Even though Penn State lost a close one to Va. Tech, I think they played some of their best ball of the season. Talor Battle scored 32 points which was good. He missed his chance at points 33 and 34 at the end of the game in an attempt to tie at the buzzer. But in addition to that, this game was the most physical the Lions have been all season. For the first time, players did not seem to shy away from contact, and they were much more aggressive going after rebounds. Andrew Ott, who is a gigantic post presence, seems to enjoy just standing still and he seems to have no idea what he is doing. However today Andrew Ott was physical and landed himself 6 rebounds, and deflected a pass.
There are a lot of things to criticize on the team this year and expectations for this team are not very high. But I think playing this well against a solid ACC opponent looks good for the Lions moving forward despite the 66-64 loss. DJ Jackson had another great night scoring 12 points and having 7 boards.
Penn State still is having trouble shooting. They shot just 22 of 65 tonight and free throws continue to be a killer as they hit 13 of 22.
But once again, it was nice to see an up tempo more physical game. It was by far the most aggressive Penn State has been all season.
** As an added note, the 11,237 fans on hand was the largest crowd for a non-conference game in five years.
-Mark Elliot Wishnia