Big Ten Mid-Season Reports: Penn State
It is not midway through the season yet, but it is almost conference play time for the Big Ten. The college basketball regular season is really split in to three parts; non-conference schedule and conference play. With one part almost done, I am going to take a look back at what has happened for each team and what will happen in the next half. First team up are the Pen State Nittany Lions.
Penn State has had a really difficult start to the season. They are 6-4, lacking any real impressive wins and with some losses to some lower caste programs. Their best win was over Providence in overtime, with the rest coming against poor competition. They have been blown out in every loss. Penn State is losing by an average of 19.75 points, an atrocious statistic.
Adding insult to injury- or injury to insult- is the fact the Nittany Lions lost their best player, Tim Frazier, for the season to an Achilles rupture. Frazier was a stud, with a potential NBA future. On a bad team, he was the explosive blast of fun basketball. Without him Penn State is bad and not fun to watch.
To be honest, the non-conference portion of Penn State’s season was all too predictable and typical of a mediocre- to bad- team. They beat the real bad teams, and got crushed by the mediocre or better teams.
There is no reason to think Penn State will start to play any better. They do have a couple of talented players in DJ Newbill and Jermaine Marshall (both averaging 15 ppg), but that is it. They have no good post play or depth. Penn State has struggled with a mediocre schedule, so expect them to really struggle in Big Ten play.
Their first two conference games are at Wisconsin and hosting Indiana, two nearly unwinnable games for Penn State. The tough times should only continue, as they will be lucky to win more than a few conference games. It should be a long rest of the season for Penn State.