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Monday, November 30, 2009

Penn State vs UVA Live Blog

Penn State takes a 4-2 record into the first game of the BigTen ACC Challenge. Penn State goes on the road to UVA. We will be blogging live below:

Final stats. - click to enlarge

Final Penn State wins 69-66 Holy Moly! Penn State sure gave everyone a scare down the stretch. UVA started fouling early and it worked. Penn State was out of rhythm. They took fouls when they shouldn't have, they didn't foul when they should have. Battle missed some clutch free throws with under a minute left. But in the end, Penn State was victorious. A big factor in this game was UVA star Sylven Landesberg. He came into the game shooting roughly 85% from the free throw line. Tonight he was 4 of 8. Another 4 free throws and UVA wins by one. But a big part of this game was simply hot and cold. In terms of type of shots and defense, both teams were pretty consistent throughout the entire game. But UVA was hitting everything in the first half and nothing in the second half. Penn State hit nothing in the first half and everything in the second half. But it was smart coaching by UVA and sloppy play by Penn State in the last three and a half minutes that made this game close. Talor Battle finished with a career high 32 points. Penn State has now won 3 straight in the Bigten ACC challenge and for this year puts the score at 1-0 in favor of the BigTen. Click the thumbnail above for more detailed final stats. (MEW)

:44.6 Penn State leads 62-59 Battle after wasting some time hit 2 clutch threes from the line but UVA looks like they can shoot again as they answered with a big three. This is anybody's game now. (MEW)

1:15 Penn State leads 60-56 UVA chose to foul starting with just under 3 to play and it has worked fabulously. The clock has been stopping, Penn State has been sloppy, they have been missing at the line and they have made very stupid decisions. This is now a 4 point game. (MEW)

3:28 Penn State leads 55-43 Battle is hitting some clutch threes, and he now has 23 points on the night. Penn State took a lead by good ball movement and getting people open down low for very easy shots including the dunks stated earlier. Penn State is now being forced into more outside shots and fortunately for them, Battle is hot. Defensively Penn State is still scrambling around but UVA is still fairly cold. With just under three and a half to play, Penn State should be able to hold on if the game continues like this. With a win, Penn State could be the first to win three straight games in the BigTen ACC challenge. (MEW)

7:12 Penn State leads 49-41 The Penn State defense is still lacking and for a little bit, it looked like UVA was coming back until Battle hit a 3 to re-jump start the offense. Battle all of a sudden has 17 points. UVA is hanging in there though and the fact that Penn State is all of a sudden hitting shots is a huge plus. UVA looks like they may be finding their groove again so Penn State needs to step up the defensive play and needs to make sure not to fall cold on the offensive end. (MEW)

11:45 Penn State leads 44-34 UVA has lost their touch. They are not hitting anything. It would be unfair to even attribute it to a great Penn State defense. They do look better but UVA has had open looks that they couldn't miss in the first half but here in the second half they can't make it. Penn State on the other hand is hitting more shots. Talor Battle has a hot hand. Passing is great and Penn State has 3 slam dunks so far in the half. It took 20 minutes, but Penn State has finally come to play. They need to keep the energy level up. (MEW)

14:00 Penn State leads 36-31 Penn State has opened the half on a 15-4 run. Now it is Penn State that is hitting everything and UVA is beginning to miss. Penn State is also moving the ball around much better and it has allowed for easy baskets including an Andrew Jones authoritative slam. Defense has tightened up as well for Penn State but it is important to keep this going. Penn State finally appears to have life. (MEW)

16:34 Penn State leads 30-29 Penn State looks a little bit better and little bit faster to start this half. Penn State even forced UVA to do something they couldn't do in the first half... miss a shot. Tim Frazier picked up a steal and a bucket early. (MEW)

Half time stats. - click to enlarge

Halftime UVA leads 27-21 The fact that this game is only 6 points at the half is nothing short of miraculous. Penn State looks bad. They have made a couple of plays defensively, blocking shots and getting some steals and just overall getting into the passing lanes. But UVA doesn't look like they can miss a shot even if they tried. Penn State finished the half with 5 fouls. That number should be higher. Penn State should be more physical defensively, try and maybe get away with some contact, and force UVA to hit from the line if necessary. There was more room for error and Penn State should have used it. Jeff Brooks leads the Nittany Lions with 5 points. The defense can be lived with right now, but if Penn State doesn't start to hit shots, they don't stand a chance in this game. It is easy to nit-pick at the defense but the bottom line is, Penn State can't generate anything offensively and UVA deserves a lot of credit for their defense. Penn State has only been to the line twice and they are shooting 2 of 3. Penn State needs to be at the line a lot more and when they do get there, hitting those shots are a must. Penn State offensively has not had many opportunities at all offensively but they haven't had zero opportunities. They must take advantage of all opportunities in order to win this game. We will see what the second half has in store. Click the thumbnail above for full half time stats. (MEW)

3:15 UVA leads 23-17 The UVA defense is fantastic right now and Penn State is not getting many open looks. The open looks they are getting, they are not hitting. They are getting set up for failure. Play overall has gotten a little bit lazy for Penn State. The defense needs to tighten up again and they really need to start hitting shots if they want any chance of winning this game. David Jackson so far has 5 rebounds on the day. Not too shabby. (MEW)

7:18 UVA leads 20-13 Penn State continues to struggle offensively as the UVA defense is strong. Penn State is being forced into tough shots from both short and long range and they are not hitting anything. Meanwhile, defensively Penn State is losing it a little bit. They are not being physical enough. Penn State right now needs better communication defensively and much quicker transition and ball movement offensively. More physicality is needed on both sides of the ball. (MEW)

11:59 UVA leads 11-9 Jeff Brooks has impressed early! He has a steal, 2 blocks, and 2 rebounds. Penn State has not looked good from behind the arc, however Jeff Brooks is 1-1 from three point land. Brooks also just drove inside and drew a foul and he will head to the line. Good defense by Penn State. If they keep this up and start hitting some shots, it will be smooth sailing for them. (MEW)

15:31: UVA leading 9-4 Penn State defensively looks pretty good early keeping UVA to long range shots, and there was even a steal by Jeff Brooks who also has a rebound in the game. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, UVA is shooting well. Offensively Penn State is looking to be a little more physical inside then we are used to. A lot of times we see a shot, and Penn State immediately goes back on defense whether the shot goes in or not. Not the case today and DJ Jackson coming off a career game, got the first points off a board for the Lions. (MEW)

20:00 Ed DeChelis addressed his team before the game. ESPN2 was nice enough to share it with us: "You gotta play hard! Harder than the other team. When you come off the bench, you have to give us something!"

Inspirational huh?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Heading into Tougher Stretch, Nittany Lions sit at 4-2

Ok, so after 6 non-conference games Penn State is 4-2. Usually, this would be a good thing. This season, not so much, especially since the losses came to two poor teams. But let's remember there are NO seniors on this Nittany Lion team. Three key contributors, including the team's best player from last season, are gone. With the early season struggles of Andrew Jones and Chris Babb, Penn State is basically playing with 3 guys who received significant playing time last season - Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, and D.J. Jackson.

The season is far from over, especially considering a young team should continue to improve as the season goes on. With Big Ten play not starting until the last week in December, there is still a good chance Penn State reaches the NCAA Tournament.

But is the focus really on this season? If you are looking for stats and strategy, there is no reason to continue reading this post. I'm not going to explain how shooting under 30% from the floor for a majority of the UNC-Wilmington game affects this team. I'm not detailing the struggles of Chris Babb from beyond the arc. But, when you look at this team as a whole, the potential is there to compete for a Big Ten season.

Let's start inside with the big men...

First, C/F Andrew Jones has been terrible this season. There's no other way to look at it. I'm sure Jones and head coach Ed DeChellis would agree too. Jones showed in last season's NIT Tournament how good he can be. Not only did he show off his defense, playing great inside against Notre Dame's NBA-bound big man Luke Harangody, Jones proved to be a scoring threat as well. That's why his play has been so disappointing. The potential to become a complete, dual-threat post player is there. Jones has the ability to do what Jamelle Cornley did last year inside the paint and more. If he can improve over the course of this season, imagine the potential of a three-man rotation inside consisting of Jones, Brooks and Borovnjak. Jeff Brooks has been a consistent offensive and defensive threat for Penn State and Sasa Borovnjak has exceeded expectations with his hustle, size and athletic ability.

Now let's look at junior D.J. Jackson and freshman Bill Edwards. Jackson might have the most potential of any Nittany Lion. The defense has always been there, but was last night finally a sign of what so many people have been expecting from Jackson at the other end of the floor? His NIT performance against Florida and Notre Dame, plus 26 points last night is hard to dispute. Jackson has all the ability. Edwards is very similar, except he comes to Penn State needing to improve on the defensive end. DeChellis said Edwards was one of the best players in camp. Now just two games after returning from a MCL injury, we can all see why.

Next up, the two men who run the offense, junior Talor Battle and freshman Tim Frazier. Battle can't do it by himself, although he is good enough to win once and awhile without much help. Everyone knows all about the perennial player of the year nominee, but how about Frazier. Chris Babb was expected to start at the 2 guard, but instead the freshman, Frazier, is picking up extra minutes. Frazier, when he slows down and plays his game, has shown an incredible ability to distribute the rock. His speed should allow him to play a lot like Stanley Pringle did at the 2 last season. By this time next year, Frazier could be as good as Pringle last season. Plus, he's only a freshman, so there is a lot of time to improve on offense.

However, the guards need help. It all starts with Babb. His shooting and defense have been subpar at best. That's not a good sign for Babb, who figured to be the team's best outside shooter coming into the 09-10 season. If Penn State plans to compete this season, they need Babb and Cam Woodyard to step up. Adam Highberger is a nice player, but he's not ready for the spotlight.

The best part, all of these guys are back next season. Plus, Penn State adds Taran Buie. When the Nittany Lions struggle shooting this season, or when they fail to rebound inside don't get too upset. These are all simply growing pains. The goal of this season is to improve. But next year is the year for these Nittany Lions.

- Brian Tripp

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Live Blog: Penn State vs Sacred Heart

Ryan Staloff summed it all up below. But in a nutshell, Penn State has been struggling as they went 1-2 in the Charleston Classic losing to teams they really should not have lost to. Penn State is traveling back home to take on Sacred Heart in another game the Nittany Lions should win. The game is on the Big Ten Network at 6pm ET and we will be doing a live blog right here on the Comradio Hoops Blog.

-Mark Elliot Wishnia

Click the thumbnail below to see the final score and stats.

Monday, November 23, 2009

After Five Games, Penn State Needs Big Help

If Ed DeChellis, Talor Battle, and the rest of the Penn State Nittany Lion basketball team was trying to put last year's NIT championship season in the past, than they are doing a pretty good job.

After losing consecutive games to UNC Wilmington and Tulane, this year's squad is developing a whole new identity, one that is quite different from the NIT Championship squad of a year ago.

Without Jamelle Cornley’s toughness, Pringle’s defense, and Danny Morrisey’s resilience, this year’s squad has turned into a one man show.

Battle is once again leading the team in scoring, but not in the way that fans have hoped. The junior point guard is forcing shots at an alarming pace. Unable to get consistent contributions from his teammates, Battle is heaving an excessive 15.6 shots per game, of which he is shooting an abysmal 35%.

Last season, Battle had the luxury of playing with the aforementioned seniors. Due to graduation, huge holes were left in the Nittany Lion squad this off-season, which still have yet to be filled.

Jeff Brooks has stepped up in a considerable way, averaging a career best 11.6 points per game, but no one has matched the low post presence and leadership Cornley brought to the court every night.

DeChellis challenged center Andrew Jones to lead the conference in rebounding, a feat at which he has failed miserably thus far. In the two Charleston Classic losses, Jones shot just 3 of 16 from the field, and was benched in the 80-69 loss to UNC Wilmington.

Chris Babb showed flashes of brilliance from the three point line, shooting 5 of 9 from long distance in the 80-61 victory over Robert Morris, but has struggled mightily in every other game so far, shooting just 17% in those games.

Bottom line, Penn State needs another player to contribute on a nightly basis if the team has any chance at a successful season. D.J Jackson, Jones, Brooks, Babb, and freshman guard Tim Frazier all have the ability to post double digit scoring nights, but none have shown they can provide a consistent low post presence.

Highly touted freshman forward Bill Edwards is back after missing time with a partially torn MCL, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds in limited action in his debut against Davidson. A healthy Edwards could be the low post presence this team desperately needs.

-Ryan Staloff

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lions Lose Tourny Opener

Penn State suffered its first loss of the season 80-69 to UNC Wilmington. The Seahawks were just 7-21 last season, but shot over 60% from beyond the arc to knock off the defending NIT Champions. Talor Battle scored 29 points, but Penn State shot just 32.2% from the floor in the loss. Check back for more news and analysis throughout the weekend.

Live Blog - Penn State vs. UNC Wilmington 11/19

5:53 - Frazier fueled that 8-0 run. Great play from the freshman. Complete postgame breakdown on ComRadio from 8-9 on Lion Country. Visit and click on the headphones to listen live.

5:47 - The defense is trying to bring PSU back. How about all these fouls on UNC-W? That could be a key down the stretch. Frazier is quick! Penn State is going need to make foul often have we said that over the past couple of years?

5:35 - Penn State looks very frustrated. DeChellis needs to make a switch and get some fresh guys off the bench. The freshman are talented, but let's see some experience on the floor. The Nittany Lions are really struggling on defense right now.

5:30 - Penn State just can't seem to get it going on offense. Battle is trying to will this team to victory, but he can only do so much. Jones, Babb, and Frazier have been non-factors against a team that was 7-21 last season. Brooks and Jackson have shown flashes, but still no consistency. Still, UNC-W is impressive on offense. They are hitting EVERYTHING. Give these guys some credit. Tomko AGAIN! (BT)

4:53 - Interesting final possession by Penn State going into the half. Can't remember the last time Talor Battle didn't take the last shot to beat the buzzer. For the second half, I am going to keep a close eye on Andrew Jones. He has only two points so far today, and was a non-factor in each of the first two games. He is going to be key in determining how far Penn State goes this season. (RS)

4:51 - FG Percentage Comparison 61.5% - 36.7%; That is why Penn State is losing at halftime. Also, give some credit to the UNC-W defense. (BT)

4:34 - Do you remember how Penn State started the 2nd half the other night? Incredible shooting so far for UNC-Wilmington. Probably won't last all 40 minutes. You have to like the way Battle is attacking the basket and drawing contact. A lot of fouls on UNC-Wilmington, but foul shots are key!

3:30 - Penn State reminds me a lot of Villanova: undersized but skilled, with a lot of guys who can shoot the three. The big problem for PSU is playing undersized in a conference like the Big Ten. They’ll need to get a lot of contributions from the bigger guys like Brooks, Jackson, and Jones. I had a lot of doubts about them after the Penn game, but the second half of the Robert Morris game showed that this team has tremendous potential. That 20-4 run to start the second half was very impressive. Even with Battle being out of sync, they were able to ride four straight threes by Babb, which opened up the inside and allowed Jones and Brooks a lot of opportunities down low. (D. Smith)

2:14 - I'm looking for Jeff Brooks to continue his strong play today. Brooks has been agressive on the boards and his jump shot has improved tremendously. It should make for another Nittany Lion win today. They need to win at least 2 games in this tournament! (Posted by: BT)

Penn State is getting set to open up the Charleston Classic. Check back for live updates during the game!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nittany Lions Head South

After 2 straight home wins to start the 2009 season, Penn State will head to Charleston, South Carolina, protecting a seven game winning streak dating back to last year's NIT Championship run. The Charleston Classic tips off Thursday with the Nittany Lions taking on UNC Wilmington at 4 p.m. Check back for updates throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Welcome to the ComRadio Basketball Pregame Show blog. Please be patient as we upload our content from the start of the 2009-2010 season. We hope you continue to follow us each week as we provide previews and recaps for every game. Also, we will be posting interviews and features conducted in the days leading up to our next broadcast. For more information on ComRadio please visit or email