6:00 – Assembly Hall – BTN
This is an obvious must win for everyone in the conference this year. Indiana is not a good basketball team. But I still can’t fathom an 0-18 Indiana team, so I’m saying they’ll get somebody at home this year. They damn near got UM at home, but they blew a 20 point lead, missed a billion free throws in OT, and lost by 3.
PSU currently sits at 2-3 in the conference, but these next 3 games (@ Ind, UM, Iowa) are must wins if they’re still trying to get to the NCAAs, which really seems like a pipedream at this point. They should be favored in all games as well. We’re a 5 point favorite today.
This will be the first time PSU matches up with Tom Pritchard. Pritchard has been one of the few bright spots in IU’s horrendous campaign. If you did not know, Pritchard was well on his way to coming here to play basketball. Then Kelvin Sampson decided to offer him a scholarship. Considering his offers at that point were PSU and a bunch of MAC schools, it was a pretty interesting offer. But after Pritchard came to visit on the first ever White House and after he had been quoted as saying he has always wanted to go to Penn State, the offer to the prestigious IU was just too good for him to pass up. Even after the Sampson scandal, he was still firm to Indiana.
Now I’m left to ponder what could have been. This team with another low post presence offensively to complement Cornley…we could be talking big things here. But it just didn’t happen. He’s averaging 12.4 points and 7.5 rebounds so far in his freshmen year. He’s been by far IU’s most efficient player on offense. He’s a great kid, I’m sure, and you can’t blame anyone for going to IU over PSU for basketball, but those facts don’t make it less irritating as hell. Kelvin Sampson not only ruined IU, he ruined a big break for PSU.
Speaking of PSU’s lacking frontcourt, David Jones wrote a piece today about the struggles of Jeff Brooks and David Jackson. Those two are frustrating as hell because they are underachieving severely and holding the team back. I don’t know if Brooks will ever have the drive to put in the work, but DJ, I just don’t get. He has completely gone off the deep end ever since the GT win. He made so many key plays last year in a lot of PSU’s close wins, especially against Iowa and IU last year at home. Now, will he ever get back on track this season? Chris Babb is providing a lot more, so now DJ is going to have earn his minutes in practice again.
PREDICTION: I still think Talor Battle is going to change the culture of the traditional PSU basketball failures, especially on the road. PSU is 0-15 all-time against IU in Assembly Hall. TB will change that today. Some might say a hangover is possible after the tough loss, but Battle will not let that happen. IU just turns the ball over way too much. I’ll take PSU’s first win in Assembly Hall with a 9 point margin. And forget you, KenPom, for thinking we’re Indiana’s best chance for a win over Iowa and NW.