What to Expect: Penn State

012213ewIndiana returns to Assembly Hall tonight following a 67-59 win at Northwestern on Sunday for its second meeting with Penn State. The Nittany Lions are the lone remaining winless team in Big Ten play and are 4-20 over their last 24 conference games. Indiana won the first meeting 74-51 in State College on Jan. 7.

The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris on the call. 

Not much has changed for Pat Chambers and Penn State since his team met Indiana earlier this month at Bryce Jordan Arena. The Nittany Lions haven’t won a game since Duquesne on Dec. 29 and besides Saturday’s 68-64 loss at home to Nebraska, they haven’t played a league opponent closer than nine points. The results are not unexpected given the strength of this year’s Big Ten and what Chambers inherited from Ed DeChellis.

WHAT WE LEARNED IN THE FIRST MEETING

Unlike the Big Ten opener in Iowa City, Indiana took immediate control of their second conference road game. Penn State led 2-0 and the Hoosiers promptly reeled off a 13-0 run and were never really challenged the rest of the way. One of the primary mismatches Indiana exploited was using Christian Watford against Jon Graham and Brandon Taylor, both of whom are significantly less experienced than IU’s senior forward. Watford finished the game with 16 points and eight rebounds, but a majority of his damage (13 points, five rebounds) came in the first half.

Indiana also used the 3-point line effectively as five different players connected from distance. Those looks are likely to be available once again as Penn State has offered little in terms of defense thus far in six conference games (1.07 points per possession allowed).

In terms of what Penn State did well in the first meeting: The Nittany Lions posted an offensive rebounding percentage of 39.5, which at the time was the second highest mark allowed by Indiana this season. Penn State also forced the Hoosiers into 17 turnovers, but so many were unforced, it’s probably not a figure that IU will duplicate.

WHO’S HOT FOR PENN STATE

With 47 points over his last two games, Penn State junior Jermaine Marshall (pictured) is a critical matchup for Indiana.

The junior scored just 11 points in IU’s win on Jan. 7, but Marshall had 29 points and 10 rebounds in a competitive loss to Michigan State on Jan. 16 and backed it up with 18 in a loss to Nebraska.

“You have to account for him. He’s going to consistently make jump shots, especially if he’s open,” assistant coach Kenny Johnson said Tuesday. “In that particular game [against Michigan State], he came out with an aggressive mentality and carried it throughout the game.”

Sophomore D.J. Newbill, who was held mostly in check by Yogi Ferrell in the first meeting, also had a huge game against Michigan State with 27 points and six assists.

Penn State typically gets little offensive production from its frontcourt, so Ferrell on Newbill and Victor Oladipo on Jermaine Marshall will be two key battles to watch.

POMEROY PREVIEW, WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

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The two things that plagued Penn State going into the first meeting continue as major deficiencies as the season rolls along. The opponent free throw for the Nittany Lions has actually increased since the first meeting. That figure is up to 47.7 percent, and given the fact that only two teams in the country get to the line more frequently than IU, don’t be surprised to see the Hoosiers take more than the 34 attempts they took in State College. The effective field goal percentage defense (49.6%) speaks more to the overall defensive profile for Penn State which can’t be described as anything more than below-average.

One positive in the profile for Chambers remains defensive rebounding, where the Nittany Lions crash relentlessly and allow few second-chance opportunities.

Indiana is heavily favored — 30 points according to Ken Pomeroy and 26 points according to Las Vegas — and this likely stands as the easiest game remaining on the schedule besides Nebraska. It’s a game that the Hoosiers should win decisively in preparation for a CBS showdown on Sunday with Michigan State.

HOOSIERS TALK PENN STATE

Assistant coach Kenny Johnson

“I think they’re starting to gel. As the season’s gone along, they have a better understanding of what they’re trying to get accomplished. They’re starting to do a couple things defensively and then tweaking their offense. The game plan pretty much remains the same as far as understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are, but they’re a little more cohesive than they’ve been, as most teams are as they move through the year.”

Cody Zeller

“They are a confident bunch. Sometimes they don’t win, but they’re always confident. They play like they’re on a five-game winning streak. That’s the kind of guys that they have. They’re always gonna play hard. We can’t take them lightly.”

All tempo-free stats from KenPom.com.

  • http://twitter.com/IUinNap Caleb Moore

    This is the game where Sheehey needs to get his confidence back, Remy needs to (oh hell what doesnt Remy need to do better…dribbling and hitting the rim would be a good start), Elston needs to get some good run and so does Creek. Would love to see Creek be able to eat up Remy’s minutes a little if he’s going to continue to play like this.
    In short, this needs to be a confidence builder for IU going into the MSU game this weekend. They lose that game against Sparty and I think you can kiss their BT Title chances goodbye as they would have lost two at home and still have the toughest part of their sked to play. It’s must win time.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    We definitely need to get our bench going in this one, but I woke up in a very good mood today after watching pUKe go down again last night! HA – with games at A&M and TN and a home game against LSU pUKe is in danger of losing 3 out of 4 including last night’s game! They do that and they’ll be NIT bound!!! What a great year that would be . . . for IU to compete for a title and pUKe and PUke to both miss the tournament!!!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    We definitely need to get our bench going in this one, but I woke up in a very good mood today after watching pUKe go down again last night! HA – with games at A&M and TN and a home game against LSU pUKe is in danger of losing 3 out of 4 including last night’s game! They do that and they’ll be NIT bound!!! What a great year that would be . . . for IU to compete for a title and pUKe and PUke to both miss the tournament!!!

  • CreamandCrimson

    As fans, we are allowed to look ahead to the Michigan State game on Sunday. Obviously, the players and coaches don’t have that luxury. I think we would all love to see Indiana play a somewhat complete game. It doesn’t need to be perfection but I would love to see sustained solid play for 40 minutes. Besides that, here are some things I will be looking for:

    -Continued good play from Cody Zeller (perhaps a third straight 20/10 performance)
    -Sheehey and Remy getting back to having an impact off the bench
    -Can Hollowell or Perea give us anything against a Big Ten team (even if it’s only PSU)?
    -Are Elston and Creek able to contribute?

    Bottom line, this should be a comfortable win before we welcome the 1st place Michigan State Spartans to town.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    It’s so true, but how bad is it that we are now saying “what DOESN’T Remy need to do better?” when he was so effective earlier on! I guess he still has some maturing to do. I definitely agree though, the bench shouldn’t be so unpredictable. Remy, come in and make the safe pass and play. Bring consistency. We’ll stick to getting the flash from Yogi.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    I think we will steamroll these fools. I hope Crean gets the bench guys some PT.

    Mainly I’m trying to figure out how I’m supposed to feel about the MSU result last night. I really hate Wiscy, so that was good, and now, if we beat MSU this weekend, we can give them two losses while remaining at one.

    Thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/IUinNap Caleb Moore

    I remember to start the season didnt he like 11 or 12 straight shots? Was hitting threes, getting to the rim strong, etc. He’s forcing when he’s out there now and he doesnt need to do that. He just needs to make good passes and be strong defensively. Take what’s there. Beyond Watford, who I think is our X factor on this team (agree with DD there…..when he’s playing with aggression we are the best team in the country), Remy and Sheehey getting their confidence back will be huge for this team.

  • http://www.vccm.net/ iubase

    Who will step up from the bench. Would love to see HP (yes I am still clinging to this hope since he has the greatest upsde) and Mo step up. The real season starts with MSU….

  • the_Ancient_Hoosier

    While I would enjoy nothing more than a string of Hoosier victories I am not persuaded we will see more than one or two wins in the next five games. The team and individual players have simply not been able to overcome equal or superior talent at home or on the road. It appears the addition to the roster of suspended freshmen, injuries, league pressure and coaching lapses have taken their toll on a team which seemed invincible. Come on “Big Red!” Let’s turn things around.

  • MillaRed

    Remy has lost his confidence. He went from a 50% 3 point shooter to a guy that doesn’t even hit the rim. He’s barely getting rim on his wild layups.

    One thing is for sure, Mo will never lose confidence. Even if he doesn’t shoot a high percentage we can use 1-2 3’s from him a game. Because right now no one on the bench is hitting them. I still think Mo can be a factor.

  • MillaRed

    Remy has lost his confidence. He went from a 50% 3 point shooter to a guy that doesn’t even hit the rim. He’s barely getting rim on his wild layups.

    One thing is for sure, Mo will never lose confidence. Even if he doesn’t shoot a high percentage we can use 1-2 3’s from him a game. Because right now no one on the bench is hitting them. I still think Mo can be a factor.

  • Scott

    I’m hoping this game is coming at the right time to help jump start this team. It seems a few have lost some confidence it only takes one game to get that swagger back!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Totally agree. The injuries haven’t affected Maurice Creek’s confidence. When he comes into the game, I get the sense he believes he is going to make everything he puts up. If (and it unfortunately is a huge if) Mo can be healthy enough to give us 6-8 minutes a game, I think he could really boost this team. When he drains a three, I feel like the rest of the team really responds positively to it and he could be a big spark off the bench for us.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I tend to agree with you. It was very odd to see Wisconsin beat themselves (38% from the free throw line). For our Big Ten title hopes, we need to win this Sunday, irregardless of what the Spartans do in any of their other games.

  • Benhyoung14

    And Louisville lost. Man it was a good night for IU, and they didn’t even play.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    It’s funny, since I wrote that, I’ve kind if talked myself into the opposite position. Namely, that we don’t want anyone other than the cellar dwellers to win on the road.

    In the end, it’s still up to us at this point. Tied for first in the loss column, we control our own destiny.

  • Eastwood88_2

    What to expect – a blow out please! Time to get back on track with everyone. Need this one to be Ball St. result. Sunday is the big game.
    Anyone see the games for the 2013 class this week? The prep school kids seem more polished, thoughts?

  • sloan screen #45

    What would be even better is pUKe has to schedule that NIT game away because the Hoosiers are playing in Rupp. 24000 Hoosiers invade Lexington and drown out the blue with a sea of red. Kool aid drinkers and haters unite hand in hand in a march toward the final four!!!!

  • copernicus462

    I agree. It goes without saying that tonight is a must win and I’m not very worried about it. However, this Sunday’s game vs. MSU in my mind is a must win if we want to position ourselves for an outright Big10 title.

  • IUMIKE1

    What to expect, well I’ll say what I expect.

    1) With it being a home game against the cellar dweller I expect us to be able to
    put 2 solid halves together, IN THE SAME GAME. Unless Crean gives exstensive
    minutes to our bench in the second half I expect the final margin of victory to be
    more than what the half time lead was.
    2) Expect us to play a game where we dominate from the opening tip. One of the
    ways to do that is to pass the ball better. One goes hand in hand with the other.
    3) Expect Crean to give our bench every minute he can, especially HMP, so that
    certain ones can climb out of the slump that they’re in and in HMP’s case get
    some valuable actual game time minutes. Still think he can be a factor somewhere
    down the road. All the essentials are there they just have to be polished and the
    more actual game time minutes he gets the sooner we find out if he will shine.
    4) Expect us to see zone defenses, or I sure hope we do anyway, and for us to not
    act like we have never seen one and / or don’t the best and correct way to attack
    it to make them pay for playing a zone, regardless of what type it is.
    5) Expect Yogi to know what to do if & when they go to a zone defense.

  • IUMIKE1

    Yea they shoot like that against MSt on their home court. Then shoot free throws like they did against us and on the road no less. They play us and act like they don’t even really need to look at the basket to make it and then act like they’ve never been able to make one the next two games. Go figure !!

  • IUMIKE1

    Yea they shoot like that against MSt on their home court. Then shoot free throws like they did against us and on the road no less. They play us and act like they don’t even really need to look at the basket to make it and then act like they’ve never been able to make one the next two games. Go figure !!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Seems like excitement about this team is waning, can’t say I blame anyone as their offensive sets are lame. February begins their hoops gauntlet run, can’t wait for Sunday.

  • IUMIKE1

    Has nothing to do with the Penn St. game but thought this was very interesting and thought I would share for anyone interested that hadn’t seen it’

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/21598229/champ-check-six-have-inside-track-to-title

  • sloan screen #45

    Dont worry about Remy. He will be fine. For some reason he got sped up a little the last couple games but thats not been his MO he will get it figured out. We will need his D against some strong guards in the remaining schedule. He can also get to the rim and draw fouls better than anybody on the bench. I would be more worried about Will. At this point in his career he should not have the lapses he has had the last couple of games. We need him big time the rest of the way also. Hopefully Creek can give us a little offense also.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    One thing to consider is that if we did finish in a two-way tie with Wisconsin, they would own the tie breaker because they won our only matchup. We still control our own destiny in tiebreakers against the others (including MSU). So I’d rather just see Wisconsin out of the mix, if it comes down to that.

  • http://twitter.com/DrewLyon21 Drew Lyon

    I honestly wouldn’t mind Crean using this game to start Sheehey at the 3, move Vic to the 2 position and either have Hulls or Yogi off the bench. We’ve been really successful with our line-up all year but this might be a confidence boost for Sheehey and you never know, maybe at some point that sort of starting line-up might become necessary. Other than that, I’m hoping we are able to provide some valuable minutes to guys like Remy, Hollowell, and Perea. I love those guys, and want to see them get a nice confidence boost, especially in front of our home crowd. Also hope to see Creek back and Elston contribute some more!

  • Earl Scheib

    I’m with you, Drew. Start a different lineup. Shake things up. Why not? Might stimulate this squad a bit and we certainly need to galvanize ourselves before Sunday. Let’s go Hoosiers, this one should be a no brainer!

  • DeeLyle

    I think tie breakers are only used to determine seeds for the B1G tournament, not the regular season title.

  • DeeLyle

    Good post. I’m looking for similar things as well.

  • DeeLyle

    You shouldn’t be so negative. There are lots of things our team is doing right. They aren’t perfect, but every team goes through a learning process during the season. I am going to save this post for you and re-post it after the OSU game. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • DeeLyle

    You shouldn’t be so negative. There are lots of things our team is doing right. They aren’t perfect, but every team goes through a learning process during the season. I am going to save this post for you and re-post it after the OSU game. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Yeah, you’re right.

  • MillaRed

    I expect to win the ones we are supposed to win. This would be one of them.

    Love the fact Wisconsin has lost twice since Bloomington. I haven’t seen them running around talking shizz recently like they did after that game. Would love to see them in the Big Ten Tourney.

  • MillaRed

    I expect to win the ones we are supposed to win. This would be one of them.

    Love the fact Wisconsin has lost twice since Bloomington. I haven’t seen them running around talking shizz recently like they did after that game. Would love to see them in the Big Ten Tourney.

  • Ole Man

    I don’t think he was being so negative. I think he was being honest.
    We all love the Hoosiers. We just express that love in different way.s

  • Ole Man

    Be careful what you wish for. I want no part of Wisc until next year.

  • Ole Man

    We need to see a lot of Elston. His fire, energy, decent defense, etc. are sorely missing. Enough Hanner talk. He can be great next year. Give me Elston.

  • Andrew

    I want no part of Wisconsin ever.

  • Kenneth234

    There is not a true must win game this early in the conference season. Mostly because there isn’t a team that is not going to drop a few here or there, especially Michigan St, Michigan may run off a bunch of W’s in a row, but not the Spartans. But if we do win that game and gain some serious confidence back, then we got a shot of finding ourselves running our own string of W’s.

  • sloan screen #45

    I said the same thing about Wisky in last years B1G tourney. Then I got to go home early.

  • GashausGorilla

    Anyone know where we can catch the radio broadcast online? I used to
    find a country station that streamed them, but can’t find it now.

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