Friday, February 13, 2009

Short Preview - Gophers/Penn State

I don't have a whole lot of time to get into a whole thing here, since I have to head up to Turtle Lake to make mad bank, but I still wanted to give at least a short little preview.

Basically, Penn State can't afford to lose this game. They are in the midst of a 3-game losing streak, including at home against Wisconsin, since their huge win at Michigan State and have fallen to 6-6 in the Big Ten. With zero good wins outside of the conference, and road games at both Illinois and Ohio State still to come, the Nittany Lions can't afford to drop any of their home games if they want a shot at the NCAA Tournament. That makes them desperate, and that makes them extra dangerous.

Still, you don't lose three straight by being a good team. Penn State has really struggled shooting the ball during this skid, putting up FG percentages of 33%, 37%, and 37%. The poster child during all this has been Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Talor Battle. He torched the Spartans for 29, but has fallen off a cliff lately, shooting 3-16, 4-15, and 0-7 in the last three.

Now, just because he's been struggling doesn't mean it's going to continue. Luckily, the Gophers are still a very good defensive team, despite their continuing issues on the offensive end. Al Nolen may be a headache of a player to watch with the ball these days, but, as long as the effort is there, he should be able to stick with Battle. But if he loses him, and Battle gets hot, the Gophers have no chance.

Defensively, Penn State is not very good. They defend the three pointer well (12th in the country at 30.2%) but that's it. They don't turn teams over (299th), they don't steal the ball (290th), they don't block shots (323rd), and they get killed on 2-point shots (259th at 50.3%). The don't give up offensive boards either (8th) but the Gophers never get an o-board anyway, so who cares. Normally, I would say this teams defensive profile may be the perfect opportunity for the Gopher offense to get healthy, but considering the awful, awful, truly wretched performance they just put up against Indiana, a much worse defensive squad, who the hell knows.

Ken Pomeroy has this as a Penn State victory, giving them the slight edge with a 54% chance of victory. This should be close as predicted, and I think the desperation factor will give them the added boost they need: Penn State 66, Minnesota 63.

Stay tuned, I have inside info that there will be a live blog of tonight's Gopher/Alaska hockey match.


Super Sioux Fan said...

Live blog of AA and MN??? Are you Fing kidding me. I would rather sleep with Snake.
Let me guess....El Todd and Optimator. Are they going to fill their post with dead baby jokes. Or maybe just pick on some more little kids. Let me tell you what my kid isnt even 3 feet tall and could still kick either of their asses. Punks
This blog is officially dead to me.

RIP- Super Sioux Fan

Anonymous said...

Ahhh....I was hoping for your take on the Twins resigning Delmon Young. Best resign ever?

The Todd said...

I would rather sleep with Snake too. We are going to fill this post with SAUSAGE.

Dr. Acula!. said...

What the hell is that chick eating?

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