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.
This is going to be a game where the supporting cast is going to have to contribute more than they have all season if PSU is to win.
Defensively is where the Gophers have made the biggest transformation in the Tubby Smith era. Just watching them over the past year and a half, it’s noticeable just how much scrappier the players are on the defensive end and Tubby deserves all the credit in the world for instilling such a toughness that us PSU hoops fans can only *dream* about.
“The young guys are young. They’re going to play really well at times and they’re going to struggle at times, that’s what young players do,” he said. “But there’s no question that they play with confidence. They don’t play like they seem like they’re scared, so I think that’s a big positive.”
“Blake will be all right, because I remember going through a nasty slump in my sophomore year,” Abu-Shamala said. “We have such a big rotation. Our whole team basically plays. To have guys that can come in when the energy is not there is huge. To have guys come off the bench to give the team a boost when people need a break or aren’t shooting well is definitely a plus for us.”
This season, point guard play is the talk of the Big Ten. Speed, penetrating and playmaking at the point have helped the conference earn the top RPI in the nation.
If you exchange Penn State men’s basketball for Notre Dame football and make a few other changes, you’ll notice that the Will Leiner story already has been told. It was called ”Rudy.”
Walking into the Bryce Jordan Center last night, it was difficult to tell whether the game was in Happy Valley or in West Lafayette. The PSU fans barely outnumbered the Purdue fans; the only difference was that most of the Purdue fans were forced to sit in the upper deck.