PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Theory on Last Night's Game as it Pertains to Future Success

Jeff Brooks has always been a player who has had trouble overcoming adversity. When things don’t go well for him early, his game would fall apart and/or he would disappear. When he plays well, the reverse is true. In past years when he struggled or played well, it had little impact on the teams performance since he played such a small role in the overall success of the team. This year, he has emerged as a key component on the team. Could last night’s game be the harbinger of things to come when Jeff struggles. Now that he is a much more integral part of the team, his personal struggles translate in a much more meaningful way to the team as a whole. Could this season’s subplot be: as Jeff Brooks goes, so goes the team?

I definitely think that Jeff is going to be a key cog in the team. Matter of fact he has become the Robin to Talor’s Batman. Last year I thought DJ was going to be Robin, but it just looks to me that DJ is along for the ride and is happy taking an ancillary role.

Jeff got in foul trouble and the team shot like there were lids on the buckets. I don’t think this is going to affect the way Jeff comes at it the rest of the season. It seems like he has matured a lot since last year.

[quote=“phillipinthevalley, post:1, topic:1590”]Jeff Brooks has always been a player who has had trouble overcoming adversity. When things don’t go well for him early, his game would fall apart and/or he would disappear. When he plays well, the reverse is true. In past years when he struggled or played well, it had little impact on the teams performance since he played such a small role in the overall success of the team. This year, he has emerged as a key component on the team. Could last night’s game be the harbinger of things to come when Jeff struggles. Now that he is a much more integral part of the team, his personal struggles translate in a much more meaningful way to the team as a whole. Could this season’s subplot be: as Jeff Brooks goes, so goes the team?[/quote]No this team has a lot bigger problems than Jeff Brooks. No bench, no big man, no pure shooter. Jeff could have played a lot better last night and it wouldn’t have made a diff.

It is absurd to say that if he played better it would not have made a difference. If he scored his average, it would have been a completely different game.

[quote=“phillipinthevalley, post:4, topic:1590”]It is absurd to say that if he played better it would not have made a difference. If he scored his average, it would have been a completely different game.[/quote]You can also spin that and say Tucker for Maryland (their 2nd leading scorer) put up 0 but they had other guys contribute. Jeff isn’t going to score 15-19 ppg every night so PSU better find some other options instead of counting on Jeff Brooks to put up those #'s. Everyone was horrible last night wasn’t just Jeff Brooks not playing like himself. Maryland was and is the better team.

[quote="phillipinthevalley, post:4, topic:1590"]It is absurd to say that if he played better it would not have made a difference. If he scored his average, it would have been a completely different game.[/quote]You can also spin that and say Tucker for Maryland (their 2nd leading scorer) put up [b]0[/b] but they had other guys contribute. Jeff isn't going to score 15-19 ppg every night so PSU better find some other options instead of counting on Jeff Brooks to put up those #'s. Everyone was horrible last night wasn't just Jeff Brooks not playing like himself. Maryland was and is the better team.
Spinning it was exactly my point to BW2. To say Jeff having what has been a typical game this year would have not made a difference is nonsense. Had he put up 16 points, it would have been a completely different game. We can always play what ifs, which I generally don't like to spend lot of time doing as that seems pointless to me in most cases. My original post was about the impact that Brooks play will have on the team this year and the danger that if he can't shake a bad early start or some bad things occurring in the game like has been his M.O. in the past, that this team may be in a very precarious situation if it follows Jeff's lead and tanks when he does. As it stands right now, I don't see anyone that can pick up the load if Brooks has an off night. Talor will be Talor and you pretty much know what you are going to get from him night in and night out. So far, at least, it looks like Jeff is the key.
[quote="phillipinthevalley, post:4, topic:1590"]It is absurd to say that if he played better it would not have made a difference. If he scored his average, it would have been a completely different game.[/quote]You can also spin that and say Tucker for Maryland (their 2nd leading scorer) put up [b]0[/b] but they had other guys contribute. Jeff isn't going to score 15-19 ppg every night so PSU better find some other options instead of counting on Jeff Brooks to put up those #'s. Everyone was horrible last night wasn't just Jeff Brooks not playing like himself. Maryland was and is the better team.
Spinning it was exactly my point to BW2. To say Jeff having what has been a typical game this year would have not made a difference is nonsense. Had he put up 16 points, it would have been a completely different game. We can always play what ifs, which I generally don't like to spend lot of time doing as that seems pointless to me in most cases. My original post was about the impact that Brooks play will have on the team this year and the danger that if he can't shake a bad early start or some bad things occurring in the game like has been his M.O. in the past, that this team may be in a very precarious situation if it follows Jeff's lead and tanks when he does. As it stands right now, I don't see anyone that can pick up the load if Brooks has an off night. Talor will be Talor and you pretty much know what you are going to get from him night in and night out. So far, at least, it looks like Jeff is the key.

I’m with you on this one, myself. It’s not just Brooks’ play that seems to have improved, but also his attitude. He doesn’t even have to put up big numbers to be effective, IMHO. His aggressiveness, assuming he continues to show it, could be enough to draw some pressure away from the other guys on the floor and open them up for a few extra buckets. So yeah, I actually think Brooks’ play will be a big factor in how the season goes. What I’m less sure of is whether or not it’ll be that way all season. Still have Buie sitting on the bench, and we all know the kid can play. If he starts showing more out there on the court, that could also make a huge difference to this squad (and it could be insanely helpful when Brooks is having an off night and no one else is stepping up offensively).

I still like Frazier, too. I don’t expect him to score much, but his defense is solid, and he distributes the ball well, IMHO.

We will need more on offense other than Battle and Brooks. The team will really have to step up when Brooks has an off night. I hope we can learn something from last night’s loss. It was a horrible loss but there is still a lot more of the season to play.

Phillip,

This is spot on. You saw it when Jeff picked up his first foul. Other than that dunk on the breakaway, Jeff showed a lack of confidence. And you are correct. In the past, it was mostly a Jeff issue. Now, because of his early season success and the fact that he’s become a leader for this team, it has become a team issue when Jeff does not play well.

This team is way too challenged not to have either of their top two scorers not on their game. Not sure if it would have won the game for the Nits had Brooks had a game similar to the ones earlier this season, but it certainly wouldn’t have been that ugly.

[quote="phillipinthevalley, post:1, topic:1590"]Jeff Brooks has always been a player who has had trouble overcoming adversity. When things don't go well for him early, his game would fall apart and/or he would disappear. When he plays well, the reverse is true. In past years when he struggled or played well, it had little impact on the teams performance since he played such a small role in the overall success of the team. This year, he has emerged as a key component on the team. Could last night's game be the harbinger of things to come when Jeff struggles. Now that he is a much more integral part of the team, his personal struggles translate in a much more meaningful way to the team as a whole. Could this season's subplot be: as Jeff Brooks goes, so goes the team?[/quote]

Phillip,

This is spot on. You saw it when Jeff picked up his first foul. Other than that dunk on the breakaway, Jeff showed a lack of confidence. And you are correct. In the past, it was mostly a Jeff issue. Now, because of his early season success and the fact that he’s become a leader for this team, it has become a team issue when Jeff does not play well.

This team is way too challenged not to have either of their top two scorers not on their game. Not sure if it would have won the game for the Nits had Brooks had a game similar to the ones earlier this season, but it certainly wouldn’t have been that ugly.

That was such a dumb foul too. Basically on the first possession of the game.

Review the game again. The halfcourt offense is awful. Vs. teams like Lehigh et al, it works. How hard is it to defend an offense whose only halfcourt features are screens and runs to the arc? Either screening for Battle with the ball, or screening away for a run to the arc and a pass from Tim or Talor. That’s it, 90%. Occasionally you get a back door run, last night, once, and it worked great, or a putback, or a drive by Talor, with a shot or kickout. But it’s off screens to the arc. These players are not that bad. It’s the offense which stifles them. Bo Ryan and Carmody would win with this team. Review the tape and tell me if that isn’t what they do all the time in halfcourt. It makes no sense. Never a pass to the elbow, or a flash, or a high post play. Never. And low post? Once a half. The passing, other than kickouts by Talor to the arc, is all around the arc, never inside on a post, or give and go, or back door run. If you’re not going to try to score in the paint, why should teams defend it? The reason we start well is they’re not used to it. Then they call a timeout, and it changes.

If there’s any player I’d single out from this game, it wouldn’t be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)

[quote=“Tom, post:12, topic:1590”]If there’s any player I’d single out from this game, it wouldn’t be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

completely agree.

I would single out the coach. Starting 4 seniors in a big non conference game in front of your fan base and you get smoked by over 20 points? I understand the coach can’t put the ball in the basket, but at some point you have to ask what’s going on with this program.

[quote="Tom, post:12, topic:1590"]If there's any player I'd single out from this game, it wouldn't be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

completely agree.

While I might be singling Jeff out, I’m not blaming him for this loss. The point is that Jeff now has become a leader for this team and as he goes, so goes this team. When he was on the court, he hustled and did some good things without the results mind you. But the team suffered because he was in foul trouble. Did it suffer due to DJ’s foul trouble, sure, but Jeff has been the X factor this year and when he’s not producing 15-20 points and 8-10 rebounds with a few blocks, the Nits will have their issues winning games against quality opponents.

[quote="Tom, post:12, topic:1590"]If there's any player I'd single out from this game, it wouldn't be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

He did have 10 rb’s. When the first player other than Talor to take an FTA is at the 2:57 mark of the second half you know your offense is screwed up. If the team wasn’t hitting treys, maybe they could’ve tried going inside. Those hand check fouls on Talor didn’t add up to the bonus cause nobody else was getting fouled. This offense is all at/from the arc. Instead of AJ being a constant screener for runs to the arc, maybe he should be a target inside. At least this would cause defenses to collapse, and we might even get some foul shots, which would also make hand checking more of a costly violation.

completely agree.

While I might be singling Jeff out, I’m not blaming him for this loss. The point is that Jeff now has become a leader for this team and as he goes, so goes this team. When he was on the court, he hustled and did some good things without the results mind you. But the team suffered because he was in foul trouble. Did it suffer due to DJ’s foul trouble, sure, but Jeff has been the X factor this year and when he’s not producing 15-20 points and 8-10 rebounds with a few blocks, the Nits will have their issues winning games against quality opponents.

Speaking of having an off night, our loss to MD doesn’t look so bad now after seeing Texas get blown out big time by USC. Definitely didn’t see that coming.

73-56 was the final. This is the same USC team that lost to Rider and Bradley. I wonder who’ll take Texas’ spot in the rankings…

[quote="Tom, post:12, topic:1590"]If there's any player I'd single out from this game, it wouldn't be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

completely agree.

While I might be singling Jeff out, I’m not blaming him for this loss. The point is that Jeff now has become a leader for this team and as he goes, so goes this team. When he was on the court, he hustled and did some good things without the results mind you. But the team suffered because he was in foul trouble. Did it suffer due to DJ’s foul trouble, sure, but Jeff has been the X factor this year and when he’s not producing 15-20 points and 8-10 rebounds with a few blocks, the Nits will have their issues winning games against quality opponents.

I wouldn’t single out Jeff either, but you can’t have a front line which gets in trouble with fouls and doesn’t get fouled at the other end. Maryland went inside which resulted in them getting fouled. We didn’t. Can’t have that imbalance. In short, Maryland dominated the paint. The FTA’s tell the story. It actually should have been easy to get into the bonus, at least in the 1st half. How many times was Talor hand checked? Never led to anything. Think about how that hurts the team, foul the pg so he can’t penetrate and never get penalized in points cause the other guys don’t go inside. IMO, this is poor coaching to allow this to happen. In the first half alone, there were Maryland fouls, non-shooting ones at 14:30, 12:41, 4:53, 2:52 and 2:00. The last 5 minutes you’re still not in any bonus? It’s not that the points would have meant so much, but when you allow a team to push you around at no cost it changes the whole complexion of the game. Maryland only made 4 more FT’s, but they took 21 shots, we took 11, and our front line was on the bench a bunch.

[quote="Tom, post:12, topic:1590"]If there's any player I'd single out from this game, it wouldn't be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

completely agree.

While I might be singling Jeff out, I’m not blaming him for this loss. The point is that Jeff now has become a leader for this team and as he goes, so goes this team. When he was on the court, he hustled and did some good things without the results mind you. But the team suffered because he was in foul trouble. Did it suffer due to DJ’s foul trouble, sure, but Jeff has been the X factor this year and when he’s not producing 15-20 points and 8-10 rebounds with a few blocks, the Nits will have their issues winning games against quality opponents.

Something I noticed, I think it was in the Duq game. May be nothing, may be something big, who knows.

A Duq player had been fouled. The PSU players were beginning to take their places at the lane for the shots. Brooks was trying to talk to Tim Frasier. Frasier completely blew him off and walked away. The camera stayed on Jeff, we could no longer see Tim. Jeff began to put his hand at the side of his mouth and yell for Tim, still with no response. Brooks looked P.O.'d and just took his place at the side of the lane.

A similar situation happened at the end of last season, which I commented on. PSU had lost a close game. Brooks looked like he was about to melt down, the camera was on him. As Brooks was walking off the floor after the game, Babb came over to talk/console with him. Brooks blew off Babb, with his anger being very evident.

There is something going on with this team. There are big divides in the team. These guys really have really not shown any signs of gelling whatsoever.

I don;t like using cliches, but there is one that fits… This team has a cancer. I don’t know who it it, but there definitly seems to be one !!

[quote="Tom, post:12, topic:1590"]If there's any player I'd single out from this game, it wouldn't be Jeff Brooks.

He had some stupid fouls but he was still taking good shots and rebounding (led the team)[/quote]

completely agree.

While I might be singling Jeff out, I’m not blaming him for this loss. The point is that Jeff now has become a leader for this team and as he goes, so goes this team. When he was on the court, he hustled and did some good things without the results mind you. But the team suffered because he was in foul trouble. Did it suffer due to DJ’s foul trouble, sure, but Jeff has been the X factor this year and when he’s not producing 15-20 points and 8-10 rebounds with a few blocks, the Nits will have their issues winning games against quality opponents.

Something I noticed, I think it was in the Duq game. May be nothing, may be something big, who knows.

A Duq player had been fouled. The PSU players were beginning to take their places at the lane for the shots. Brooks was trying to talk to Tim Frasier. Frasier completely blew him off and walked away. The camera stayed on Jeff, we could no longer see Tim. Jeff began to put his hand at the side of his mouth and yell for Tim, still with no response. Brooks looked P.O.'d and just took his place at the side of the lane.

A similar situation happened at the end of last season, which I commented on. PSU had lost a close game. Brooks looked like he was about to melt down, the camera was on him. As Brooks was walking off the floor after the game, Babb came over to talk/console with him. Brooks blew off Babb, with his anger being very evident.

There is something going on with this team. There are big divides in the team. These guys really have really not shown any signs of gelling whatsoever.

I don;t like using cliches, but there is one that fits… This team has a cancer. I don’t know who it it, but there definitly seems to be one !!

People sometimes say or do stupid things in the heat of battle, or react differently than they would under normal circumstances (ask the Arizona Cardinals QB who blew up at a reporter and stormed out after being asked about laughing during the game).

So, I don’t think this one incident necessarily means anything. But like you said - it could be nothing, or it could be something big. So far, I still have it in the “nothing” category.