Here’s a few offseason updates.
-Talor Battle withdrew from the NBA Draft to apparently the surprise of some people. This is old news, but it’s just a little bit big for PSU. I don’t know how many people thought he would leave, but I personally was never concerned. Talor’s a smart guy. I’m happy he was finally able to get a pre-draft workout with the Trailblazers just before the deadline. He reportedly made 36 of 50 NBA threes. But in reality, Talor’s chances to get drafted and stick in the pros were pretty slim this year. I will say right now, though, I do expect Talor Battle to hear his name called in the 2011 NBA draft. Just a hunch.
-On the recruiting front, Penn State has been busy looking to fill their 2 remaining scholarships for the 2010 class with some big men. It’s been reported that the staff is not planning to hold the open 2 ‘ships for the 2011 class, unless they presumably strikeout on their targets. A couple kids who have been on visits recently have committed elsewhere. 6’7″ F Andre Roberson from Texas chose Colorado over PSU. 6’7″ F Colton Christian from Hargrave Military Academy by way of Bellevue, WA, committed to Michigan over Cal and PSU. Previous targets who have also gone elsewhere: Dwight McCombs (Central Florida), Andre Clark (TCU), and Eric McKnight (Iowa State). However, while PSU has struck out with these guys, all hope is not lost. It seems very possible that 6’8″ F Jonathan Graham from Baltimore could end up at Penn State. He reportedly was seen on campus two weeks ago and presumably will make his decision by May 19th, the end of the spring signing period. It was found out today by Nate Bauer at BWI that Graham is visiting today. There’ll be more on Graham when his decision is public (especially if it’s PSU).
-A couple of scheduling tidbits. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge was released today. PSU fans have been complaining forever that the Nittany Lions play the same teams in this challenge. At the beginning, it was Clemson year after year. But the last 4 seasons have brought Georgia Tech (2x), Virginia Tech, and Virginia. What I believe to be the root of PSU’s complaints is the fact that they just really want to play Maryland once and were never given the opportunity. Well, lo and behold, the Terrapins will be traveling to State College on December 1st (on Wednesday, wonder how the staff feels about the 76 Classic withdrawal now?). It’s a very exciting matchup between quiet rivals who really don’t play each other in either revenue sport for no apparent reason. Well I’m sure there’s some bullshit money excuse, but it’s nice that ESPN has set up this gig. Maryland was co-ACC champs last season, but they lost do-everything PG Greivis Vasquez and their other 2 leading scorers. They obviously are a traditionally strong opponent, but it’s probably looking like a ‘down year’ for the turtle next season, or at least by their standards. But that means it could be a very winnable game for the Nittany Lions.
-Also, it was discovered that Fairfield will be traveling to the BJC next year as well (although the source has since rescinded the leaked opponents on Fairfield’s schedule). I don’t know too much about the MAAC, but it’s very possible the Stags will be preseason favorites to win the conference. They finished 2nd in 2009-2010, runners-up to the dominant Siena Saints. Here’s a nice prospective overview of the Stags from USAToday of all sources. These are the types of games the Nittany Lions need to schedule for the sake of their RPI and SOS. Fairfield will easily be a top 200 team, possibly top 100. They don’t pack the name recognition to sell out the BJC, but they are eons better than any America East squad.
That brings the 2010 schedule to this so far:
- vs. Maryland
- @ Ole Miss
- @ Virginia Tech
- vs. Fairfield
- vs. Delaware State
- vs. Lehigh
Hopefully the remainder of the schedule is strong. I don’t believe this was posted on the blog but Cornell was going to travel to Penn State for a game. That, however, has been dropped, which is a smart move on PSU’s end because there is no way the Big Red is going to contend next year. Their run this year was marvelous, but that program is now in serious rebuild mode after the mass exodus. Highly unlikely they’re above 250 or so next season. Also, it was also reported by a fan that Kanaskie said at a public function we were in negotiations with Kansas to play a home-and-home series in Kansas City and Hershey. It is unknown whether that has fallen through or if those negotiations are still ongoing.
That’s all for now.