It’s been 3 days since this game and I still don’t what to think about it. Was it a bad loss? I have yet to come up with an answer to that question. I don’t even know where to start with this game…
Despite the painfully slow paced game (only 53 possessions), the first half flew by. The main reason for the short first half was because of a strange stretch that led to 9 consecutive minutes of gameplay. From the under-16 media TO (that happened at 15:17) until 6:43, there was just 1 stoppage in play (at 12:52 because of rebound that went out of bounds). This stretch might seem impossible to most, but it really just epitomized how the game was played. Neither team was aggressive on offense and the contest turned into a jumpshooting match.
PSU didn’t shoot too well, but they sure shot better than Temple. Turnovers were a big problem in such a low possession game, none bigger than Bill Edwards’ offensive foul with under 20 seconds left. Rebounding was also a big issue. Penn State played great defense for the second game in a row, but towards the end of the game, they just couldn’t finish off possessions by protecting the defensive glass. It was just a little irritating.
Penn State’s offense once again was in all sorts of disarray. First off, they never, ever attempted to run. If I ever hear anyone claim that DeChellis likes to play fast or up-tempo, I’m going to puke. No up-tempo team plays 53 possession games. What’s funny, though, is the only two times I remember that PSU did run on a break, they scored on layups both times. There’s no doubt in my mind that PSU greatly increases their chances for a bucket when on the break, but they never even try to dictate the tempo. With some of the possessions I saw, PSU would’ve been better off playing VMI-style and just chucking up a shot in less than 10 seconds. Instead, it was dribble away 25-30 seconds of the clock and then chuck up an equally as bad shot. As far as the half-court sets go, I don’t know if the timing was off, if the spacing was bad, or if they couldn’t set good screens, but it was probably a combination of all 3. They looked completely out of whack, so PSU resorted to shooting 3’s and long 2’s.
- Talor Battle – complete opposite of the Virginia game. Temple did a good job defending him, but once again, Battle was depended upon by the coaches to save the team. He couldn’t. 8 points on 3-15 shooting. Another physically draining 39 minutes. After playing the 9 minutes without a stop, he slipped and fell near the end of the first half. He got up and was holding his groin. The coaches then decided to keep him in for the whole second half. Battle didn’t even have the strength to get up a tying 3-pt attempt at the buzzer. Feel for the guy.
- Chris Babb – Chris was one of the few bright spots. He found his stroke, hitting 3-6 of 3-pt attempts. He also drove to the bucket and scored a tough layup. Finished as the leading scorer with 11 points off the bench in 29 minutes. He was playing some good D too, even getting a block.
- Bill Edwards – This guy continues to impress, even though he had 4 turnovers including the crucial offensive foul with a chance to take the lead with 20 seconds left. Defensive rebounding was a problem but it wasn’t Bill’s fault. He pulled down 10 defensive rebounds. He also was the only offensive presence in the second half, scoring 3 of PSU’s 6 2nd half field goals. He needs to get healthy.
- Tim Frazier – He didn’t make too many plays in the time he was in, but I am absolutely puzzled to why he only played 3 minutes in the 2nd half. That’s a great way to get your freshmen ready for the Big 10. I don’t know if the coaches thought we didn’t match-up well with Temple’s bigger guards, but this was another game where the coaches tried the same thing over and over despite the same negative results. I thought Frazier deserved a chance to be on the floor to help PSU to 1 – get steals (only 2 for the game) and 2 – push the tempo.
- David Jackson – Remember when this guy scored 26 points? He’s got to be a leader. He can’t be content with just taking 3 shots in a game. He played well defensively, but he has got to attempt to become a presence on offense. I’d rather see him go 2-10 than 2-3.
- Jeff Brooks – Didn’t play well. Just 3 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in 25 minutes. This is not going to get it done. He has gotta get underneath and help rebound. He’s 6-8 and this is 4th 1 rebound game this season.
- Andrew Jones – I thought Jones played pretty well, actually. He scored 7 points while making some big free throws in the second half. He also did a great job defending Lavoy Allen (who shot 3-12 for the game). He’s gotta help with the rebounding woes, though.
I’m not sure how much credit Temple deserves to holding the Lions to a 79.2 efficiency. I really thought PSU had a poor plan of attack and really were at fault on their own for their woes, but Temple had held St. John’s, Georgetown, and Virginia Tech to similar poor numbers. I’m interested to see how Temple does. They don’t have much depth and are scoring-challenged. Hopefully they have a great season like their previous years, but I’m not sold on them to do well in the A-10. This was a game PSU should’ve won, especially with their defensive effort.