Penn State Basketball Week in Review
The Penn State basketball team played their third game in five days Wednesday night, and improved their record to 5-1 by defeating Youngstown State.
Over the weekend, Penn State finished their final two games in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, splitting the series with two contrasting performances.
The Nittany Lions took on the No. 2-ranked Kentucky Wildcats Saturday afternoon and were defeated soundly, 85-47. Certainly, no one predicted Penn State to win this game, but it would have been nice to see a better performance from the team in their first real test of the season.
The game got out of hand quickly, as Penn State missed 25 straight shots at one point during the first half. Tim Frazier finished with a season low eleven points, and Penn State shot only 27% from the floor including only 4-12 from the free throw line. This is a game Penn State would have rather played near the end of the season with more experience and one that Pat Chambers would rather forget.
Penn State was able to rebound the following afternoon as they defeated the South Florida Bulls, 53-49. This game brought back memories of last year’s game against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, as Penn State managed only 17 points in the first half.
Tim Frazier was back to his old self, scoring more than half of the team’s total points with 27. Penn State had a 12-1 run late in the second half to seal the win, led by a big three-point shot by Bill Oliver to swing the momentum, which would be his only points of the game.
Jermaine Marshall was the only other player to break double digits in points with 14. Penn State fans should breath a sigh of relief that the previously suspended Marshall was able to get his act together to get back on the team, as his shot was crucial in winning this game.
Penn State returned home on Wednesday to take on the Youngstown State Penguins in front of a sparse, student-less, Thanksgiving break crowd. The Nittany Lions were able to dominate YSU from the start, and their lead was never in question as they went on to win, 82-71.
Penn State shot 57% from the floor and was a remarkable 11-22 on three point attempts, including 7-10 in the first half. Tim Frazier picked up another double-double, notching 26 points and 11 assists. Trey Lewis also shined, hitting 3 of 5 three point attempts for a total of 12 points.
The play of the game came when Tim Frazier hit Ross Travis for a long alley-oop in transition. The hard-nosed play from Travis is something Penn State fans should be looking forward to.
No one could have expected Penn State to be any better than 5-1 at this point in the season with a loss to arguably the best team in the country in Kentucky. It seems that Chambers has settled on a 9-man rotation and is really making the statisticians work hard with all the substitutions he sends in. The high energy, fast paced, all-out hustle attitude Pat Chambers has instilled in this team is no joke, and the amount of turnovers this team forces is a testament to that.
Don’t get me wrong, Penn State is going to struggle mightily against the size and power in the Big Ten. But Penn State basketball fans have an awful lot to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving holiday with a young group of players who have an attitude that is easy to love.
As Pat Chambers put it, “There’s so much to be thankful for. I’m 40 years old, the head coach of Penn State. Who would’ve dreamt it?”
Penn State takes on St. Joe’s in Philadelphia this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in what will be their biggest test so far this season, aside from Kentucky. This one is personal for me. I hate that Hawk. It never stops flapping. Ever.