December 12, 2010

Virginia Tech won't be so easy, not that beating Mount St. Mary's was

How much longer can Talor Battle
carry this team by himself? Not much.
(Photo: Baltimore Sun)
Big Ten Conference play is coming up very quickly and Penn State players are having trouble finding their role on this squad. Mt. St. Marys did not look very threatening coming into Happy Valley, but when it's Penn State we're talking about, nothing is as easy as it seems going in. It took a gargantuan effort from Talor Battle to get the ugly win. But more importantly the Nittany Lions need to get healthy for their next road game against Virginia Tech.

Penn State just seemed out of sync when the squad faced off against Mt. St. Marys this week. Penn State was missing starter David Jackson and Billy Oliver who has been a role player off the bench for Penn State and their missing presence was definitely noticed. The Nittany Lions did not seem to have the vigor to pull away from the Mountaineers. Things did not look good when Mt. St. Marys tied the game at 53 with 20 seconds left in the game. With no shot clock, Penn State failed to get any ball movement and Talor Battle (who was 0-6 beyond the arc so far) threw a hail mary estimated at 26 feet. No one was more surprised than Battle when he made that shot. All that matters is the win and Penn State can chalk one more up.

Penn State did not fair well against their last ACC opponent in Maryland but as of now Virginia Tech is last in the ACC, hopefully PSU can shoot better than 20% when they hit the road to face the Hokies. Penn State's main focus is getting healthy. David Jackson and Billy Oliver are both day-to-day and they have until Sunday to prepare for this matchup.

The Hokies guard Malcolm Delaney is averaging 20 points a game but after that there are no real scoring threats (Kind of reminds you of Talor Battle and the Nittany Lions of last year). This road game will not be easy for Penn State but it could be a big confidence booster for Penn State going into conference play. I do not think Va Tech can beat Penn State. I think Penn State can beat Penn State. Look for Penn State to win as long as they do not shoot themselves in the foot.

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