Of all the teams that finished 9-9 and middle of the road in the Big Ten, the only one that believed they were having a magical season was the Penn State Nittany Lions. That’s no slight on Penn State, quite the opposite in fact, for a team that regularly struggles in basketball. Unfortunately the struggles may continue unabated for some time to come.
At the end of the season, as Lions fans were already reeling about the prospect of losing production from four of their top five scorers to graduation, head coach Ed Dechellis bailed on Penn State to accept the head coaching job at Navy. Thus, not only did the team lose 1652 out of 2144 points scored last season (77.1%), they also lost the coach that made it all possible. To be honest, Dechellis probably saw the writing on the wall this coming season and decided to spare himself the trouble. It’s pretty hard to reload after those kinds of losses.
It’s all up to new head coach Patrick (Pat) Chambers, fresh from his shiny job at Boston University. Chambers coached for two years for the Terriers, netting a 42-28 overall record, and 23-9 record in the America East Conference. In his last year at Boston, the Terriers won their conference tournament and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. He will face a much steeper climb in the Big Ten with the Lions, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the task. Read More
Tomorrow afternoon Ohio State will have a chance to claim its second straight Big Ten Tournament Championship. If the Buckeyes are to achieve this goal, they will need to get past a surging Penn State team. Just as Michigan State used its tournament victory over Purdue to solidify its berth in the NCAA Tournament, Penn State in turn used Michigan State to solidify their own berth, if their prior win over Wisconsin wasn’t quite enough.
This Nittany Lion squad is certainly admirable for its effort these past few days, winning out over higher ranked opponents in what has truly been a last ditch effort to get into the Big Dance. The casual observer has to feel good for the Lions, who fought through a hard Big Ten season but had the look of a team that was going to come up just short yet again. In particular, anyone following Talor Battle’s career with Penn State has to feel good for the senior guard, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the Lions victory over Wisconsin. Read More
The trip to Happy Valley on Tuesday night turned into a showcase for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, as the Buckeyes blew out the Nittany Lions 82-61 on their way to win number 27 on the season. Jon Diebler highlighted the night with an OSU-record 10 three-pointers, surpassing the mark of nine he tied earlier in the year.
The game got off to a bit of a slow start before the Nittany Lions drew first blood on two free throw’s by Andrew Jones following a foul on Dallas Lauderdale. Ohio State quickly answered with a banker from William Buford. Jon Diebler then hit his first three-pointer of the game, which was followed by another Buford bank shot, and suddenly the Bucks were off and running. Buford continued to impress early, posting up on numerous occasions to take advantage of the smaller Penn State guards attempting to keep him in check. Read More
The next to last game of the Buckeye basketball regular season will take place tomorrow night when Ohio State travels to the Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. The two teams met earlier this season on January 15th in a game that saw Ohio State hang on to beat the feisty Penn State squad. While it seems at this point that Penn State will just miss the NCAA Tournament once again (barring a run through the Big Ten Tournament), a win over the Buckeyes would certainly be an outstanding conclusion to their home season. The Lions are poised to finish with an overall record of at least 15-15 for the 2010-11 campaign, and the season has brought a number of exciting wins along the way.
The signature win for Penn State this year was a home win against Wisconsin, a game that occurred just two weeks after Ohio State received their own scare in Columbus. In the win over the Badgers, Talor Battle led the way as usual with 22 points, 20 of which came after halftime. The game was a low-scoring affair with a final of only 56-52, but clearly Penn State can be a dangerous team when playing at the Jordan Center. In Big Ten play the Lions are 6-2 when playing at home, compared to 2-6 while on the road. Read More
After two down-to-the-wire Big Ten wins in a row for the Buckeyes, the team will face their next challenger in the form of the Penn State Nittany Lions. While previous years would suggest that a game against Penn State would be a reprieve for the Buckeyes, the performance of the Lions thus far in 2011 points in the opposite direction. With back-to-back wins over Michigan State and Illinois, Penn State will attempt to make it a trifecta of quality wins on Saturday.
|School:||Pennsylvania State University|
|Location:||University Park, PA|
|Conference:||Big Ten Conference|
|Stadium:||Bryce Jordan Center|
|Head Coach:||Ed DeChellis|