A Realistic View of this Season


#1

Good win. Thoughts after five games.

This is a bad major conference basketball team, and we are in for a long year. ED needs to realize this is a rebuilding season and continue adjusting playing time accordingly. Much better rotation today, except Sasa should get more minutes. This team is going to struggle to reach 14 wins (7/8 wins OOC and 5/6 wins in the Big Ten). 6-12 in the Big Ten would be a significant achievement for this group. Just getting to 6 conference wins requires going 2-10 against top 25 teams, splitting with Wisconsin, and winning 3 of 4 against Indiana/Iowa/Northwestern. A very difficult task. An NIT berth is highly unlikely this season, and I’d prefer ED prepare for next year rather than trying to squeak an extra win to get to 16 and a CBI berth. While the talent level is increased on the team, we are far behind the top 7 teams in the conference.

I have also been disappointed by the relative lack of intelligent basketball discussion on the forum. I blame this on the board’s desire to remove any negative and non-cheerleading fans, which has driven away many posters and eliminated more realistic viewpoints. Its unfortunate and reflected in the quality of the posts on the board. While the negative people may be frustrating, it was more interesting than only reading cheerleading posts. This site feels like part of the PSU hype machine (as in the PSU football story after losses to Iowa/OSU, or PSU’s new view of the “game day” experience). Too bad. Credit to kidcoyote for attempting to analytically break down this team’s offensive struggles. W

As far as the team:

Frazier is going to be a great player. He has more potential than Battle, and credit to ED for inserting him in the starting lineup. He needs 30 minutes a game. Unfortunately, Frazier’s current skill set (speed, penetration, and poor outside shooting) does not complement Battle’s like Pringle’s. Pringle was the most under-rated PSU player since Parkhill, and he made Battle a much better player. With Frazier in the backcourt, Talor is going to have a much worse season statistically this year and ED needs to ensure Battle is on board with the rebuilding nature of this season. This is probably ED’s biggest challenge this year.

Edwards is also a quality player who should be starting over Jackson. Edwards has more potential and is a better rebounder. He’s going to be a significant contributor down the road, so start playing him. Considering that Jackson is already a redshirt senior, its unlikely that he’s going to get much better.

If Buie is as good as advertised, he’s going to start from day one at shooting guard. With Frazier, Buie, and Edwards, Babb is not going to be a starter for PSU past this year. His minutes should increasingly go to Edwards, and they probably will. Edwards played 18 today with Babb 19. I’d prefer a 28 to 10 split going forward. Babb’s shot selection (80-90% of FGAs are 3s) indicates he’s a role player similar to DMo last year.

Sasa hasn’t been great yet, but if ED feels he’s a future contributor, he needs to play more minutes than Ott. Even though Ott may be slightly better this year defensively than Sasa, his ceiling and future impact are much, much lower.

Brooks has been great. He should be a focal point of the offense and shooting at least 10-12 times a game - there is no reason for him to be shooting over 60% from the field with limited FGAs.

Jackson/Jones. Both of have been disappointing this season. Once PSU starts facing legitimate competition, their numbers are going to decrease. I don’t see them improving much as the year progresses, but ED needs to get more production out of them.

Battle needs to handle getting beaten soundly on a regular basis in the Big Ten. Hopefully he develops improved leadership qualities and makes his teammates better as the year progresses. I haven’t seen that yet, particularly with getting our bigs easy looks. Hopefully the Big Ten season does not devolve into the game where Battle tries too much and goes 8-23 from the field. Also, ED needs to figure out how Frazier and Battle can co-exist in the backcourt. I’m not sure who should be the PG in that lineup.

Highberger and Woodyard are most likely out of the rotation going forward.

Overall, this is going to be ED’s toughest season as an in-season coach. There are increased expectations among the players and fan base, and he has a legitimate superstar in Battle who is in for a long season. How do Frazier/Battle coexist? How should minutes be delved out among the freshman and upperclassman? How does ED handle the lack of a leader on the team? It may be ugly at times, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.


#2

I think your view is overly pessimistic. Ed finally has a team that can do what he wants to do - run. It looks like he’s trying to go 9 or 10 deep in a rotation. He can do that this year without a huge dropoff in talent between the starters and the subs. It’s going to take a while before all the parts mesh, but I think this team is more talented and has fewer liabilities than even last year’s NIT championship team.

As Dick Jerardi said, Penn State is a running team in a walking (read “plodding”) league. The only other team like PSU is MSU. I think running teams can create huge problems for the rest of the Big Ten.


#3

Just what liabilities have left this team since last year? ???


#4

I agree for the most part. I thought this team would be better than they are so far, I suppose I just overestimated the talent level.


#5

I couldn’t agree with you more. I made a comment after the first loss about how I thought that anyone who was thinking this was an NCAA caliber team was being very unrealistic and I got hit with some negative karma. Perhaps I am not the best judge but I truly feel that the post was far from rude or insulting yet it offended someone enough for them to act. While I agree that over years many have made this forum almost unbearable with their negativity, I think there is a contingent, and a not so small one, that bristles at the idea that anything except glowing praise should be posted here, and I find that contingent to be even more annoying than the Agent Smiths who have taken part in this forum in the past.


#6

I think the pieces of a first division Big Ten team are on the roster now. It’s going to take all of November and most of December to get them to fit together. Obviously, getting more points and rebounds in the paint is the biggest question mark, but guys (Jones, DJ) go through slumps and emerge, a la David Jackson last year. It will be interesting to see what Edwards brings once he gets comfortable, and whether Sasa can contribute some quality minutes down the road.

I’m not surprised we had a rough tournament, although I didn’t expect the loss to Tulane. Regardless of whether we won or lost in Charleston, the key remains, learn and improve. I think we will, but I also think there are one or two more bumps in the road before we get to the the Conference schedule.


#7

I think a better call is sitting back for a few more games before making such a statement. I’m not saying that you didn’t hit the nail on the head, but I certainly think that feeling the way you described is going a tad in the “chicken little” order. Again, you may have hit the nail on the head, but I think one should wait at least until the OOC schedules commences before taking a steadfast stance on how this team will finish the season. Do I see an NCAA team at this point? Certainly not. Do I see an NIT team? Perhaps, if the team gels sooner rather than later. Would I be shocked right now if you told me that your crystal ball knows PSU wont be in any post season tournement? No.


#8

Isn’t that exactly what we are doing right now? ???


#9
[quote="Great Santini, post:2, topic:326"]He can do that this year without a huge dropoff in talent between the starters and the subs. It's going to take a while before all the parts mesh, but I think this team is more talented and has fewer liabilities than even last year's NIT championship team.[/quote]

Just what liabilities have left this team since last year? ???

I think foul shooting will be much better this year. Last year, in a close game, opponents would wait until Cornley touched the ball and then foul him - and put him on the line in key situations.

I also think we are deeper than last year.

I also think we should be able to get to the point where Talor only has to play 30 minutes a game instead of 38.

One more thing - as much as I loved Mel, his strength was posting up. When Mel was the go to guy, we got out of the running rhythm that Ed likes and is building his team for.

One other liability was that Danny’s bad knees kept him from playing good man to man. He played good positional D, but he could get beat off the bounce a lot. I don’t see that happening all that much this year.


#10
[quote="Great Santini, post:2, topic:326"]He can do that this year without a huge dropoff in talent between the starters and the subs. It's going to take a while before all the parts mesh, but I think this team is more talented and has fewer liabilities than even last year's NIT championship team.[/quote]

Just what liabilities have left this team since last year? ???

I think foul shooting will be much better this year. Last year, in a close game, opponents would wait until Cornley touched the ball and then foul him - and put him on the line in key situations.

I also think we are deeper than last year.

I also think we should be able to get to the point where Talor only has to play 30 minutes a game instead of 38.

One more thing - as much as I loved Mel, his strength was posting up. When Mel was the go to guy, we got out of the running rhythm that Ed likes and is building his team for.

One other liability was that Danny’s bad knees kept him from playing good man to man. He played good positional D, but he could get beat off the bounce a lot. I don’t see that happening all that much this year.

As much as you love Mel it sure sounds like you thought he was an overall liability to the team last year. Wow, I don’t think I could disagree with you more.

Let me ask you this, if you think this team is more talented and has fewer liabilities than the NIT championship team then am I to assume that you think this team makes the NCAA’s this season? I think maybe you are going on potential. Potential that I don’t think is realized as soon as you seem to think.


#11

Mel’s strengths caused us to play a different game than what Ed wants to play. Was he an overall liability, no way. He had the heart of a lion and willed us to win games. I believe Talor has the same type of attitude.

I do think this team has more potential than last year. I do think we can make the NCAA tournament this year.

I like that Edwards, Sasa and Frazier are all playing early. They won’t be freshmen at the end of the year. We’ll know what we have come February.


#12

I am of the camp that we will 5 or 6 big ten games this year, but one of them will be a big one. MSU, OSU, or Purdue. One night everyone will play up to their potential and show us what we can hope for next year. Unfortuantely, between that night and now there will be a lot of long nights.


#13
[quote="FanofPSU, post:1, topic:326"]I have also been disappointed by the relative lack of intelligent basketball discussion on the forum. I blame this on the board's desire to remove any negative and non-cheerleading fans, which has driven away many posters and eliminated more realistic viewpoints. Its unfortunate and reflected in the quality of the posts on the board. While the negative people may be frustrating, it was more interesting than only reading cheerleading posts. This site feels like part of the PSU hype machine (as in the PSU football story after losses to Iowa/OSU, or PSU's new view of the "game day" experience). Too bad. Credit to kidcoyote for attempting to analytically break down this team's offensive struggles.[/quote]

I couldn’t agree with you more. I made a comment after the first loss about how I thought that anyone who was thinking this was an NCAA caliber team was being very unrealistic and I got hit with some negative karma. Perhaps I am not the best judge but I truly feel that the post was far from rude or insulting yet it offended someone enough for them to act. While I agree that over years many have made this forum almost unbearable with their negativity, I think there is a contingent, and a not so small one, that bristles at the idea that anything except glowing praise should be posted here, and I find that contingent to be even more annoying than the Agent Smiths who have taken part in this forum in the past.

Amen and Amen! Anybody who thought preseason that this was a NCAA team was NOT being realist. BUT, it’s not going to keep me from being as big of a fan than ever. I am looking for hustle and team play. I am waiting till next game to see Edwards. In the games that I have seen the team played hard. But clearly they are “out of sync” offensively.
Ed will try to coach the team out of this. Let’s give them time…but also let’s not demand unrealistic miracles.


#14

I think it was interesting today that he started Frazier and played Edwards so much. ED’s still trying to find the best group.

I’m with kid on the Brooks rebounding, but pleasantly surprised at his improvement in other areas. Gotta get better, that’s for sure.


#15

brooks is by far the biggest surprise. He is giving us more that I expected out of him. Sure, he needs to rebound more, but his production is unexpected. His field goal percentage is a very nice addition.

Maybe edwards will add more down low for us. I think if we can get better play down low things will flow much better. I am not asking for Greg Oden down there. Just average defense and hitting open shots when we get a good entry pass down there.


#16

I don’t know about any contingent, but I am the one who moved the nasty folks to their own board. No need to blame anyone else or come up with a conspiracy theory.

As I have made clear over the last 13 or 14 years of doing this, it is solely my personal desire not to have to read that kind of stuff and the fact that their posts made it unenjoyable for me to read the board. No need to blame any “contingent.” :slight_smile:

I believe there are Penn State baskteball discussion forums at:

http://www.pennlive.com/forums/psuhoopsmen/?initial=true
http://bwi.rivals.com/forum.asp?sid=&fid=38
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=157&f=1548

I can pin this if the people who are unhappy here are having trouble finding them…


#17
[quote="pmhewitt, post:5, topic:326"]While I agree that over years many have made this forum almost unbearable with their negativity, I think there is a contingent, and a not so small one, that bristles at the idea that anything except glowing praise should be posted here, and I find that contingent to be even more annoying than the Agent Smiths who have taken part in this forum in the past.[/quote]

I don’t know about any contingent, but I am the one who moved the nasty folks to their own board. No need to blame anyone else or come up with a conspiracy theory.

As I have made clear over the last 13 or 14 years of doing this, it is solely my personal desire not to have to read that kind of stuff and the fact that their posts made it unenjoyable for me to read the board. No need to blame any “contingent.” :slight_smile:

I believe there are Penn State baskteball discussion forums at:

http://www.pennlive.com/forums/psuhoopsmen/?initial=true
http://bwi.rivals.com/forum.asp?sid=&fid=38
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=157&f=1548

I can pin this if the people who are unhappy here are having trouble finding them…

I’m not blaming anything on anyone nor am I coming up with conspiracy theories. As you know Tim, I’ve said many many times that its your board and you should do what you want with it and open it to who you want. Some of the people who used to post here were a real drag and I’m glad you got rid of them. That being said, there are still some here that I don’t enjoy for different reasons. But that’s me and it is your board and I still manage to enjoy the site immensely. If that opinion continues to anger you, than please feel free to let me know and I’ll certainly be happy to appease you and go elsewhere.


#18

Now that Edwards is back and five games have gone by with a couple of bad losses, it will be interesting to see what Ed does the rest of the OOC schedule. My biggest concern is that he does not pick a type of style of BBall that he wants to play and gets caught switching between running and half court. If Ed thinks this team can run and wants to run, then start running, pressing, and playing that type of ball.

You hit the nail on the head that Ed has to find a way for Battle and Frazier to co-exist. The unfortunate part is Battle is not a shooting guard. I think Ed would be better putting Battle back at the point and Frazier as the off-guard. Let Battle play the same game as last year with Frazier taking the ball up on occasion to give Battle a break on the court. If PSU tries to run a little bit more, that will get Frazier in the game some.

Somebody has a light a fire under Jones. Tell him to forget about the offensive end and just play hardnosed tough defense, rebound the hell out of the ball, and set picks on offense and crash the boards for second chance opportunities. I think he is worrying too much about what he is going to do if a set play is called for him.

Wouldn’t mind seeing PSU take a page out of Duke’s book and start spreading the floor some more for Battle and Frazier. Put everybody out at the 3 point line and let Battle or Frazier break down their guy. Set up Edwards/Babb/Woodyard/Highberger in one corner for the three and tell either DJ or Brooks to cut to the basket for a pass. Tell Jones to follow up for a second chance opportunity.


#19

[quote=“FanofPSU, post:1, topic:326”]Good win. Thoughts after five games.

This is a bad major conference basketball team, and we are in for a long year. ED needs to realize this is a rebuilding season and continue adjusting playing time accordingly. Much better rotation today, except Sasa should get more minutes. This team is going to struggle to reach 14 wins (7/8 wins OOC and 5/6 wins in the Big Ten). 6-12 in the Big Ten would be a significant achievement for this group. Just getting to 6 conference wins requires going 2-10 against top 25 teams, splitting with Wisconsin, and winning 3 of 4 against Indiana/Iowa/Northwestern. A very difficult task. An NIT berth is highly unlikely this season, and I’d prefer ED prepare for next year rather than trying to squeak an extra win to get to 16 and a CBI berth. While the talent level is increased on the team, we are far behind the top 7 teams in the conference.

I have also been disappointed by the relative lack of intelligent basketball discussion on the forum. I blame this on the board’s desire to remove any negative and non-cheerleading fans, which has driven away many posters and eliminated more realistic viewpoints. Its unfortunate and reflected in the quality of the posts on the board. While the negative people may be frustrating, it was more interesting than only reading cheerleading posts. This site feels like part of the PSU hype machine (as in the PSU football story after losses to Iowa/OSU, or PSU’s new view of the “game day” experience). Too bad. Credit to kidcoyote for attempting to analytically break down this team’s offensive struggles. W[/quote]

Welcome back to the board Rokk…we missed you. Nice to see you have upgraded your grammar and presentation and now write in complete paragraph form. :wink:

In all seriousness, I like it when the board has constructive critiques on both sides of the aisle. You bring up solid points of concern that will no doubt be big questions as the season progresses. Yet a decent portion of your post does have that Chicken Little feel at this early point of the season.

As the original author of the “Positive Thoughts” threads, I probably lean toward a little to the positive side of the aisle, and I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. The water might have been a little murky to start the season, but I feel the baby is still a sound kid that needs a little more nurturing before we can let it walk on its own.

With that said, my main concern this season was not so much with Penn State, but with how tough the Big Ten will be. In fact, I’ve been watching Illinois, the presumed 5th or 6th best team in the conference. Watch out folks. Paul and Richardson are scary good as freshmen. They have become the leaders of a team that has three experienced juniors playing alongside them in the starting lineup (Tisdale, Davis, McCamey). If they are number 5 or 6, I’d hate to play teams one through four right now.

Regardless, good thread to get the board thinking and debating. I’ll wait to pass judgment on this team until after its trip to Virginia. By then, we should see if they learned anything from their first trip away from the comfy confines of the BJC.


#20

Sorry about that everyone! ::slight_smile: