Don’t confuse my lack of posts recently because of the team’s struggles. College life got in the way.
Anyway, you probably know by now that PSU shit the bed against Wisky. Wisconsin came in and flawlessly executed Bo Ryan basketball and just completely raped PSU. It was painful to watch, especially considering it was in front of PSU’s biggest crowd in nearly a decade. It was also annoying that Ed DeChellis had his best team in years and Bo Ryan had his worst, yet DeChellis still couldn’t beat him. I’m now seriously doubting that we’ll ever beat Wisconsin as long as the current coaches are at their respective programs.
I had to chuckle at the fans’ reaction whenever PSU was on defense. They would notice the shot clock would be running down and they would start to clap/get into it/make noise, etc, applauding PSU’s defensive effort to that point. But in reality, it was just Wisconsin being Wisconsin and they would almost always get an easy look under 8 seconds left on the shot clock. Frustrating because I couldn’t believe how much many switches PSU had on defense, none more frustrating than Ott’s retarded switch that left Morrissey guarding Leuer in the post, which resulted in a Leuer layup at the halftime buzzer and a peeved DeChellis (probably the most pissed I’ve actually seen him at his own player).
Whatever the reason, whether it was the heavy minutes logged all year, the health of his mother, schoolwork, lack of sleep, what have you, Talor Battle struggled with his worst performance of the season. His jumper was way off, he couldn’t get any calls in the lane, and he was clearly frustrated. I’m sure this has led certain writers and fans to proclaim that Trevon Hughes and Wisconsin knows how to shut down TB. But the fact is, no one can shut Battle when he’s on. Are you really trying to tell me C.J. Lee and Trevon Hughes are better defenders than Travis Walton and Al Nolen? Credit to Wisconsin for taking Battle out of his game, but you don’t know how much of that can be credited to Battle’s off the court problems. He is the whole key to the PSU offense. If he’s not getting it going, 44 point efforts are going to be the outcome. His terrible performance couldn’t have happened at a more crucial time. This loss significantly closes the NCAA window. But at least it’s not shut yet.
PSU plays in Mackay Arena tonight at 6:30 pm. This game’s unpredictable because who knows what’s going through Battle’s mind right now. If he’s mentally and physically in shape, I don’t see why PSU can’t steal one against the Hummel-less Boilers. But if Battle’s not ready, the Boiler pressure is going to crumble him. There’s potential tonight for PSU’s season to get back on track or for another 40 ugly, painful minutes of basketball. Since Jamelle Cornley insists on staying out on the arc and not dominating on the low block, if Battle struggles, good night. No idea where the offensive production is going to come from. All I know is you would be wise to not underestimate or doubt Talor Battle. He’s been insisting he’ll bounce back tonight. I’ll buy it and I’ll take PSU against the spread tonight, along with HHV. His buddy John though is off the bandwagon.
Some recruiting news…despite the worst 40 minutes of basketball on the season, Sasa Borovnjak still had glowing reports of his visit this past weekend. In fact, it had originally been reported he was going to announce his decision today or tomorrow. His coach and Sasa himself give the impression that PSU is the place for him, but apparently Georgetown has entered the picture and Sasa’s host parents want him to look around. So stay tuned, but I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t come here. I haven’t spent the time to google him, but all I know is, he scored 35 of his team’s 5o some points against Oak Hill Academy. That sounds like a baller to me.