You know what's great? Technology. You know why? Because a working dad like me can come home from work, eat dinner with his family (homemade pizza), play with the kids, put the kids to bed, watch the best show on TV (Parks & Rec), spend quality time with his wife (wink wink) and still watch a game that started at 6pm thanks to the miracle of DVR. And I already have a buzz on. Sweet.
Keep in mind throughout this game that I made a semi-large wager on Talor Battle over 26.5 points+rebounds+assists, so I'll be rooting for him to do well at the same time I'm dying for a Gopher win. Here's what I know: Bogart told me to look for Mbakwe at 6:11 left in the first half, and Dawger called me at 8:24, which would be not long after the game ends. I've been trying to figure out why he'd call me, but I'm guessing at this point we're going down to the wire. Let's see.
19:24 - Iverson fouled on the games first possession, makes one. Sounds about right. It's a bit disconcerting that with the big lineup in the ball didn't get anywhere near the point until there were 4 seconds left on the shot clock, but whatever.
18:36 - Gophers in a zone and are really shading Battle. Whichever area Battle is the defender is almost playing man on Battle, even without the ball. Interesting strategy which leads to Battle getting nothing but backboard on a pro range three. What a stupid bet.
17:27 - Jesus christ, Ralph. Although I don't know if that's really his fault, not really sure why Mbakwe thought it would be a good idea to outlet to Sampson. But sheesh, that was like watching a baby deer try to stand up for the first time.
16:35 - Rodney Williams with the travel trying to drive, moving his feet before he gets the ball on the ground. How many times has that happened this year? Twice per game or so, no?
16:10 - Battle for three. 5-3 PSU. Sampson with a deep two-pointer to tie it up. That guy sure loves his jumpshot.
14:26 - Battle with another three to make it 11-7 Penn State. Hair trigger style too, he looks incredibly dialed in. Obviously that's a negative. They have him running baseline against the Gopher 2-3, and they're going to need the wings to pay more attention, because he completely ran Iverson into a pick on that one.
13:38 - David Jackson misses another three. This guy should play for Michigan. Complete and total chucker, never saw a shot he didn't want to take, and at 6-7 basically refuses to go anywhere near the paint. I should also mention he's a starter on my fantasy team. Yes, my team sucks.
12:27 - Why do they keep calling Jackson "DJ Jackson?" Is that what he actually goes by? Because all the literature on Penn State calls him David. Not that I'd ever question Stephen Bardo, the worst starter on that awesome '89 Illinois team: Bardo, Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Lowell Hamilton. That was a hell of a squad.
12:04 - Armelin loves shooting. And that's good, because at least somebody is always looking to score. He doesn't really even seem to force it very often, it's just whenever it's open he's going to take it. He could end up being a pretty big-time scorer some day.
9:12 - Another three by Battle, 14-11 Penn State. Assisted by Tim Frazier. Those two give me nightmares. Battle can't graduate fast enough for me. Or run out of eligibility. Whichever.
8:16 - A three by some guy and penn state has five threes making up 15 of their 17 points. And it could easily be more but "D.J." Jackson can't shoot for shit. God damn the Gophers are awful at defending the three-pointer.
7:55 - Hey I have a book recommendation for the five of you who read this blog who actually read books: Scorecasting by Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim. It's basically like Freakonomics, but with sports topics. So where Freakonomics (also a great book) dug into the economics of drug-dealing and the socioeconomic patterns of naming your children, Scorecasting looks at things like "Does defense really win championships?" (yes, but so does offense), "Does calling a timeout to ice a player work?" (no), and "Why does home court advantage exist?" (it's the referees, for real.) Just really great stuff, clearly researched by nerds but presented in a way that normal people will enjoy reading. Read it, if for no other reason that the next time you want to throw something at your tv when your team is on the road and you're convinced they're getting screwed, you'll at least have some facts that support you.
7:42 - Hoff for three, 19-16 Penn State. Let's do more of that, please. and Battle answers with a shot that doesn't even make any sense that he made it. I hate to say I told you so, but he's looking like he's beyond dialed.
6:42 - It's almost 6:11. I'm giddy with anticipation.
6:11 - Yep, that'll do it. Bardo calls Mbakwe a "grown man" which is still the stupidest compliment in history. Well, other than "dapper."
4:40 - Whoa. Battle missed. That's whack. PSU grabs the o-board of course. Luckily some guy who isn't Battle clangs the open three-pointer. Hoff with his third three and it's 26-24 Penn State. I don't understand how that guy gets open threes against anybody. If I was a coach every time my team let Hoff have an open three-ball they'd be running laps. And I don't mean at practice, I mean I'd take whoever's fault it was out right then and there and make him run around the court in front of the fans and cameras and everything. I'm tough like that.
3:50 - Ralph scores with a jump hook. I bet you can't guess who Bardo compared him too. Go ahead, you'll never get it right. Oh. Yeah. It was his dad. For the 53rd time this season.
1:41 - Another high-low from Iverson to Mbakwe and teh Gophers are up 28-26. They are killing them inside, but it should be even worse considering Penn State's only good inside players have both been on the bench for much of this half with foul issues. Just sad. I don't feel good at all right now.
0:28 - You know what the best movie I've seen in a long time is? Threat Level Midnight.
0:00 - 29-28 Penn State at half. Terrible half if you aren't Trevor Mbakwe (10 pts, 10 rebs at half). And that's with Jeff Brooks missing basically the entire first half. My tummy hurts. I need a beer.
19:24 - Frazier hits a desperation three-pointer with the shot clock at 1. Great. Good omen.
16:54 - Good god does Penn State love to launch the three-pointer. Is the Big Ten just a three-pointer dominated league? Northwestern, Michigan, and Wisconsin are all in love with it, and apparently Penn State is too. Hold on, let me get my tape recorder out: "Do some nerd research on if the Big Ten is a more three-point heavy league than the other ones." There.
16:04 - I desperately want to see Iverson shoot a three-pointer. What would that even look like? Probably similar to watching Ralph try to play PG on a fast break. Also the Gophers are still losing, 34-32. They really need to do something about that.
14:29 - Sampson hits a three, white announcer guy gushes, Bardo references his dad (#54 this year). Seriously, can we calm down with the moistness after Ralph hits a perimeter shot, please? Yes, it's great that a 7-footer can hit a three, but what would be even greater is if that 7-footer could spend more than 10% of his time in the paint instead of flitting about on the perimeter. You're a big man, get your ass in the paint and post up. If the perimeter jumper comes to you, great, but you should not be looking for it. It's like a counselor once told me, you're not an alcoholic if you're hunting the booze, you're an alcoholic if the booze is hunting you. Which means I need another beer.
13:32 - Here's my impression of Tim Frazier: I'm going to drive the lane because nobody on this slow ass team can stop me but I have no intention of even looking to score but it doesn't matter because the Gophers haven't figured this out so they collapse to stop me and guess what I know exactly where my buddy Talor is and I just found him for another open three-pointer which he of course nailed. Boom roasted.
13:06 - And it's all falling apart. Fart.
11:53 - Talor Battle must have the patience of a saint. If I were him and these were my teammates I'd be in prison.
10:38 - Sometimes doing a live blog isn't fun at all. Penn State 47, Minnesota 37. I might not type anymore.
8:25 - Five straight for the Gophers, getting it inside to Mbakwe and finding Hoff for a 3-pointer. Why is it those are literally the only two scoring options for this broke ass team?
7:43 - huh.
6:44 - Rodney Williams for three?
5:59 - Well lookie there, we're tied at 50 on what has to be Iverson's fifth assist at least. And then he follows it up with an idiotic out-of-position foul where he should have just given up the layup but instead tries to do something and ends up giving Penn State a free point. Apparently there's no magic IQ juice in retinol.
5:04 - Rodney with a great take and pull up and barely hits the far side of the rim. Love the aggressiveness, love using the athleticism to create an open jumper, hate the inability to shoot. And there's a lay-up and the foul for Rod. Free throw to tie.
5:04 - No. Of course. Christ.
4:45 - Rodney now looking extra aggressive, took the rock to the hole. Unfortunately his handles aren't exactly The Professor level and he basically handed the ball to Frazier. Fortunately, the refs inexplicably called him for the foul, and fortunately Rodney somehow made both free throws. 55-54 Penn State.
4:10 - Battle airball from about 35-feet as the shot clock expires. This I like.
3:49 - Rodney with a great fucking pass from the top of the key to find Iverson for a lay-up. Is this a coming out party? I feel like it might be a little bit.
2:09 - Hoff to Iverson for a dunk and 3-point Gopher lead. That was quite pretty, especially when you consider it was a couple of white dorks.
1:08 - Hoff takes a retardedly stupid shot, which he misses, which leads to a break for Penn State, which leads to an open 3 for Battle, which he of course makes, and it's now 62-60 Nittany Lions. Mother fuck.
0:52 - Do something, idiots.
0:38 - Hollins travels with 2 seconds on the shot clock. Here is what happened after a Tubby Smith timeout: pass in to Hoff, pick with no roll with Mbakwe at the top of the key, over to Rodney on the wing, dribble, dribble, throw to Hollins 35 feet from the hoop with 4 seconds on the shot clock. That's your play? Did you even draw anything up or did you just spend the whole time telling the team to play defense? Honest to Odin, Tubby is a bad game coach. Not terrible or horrible, but bad. Bad bad bad. What the fuck was that exactly? Every single time they need to run a play at the end of the game they got nothin? When they get in the huddle do you think Tubby just shrugs his shoulders? Embarrassing, predictable, and ridiculous. Also, for the record that's pretty much was Mrs. W says to me each night in bed.
0:22 - 16 seconds. It took 16 seconds to make sure to foul Battle. Fuckin' bunch of geniuses here.
0:22 - Lane violation? Please let this matter. It would be too sweet for it not to.
0:17 - Oh good, a timeout. I'm sure we'll be seeing an absolute superb play here.
0:14 - Hoff throws it directly out of bounds. I'm going to murder someone.
0:06- Hoff for three after two PSU free throws. Penn State still up by 2. I have no idea why I'm still typing words. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfff.
0:06 - Battle misses the first. There's still a chance. Makes the second. Timeout Penn State. Can't wait to see what kind of brilliant play Tubby draws up. I'm willing to bet it ends up with Maverick getting the ball at the near free-throw line having to Tyus Edney it, but he will get to about mid-court and then throw it out of bounds.
Great play. Just great. Awesome. Coaching genius. I hate this team.