December 1, 2010

Penn State Looks to Make Mark in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Last week was full of ups and downs for the Men's Penn State Basketball team. Now Maryland is coming into town. Tonight could mean an important win for both teams as both are preparing for conference play.

As of this morning, the Big Ten is ahead of the ACC 4-2 in this early season tournament. We will find out tonight at 9:15 p.m. if Penn State can stay on track with the rest of the Big Ten.

Let's first take a look at how this prior week has prepared the Nittany Lions for this primetime matchup.

Penn State @ Ole Miss – L, 84-71

The Nittany Lions went on the road for the first time of the season and suffered a thirteen point loss to the Rebels. Talor Battle was his old self of last season with 26 points. David Jackson came in second on the team with 17 points and Jeff Brooks contributed a solid 15 point and 9 rebound game.

Even though the offense played strong, defense was the problem for Penn State. Ole Miss shot 52% from the field and an impressive 45% from beyond the arc. Taran Buie and Billy Oliver were the only two players to come off the bench while Cammeron Woodyard got zero playing time for this first time this season.

Penn State vs. Furman -- W, 70 - 49

Penn State returned to Happy Valley with a strong showing against Furman after their first loss on the road against Ole Miss.

The Nittany Lions came out strong scoring 41 points in the first half against Furman and coasted to a solid win. Battle, Brooks, and Jackson all scored in double figures. 3 point shooting was the main reason Penn State controlled the game, shooting 63% from beyond the arc.

Furman was a nice recovery from Ole Miss and PSU will need to play that well if they want to beat Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Penn State/Maryland Preview

Maryland is walking into the Bryce Jordan Center with two losses against ranked teams, and like Penn State, Ole Miss has only beat cupcake teams. Maryland is a very good scoring team, but what makes them a big challenge for the Lions is their big guy in the paint. Jordan Williams is 6-10 260 lbs. and has been the main man for the Terrapins. Williams has averaged 17 points/game and an even more impressive 12 rebounds/game.

Jordan Williams is going to cause a threat in the paint for Penn State and it will be up to Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones to take on the challenge. Jeff Brooks has the impressive stats with 16 points/game and 7.5 rebounds/game but most of those points have not come from strong play in the paint. Andrew Jones on the other hand has had a lackluster start to the season. Jones will have to play big in the paint on defense to slow down Williams and keep some of the pressure off of Brooks.

If Penn State is going to win it will be a team effort. The Lions need a big game from Brooks and decent support from Jones or vice versa. Also look for Taran Buie to come off the bench and show his aggressiveness in the fast break.

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  1. Dan Zaksheske12/01/2010 5:20 PM

    Nice job, Bill. Only thing-- Big Ten/ ACC Challenge isn't a tournament.

  2. Enjoyed the article very much so. Looking forward to PSU vs. Maryland recap! (hope there will be one)

  3. Agreed. Great first post, Bill! Looking forward to a great season of blogging PSU hoops!

  4. Welcome aboard junior, now go make us some coffee.

  5. I got your recap. Penn State didn't make shots and lost by 23. 14 of 68 from the field won't win too many games. Bring on Duquesne!