Going Forward in the Big Ten


#1

Some thoughts after last nights game:

  • Last night I saw the Andrew Jones I expected to see all season. Early in the year it seemed as though he was forcing shots while posted up. Andrew has a relatively weak post game, but he does have two other offensive skills you want in a post player:
  1. The ability to catch the ball off the inside feed and go up strong quickly. He has really improved at this over the last couple years.
  2. The mid range jumper. The scoring is great, but it also keeps the opponent’s big men a step further from your driving guards.
  • Bill Edwards seemed to get more comfortable in the second half last night. There still seemed to be times he hesitated to feed the ball inside to someone with position, but those two follows he had were beautiful.

  • Tim Frazier has a lot of talent, but it seems a though he never relaxes on the court. Panic is way too strong a word, but sometimes he seems to force things. Great little pop on the break though.

  • Too many turnovers because of poor ball handling. I get nervous every time I see Babb bringing the ball up the court. As someone else said he does some things really well, breaking a press is not one of them.


#2

I noticed a couple of things too…

  • I thought Bill played like a freshman. He was forcing things, taking bad shots, dribbling too much. It seemed like he hadn’t adjusted yet, which is understandable because he missed a lot of time. I was wondering why he came in for Brooks in the 2nd half when Jeff finally started to get it going.

  • I thought Tim played really well. He made some NICE passes that led to easy buckets and eased the pressure by handling the ball. He needs to shoot more. IMO, his shot isn’t as bad as its reputation. Sooner or later, he’s going to start finishing those drives to the rim. He’s going to be dangerous because I think his midrange game is pretty good, he’s quick, and he has great vision once he gets near the cup.

  • I couldn’t believe people were bagging on Babb. There’s more to hoops than scoring and he was playing great D and was fighting for boards. I agree he shouldn’t be bringing up the ball against pressure like that. I think his ballhandling is good enough but it looks like he doesn’t pick up his feet when he runs. It’s weird. He didn’t get any good looks (except the one he hit) and he didn’t force too many shots. Most importantly for me, he looked comfortable.

  • Talor was awesome.

(i don’t know what’s up with this new site but whenever I type a long post I start losing the ability to see what I’m typing)…


#3
  • I thought Jeff played well. I only saw him playing lazy D on a few occassions and he did a nice job offensively. I thought he was pretty valuable on the press break too.

  • DJ and Drew had nice games. Drew has always had a nice midrange game and I’m glad he used it a little last night. I didn’t know he could put the ball on the floor and finish with his off hand. It was interesting Ed put DJ on Westbrook in the final minutes last night. I like it.


#4

I just watched the game again. I think everybody played hard! Our inside guys more than held their own. In the last 10 minutes we just made too many mistakes (turnovers.) Edwards and Frazier were in their first league game. But that is life on the road in the BigTen11.


#5

One of the biggest positives from the game last night was that our forwards actually seemed to look for their shots (at least in the second half). In the game thread someone mentioned it but DJ had confidence in his jumper that you don’t normally see, and for good reason, he was strokin it in the second half. Honestly, DJ shooting a 15 ft jumper isn’t my first choice but I’ll gladly take a good look from 15 ft as opposed to passing up on open jumpers only to have Talor force something as the shot clock winds down.

Also, I was really impressed to see Jones put the ball on the floor from the elbow and drive to the basket (I believe it was our first hoop of the game). I haven’t seen him do a lot of that, but it’s definitely something that I think Brooks needs to look to do and I believe he can be effective at it b/c of his length.

I thought we played fairly well in the zone defense last night as well. I liked the way we used it as a change of pace.

Finally, as Kid has mentioned numerous times, we need to move toward the basket on offense, not just side-to-side. I thought we did a better (still not great) job of this last night. Push the issue.


#6

Agree on Jones. He seemed much more relaxed offensively, he wasn’t rushing his shots like he was earlier in the season.

-I thought Edwards was shaky, and maybe he thinks he’s a better shooter than he actually is. Only a freshman though, so it’s too early to be that critical of him.
-Babb was a big dissappointment to me. He looked a step slow on defense and didn’t show he could handle the ball against the press. Combine that with his inconsistent jump shot, and I really think Ed should have put Frazier back in the game much earlier. He did have 2 consecutive TO’s, but he was the only player who showed they could advance the ball when they trapped Talor.
-The first half offense was dribble aimlessly around for 25 seconds, then draw and kick and hope Talor makes a shot. Alot more ball and player movement in the seconds half was good to see.


#7

I feel like Jones’ biggest issue is the speed in his post moves. He gets the ball and then takes forever to shot it or get to the rim. If he was quicker that might help.


#8

Here’s what’s funny.

The second half seemed to be played at an infinitely faster pace - and the score indicated such. There were 61 points scored in the first half (27 by PSU, 34 by Minn) and 84 scored in the second half (43 by PSU, 41 by Minn). But that might have just been a mind trick because, believe it or not, both teams took more shots in the first half, 59 (28 by PSU, 31 by Minn), than they did in the second 52 (26 by both teams).

I’m really curious to see what the pace actually was for both halves and I will break them down once the stats become available (for some reason PSU doesn’t have them up yet and Minn only has the full game box score).


#9
[quote="vslice02, post:6, topic:568"]The first half offense was dribble aimlessly around for 25 seconds, then draw and kick and hope Talor makes a shot. Alot more ball and player movement in the seconds half was good to see.[/quote]

Here’s what’s funny.

The second half seemed to be played at an infinitely faster pace - and the score indicated such. There were 61 points scored in the first half (27 by PSU, 34 by Minn) and 84 scored in the second half (43 by PSU, 41 by Minn). But that might have just been a mind trick because, believe it or not, both teams took more shots in the first half, 59 (28 by PSU, 31 by Minn), than they did in the second 52 (26 by both teams).

I’m really curious to see what the pace actually was for both halves and I will break them down once the stats become available (for some reason PSU doesn’t have them up yet and Minn only has the full game box score).

At one point PSU was 14/21 fg in the second half. You get more points when you hit your shots. ;D


#10
[quote="vslice02, post:6, topic:568"]The first half offense was dribble aimlessly around for 25 seconds, then draw and kick and hope Talor makes a shot. Alot more ball and player movement in the seconds half was good to see.[/quote]

Here’s what’s funny.

The second half seemed to be played at an infinitely faster pace - and the score indicated such. There were 61 points scored in the first half (27 by PSU, 34 by Minn) and 84 scored in the second half (43 by PSU, 41 by Minn). But that might have just been a mind trick because, believe it or not, both teams took more shots in the first half, 59 (28 by PSU, 31 by Minn), than they did in the second 52 (26 by both teams).

I’m really curious to see what the pace actually was for both halves and I will break them down once the stats become available (for some reason PSU doesn’t have them up yet and Minn only has the full game box score).

Here’s how the game played out.

Game Pace was 64.4. First half = 30.2 Second half = 34.2. So the second half was slightly faster.

What’s interesting is that we actually got Minnesota to play at our pace. Coming into the game, we were playing games at a 65.3 pace, while Minnesota was averaging 72.7.

We also managed to out rebound them on both the offensive and defensive boards despite their big front line. We grabbed 37.9% of the boards on our offensive glass and 68.8% of the defensive, exceeding the 2:1 def/off ratio considered the normal measure.

We also hung with them with our shooting (48.1%, 50.0%, 69.2%) vs (49.1%, 36.4%, 61.1%). Our better three point shooting actually earned us a better effective FG% than Minnesota (56.5% vs 56.1%).

It was their defensive pressure that got to us though, forcing 16 turnovers, significantly more than our 11 per game average going into the game. Those extra five empty possessions cost us the game.

BTW - Minnesota had been forcing turnovers at a rate of 19 per game so we actually did better than most against them. I bring that up just to suggest that our turnovers in this game may not necessarily be something that we need to worry too much about. We’re not likely to repeat that performance too often.

Also, minimizing your turnovers appears to be a key against Minnesota. Only three teams have turned the ball fewer times than us against the Gophers. Brown, Miami, and Texas A&M each only turned the ball over 14 times and Minnesota lost two of those games (Miami and Tex A&M).


#11

Edwards’ problem seems to be that he still thinks he’s playing against high school height. He gets a lot of shots blocked and leaves shots short.

Or maybe his knee still isn’t close to being 100%


#12

Pretty pleased with the Nits effort, especially on the defensive end. If Minny didn’t get a quick shot or if Westbrook wasn’t throwing them in from St Paul (like Talor ;D), they struggled in their offensive sets. Hopefully a good sign going forward.

I really feel that Timmy should have been out on the floor a little more to help against the press. But then it’s hard to say what that would have done on the defensive end if that would have meant less time for Babb on the floor.

Fortunately and unfortunately I feel this game will be a microcosm of this Big Ten season for PSU. PSU will look better, but so will their opponents. Regardless, should be some really good games to enjoy.


#13

[quote=“NittanyIllini, post:12, topic:568”]Pretty pleased with the Nits effort, especially on the defensive end. If Minny didn’t get a quick shot or if Westbrook wasn’t throwing them in from St Paul (like Talor ;D), they struggled in their offensive sets. Hopefully a good sign going forward.

I really feel that Timmy should have been out on the floor a little more to help against the press. But then it’s hard to say what that would have done on the defensive end if that would have meant less time for Babb on the floor.

Fortunately and unfortunately I feel this game will be a microcosm of this Big Ten season for PSU. PSU will look better, but so will their opponents. Regardless, should be some really good games to enjoy. [/quote]

This year is going to be huge for PSU, even if the record does not show it. For a team with no seniors to go through a really good league schedule like this will be great. The more competitive they can be in each game, the better it will be for next year. I think they’ll win about 8 this year. I hate to already be excited about next year’s prospects, but I am . I’m also excited about the Big Ten tournament this year. I think they can and will be a team nobody wants to face.


#14

When reading the game notes today for the Minny game. I noticed that Minny returned the most points and rebounds of any team in the Big 10 as a % basis. We were next to last. I think that is a very good sign.


#15

Last night was definitely encouraging. We seemed to create some space out there and make good use of it. I thought Chris looked really good. Talor was phenomenal. DJ was solid. Drew looked like he looked late last year. It was a real advance for this group. I’m excited about this year, but these kinds of games have to start being wins.


#16

Absolutely. Plus, other than Purdue maybe, I don’t think PSU will have to face the kind of pressure that Minnesota can really clamp down on a team. For the most part, Battle and Frazier handled it.


#17

I think if that game was played in two weeks it would have been a win. We got to remember that 2 of our big contributors this year (Frazier and Edwards) had exactly 12 games and 8 games of experience respectively. And both were playing in their first Big 10 road game. Our pups got wacked on the nose with the newspaper but they are a scrappy bunch and came back for more. I really like the makeup of this team.


#18
[quote="vslice02, post:6, topic:568"]The first half offense was dribble aimlessly around for 25 seconds, then draw and kick and hope Talor makes a shot. Alot more ball and player movement in the seconds half was good to see.[/quote]

Here’s what’s funny.

The second half seemed to be played at an infinitely faster pace - and the score indicated such. There were 61 points scored in the first half (27 by PSU, 34 by Minn) and 84 scored in the second half (43 by PSU, 41 by Minn). But that might have just been a mind trick because, believe it or not, both teams took more shots in the first half, 59 (28 by PSU, 31 by Minn), than they did in the second 52 (26 by both teams).

I’m really curious to see what the pace actually was for both halves and I will break them down once the stats become available (for some reason PSU doesn’t have them up yet and Minn only has the full game box score).

Here’s how the game played out.

Game Pace was 64.4. First half = 30.2 Second half = 34.2. So the second half was slightly faster.

What’s interesting is that we actually got Minnesota to play at our pace. Coming into the game, we were playing games at a 65.3 pace, while Minnesota was averaging 72.7.

We also managed to out rebound them on both the offensive and defensive boards despite their big front line. We grabbed 37.9% of the boards on our offensive glass and 68.8% of the defensive, exceeding the 2:1 def/off ratio considered the normal measure.

We also hung with them with our shooting (48.1%, 50.0%, 69.2%) vs (49.1%, 36.4%, 61.1%). Our better three point shooting actually earned us a better effective FG% than Minnesota (56.5% vs 56.1%).

It was their defensive pressure that got to us though, forcing 16 turnovers, significantly more than our 11 per game average going into the game. Those extra five empty possessions cost us the game.

BTW - Minnesota had been forcing turnovers at a rate of 19 per game so we actually did better than most against them. I bring that up just to suggest that our turnovers in this game may not necessarily be something that we need to worry too much about. We’re not likely to repeat that performance too often.

Also, minimizing your turnovers appears to be a key against Minnesota. Only three teams have turned the ball fewer times than us against the Gophers. Brown, Miami, and Texas A&M each only turned the ball over 14 times and Minnesota lost two of those games (Miami and Tex A&M).

From the “Big Ten Geeks”

In the nightcap, Penn State gave the elite Minnesota defense all it could handle, scoring 1.09 points per possession, but still fell to the Gophers, 75-70 in 64 possessions. The incredible thing is that Penn State posted that efficiency despite turning it over on a fourth of their possessions - and ballhandling is usually Penn State’s best attribute. A few less turnovers and we might be talking about a big upset in The Barn last night; instead, Minnesota used an excellent efficiency of their own (1.17 points per possession) to squeak past with the victory.

Penn State did their scoring with deadeye accuracy from outside, hitting 9 of 18 from three. Talor Battle was the biggest part of this, connecting on 5 of 8 triples, including a couple from NBA range where he was left completely unguarded. Rest assured that Tubby Smith will be pointing out these lapses in the next film sessions.

Battle finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Looking at +/-, Bill Edwards did a lot of damage to his team while in the game - he posted a -10 in his 18 minutes. His conventional line backs this up (4 points on 8 shots, 2 turnovers), but the real problem was Penn State’s defense while he was in (1.31 points per possession).

Minnesota was paced by an outstanding night from Lawrence Westbrook - 29 points on just 16 shots (and a team-best +10 in his 28 minutes). Blake Hoffarber was the only other Gopher in double figures, scoring 11 points on 7 shots.


#19

Interesting stuff on Edwards. My eyeball analysis is that when he first started playing he had some of the same issues he had the other night, but that he adjusted to the level of play as he gained experience. Hopefully he has a little more headroom to be able to do that in the Big 10.

That’s why I thought Chris was so important the other night. I think Tim is going to be a killer for us, but I think al of our freshmen (i.e., not John Wall) need to adjust to the level of play. Chris knew what it would take and was ready.

Watching the Taran videos of a high school game, you can see why. That wasn’t Lawrence Westbrook they were defending last year or Al Nolen in their grills.