What to Expect: Penn State

  • 01/07/2012 8:04 am in

The No. 12 Hoosiers will look for their first Big Ten road win of the season on Sunday afternoon when they travel to the Bryce Jordan Center to take on Penn State. The Hoosiers last road conference win came against the Nittany Lions on Jan. 21, 2010.

The game will be shown on BTN (Tom Hart and Dan Bonner) and broadcast on the IU radio network (Sirius 94/XM 190):

Pat Chambers’ first season at the helm in State College had been playing out just as many had expected as of Thursday afternoon. The Nittany Lions were 8-7 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten (a pair of road losses) and a battle for the league cellar with Nebraska was to be decided in a pair of games on Jan. 11 and Feb. 11.

But in an upset few saw coming, Penn State crushed Purdue on Thursday night in front of 5,081 fans. Whether the outcome was more of an indictment on the Boilermakers or improved play from the Nittany Lions will play out in the coming weeks. The result, however, remains the same: Penn State just won a Big Ten game by 20 and will carry confidence into Sunday’s noon tip.

MEET THE NITTANY LIONS

Few teams in the country rely on a single player like Penn State does with Tim Frazier. Slowing down the 6-foot-1 junior guard is the key to beating Penn State. His name will be bolded, circled and highlighted on the scouting report. Frazier averages 17.1 points, 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals. All of these numbers lead the team. He’s also playing in 89.5 percent of available minutes and his assist rate of 48.5 is second in the country. His effective field goal percentage (43.2) is pedestrian and his free throw percentage (69.5) needs some work, but given the limited pieces around him, Frazier is one of the best players in the Big Ten.

Beyond Frazier, the production becomes significantly more scattered. Sophomore guard Jermaine Marshall is hitting 37 percent of his 3’s for the season and is averaging 11 points in conference play. Senior guard Cammeron Woodyard had been starting in the backcourt alongside Frazier and Marshall, but missed the Purdue win with a hamstring injury. Woodyard has the best efficiency numbers among the three-man backcourt. Sophomore Matt Glover provides little offensively, but is second on the team in rebounding at 4.6 per game and had 11 against Purdue. Freshman guard Trey Lewis, runner-up to Michigan guard Trey Burke for Mr. Basketball in Ohio last winter, is fifth on the team in scoring, but played just one minute on Thursday.

The front court is not at all physically imposing, but can step out and knock down perimeter shots. Purdue learned that first-hand as sophomore forward Billy Oliver hit 7-of-11 shots from 3 for 21 points. Oliver has hoisted up a team-high 80 3-point attempts, but provides very little help on the glass with a defensive rebounding percentage of just 12.2. Jon Graham, Sasa Borovnjak and Ross Travis are all more interior-based players. Boronvnjak is hitting 61 percent of his 2’s and Travis is solid on the defensive glass (20.0 DR%).

THE POMEROY PERSPECTIVE

These are the lopsided numbers you’d expect to see when comparing one of the country’s top 15 teams with wins over Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio State to a team that hadn’t beaten a team in Pomeroy’s top 100 until Thursday. A solid defensive effort should put Indiana in good position to play with a lead in this contest. Penn State is shooting just 32.3 percent from 3 and 43.8 percent on 2’s. A big part of that, as mentioned above, will be slowing down Frazier.

Also of note after taking a glance at Penn State’s KenPom profile: 39.2 percent of their opponents’ points are coming from behind the 3-point line. That’s the most in the country. And Indiana is the best 3-point shooting team in the country. If the Hoosiers come out with crisp ball movement and play through Cody Zeller, it could free things up on the perimeter.

Penn State is scoring just .96 points per possession in conference play compared to 1.04 for the Hoosiers. On the flip side, the Nittany Lions have given up just 1.02 points per possession in Big Ten play compared to 1.09 for IU. Yes, you read that right. Indiana’s giving up more points per possession than it’s scoring through three league games. This is a game, however, where things could even out given the quality of opponent in comparison to Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan.

Pomeroy predicts a final score of 71-60 and while a victory may not appease some of the national folks calling for wins away from Assembly Hall to fully believe in this group, any road win in the Big Ten is a big win.

HOOSIERS TALK PENN STATE

Head Coach Tom Crean

“They are a very attack oriented team. They drive and space extremely well.”

“Billy Oliver looked like Tom Gugliotta against Purdue. He is a major league shot maker.”

“Sunday will be one of the toughest games we play all year.”

“Coach Chambers’ teams get after it every possession and you can see that they play really well together. They have a number of guys who are playing bigger roles and they are responding to the challenge.”

“Tim Frazier is playing as well as anyone in the league and he does a great job of getting in the lane as he looks to score or facilitating for others.”

“After watching the film (against Michigan), I told our guys that was a big-time win. Every win in the league is big and we have done a good job of preparing only for the task at hand. I think that is a by-product of a maturing, player-led team. They are very aware of picking each other up when someone may need it or delivering a tough message if the situation calls for it.”

“As I said before, a defining moment for our team this year was our win at Evansville. Our approach was outstanding and we have built off that experience which has allowed us to play pretty well away from Assembly Hall.”

Victor Oladipo

“We have to prepare in practice and compete at a high level. Our coaches do a great job of getting us ready .”

“We know the mentality you have to take if you are going to win on the road.”

“We take great pride in having to get stops in close games. During timeouts, you can see how we have come together and are communicating better.”

“We have to play great team defense. We have to get out on their shooters and win the 50-50 balls. They play really hard and hustle and we have to match and exceed their effort. It will be important for us to contain Tim Frazier. He is an outstanding player.”

Jordan Hulls

“I think our team has improved its maturity. We are a completely different team this year and all the adversity we faced has helped us and carried over to this year. There is no panic in close games because we believe in ourselves.”

“Going on the road and getting the wins early in the season has helped this team tremendously.”

“I think the hard work we put in the offseason has made us tougher. We know that when a team punches you in the mouth, you have to come back right at them. For us, our defense has been the reason for our success.”

“Our mindset is next man up. We know that a lot of different people at different times can step up and make a play that helps us win games on either offense or defense. We have done a good job of being unselfish and worrying only about getting the win. “

QUICK FACTS ON PENN STATE

All-time series: Indiana leads 28-9
Location: University Park, PA
Student Enrollment: 44,817
Established: 1855

(Photo credit: Mark Selders/GoPSUSports.com)

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  • IUfanPurduePhD

    BSPN confused “most prolific” with “best”

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Good call, Smitty.  I think Crean would’ve had ’em focused anyway, but that 20-pt drubbing all but guarantees that IU will come out with fire in their eyes.

  • IUJeff

    I’ll take the W’s with any score while Sheehey is out. We are really missing his overall toughness on D and what he brings to our offence. 

  • IUJeff

    Agreed. VO must attack the rim and help get these other teams in foul trouble.

    Dribble-drive and keep up the solid D VO. 

    And no more flopping and begging for calls.    

  • IUJeff

    Agreed. VO must attack the rim and help get these other teams in foul trouble.

    Dribble-drive and keep up the solid D VO. 

    And no more flopping and begging for calls.    

  • unclekerfuffle

    Mr. S:

    If I’m not mistaken, Thursday evening was the first time this season the Hoosiers did not beat the line.  

    We drove up for the game and they looked as tired as we felt when we got home at 1:30am.  The way they played reminded me of how they came out against ND after the pUKe game; the only thing is that Michigan is a much better team than ND.  

    I hope they got that out of their system and win convincingly on the road tomorrow.  At this point I really don’t care if my Hoosiers convince the few remaining doubters out there who are waiting for the second coming of RMK.  I want them to convince themselves about winning on the road in the Big Ten.

    I agree that WS will make a huge difference in the energy level of the team.

  • Anonymous

    I just showed a bunch of my friends the video earlier today. The kid is absolutely unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know how I could listen to the radio broadcast via smart phone?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    DUDE. YES.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Here’s hoping that the Blackmon brothers become IU’s version of the Plumlees (except, you know, really good).

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Here’s hoping that the Blackmon brothers become IU’s version of the Plumlees (except, you know, really good).

  • Anonymous

    Could be 8 with these “top” teams losing. UNREAL!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Off topic but Indiana’s SOS prob just got a bit better with Notre Dame winning tonight down here at pUke of L…

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Off topic but Indiana’s SOS prob just got a bit better with Notre Dame winning tonight down here at pUke of L…

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    The path is being cleared we just need to go do work in Happy Valley. Not looking past the Lions.

  • Pinehurst

    Very nice, a little Howard Cosell.

  • Anonymous

    I watched that game and UofL is just not that good. I could see them dropping out of the polls in a few weeks.

  • Anonymous

    but for next weeks rankings they may fall to 15th lol

  • Anonymous

    And an Egg McMuffin.

  • Anonymous

    I agree.  Nice early start, but the downside if something should go wrong and they lose, the rest of the day has a gloom to it.

    I predict IU wins by at least 10, but drunk with the memories of their spectacular trouncing of the Boilermakers, PSU never really goes away until the end.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That’s a good point kerfuffle.  I never even considered the fact that it was a possibility the Hoosiers would have a bit of a hangover after a win against OSU. 

    Also, did you see how OSU thumped the crap out of a talented and hot Iowa team?  Man, it looks like the win against OSU really pissed them off and I hope we didn’t awaken a sleeping giant being that we go to their place in a week!

  • Anonymous

    Too funny. I actually use that one all the time. Not everyone gets it.

    GO IU!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Milla cost me a whole afternoon!  Every time there is a new video to watch of an IU recruit, or potential recruit, or future recruit, I get lost in watching videos of all the IU recruits and that can go on forever.

    That being said, Blackmon must be really good at teaching players to shoot because all the dude’s kids can flat out shoot and play!

    I hope the Blackmon’s as well as Eron Gordon choose to play at IU.  That would be really cool!

  • Anonymous

    Yes! And if we can will a win for Notre Dame against Syracuse that would be tremendous.

  • Anonymous

    Yes! And if we can will a win for Notre Dame against Syracuse that would be tremendous.

  • Anonymous

    @11th Well said..

  • Anonymous

    @11th Well said..

  • BJ Young is a stud.

  • IU_Fan_99

    Off topic but ESPN still has Mo Creek playing minutes this season… he tweeted about it the other day and confirmed that he did not play in the Howard game… I think that’s pretty funny…

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see more of that from VO too, but for this particular game, he could be the MVP even if he doesn’t take a shot all night.  Just bottle up Frazier, and he can have the game ball.

  • Anonymous

    If we want to keep all the respect we have received thus far, we need to win this one. We lose, we all of a sudden become the great team at home that cant win on the road.

  • Eastwood88_20

    Oh it did….better shot the lights out or we will get beat by 20! Osu is better than us, can not argue that.

  • Eastwood88_20

    Right on. I watched most of the Purdue game….wide open shots from the arc. Been sometime since I seen a Purdue team play that bad. Hulls 20is pts today…6 3’s

  • unclekerfuffle

    Aceman:

    Even though I won’t be happy with a loss to the Luckeyes in Columbus, if I was a betting man I would bet against my Hoosiers.  That is a game I wrote off the first time I saw this year’s schedule.  The fact that we won in AH when we were not suppose to is the gravy.  Now we have to make sure we win out at home, win the ones like we’re suppose to on the road (PSU, Nebraska, etc.) and steal another one or two wearing the Crimson.  Then, we can put on our dancing shoes with a high seed.

    Sheehey’s recovery time will play a large role in determining if we reach our potential for the remainder of this season.

  • Anonymous

    Conditioing thing is a real deal…Will is a great athlete..but his shot will be impacted by his conditioning..so if he gets back..hope he can concentrate on taking it to the hole and playing D until he is in shape.

  • Anonymous

    Conditioing thing is a real deal…Will is a great athlete..but his shot will be impacted by his conditioning..so if he gets back..hope he can concentrate on taking it to the hole and playing D until he is in shape.

  • Anonymous

    Conditioing thing is a real deal…Will is a great athlete..but his shot will be impacted by his conditioning..so if he gets back..hope he can concentrate on taking it to the hole and playing D until he is in shape.