Talk About “S**tting The Bed”

December 6, 2008

basketballkid

How best to describe the Fighting DeChellises’ inexplicable letdown against Temple? As Dr. Cosby himself would put it, it was a bunch of filth, flarn, flarn, filth.

I should’ve known better than to have faith in this team being able to turn the corner coming off of a big road win. This one falls on ED as well as the players for coming into this game unprepared and out of sync in front of a crowd expecting big things. If you think these type of craptastic performances are going to go away when the Big Ten slate hits us, then I’ve got Eskimo villages in New York City to sell to you…

There’s barely a semblance of an inside game, particularly on the defensive end, and the backcourt becomes a hell of a lot weaker without Stanley Pringle in there.  Danny Morrissey is a streaky shooter whose performance depends on how many wide open looks he get, and tonight he got zero because Temple’s strategy involved locking down on him and rendering him useless.

This brings me to my next question, why is ED so reluctant to go to his bench when the situation is dire?  Could Woodyard and Babb done any worse out there?  If he’s actually relying on a 7-man rotation to carry him through the season then we’re in deeper shit than initially thought.

Garbage like this has become an all-too-familiar sight under ED and today’s game was yet another painful, glaring, piece of evidence as to why he’s not the man to take PSU basketball to the next level.


Do You Have Any TP???

February 12, 2008

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I realize I have yet to say anything about the Terrelle Pryor situation.  Really, that’s because there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been regurgitated over and over again.  It’s pretty much down to us and Ohio State at this point and one can only hope that Tom Bradley and (*gasp*) JayPa’s going over the top (Stallone-style) in terms of pursuing TP will make the difference whenever a final decision is made.

In other news…

  • Did anyone happen to catch the Clemson-UNC game Sunday Night?  Unfortunately, my shitty cable system doesn’t get FSN so I was forced to follow via ESPN.com’s GameTracker.  Talk about a heartbreaker though, Clemson was winless in Chapel Hill in 52 tries and looked to be well on their way to finally breaking their futility streak, leading a depleted, point guard-less UNC team by double digits for practically the entire game…Until the bottom fell out in the final few minutes of regulation and UNC rallied like mad to ultimately win in 2 OTs.  This now the second time this season that Clemson has lost to UNC when they seemingly had the victory in hand, two losses that come Selection Sunday, could bite them in the ass.  There’s a million different analogies you can use to describe such heartache, so use your imagination wisely…
  • While I’m still on the subject of college hoops, ESPN’s Pat Forde has a “coaches on the hot seat” section in his latest column but a certain head coach isn’t listed on it.  Perhaps, they didn’t get the memo that PSU is back to its usual ways of losing to crappy teams on the road that they should be beating?
  • Maryland and Virginia primaries are being voted on right now, and my fingers are crossed in hopes that Barack Obama will continue to build off the February momentum he’s managed to gain, he’s got the better chance at knocking off John McCain come November than the ultra-polarizing Billary ever would.

This Just In…

February 9, 2008

PSU still can’t beat Michigan in a sport that matters and Chris Bell and Phil Taylor don’t want to go to class

More news whenever I’m a less than pissed off enough to take a leak on the Lasch Building.


“The Contest” @ Purdue

February 5, 2008

Well, the Fighting DeChellises are about to tip-off at Purdue in hopes of faring better than the 22-point clusterfuck of a loss suffered at the BJC a couple of weeks ago.

The big question of course, is: How will this team respond after pulling off the biggest win of the season Saturday night against Michigan State? If you’re thinking along the lines of Rants From The District, not too well because he is picking Purdue to cover the spread as 11-point favorites.

I, on the other hand, have a feeling that PSU will beat the spread and also hang tough with the Boilermakers for most of the game before faltering in the final 5 minutes of the game…Although the last time I made such a prediction it shot “clue goo” right back in my face.

Is that a “raging clue” HHV has? Or is he still excited over last Saturday night’s upset?

RFTD and I remain tied at 7-4 but that is obviously bound to change after tonight. The only question of course, is who will emerge on top…


“Target 9+1”

January 29, 2008

In case you don’t know already, PSU’s athletic department is trying to initiate a cause called “Target Ten” in which the goal is for 10,000 student tickets to be sold for tonight’s nationally televised game (7 PM ET, ESPN) against Ohio State.  If this goal is met, then the proceeds will all go to THON.

Sadly, the basketball program is so dismal right now that the Big Ten Network has had to bail our asses out by purchasing 1,000 tickets.

As for the game itself: We’re a 7-point underdog tonight, and given how fucking terrible we’ve been playing lately, that’s a pretty generous line. We’ve put up less than 50 points in two of our last three contests and Ed DeChellis has gotten so desperate, he’s now resorted to starting Stanley Pringle along with Talor Battle to go along with Danny Morrissey in a 3-guard lineup. Meanwhile SENIOR GUARD Mike Walker continues to get sporadic minutes and gets pulled the moment he makes one mistake, no wonder he didn’t take a fucking shot in 14 minutes of play. And even though I didn’t watch the game, I find it hard to believe he didn’t have a couple of open looks during his playing time.

Do I even want to go into details about how dismal rebounding has been? Cornley’s not 100%, the knee injury that sidelined him for most of November is flaring up again and nobody has really stepped up to fill the void. Sure, DJ Jackson and Andrew Jones might pitch in a little, but it hasn’t been nearly enough to prevent a sharp decline.

As to how Ohio State will attack us, pick your poison: Do you want Kosta Koufos and Othello Hunter killing you inside, or would you rather suffer a “barrage of threes” from David Lighty, Jamar Butler, or Jon Deibler? Either way, I see this thing getting rather ugly tonight given our lack of “D” lately.

Anyway, I’m taking OSU to cover the spread and I’m sure Rants From The District will end up doing so as well…If he gets his pick to me in time. Here are the current standings in our “Contest”

HHV 6-3

RFTD 6-3

As you can see, my attempt to make things interesting by going against common sense and picking PSU to beat the spread at Iowa just for the sake of differing from my competition was another prime example of “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.”


Here Comes That Awful Feeling Again…

January 26, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

No need to go into details about the abortion that was Wednesday Night’s basketball game against Purdue. It was dispicable on all levels to say the least and it reminded me all too much of the shellackings from middle-of-the-pack Big Ten teams we used to take on a regular basis during the final years of the Jerry Dunn era.

I’m done defending Ed DeChellis, the guy is no doubt a great guy and a great ambassador for PSU who loves his alma mater dearly, but unfortunately that hasn’t meant much as far as results on the court. While I feel the talent has been upgraded from the end of the JD era, the coaching still seems all too familiar from a crap-tastic standpoint. How many more times do we have to see a half-court offense that looks like it’s being run by a bunch of pickup players that just met five minutes ago? How many more times to we have to see quirky substitution patterns? (i.e. Mike Walker getting benched after one dumb mistake but Talor Battle gets kept in the game for as long as he wants, no matter how erratic he gets at times). How many more times to do we have to see a lack of fire/urgency in the the coaching staff and the players?  There is no excuse for any of this garbage continuing in Year 5, even with Geary Claxton gone.

Worst of all, how many more times do I have to hear one of our players complain that they’re “not having fun” out there? It feels like deja vu all over again…This program has hit a brick wall and with the lack of commitments from the current recruiting class I can only see things sliding backwards from here.

Iit’s time for Tim Curley to swallow his pride, admit the safe, “in the family” hire didn’t work, and shell out the cash for a known coach with a pedigree for winning, recruiting, and getting the most out of his players. This program needs a shot in the arm like nobody’s business…


Did Geary Claxton Just Tear His F**king ACL?

January 16, 2008

I’ve come to the rash conclusion that Penn State basketball is cursed: We go from winning back-to-back road games and playing with a level of confidence not seen in years, to blowing a 16-point second half lead at home in front of a larger-than-normal crowd, and then seeing one of the best players in PSU hoops history end his career prematurely in an uninspired blowout loss at home. It’s an absolute roundhouse kick to the face for long-time fans such as myself.

I’ll never forget a few years ago, when I saw Geary break out as a freshman in the Big Ten. The alley-oop dunk he threw down against Michigan at the BJC will forever be entrenched in my mind as it marked the first time since the magical Sweet 16 run of the Joe Crispin days that we had seen a PSU team successfully execute such a play. The guy was an athletic specimen the likes of which had not been seen in a long time: He was only 6’5″ but very quick and had pogo sticks for feet to go along with his freakishly long wingspan. That wingspan allowed him to block shots of guys several inches taller than him and more importantly, to out-rebound them. When Jamelle Cornley arrived the following year, the two immediately clicked together on the court as an undersized, but bruising frontcourt. Geary was (and still is) a rather quiet guy when it came to getting pumped and firing up his teammates but that’s where Jamelle came into the picture, he was the yin to Geary’s yang, the more vocal of the bunch.

A picture that will always be ingrained in my mind…

We all knew this was going to come to an end someday, we just didn’t expect it to happen this soon, this way. Our dream scenario consisted of someday seeing Claxton and Cornley as upperclassmen, with the proper supporting cast in place, leading PSU to the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately, that dream will never come into fruition and it almost makes me want to cry because a guy like Claxton certainly deserved a happy ending to his career here at PSU because he easily could have spurned us for an established program. You see: Geary was from Connecticut and as a senior in high school, UConn offered him a scholarship provided that he attend one year of prep school.

Think about it for a second: If Jim Calhoun offered you a basketball scholarship at a storied program like UConn, most of you would probably be willing to do whatever he tells you to do in order to get the schollie. Geary however, was not one of those types, the kid wanted to play college ball sooner rather than later, and with Ed DeChellis desperately searching for replacement scholarship players after driving out several of Jerry Dunn’s dead wood during his first year, he found himself the recipient of a scholarship to play immediately at PSU and to help start a new winning tradition. While the latter part didn’t occur, Geary will likely be forever grateful that somebody out there believed in him that much. And we, the fans, will be forever grateful as well for choosing to believe in us when he had barely any reason to do so himself.

This injury also creates a few compelling storylines for the rest of the year:

  1. Will this team continue to scrap and give it their all every game, fighting and clawing their way towards what are now very grim-looking postseason prospects? Or will they tumble down the rabbit hole like they did last year during their 13-game losing skid?
  2. How will the key bench players (Brooks, DJ, Jones, Pringle) respond? Can they step up to help fill the statistical crater left behind by their fallen comrade?
  3. Ed DeChellis: Does Tim Curley cut him a break at season’s end if the team does in fact, slip-slide towards another dismal finish?