. I've never been a reserve all my life and I'm not going to start looking at myself as a reserve. ... To answer the question, 'No, I'm not a bench player. I'm not a sixth man. Go look at my resume and that will show you I'm not a sixth man."
I see this ending well. I just want to know what Memphis GM Chris Wallace was thinking this offseason.
"Okay, we've got an up-and-coming OJ Mayo who's our two-guard of the future, a promising Marc Gasol in the middle and a stud in Rudy Gay. You know what this team needs? Allen Iverson! He won't dominate the ball, he won't complain about his role, he's perfect!"
Combine that with the Zach Randolph acquisition and now you've got to believe that Memphis was banking on David Stern passing the "Two basketballs on the court at the same time" rule. There aren't enough shots for everyone in Memphis and there never will be, so enjoy the chaos.
Why Iverson believed he would get his shots while playing with Gay, Mayo, Gasol and Randolph is beyond me. Then again, he's naive to think he's anything other than a sixth man at this point so nothing's impossible anymore.
If Iverson truly wanted to win a championship and make the necessary sacrifices, as he said he would when he came to my Detroit Pistons, before proceeding to dismantle them last season, he would have shut up and been happy with his role on the bench (both in Detroit and now in Memphis).
But that's not Iverson, it's never been Iverson and it's why no team worth anything signed him this offseason. It's why he's stuck in Memphis, it's why he'll never win a championship and when it's all said and done, "The Answer" will look in the mirror and have none for why he walked away without a ring on his finger.
Want to ask wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson some questions of your own? Wednesday evening will allow you this opportunity. Starting tomorrow, Sanderson will host his weekly radio show from 6- 6:30 p.m. on 95.3/3WZ FM and fans can call in.
Jeff Byers, who can also be questioned, will host the show, and the Thursday intrasquad meet will be the topic of discussion. Sanderson's show will air throughout the season on Wednesdays. Periodically, the show will have off-weeks.
The Penn State men's soccer team continues to earn respect for its 10-win season. This week, the Nittany Lions climbed back into the NSCAA/adidas poll at No. 25.Barry Gorman's side is the second-highest ranked Big Ten squad behind No. 17 Northwestern. However, the Nittany Lions are the top-ranked Big Ten squad in the Great Lakes region of the coaches' poll, slotting in third behind Akron and Louisville.In the Soccer America men's top 25, the Lions are No. 20. They are ahead of No. 24 Michigan State, but behind No. 15 Northwestern.Over at College Soccer News, Penn State is inside the top 20 at No. 19, while Northwestern slots in at No. 16.TopDrawerSoccer.com employs their Tournament 48, a running attempt to project the NCAA tournament field. Here, the Lions have their lowest rank at No. 37, behind Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, but still safely inside the 48-team field.The metric that likes Penn State the most, and the only that counts? That's the NCAA Men's Soccer RPI. Jason Yeisley and Co. check in at No. 16 in this computer ranking, which is used by the tournament committee to fill out the at-large bids.Indiana and Northwestern, by virtue of their tougher schedules, sit ahead of Penn State. The Wildcats are at No. 4 and the Hoosiers are at No. 7.-SkalinaComments
Oh man. It's unbelievable. It's just what I wanted to see. Fox Sports gave me the option of a Brett Favre cam during Sunday's game. I could watch him at all times. I could even watch him sit on the bench. It's just so..............horrifying. Honestly, who the heck thought that was a good idea? Please promptly hand in your resignation papers. Brett has received more unwarranted attention than anyone in the league. Stop giving it to him. Enough is enough. Let him play, sink back into the shadows and keep the spotlights off of him. How 'bout we give attention and credit to other players in the league who go unnoticed? Oh wait, that wouldn't help ratings would it? That's a shame. Seriously, get the cameras off Brett and focus them on someone else on the first-place Vikings. I don't want to see him.
Video of the Week: This player on the semi-pro Las Vegas Cobras makes a pretty good tackle on the kick return. So why is this the video of the week? Because he was on the receiving team and tackled his own teammate. Maybe he's just color blind.
The lineup for Thursday's Intrasquad Dual (don't call it Wrestle-Offs) was announced today.
Most notably, coach Cael Sanderson will showcase his four most hyped true freshmen. He announced at Media Day last week all the freshmen would redshirt, "unless it's going to really help our team challenge for that National Championship."
Quentin Wright, an All-American last year at 174 pounds who is redshirting this year to gain weight and strength, will also wrestle in an exhibition match against an as-yet unspecified opponent.
125: No. 8 Brad Pataky vs. Tom Reynolds
133: Bryan Pearsall vs. Jack Chidester
141: Colby Pisani vs. Adam Lynch
149: No. 6 (141 ranking) Frank Molinaro vs. James English
157: No. 5 Cyler Sanderson vs. David Taylor
165: No. 9 Dan Vallimont vs. Jake Kemerer
174: David Erwin vs. Justin Ortega
184: J.R. Brown vs. Ed Ruth
197: Clay Steadman vs. Luke Macchiaroli
HWT: No. 20 Cameron Wade vs. Brendan Herlihy
ex: Quentin Wright vs. TBA
True freshmen are in BOLD. Past All-Americans in italics.
Taylor was the top overall wrestling recruit in the country, Ruth ranked fourth overall and first at 171 pounds, and Kemerer ranked seventh overall at first at 160 pounds. Macchiaroli ranked 20th at 215 pounds.
Minnesota Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe will not play for his new school until a felony aggravated battery charge is cleared up, Athletic Director Joel Maturi announced Monday.
Mbakwe has a court date in December after police say he attacked a woman in Miami in April. Mbakwe is a transfer from Marquette, and listed at 6-foot 8, 240 pounds, was expected to add a lot of depth to the Gophers frontline.
"We've been without him for two years, so we'll see how it works out," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said a couple weeks ago.
Missing out on the chance to play a bruising big man such as Mbakwe would be a tough blow, though. Mbakwe is one of four newcomers who comprise a very highly-touted incoming class for Minnesota.
If a decision on his legal situation is not made in a timely matter, Mbakwe could redshirt this season and still have two full years of eligibility left for the No. 25-ranked Gophers.
"There's not a person who knows him who didn't respond to me telling me what great character he has. Everybody said what a wonderful young man he is, not that we would feel any differently," Maturi told the AP. "The decision is not at all based on whether I feel he is innocent or guilty. It's an educational decision that I feel will allow Trevor to learn from."
With the Associated Press Preseason Poll being released over the weekend it's important to note that Big Ten powerhouses Ohio State and Michigan State round out the top 10.
The Buckeyes, who are led by returning Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender and returning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Samantha Prahalis, enter the season as the nation's No. 3 team.
Michigan State, who is led by center Allyssa DeHaan, claimed the 10th spot in the poll. Both the Buckeyes and Spartans were routed in the NCAA Tournament last season after reaching the Sweet 16.
No surprise that the defending champion Connecticut Huskies are sitting atop the poll as they won the title last season by defeating the Louisville Cardinals by 22 points.
The youthful Cardinals, who only have one senior on their roster, drop to No. 23 in the poll. Second-year head coach Jeff Walz will need to try and replace the production that came from Angel McCoughtry who was the team's leading scorer and a Player of the Year Candidate. The Cardinals return three of their five starters.
As for the Nittany Lions, they will face No. 3 Ohio State, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 19 Georgia Tech.
The Preseason All-Big Ten team features some of the most exciting players in the country and these five players will greatly affect the type of season their respective teams have.
Without further ado here's a little analysis of what each player brings to the court.
Jantel Lavender (Ohio State)
At 6'4"Lavender is head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. The junior is the conferences' preseason player of the year and rightfully so.
There was no mention of a sophomore slump for Lavender who is coming off of her second consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year Award. She led the conference in scoring, averaging 20.8 points per game, as well as shooting percentage. Her presence was also felt defensively as she pulled down nearly 10 rebounds per game.
Equally impressive, Lavender accomplished all of this while being consistently double teamed. She has a rare skill set that allows her to be a force on both ends of the court and Lavender will play a huge role in the Buckeyes' quest to try and win their sixth straight Big Ten championship.
Jenna Smith (Illinois)
The senior is coming off of a season where she rarely stepped off the court. At 6'3" Smith glided all over the floor averaging a conference-high 38.7 minutes per game. Third-year head coach Jolette Law believes her team can make it to the NCAA Tournament and Smith will be a huge factor in whether or not the Illini can put on their dancing shoes.
The center's presence on the floor both offensively and defensively makes her a focus for opposing teams. Smith enters the season having scored in double digits in the last 39 games and her 161 career blocks are an Illini record.
Allyssa DeHaan (Michigan State)
Leading the way for the Spartans who enter the season ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Preseason Poll is the 6'9" shot blocker. DeHaan's 402 career blocked shots are a conference best and the senior is just 78 blocks shy of the NCAA record.
DeHaan broke the 1,000 point plateau last season while averaging 10.8 points per game. The senior receives help on the offensive side of the ball from fellow senior Aisha Jefferson who led the team in scoring with an average of 11.1 points per game.
Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State)
The returning Big Ten freshman of the year is the youngest player selected to the All-Big Ten Preseason Team. The point guard was instrumental in aiding the success of teammate Jantel Lavender and her 203 assists are a freshman school record.
Prahalis also has a lethal jump shot as she buried 36 shots from beyond the arc. The sophomore's average of 33.5 minutes played per game was second on the team only to Lavender who averaged 33.9 minutes.
The play of Prahalis will be key in deciding whether or not the Buckeyes can live up to their No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press Preseason Poll.
Tyra Grant (Penn State)
Grant is the catalyst for the Nittany Lions. The 5'11" guard is the team's leading scorer and her average of 19.6 points per game was second in the conference. The senior is just 553 points away from 2,000 career points and after she tallied 567 points last season the 2,000 mark will be a challenge.
Grant is also known to do a good amount of scoring from the three-point range as she has made 130 threes during her collegiate career. With a group of young players around her, Grant will face many double teams and her success could ultimately determine the Lions' fate.
Well that was definitely another thriller. This truly has been a great postseason and great series, as I expected. I picked the Phillies in six originally, but now I'm going to choose the Yankees in six with Chase Utley being the MVP. Pettite vs. Pedro (or Happ) is bound to be a good matchup, but I think the Yanks will win it in the end because of the energy and intensity at their palace.
However, if the Yankees lose in game six, the Phils will win it in seven. Cliff Lee will come in for relief and the Phils will win at Yankee Stadium. Game 6 is basically a must-win for New York. They can't allow Philly to come back mentally, even though they are on their way.
You have seen the last of Brad Lidge this postseason.
Enjoy Utley this series, because he is putting on one of the best playoff performances ever. Equally exciting has been Ozzie Guillen, the most entertaining coach in sports, who has been a joy to watch and listen to.
It's been fun keeping you posted on a very exciting game. Have a great night, don't forget to folllow the Nittany Lion field hockey team and enjoy the rest of the World Series.
Top of the Ninth
Ryan Madson is in. Good choice Charlie. Myers is getting loose in the pen just to give the Phils some insurance. Posada doubles on a deep hit off the top of the wall. Hideki Matsui pinch hits for the pitcher's spot. Godzilla comes through with a single, moving Posada to third. What now Charlie?
Jeter comes up to represent the tying run. The Phils try to console their pitcher who is clearly shaken up. Yankee fans suddenly see life and believe as their captain takes a 2-1 count. All I think about when I see him is Minka Kelly. Clearly, Jeter was thinking of her as well as the captain hits a grounder to short. The Phils turn two but give up a run.
Phillies 8, Yankees 6
The "Idiot" falls behind 0-2 and fouls a ball off a checkswing. With the possible game-ending pitch coming, Fox shows the view from the sky. Nothing but the best from Fox (still better than TBS.) Damon battles back to 2-2. Everybody in the office is having deja vu of last night. I'm still thinking about Minka Kelly.
Damon singles up the middle. Mark Teixeria, the Yankees big (well, one of their big) investments in the off-season is the tying-run. Damon stole second, but none of the Phillies cared. Madson strikes out Tex to finish the game and send the Series back to New York.
More to come...
FINAL: Phillies 8, Yankees 6
Bottom of the Eighth
Ruiz singles to bring up Matt Stairs, another former Royal I've seen more in blue and white than red. Stairs grounds into a double play, bringing Phillie fans to question who is about to come pitch. J-Roll steps in looking for his third hit. Madson is getting loose as Rollins grounds out to Cano.
Phils 8, Yanks 5
Top of the Eighth
And Lee is still in the game. He's a monster, sports night chief Dan Roarabaugh said. Though true, and though I'm an optimist, Charlie's gotta pull him. Even Brad Lidge can't blow this. Pul Lee and save him for game seven.
Rollins bobbles a Damon grounder and the self-identified "Idiot" is safe at first. Tex doubles, moving Damon to third. Now it's time to pull Lee because he's losing it.
A-Rod doubles to drive in both runners on a deep flyball that Ibanez dove to make but simply missed the ball. Manuel finally pulls Lee after 112 pitches.
Phils 8, Yanks 4
Lee's line score is 7 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Chan Ho Park comes in with six outs to win the game. Park keeps Swisher hitless for out No. 1. Cano pops out to shallow center, but the throw was to the right of the plate, allowing A-Rod to score.
Phillies 8, Yankees 5
Chan Ho gets Gardner to pop out to short to get out of the inning. With an inning left, the question is the same it has been all postseason: Does Manuel give Lidge the ball? I say give it to Madson, but I think John Fox is a good football coach, so what do I know.
Phillies 8, Yankees 5
Bottom of the Seventh
For the seventh inning stretch, I just wanted to let you know about this week in field hockey. Penn State takes on No. 13 Ohio State Thursday in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes played an overtime thriller that ended in a Penn State upset 2-1, and Thursday's game is poised to be just as exciting. My partners, Audrey Snyder and Ryan Loy, and I will post a preview video by Wednesday night, so stay tuned to the Collegian's website.
Back to the World Series, Phil Coke relieves Aceves for New York. Utley jacks a long foul ball on full count. It's no wonder Mac is in love with him. He ends up hitting a homer to center to tie Reggie Jackson for World Series homeruns in a single series.
Phillies 7, Yanks 2
Ryan Howard of Dunder Mifflin is clearly trying to match his teammate, but he pulls a Howard and strikes out to tie the record for the most strikeouts in a World Series. Keep in mind for both records, this is game five.
Werth flies out to center for the second out of the game. Ibanez drives a homer to right field. The office erupts with joy. You wouldn't know they are still down 3-1 in the series with it going back to New York if they hold on.
Phils 8, Yanks 2
Phil Hughes replaces Coke. Hughes gets Feliz to strike out to stop the bleeding.
Philadelphia 8, New York 2
Top of the Seventh
Posada strikes out looking, making me look stupid for saying he should replace Molina. I stand by it, though, because as one of the originals from Joe Torre's empire in the 90's, Posada needs to be in for the possible Series-clincher.
Jerry Hairston Jr. in to pinch hit, but flies out to center. Two down.
Lee hits the 102 pitch mark as he tries to retire Jeter. Minka Kelly's boyfriend shatters his bat on a line drive out to Utley.
Philly 6, NY 2
Bottom of the Sixth
Ruiz lines out and Lee comes to bat. He stikes out, which is no surprise, but he shouldn't have been in to hit in the first place. You've got to pull him, Charlie.
Rollins hits a two-out single, and steals on a wild pitch to Victorino. Jeter makes a tough play and gets Victorino out, bringing Lee back to the mound. I'm no coach, and maybe I'm looking too far ahead, but I think this is Manuel's second mistake with Lee this series. One more inning, max, Chuck.
Philly 6, NY 2
Top of the Sixth
A-Rod flies out to open the inning, and it's getting near the time to ask: How long does Lee go? Let's face it, this is his last start this series. But he could come in as a reliever in a potential game seven (see Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling game 7 2001 World Series) I know the Phillie bullpen is shaky, which is why I think you pull Lee in the seventh or eighth at the latest to rest him up. That way you can use him in game 7.
Swisher hits a fly ball that looked like it had more life than it did. Cano singles for the first hit for the last five hitters of the Yankee order.
Gardner looks at all four pitches for a strike out to end the inning.
Phillies 6, Yankees 2
Bottom of the Fifth
Alfredo Aceves relieves Robertson and Posada takes over at catcher. Why he doesn't catch for Burnett is beyond me, but it didn't matter too much.
Posada goes to the mound two pitches into the at-bat, drawing boos from the frustrated Philly crowd. Posada does this often.
Werth hits a deep fly ball to the warning track and Gardner makes a beautiful catch jumping into the wall. Gardner is slow to get up, but he just earned a spot in the Sportscenter Top Ten.
Ibanez grounds out. Remember when he was a threat with the Phils? Me neither.
Feliz also grounds out to end the fifth.
Philly 6, NY 2
Top of the Fifth
"Hip hip" Jorge Posada pinch hits into a ground out. Now that Burnett's out, Girardi made the right move and took out Molina in favor of Posada.
Eric Hinske pinch-hits for Robertson and walks. Jeter singles, moving Hinske to third, and Damon grounds out but gets the RBI. Two down.
Tex flies out to end the Yankee rally before it can get interesting.
Philly 6, New York 2
Bottom of the Fourth
Victorino is still in the game, despite a possibly broken hand. The flyin' Hawaiian is tough, I'll give him that.
But my thoughts are with Lee. Manuel knew he was taking a gamble not starting him yesterday. Now Blanton isn't why the Phils lost, I know. But there is a mental side to baseball. When Josh Johnson pitches, some Marlins have said they expect to win. It's the same with Lee. It would've been a totally different game. Maybe he would've gone 9. Or the team would've hit better. I don't know, but I think Manuel took a gamble and lost. He may have all winter to think it over.
Victorino and Utley ground out, and Howard strikes out for a much needed quick inning for the Yankees.
Philly 6, New York 1
Top of the Fourth
Cliff Lee continues his masterpiece (as of the 2nd inning, he's been great) as he gets Swisher to line out.
I know they're supposed to be big and scary and they do score often, but I am not impressed with the latter half of this Yankee lineup. Jeter, Damon, Tex and A-Rod. That's all that intimidates me. The rest would struggle for time on the National ... well, the Marlins.
Cano and Gardner ground out (what a shocker) and the Phils get out of the inning.
Phillies 6, Yankees 1
Bottom of the Third
Burnett opens the inning with a walk to potential-MVP Chase Utley. The camera pans to Victorino who may be out of the game due to a hand injury from the first inning. Utley steals second thanks to Jeter botching the catch. Molina gunned him by a step or two but Jeter couldn't scoop it.
WIth count full, Burnett walks Howard to bring out his pitching coach with Werth coming up to bat.
Werth is swinging for the fences but whiffs to fall behind 1-2. He hits a line drive straight up the middle to drive in Utley for RBI single with Howard on first.
Phils 4, Yanks 1
Utley was booking. He is willing the Phils to victory. Tom Copain has stood and asked for the bullpen, but apparently Girardi has other ideas as he leaves Burnett in.
Bad move, Joe. Burnett gives up an RBI single to Ibanez with Werth moving to third. Girardi's seen enough as he pulls the former Marlin Burnett.
Phils 5, Yanks 1
Burnett's line score is 2 innings pitched, 4 hits, 5 earned runs, 4 walks and 2 strikeouts.
The new pitcher is David Robertson, who gets Feliz to pop out. He follows it up with a RBI single to Ruiz. Ibanez was out at second, but Lee comes up and singles to move Ruiz to second. Runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs.
Phils 6, Yanks 1
Robertson escapes the inning with Rollins looking at strike three.
Phillies 6, Yankees 1
Top of the Third
Jeter leads off the inning and grounds out to get the inning started. Lee has definitely settled in after the shaky first. Damon walks, so scratch what I said about Lee's rythmn. On a personal note, I remember Damon back when he played with Kansas City among the likes of Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran. When I returned to Kansas a few years later, I saw him get a rise out of Royals fans (a rare sight) when he showed up with the Red Sox.
Tex hits a double play ball but Utley can't turn two. Two down when A-Rod flies out to a clearly hurt Victorino to end the inning.
Philly 3, NY 1
Bottom of the Second
In between innings, I looked up Burnett on Wikipedia. A day after critizing the Marlins organization, he was asked to leave. To take his place, the Fish used a young prospect named Josh Johnson. Johnson has since become the ace of the Marlins, while Burnett chased money and found himself a Yankee.
Burnett falls behind to Ruiz 3-0 only to come back and strike him out. Lee ground out to first to bring up J-Roll. Burnett walks Rollins, just when it seemed like he was getting back into a rythmn. Victorino returns from getting beaned and pops out to end the inning with Rollins on first.
Philly 3, NY 1
Top of the Second
Gardner grounds out to first to get things started as Lee seems to be settling in. Of course, I could settle in against Gardner, Molina and Burnett. (I had a mean changeup and decent accuracy back in the day.)
Molina grounds out to third for the second out of the night. Lee strikes out Burnett to end a quick and painless inning for Philly.
Philly 3, NY 1
Bottom of the First
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Jayson Werth, LF
6. Raul Ibanez, RF
7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Cliff Lee, SP
My thoughts on this lineup: very complete NL lineup. You got speed up top, power in the middle and competent hitters at the end.
Now you are in for a treat, because I am covering a game in which a former Marlins "ace" is pitching: A.J. Burnett, the lone pitcher on the IR during our 2003 run.
The former Fish gives up a single to J-Roll and beans Victorino in the hand. It scares Phillie fans to see Shane in pain as Burnett gets warned and Girardi comes to argue with the ump. Cooler heads prevail and Burnett shows Marlins fans everywhere (all 7 of us) why we don't miss him as he gives up a 3-run shot to Chase Utley.
Philly 3, New York 1
Sports copy editor Eddie Gentile notes Utley could be MVP for losing World Series team, and I must agree, he has a point. Utley has single-handidly kept the Phils in the series, which is an MVP in my book.
Tom Copain, the lone Yankee fan here tonight, concedes defeat after only three hitters.
Burnett walks Howard. Wow. People thought we needed you in 2003? Please. Even now I'd take Brad Penny, Carl Pavano, Beckett (of course) and even Dontrelle Willis (sane or not) over Burnett. He's arrogant but he rarely backs it up when it counts. He's the MLB version of Jimmy Clausen.
But I digress. Burnett strikes out Werth as Girardi stares on. Raul Ibanez almost gets a hit, but Tex robs him with a nice dive at first to get Howard at second. Two outs, Ibanez at first. Feliz grounds out to end the inning.
Philadelphia 3, New York 1
Top of the First
And the lineup for the Bronx Bombers:
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Nick Swisher, RF
6. Robinson Cano, 2B
7. Brett Gardner, CF
8. Jose Molina, C
9. A.J. Burnett, SP
My thoughts on the lineup: eh. I'm waiting to be impressed. The bottom three and Swisher are average at best. One through four is tough, but the rest is weak. I prefer Alex Gonzalez, Jeff Conine and Juan Encarnacion, the 6, 7 and 8 hitters of the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins.
Derek Jeter gets things rolling with a groundout to Chase Utley. The Phillie faithful gives Damon their respects in Philly fasion, in honor of his baserunning and clutch hitting last night off Brad L.... well, you know.
Damon hits a blooper in center for a single, ending Lee's no-hitter before it could really begin. Tex comes in and flies out to right, bringing up last night's hero A-Rod. And right on cue, Citizen Bank Park erupts with chants that won't be typed here and endless booing. Mr. Kate Hudson drills a line drive down the line to right to score Damon from first. With his work done, Rodriguez stays at 1st.
New York 1, Philadelphia 0
Lee walks Swisher, causing Philly to remember they have a football team and making me reconsider predicting him to be the Series' MVP. I am proud to see he is proving he is no Josh Beckett, however.
Cano flies out to to left to end the inning.
New York 1, Philly 0
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Kurt Bopp of the field hockey and lacrosse beat here to keep you posted on game 5 of the 2009 World Series. The Yankees look to capture their 27th World Series title and first in nearly a decade, but the Phils won't go quietly. Charlie Manuel sends ace Cliff Lee to the hill (arguably one game too late) to stifle the Yanks once again and take the series back to New York.
My prediction: Phils win on 7 strong innings by Lee. When the 9th comes around, Manuel doesn't even consider the L-word and opts for Madson to close out the 5-2 victory.
Nico Megaludis, one of the nation's top junior wrestlers, verbally committed to Penn State Friday. The 125-pounder is one of the top rated wrestlers in the Class of 2011, and is the defending PIAA state champion at the AAA level.
With the first verbal commitment for the 2011-2012 class, and a number of wrestlers for next year's class expected to sign during the upcoming early signing period (Nov. 11-18), Cael Sanderson is already having an effect on recruiting. He spoke Tuesday about the success thus far.
"Overall, we already got a good group of guys coming in that will hopefully be signing with us in a week," Sanderson said. "We'll put those guys with the young talent and attitude we have in the room."
Sanderson said history will show several good recruiting classes are needed to win a national championship. It sounds like he has definite plans to build the Nittany Lion wrestling program into something special.
"It's important for us to get some key figures in that  recruiting class and the junior class now, as well," Sanderson said. "You just never stop recruiting. We're always trying to find the right kids, the right weight classes, and right weight classes."
It's Monday, so it's time for what seems like a weekly occurrence for members of the Penn State women's volleyball team: winning Big Ten player of the week awards.
This time senior outside hitter Megan Hodge won player of the week, while outside hitter Darcy Dorton brought home the freshman of the week (co-freshman with Illinois' Erin Johnson) for the fifth time.
The awards are the 10th and 11th for the Lions this season, the most of any team in the Big Ten.
Last week, Hodge notched 19 kills against No. 7 Minnesota as well as 16 against Ohio State. In those two matches, Dorton totaled 18 kills.
The sounds of hundreds of undergrads hurling themselves off the Phillies bandwagon last night could not be heard outside the offices of the student government. University Park Undergraduate Association President Gavin Keirans said he proudly remains loyal to his hometown team -- guaranteeing the Phils a Game 5 win, despite Chuck's ballclub being down 3-1 against the Yankees, who return home tonight looking to nab their 27th pennant.
UPUA has been fortunate not to be sidetracked with too many rivalries, Keirans (senior-business management) said.
The student body president said even though he thought last night's result was disappointing, he is confident that Philadelphia can secure a win with Lee on the mound. He added that he is hoping to "push New York back" tonight.
However, Keirans does think the rest of the series will be an uphill battle due to the lack of solidity and consistency coming from the Philadelphia bullpen. He called the outlook "a little bit hazy," but is still confident his team can win big.
PHILADELPHIA -- It had all the makings for a great day for Philly sports, but unfortunately the Phillies couldn't finish it off. After the Eagles took care of the Giants, the atmosphere in the city was exciting; it was the best place to spend my Sunday. The parking lots were packed with tailgaters hoping the defending world champs could tie up the series at 2-2. All they needed was one more out from Lidge and one more run in the 9th, but it didn't happen that way.
The crowd was hyped up from the first pitch. A-Rod was bombarded with the steroids chants, and Sabathia hadn't even thrown a pitch yet when the "CC" chants started. But unlike last postseason, the Phillies lineup struggled against him.
The crowd stayed loud, going crazy when Ryan Howard stole second, but the Phillies weren't giving fans any reason to stay in the game. The lone New York fan in my section kept quiet, but the group of Yankees fans in left field made their presence known.
It was obvious the Phillies fans were fading when Joe Fraizer helping the Phanatic box a New Yorker in between innings couldn't even muster up too many cheers. But Pedro Feliz was able to get the spirits up with his solo shot...right before Brad Lidge brought them back down.
That feeling that the Fightins could pull off more late inning magic disappeared with A-Rod's swing. It was a quiet group of fans leaving the ballpark, except for a few bragging Yankees fans talking about how Jimmy Rollins' prediction about winning in five games was directed towards the wrong team. It was the first time I didn't hear Philly fans fight back.
The Yankees take control of the series after they win the way they've won in the past, with key hits and gritty at-bats. The Phillies, on the other hand, lost the way they've lost a few times in 2009 -- with Brad Lidge imploding in the ninth inning, with two outs and no one on.
Johnny Damon was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. His single in the ninth inning at the end of a nine-pitch at-bat started the Yankee rally, and his two stolen bases on one play might go down as another moment in Pinstripes postseason lore and another Philadelphia postseason nightmare.
If there's any solace for Phillies' fans, it's that the one man they would want out there in a must-win situation in 2009, Cliff Lee, will be on the mound Monday night for Game 5 against Burnett on short rest. The hope for the Phillies has to be that Lee can pull off the type of performance Curt Schilling did in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series when the Phils faced elimination. But then again, Phillies' fans remember all too well how that ended.
If this was New York, Metallica's "Enter Sandman" would be playing. That means Mariano Rivera is in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees. Matt Stairs will pinch-hit to lead-off the inning, followed by Rollins and Victorino.
Stairs - grounds out softly to first for the first out of the inning.
Rollins - pops out to Teixeira
Victorino - grounds out to Teixeira to end the game.
Yankees win 7-4.
Joba Chamberlain has that look he had after the Attack of the Midges in Cleveland in Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS. That series didn't turn out well for the Yankees. But Phillies fans might have that same feeling as Brad Lidge is on to pitch the ninth.
Matsui - pops out to short for the first out
Rorabaugh says Fox has been sitting on this information since the series started. They're definitely unloading it now. Meanwhile Oplinger has a novel idea thanks to Lidge's nickname, "Lights Out Lidge". Just like the Penn State Football players ring the Victory Bell after a win, Lidge can turn out the lights out at Citizens Bank Park after a save.
Jeter - strikes out swinging on that signature slider in the dirt. Meanwhile Rorabaugh just made the same sound Howard Dean did during that 2004 campaign speech.
Damon - having one of those long at-bats that never seem to turn out well for the pitcher. It holds true as Damon singles on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
Damon steals second, and then keeps going with Feliz covering second. Damon ends up at third with two out and Rivera now firing bullets in the bullpen to get ready if need be. Officially scored as two stolen bases.
Teixeira - gets hit by the pitch. Runners at the corners with two outs and A-Rod now up.
Rodriguez - lines a double to left field. Damon scores and Teixeira holds up at third. Rodriguez comes up with another clutch hit in this postseason. 5-4 Yankees.
Posada - lines a basehit to the gap in left-center. Posada is thrown out at second to end the inning but not before both runs score to give New York two important insurance runs.
Mid 9. 7-4 Yankees.
Slow-motion cameras and dramatic music make anything exciting. Even a Girardi-Charlie Manuel pre-game handshake.
Werth - strikes out with a high fastball for the first out. Phil Hughes and Phil Coke warming up in the bullpen for the Yankees. I said Girardi would do it.
Ibanez - strikes out swinging on a 96 mile-per-hour fastball.
Girardi decided to make it Chamberlain's inning. He's looking like a genius now as the Phillies have barely made contact with his fastball. Or any of his pitches, for that matter.
Feliz - finally makes contact with a fastball and hits a towering home run to left field. Chamberlain knew it as soon as Feliz hit it. My bet is the NY Post and the NY Daily News are already chomping at the bit to dig into Girardi. 4-4.
Ruiz - strikes out to end the inning.
End 8. 4-4.
Madson is the new pitcher for the Phillies. Interesting decision for Girardi coming up in the bottom of the inning as the Phils have righty-lefty-righty (Werth-Ibanez-Feliz) up in the bottom of the inning. We'll see how he plays it.
Madson gives Rodriguez his seventh strikeout of the series. One out.
Chamberlain is the only pitcher the cameras show throwing in the bullpen. Looks like it will be his inning.
Posada - walks
Cano - a pop fly that neither Rollins, Feliz or Ibanez can get. Two on with one out for Swisher.
Swisher- strikes out looking again. This time he smiles as he walks to the dugout.
Gardner- gets his first at-bat of the game and pops out to short to end the inning.
Mid 8. 4-3 Yankees
We're an hour and 14 minutes away from getting to Nov. 2. Someone please want to explain to me why the World Series is voluntarily being played in November?
Sabathia still in the game but Damaso Marte is warming up, meaning Joe Girardi using every possible arm in the bullpen except for the aforementioned Gaudin looms on the horizon. Meanwhile, Ryan Madson warming up for Philadelphia as Rollins grounds out to third.
Victorino - makes good contact on a line drive that's right to Swisher for the second out.
Decision time for Girardi as Utley's up with Howard on deck. Marte looks ready but Girardi stays with Sabathia. Now Joba Chamberlain is getting loose. Perhaps all these pitchers won't even get in the game; they'll just get loose until the ninth inning when Girardi doesn't use any of them and turns to Mariano Rivera.
Utley - makes Girardi rethink his decision with a monster home run to right field. Rorabaugh stands up, proclaims, "We are not dead yet!" and then hums the famous guitar riff from Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" -- Utley's entrance music. 4-3 Yankees.
Girardi finally decides to take the ball from Sabathia. Strong outing for him, but you can bet if the Yankees lose this game, the New York tabloids will be calling for Girardi's head for mismanaging the bullpen again. Marte will come in to face Howard.
Howard - drives one to left but Damon makes the play to end the inning.
End 7. 4-3 Yankees.
Chan Ho Park is now on the mound for the Phillies as we get our first pitching change of the night. Fox also tells us that Sabathia has faced Park before. Wait, that's actually an interesting fact. Doesn't matter as Sabathia flies out to Werth.
Jeter - the anti-Yankee chants are there, but they're certainly not as audible as Jeter walks.
Damon - strikes out swinging for the second out. Lot of strikeouts on a lot of bad pitches tonight.
Teixeira - grounds out to first to get us to the stretch.
Mid 7. 4-2 Yankees.
Cabrera apparently pulled up lame running to first for that final out of the inning. Brett Gardner comes into the game to play center field and bat eighth.
Ibanez - strikes out on three pitches.
Fox cuts to a shot inside the broadcast booth between batters and it appears that Buck and McCarver are wearing matching suits and dress shirts. Interesting.
Feliz - singles to right field.
Ruiz - Ben Francisco is in the on-deck circle so Blanton is done for the night as Ruiz grounds out to second. Feliz advances to second on the fielder's choice.
Francisco - hits one to center that hangs in the air before Gardner brings it in to end the inning.
End 6. 4-2 Yankees.
The eye race would usually take place at this point at the Spikes game. I tried to get Rorabaugh and Sports Copy Desk Editor Dave Rung to do a mini-eye race in the office, no go. Ah, who are we kidding, the way the season went, Iris would've won in a landslide anyway.
Posada - strikes out swinging
Direct quote from Buck: "Hey look, it's raining." Not the best play-by-play man in the business for nothing folks.
Cano - hard hit to Howard, who flips to Blanton covering first for the out
Swisher - walks
Cabrera - hits a broken-bat grounder to Howard, who flips to Blanton to end the inning
Mid 6. 4-2 Yankees
Yankees made it official earlier today that Burnett will pitch on short rest tomorrow in Game 5. Sabathia has shown he can come through on short rest. Burnett....but then again, it's either him or perennial Cy Young favorite Chad Gaudin, he of the 6-10 record and 4.64 ERA in the regular season
Rollins - leadoff single
Victorino - walks on five pitches. First and second with nobody out as the Phils fans come alive and "Kashmir" blares on the loudspeaker.
Utley - pops up to short for a big first out
Howard - also pops up to short for the second out
Werth - strikes out swinging to end the inning. Sabathia pitches out of trouble
End 5. 4-2 Yankees
No baseball live blog at the Collegian would be complete without a contribution from Audrey Snyder. She's not here at the office, but I did get a text message from her. No rails on me, but she did in no uncertain terms briefly mention her slight disliking for Brett Favre (she's a Packer fan).
Swisher - walks
Cabrera - hits a grounder to second. Utley makes the stop and tries a backhand flip out of his glove. Good idea in theory. In practice ... the ball goes straight up and everybody's safe. First and second, nobody out.
Sabathia - can't get the bunt down and fouls strike three on the bunt attempt. Blanton gets a huge out and keeps the runners at first and second
Jeter - Mr. November steps in eight years to the date after he earned that moniker and to his M.O., grounds a single underneath a diving Rollins. Swisher scores from second as Ibanez' throw is wide and late. 3-2 Yankees.
Damon - softly lines a single to right field between Utley and Werth. Cabrera scores from second as Werth's throw sails on him. Once again, the Phils' starter hitting the proverbial wall in the fifth as Chad Durbin gets loose. 4-2 Yankees
Teixeira - flies out to left
Rodriguez - Blanton catches a break as Rodriguez flies out to center
Mid 5. 4-2 Yankees
Want to know what happens at Sports Copy Desk? Rorabaugh and I just discussed how disappointed we'll be with the Sherlock Holmes movie coming out. There's your glimpse inside the looking glass. Hope you learned something.
Howard - lines a single to center field
Werth - Howard takes off for second and had so much momentum he runs through the bag, eliciting a big cheer from Rorabaugh. Don't know what's more surprising: Howard stealing second or Werth giving him the stop sign from home? Werth grounds out to third
Ibanez - softly flies out to right
Feliz - lines a single to left field. Howard chugs around third and barrels through Posada, jarring the ball loose. He's called safe even though he never even touches the bag. No replays or reporting that Howard went back to touch it, so I'm sure this will be talked about tomorrow if the Phillies win. 2-2
Ruiz - intentionally walked to get to Blanton
Blanton strikes out to end the inning
End 4. 2-2
The Gillette commercial of Jeter flying into the stands in 2004 with Yankees radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling's call airs before Fox barely comes back before the first pitch again. Hearing Sterling's voice definitely makes me homesick, especially when he credits Hideki Matsui homeruns to Rodriguez. Memories.
Speaking of Rodriguez, he flies out to left
Posada - strikes out looking as another player disputes a called strike.
Cano - strikes out on a pitch in the dirt to end the inning
Mid 4. 2-1 Yankees
Fox gets back from break abruptly just before Rollins gets his first pitch. More great work.
Rollins isn't up there long as he flies out to Damon
Victorino - at least there's displeasure with the strike zone on both sides as Victorino is upset with a 2-1 high fastball called a strike. But then again, FoxTrax says it a strike so how could he be angry. Victorino grounds out to first anyway so the point is moot.
Utley - gets jammed and pops out to second to end the inning.
End 3. 2-1 Yankees.
Jeter - grounds out to third on a diving stop by Feliz. That will probably be the highest level Buck raises his voice to all night.
Damon - flies out to right
Buck acknowledges Pearl Jam was last night. About an inning late to that party...
Teixeira - strikes out to end the inning. Fox's camera's do a nice job of showing Teixeira's displeasure with the call as Fox plays what sounds like Pearl Jam as they go to break. How clever.
Mid 3. 2-1 Yankees.
Sabathia steps off the mound before he throws the first pitch to Feliz. Now those are boos.
Feliz - flies out to right as Assistant Sports Copy Desk Chief Mike Oplinger sings "Come on, Pete Happy." Obviously the song doesn't work.
Ruiz - waiting for Tim McCarver to pronounce his name "Rues". If it doesn't happen now, don't worry. It will.
Ruiz gets a called first strike on a 3-and-0 count and has to take that walk back to the batters box. You know what's coming ... a groundout to short, that's what.
Blanton - haven't mentioned the Home Run from last year yet on the telecast. I type that as Blanton check-swings a third strike in the dirt to end the inning.
End 2nd. 2-1 Yankees.
Play-by-play announcer Joe Buck hashes up the New York-Philadelphia Super Sports Day and also says the last event at the Spectrum is tonight. Uh Joe, the last event at the Spectrum was the Pearl Jam concert last night.
Swisher - strikes out looking.
Cabrera - flies out to left. And no, those aren't boos. Those are Raauuullls.
Sabathia - strikes out looking.
Mid 2nd. 2-1 Yankees
Quote from Collegian women's soccer/men's basketball reporter Andrew Robinson: "Cole Hamels can't get out of the fifth inning, but he has enough time to do a New Era (cap company) commercial."
Rollins - not surprisingly puts the second pitch he sees into play and flies out to right.
Victorino - continues to be a thorn in Sabathia's side as he bloops a hit in front of a sliding Damon. Victorino pulls into second as Damon takes a ball to the noggin for the second time in less than 20 minutes.
Utley - Fox flashes back to Game 1 and Utley's two homers. Pretty sure the only place other than Yankee Stadium that the first one is a homer is Citizens Bank Park.
Utley does it again -- just barely misses another homer as he hits a double off the wall in right-center that scores Victorino. 2-1 Yankees
Howard - Sabathia goes 3-and-1 on Howard. In the wise words of Harry Doyle, "How can these guys lay off pitches that close?"
Howard strikes out on a breaking ball in the dirt. A singular Yankees fan claps in the newsroom as Sports Copy Desk Chief Dan Rorabaugh groans.
Werth - Girardi makes the first of what will probably be many trips to the mound to talk to Sabathia about Werth, who homered twice last night and walks here
Ibanez - strikes out to end the inning.
End 1. 2-1 Yankees
Derek Jeter - SS
Johnny Damon - LF
Mark Teixeira - 1B
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Jorge Posada - C
Robinson Cano - 2B
Nick Swisher - RF
Melky Cabrera - CF
CC Sabathia - SP
Jimmy Rollins - SS
Shane Victorino - CF
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Jayson Werth - RF
Raul Ibanez - LF
Pedro Feliz - 3B
Carlos Ruiz - C
Joe Blanton - SP
Blanton throws a strike to Jeter on the first pitch of the game. Hamels did that last night too...
Jeter hits the next pitch to second and Utley make a nice dive to retrieve it. Unfortunately for him, he slips on the grass and Jeter is safe at first.
Damon - lines a rocket that one hops the chainlink fence in right. Jeter pulls into third and Damon into second with a double. Good start for New York.
Teixeira - hits a hard shot to first that Howard snabs at rushes to first to retire Teixeira. Jeter scores and Damon goes to third. 1-0 Yankees.
Rodriguez - gets hit with the first pitch he sees. He stares at his bench as the Phillies' fans get up a cheer. Eventful inning for Blanton - one run, two hits and one hit batsman in only seven pitches.
Umpires meet and issue a warning to both sides. They're definitely erring on the side of caution, but this takes away any chance of retribution for Sabathia, which causes Girardi to argue. Should be a fun night.
Posada - bats as the obligatory "Yankees Suck" chants start up. He then hits a sacrifice fly to left field that scores Damon. The throw of Ibanez then goes to the backstop as it banks off of Damon's helmet and Rodriguez takes second. No word if the ball then hit "Tilt". 2-0 Yankees
Cano - flies out to center to end the inning.
Mid 1. 2-0 Yankees
Hey Baseball Fans,
Icers beat reporter (and former State College Spikes reporter) Tom Copain here to take you through Game 4 of the World Series. No, unfortunately there will not be eyeball races, breaking glass commercials and numerous insults from fellow Collegian reporter Audrey Snyder like there were in the Spikes blogs. There will, however, be a great game tonight between a team that looks to have its swagger back (Yankees) and a team that is probably in a must-win situation (Phillies).
Let's be honest -- Philadelphia needs this one tonight. All the momentum that Cliff Lee gave them in Game 1, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte took back for New York in the last two games, and the Phillies have gone from needing to get one in the Bronx to trying to get the series back to the Bronx.
It doesn't help tonight that the Yankees will send their ace CC Sabathia to the mound, albeit on short rest, while the Phils counter with Joe Blanton. Sabathia was strong in Game 1 despite taking the loss, allowing only two runs in seven innings. Blanton was solid in Game 4 in the NLCS against the Dodgers, allowing three runs in six innings and getting the no-decision. More bad news for Philadelphia -- Sabathia was great in his one postseason start on short rest, allowing one run in eight innings in Game 4 of the ALCS.
But if there is one thing going for the Phillies, it's 2008 mojo. Blanton pitched in Game 4 of the World Series last year and hit a home run en route to a victory. That moment might not happen if Shane Victorino doesn't hit a Grand Slam in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Brewers. Who did he hit it off of? CC Sabathia ... on short rest.
Not sayin' ... just sayin'. First pitch coming up.
After another wild soccer weekend in the Big Ten, it's time to break down what happened and where the conference stands now.Here in State College, Penn State got past Wisconsin 2-1 on the strength of goals from Corey Hertzog and Matheus Braga. The Nittany Lions advanced their conference record to 3-1-1, while the Badgers finished at 3-3.In Bloomington, Ind., Ohio State beat Indiana 1-0 in overtime when Eric Shrigley punched a loose ball into the Hoosier goal in the 93rd minute. The Buckeyes move to 3-2 in conference play and still have a shot at the conference regular season title, while the Hoosiers drop to 2-3 and are eliminated from conference contention.And in Ann Arbor, Mich., Northwestern dropped a 1-0, double overtime decision to Michigan when Matt Schmitt scored on a rebound in the 102nd minute. This is huge for Penn State, as they now have a clear path to the regular season Big Ten title and the accompanying bye in the Big Ten tournament. Northwestern is now 2-2-1 in conference and Michigan is 2-3.The standings:Penn State: 3-1-1, 10 pointsOhio State: 3-2, 9 pointsWisconsin: 3-3, 9 pointsNorthwestern: 2-2-1, 7 pointsIndiana: 2-3-0, 6 pointsMichigan State: 2-3-0, 6 pointsMichigan: 2-3-0, 6 pointsThere are three teams alive for the regular season title: Penn State, Ohio State and Northwestern.Penn State can wrap up the first seed in the conference tournament by beating Indiana on Friday. If they tie the Hoosiers, they'd need a loss by Ohio State to Michigan. If Indiana wins, Penn State would need both the Buckeye loss to Michigan and a Wildcat loss to Michigan State.By virtue of their head-to-head win over Penn State in Columbus, Ohio State can claim the title with 1)a win and a Penn State loss OR 2)a tie and a Penn State loss.Northwestern now needs a truckload of help to finish on top of the league table. They need a win against the Spartans and they need both the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes to lose. Because Northwestern and Penn State tied back in October, the first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament would go to whichever team has a better in-conference goal differential.
Clark: Ravens over Broncos, Texans over Bills, Bears over Brownies, Lions over Rams, Vikings over Packers, Dolphins over Jets, Colts over Niners, Cowboys over Seahawks, Jaguars over Titans, Chargers over Raiders, Giants over Eagles, Cardinals over Panthers, Falcons over Saints
Miniaci: Ravens over Broncos, Texans over Bills, Bears over Browns, Lions over Rams, Packers over Vikings, Jets over Dolphins, Colts over 49ers, Cowboys over Seahawks, Jaguars over Titans, Chargers over Raiders, Gaints over Eagles, Cardinals over Panthers, Falcons over Saints
Rorabaugh: Broncos over RAVENS, BILLS over Texans, BEARS over Browns, COWBOYS over Seahawks, JETS over Dolphins, COLTS over 49ers, Giants over EAGLES (New York takes the early game, but Philly evens it up in the nightcap), LIONS over Rams, CHARGERS over Raiders
TITANS over Jaguars (it's time), PACKERS over Vikings (in the most awkward game in recent memory), CARDINALS over Panthers, SAINTS over Falcons
Oplinger: Ravens over Broncos, Texans over Bills, Bears over Browns, Cowboys over Seahawks, Dolphins over Jets, Colts over Niners, Giants over Eagles, Lions over Rams, Chargers over Raiders, Titans over Jaguars, Vikings over Packers, Cardinals over Panthers, Saints over Falcons
Gentile: Houston over Buffalo, Chicago over Cleveland, Dallas over Seattle, Detroit over St Louis
Indianapolis over San Fran, Jets over Miami, Eagles over Giants, Baltimore over Denver, Jacksonville over Tennessee, San Diego over Oakland, Arizona over Carolina, Packers over Vikings, New Orleans over Atlanta