Thursday, February 19, 2009
With my connections in extremely high places, I was able to obtain the exclusive shot above from last night's PSU-Illinois 38-33 barnburner. What a game. Just when you the teams break 20 and you think the game can't get any more exciting, they break 30! Then Penn State goes on a late run and approaches 40!!!!! James Naismith would be freaking out right now. Penn State's Talor Battle, apparently the Amare Stoudamire of 1917, led all scorers with 11. NO ONE ELSE SCORED MORE THAN 7. SEVEN!!!! Motherfucking se7en points. Unbelieveable.
As a Penn State fan and someone who's never really been a huge basketball fan in general, I really don't pay that close of attention to the men's basketball season. The women's basketball season is much different in that I pay absolutely no attention to it. Women's basketball players could play a game on 30-foot rims completely naked and I still probably wouldn't watch it. But this year, Penn State has gone back to the days of the Crispins and actually given me a reason to follow. Although they are barely over .500 in Big Ten play, they are 19-8 overall and have beaten three ranked teams on the season (Illinois was number 16 in the country coming in). That's awesome for PSU, long whatever the opposite of a hotbed is of college basketball (a coldbed? A bed made completely out of pillows?). And back when the Crispins led PSU to the tourney, I picked them to upset UNC. So did superfan Erick Wassel. We were the kings of the hall that day, until they lost to Michigan State in the next round. Didn't matter. I had a semi.
So, as I still don't follow the big picture that well, I'm thinking that with a win or two in the Big Ten tourney they might have a legit shot of making the NCAA tournament in March, allowing me to blow up my own bracket by actually picking them to pull a Pitt (make it to the Sweet 16 and get eliminated immediately thereafter). Speaking of Pitt, this year's Pitt squad might be the best yet to eventually be eliminated in the Sweet 16. Big year thusfar for college basketball in Western PA. I think Robert Morris even received a few top 25 votes as they are tearing up the NEC at 13-1 and 19-8 overall. Their lone loss in this calendar year was a respectable showing at Pitt. Sweet.
But back to some quotes from the Penn State recap.
"They found a way to win it," (Illinois coach Bruce) Weber said. "It wasn't an offensive display you would expect this time of year."
Really? It was 38-33. Are you talking about 1934? This isn't an offensive display I would expect at any time of the year. I've seen more scoring in a pickup game to 11. This is what I would call "an embarassment to high level organized basketball". You are a D-1 team. Ranked as the number 16 D-1 team in the motherfucking country. And you scored 33 points. Penn State, you are also supposed to show some semblance of ability to put the basketball into the hoop repeatedly. Yet you did not. People actually walked out of this game to watch a soccer match because they were so desperate for scoring.
It was the Illini's lowest scoring total since Jan. 6, 1947, when Minnesota won 33-31 at Huff Gym.
Wow. See, I've been making 'jokes'. With 'exaggeration'. But this, my friends, is an actual fact. This is history making a good joke. Actual data being lolzy. Getting a 'zing' in. 1947!?!?! This was so long ago that Jay-Z wasn't even born yet. While I'm glad I missed this game, it would have been nice to watch history in the entirely-too-slow making.
The Illini missed 17 of their first 20 shots, yet still managed to take a 29-20 lead with 10 minutes 21 seconds left on Demetri McCamey's three-pointer.
What a scoring explosion. They went on an 11-4 run at one point. AND IT TOOK THEM 11 MINUTES. Even worse, with 10 minutes left in the game, Penn State had 20 points. They were on pace to score 26. Total. I don't think history goes back far enough to show the last time a D-1 team from a BCS conference scored 26 points. Illinois shot 30% on the night and Penn State shot 28.3%. This is terrible. And to prove to you that I have a proper perspective...I have watched more than one high school girls basketball game in my lifetime, a sport in which the basketball appears to be made of stainless steel and the rims appear to be oppositely-charged industrial-sized magnets. The game of basketball may file for a restraining order against the Big Ten.
"On defense we hold them to  baskets, but they get 11 free throws and we have none," Weber said.
Ok, I'm a Penn State fan and I didn't watch the game and he might have a point but...maybe you held them to 13 baskets by fouling the hell out of them. Just a thought.
But...damn. No free throws in an entire game. And still only 11 for PSU. If there really wasn't that much fouling, then this has to go down as the worst shooting performance in the history of organized sports that have shooting in them. That includes archery and high school rifle teams. No free throws? Did they not drive at all? This is the number 16 team in the world. You guys can't dribble? The fact that they scored 36 in a game earlier in this season kind of shows that coach Weber may be doing something wrong.
"That's our fault, though," Weber said. "We didn't go strong to the basket."
I honestly didn't read that yet when I wrote the above. I'm such a basketball savant. Pass me the rock, motherfucker. If it's your fault, you probably shouldn't have taken that subtle shot at the refs above, though. Either that or he's trying to take the shot and avoid a fine, which is how it comes across to me. Probably a smart way to do it, actually. Whatevs.
The team's combined 71 points was the lowest in a Division I game since Monmouth beat Princeton 41-21 on Dec. 14, 2005.
Places I'm glad I wasn't at on December 14, 2005: That game.
"I kept looking at score and I didn't know what half we were in," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said. "When I looked at the scoreboard I thought, jeez, we've set this back a few years."
Yes. You have. To be exact, you set it back to 19-motherf-ing-47. DE-FENSE!!! DE-FENSE!!!
But I don't care, man. A win is a win and with Penn State basketball going against a top 25 team you take them whenever and however you can get them. You're going down, Pitt and Robert Morris...Penn State's making a run at best team in Pennsylvania, one 38-point effort at a time.