February 18, 2010


Are things looking bleak for your basketball program? Does your team lack any post presence whatsoever? Do your team's offensive sets involve playing Ring Around The Perimeter for 30 seconds before hoisting up a contested three-pointer? Is your coach being blamed for everything, including your seasonal cold? Fear not, 'cause Northwestern is here to cure whatever ails your team. Well, at least they sure as hell cured an ailing PSU team's winless streak in Big Ten play to the tune of an 81-70 final score in favor of the good guys.

Ed DeChellis just improved his record to 7-1 in the last 8 meetings against Bill Carmody, the only coach in college basketball he can definitively brag about owning. On top of that, PSU played the role of bubble-burster tonight by handing the Wildcats their second devastating loss in less than a week. At 6-8 in the Big Ten and 17-9 overall, Northwestern's only hope of making their lifetime-awaited NCAA Tournament debut lies in miraculously winning the Big Ten Tournament next month.

Due to work, I was only able to catch the last 8 minutes of this game on radio and TV. For those of you who didn't listen to a second of the radio broadcast: You should've heard the pure unadulterated glee in Steve Jones' voice, as he sounded as if he were calling PSU's upset over North Carolina in the 2001 NCAA Tourney all over again, like a broken man who just discovered the winning Jackpot lottery ticket. I could just picture Jones in the broadcasting booth at Welsh-Ryan Arena with unshaven stubble on his face, his shirt half-unbuttoned, and a whiskey flask by his side, doing the play-by-play..Admittedly, it even made me giddy enough to forget about the fact that I was getting giddy over an 0-12 Big Ten team vying for their first conference win of the season against a perennial conference doormat.

Watching the game on TV was even more shocking, as I saw a PSU team that didn't rely on just Talor Battle to do all the scoring. In fact, Battle was held to a meager 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting, half of his points came from the free throw line. Stepping up to the plate though, were DJ Jackson and Chris Babb each with 20 points and 10 points from Sir Andrew Jones III. PSU also had more than twice as many rebounds as Northwestern (32 to 15) though that can be attributed more to Northwestern's Princeton-style system which emphasizes getting back on defense after a missed shot as opposed to crashing the boards and trying to get an offensive rebound. Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see this PSU team play semi-competently out there on the court for once by actually looking to pass the ball to somebody in the post (as opposed to constantly settling for bad three-point shots) and playing good enough defense to hold off last-ditch rally efforts from the Wildcats.

Oh, and one more thing: Can we PLEASE shut the hell up with all the rumblings about this win being a job-saver for Ed DeChellis? If you're so concerned that one win over Northwestern in an otherwise dismal Big Ten campaign is enough to keep Ed around another year, then you were pretty much resigned to the notion that Ed wasn't going to be fired even if PSU were to finish 0-18 in the Big Ten. There are more likely beat-downs coming up against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Purdue that will provide plenty of ammo to bitch about Ed. For right now though, let's enjoy this win for the players who have to be feeling good about themselves for the first time in a while..they sure as hell earned it.

It's also time to break out the long-awaited, non-recruiting flavored Goo Punch. Seriously, you thought that I wasn't going to do so for an occasion like this?

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