Saturday, January 10, 2009

Penn Stater Hater

It's currently Friday night and I've had about eleventeen vodka/cranberries (with lime) and since I'm a bigger loser than even Mama Dawger and am sitting at home, I figured I might as well do the Gopher/Penn State preview.

The first thing you need to realize is that there is some actual worry here. Coming off the worst game in Gopher history that somehow resulted in a win, could the Gophers be vulnerable? Penn State is 2-1 in the conference, with wins over Northwestern and Purdue, with their only loss being a road loss by four at a suddenly very tough Wisconsin team. Should we be concerned? Are they for real?

I'm here to answer all those questions, but first I will tackle the question of "What exactly is a Nittany Lion?" Here's your answer:

"A Nittany Lion is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities. The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1990 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail."

Sounds pretty bad ass. But what about the basketball team? Well, outside of those wins over Northwestern and Purdue, they also have a win at Georgia Tech and no bad losses (vs. Rhode Island, vs. Temple). So it's clear that this year at least, they are no joke - despite preseason big ten predictions. Like Iowa, they are another team who moves slowly but is very efficient on the offensive end, ranking 38th in the country in offensive efficiency. Like Iowa, they shoot the ball from three very well (40%, 21st in the country). Unlike Iowa, they don't turn the ball over (8th in the nation), don't commit fouls (6th in the country) and absolutely don't give up offensive rebounds (3rd), as well as being a much better defensive team (65th in the country). Yeah, there is plenty to worry about here.

In terms of individual players, Talor Battle has gone from annoying and missing a letter in his name to one of the most improved players in the country, currently leading the Big Ten in scoring and coming in fourth in assists at 18.9 and 5.3. He also ranks 11th in the conference in rebounding with 6.1 (at 5-11) and leads in three pointers made while shooting 42% from three The good news here is that Al "Jacque" Nolen should be able to handle him. Should. Mainly because I'm having trouble believing in Battle - kind of like Jesus.

Other than Battle there are two other dudes you really have to worry about, 6-1 guard Stanley "Would you Like some Hand Lotion" Pringle and 20th year senior Jamelle Cornley. Cornley has been around forever and is still pretty much the same guy - undersized and tough as hell. His stats have been remarkably consistent through all four years of his career, but he has managed to put up career-high averages in points and rebounds this season. Pringle may have improved even more than Battle from last season, taking his scoring from 7 per game to over 15, and improving his shooting from 37% to 51% and his three-point shooting from 41% to 53%, second only to noted Gopher-killer Matt Gatens in the Big Ten.

Beyond those three studmuffins, the Nittany Lions are a bit thin, and quite undersized. They don't have another player who averages more than 6.1 points per game, and don't really play anyone bigger than 6-9. Nolen should shut down Battle, Westbrook should shut down Pringle, and Damian Johnson should have no problem handling Cornley. That being said, I'm predicting a surprisingly great game out of Cornley, and a career type game out of senior backup guard Danny Morrissey, currently averaging a career low in points and three point percentage, but who inexplicably goes off for 25 points, including 7-10 on three pointers. Despite that, the Gophers still take a ten point lead into the final three minutes, but miss free throw after free throw down the stretch, allowing PSU to pull within two at 67-65. Following two missed free throws by Al Nolen, Battle flies down the court and forces up a bad three in a double team, despite having Morrissey open in the corner, which falls short and the Gophers pull off the win by 2.

By the way, Bogart recommended the movie Four Christmases, but Mrs. W watched it online the other day and told me, "It's just what you'd expect, but twice as painful" and she usually loves stupid crap like that, so I'm pretty sure it's the worst movie ever. Nice recommendation, retard.


snacks wife said...

Sunday morning, 2:16 am, I have your baby WWWWW, where are you?? Drunk? With some hooker? Not even thinking about your WonderBaby that is now under my control!

Snacks WIFE said...

You are a pig that may be a pedophile! More investigation will be done as to if those girls are of age CHOMO!!!!!

snacks said...

p.s. I like the pictures. Keep up the good work.

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