PSU 83 Lafayette 55

The team returned to the court for the first time in 8 days, clearing the hurdle that is Finals Week.  Lafayette is another dud who really had no business being on our schedule, but they were a nice squad to get our swagger back after the last 3 unimpressive home games (Temple, Army, Mt. St. Mary’s).  PSU struggled a bit offensively in the first half, going into halftime with just a 7 point lead (36-29).  However, they exploded in the second half,  looking like the team that put up 85 points in Georgia for the first time since that game.  Lafayette did all they could to boost PSU’s defensive numbers, shooting a ridiculous amount of 3’s.  Of their 58 shots from the field, 36 of them were from behind the arc (62%).  What’s even better is they only connected on 8 of those tries (22%).  While I would love to boast PSU’s defense, Lafayette shot some terrible shots and missed quite a few open looks.  But then again, what do you expect when you play the 303rd team in the RPI index?

Andrew Ott was finally eligible to play in his first game since transferring since Villanova.  Coach DeChellis had been saying for what seems like forever that Ott would be a guy who could do the little things, like defense and passing out of the post.  Ott showed today that he clearly won’t be any sort of offensive presence in the paint.  That’s OK, I guess, because I don’t think anyone was expecting him to be, but we really need to address our lack of an inside game for the coming years.  He made a great pass to Brooks out of a double team for what should’ve been a dunk, but Brooks fumbled the pass.  His defense was pretty uninspiring, however, and that was disappointing.  He left his feet when he shouldn’t have and didn’t really show much quickness or good footwork.  He’s not very athletic, but it’s obviously too early to tell what he’ll really bring for the Big Ten season. It must be understood that Ott has played 4 games of organized competition in the last 2 and a half years (redshirted at ‘Nova his first year, played 4 games before transferring).  He’s got a lot of rust to knock off.  It is nice to bring a 6’10” body off the bench, though.

Chris Babb had his best game as a Lion so far, finally connecting from long range.  He hit two of three from behind the arc and finished with 8 points in 14 minutes.  You could clearly see his confidence grow after that first one fell down. It was the most comfortable he’s looked on the season. Cammeron Woodyard also looked good scoring 9 points in just 11 minutes.  I really have no idea why these guys haven’t garnered more playing time this season, especially given the opponents we have played.  They haven’t looked terribly bad for the most part and it would be nice if Ed would try to develop a deeper rotation than 7 guys for Big Ten play.  They get lost on defensive rotations often, but what freshmen don’t?  These guys need to learn and develop because we’ll probably need to count on at least one of them for the Big Ten season because……

Danny Morrissey is really, REALLY hurting.  He re-aggravated a knee injury that he sustained a week ago (I guess in practice? I don’t remember him suffering a legitmate injury, he just always seemed to be in pain since the season’s started). He wrenched his knee near the scorers’ table when he got trapped and lost his footing.  He didn’t return.  He’ll most likely sit out for the Sacred Heart game, but he’ll probably be ready for NW on New Years Eve.  Regardless, his knee problems are going to linger throughout the season, and I really don’t think he can give any more than 15 MPG during Big Ten play. We’ll really have to screen effectively to get him open, and we’ll see if he’ll be able to man-up Big Ten guards.  He had trouble doing that when completely healthy…

Stanley Pringle looked great, leading the team with 17 points on 8-11 shooting.  His ankle injury against Temple is an afterthought.  Jamelle was patient and finished with 16 points (7-8 from the floor).  Talor, once again, nearly finished with a triple-double, recording 11 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals.  He only played 33 minutes today!  David Jackson is still in his mini-slump (I’ll address this in another post in the future).  Jeff Brooks continued to be disappointing as well.

The behemoth that is Sacred Heart will be invading the BJC on Tuesday night for the last tune-up before what looks to be an awesome Big Ten season this year!  (Who would’ve thought the Big Ten would be the #1 rated conference, despite not having one team in the top 15 in the polls?)

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