The Palestra is an institution of college basketball. Some call it “The Catherdral of College Basketball” even. While this is home court for a different team on every other day, the P at center-court might as well have stood for “Penn State” today. Listening to the sounds and looking at the stands today this was a “road home” game for the Nittany Lions as they beat the Spartans 72-63. Let’s break down some good and bad for this game.
1. Big Puddin’ is the Wind Beneath Our Wings
You know that scene when Ferris saves Cameron from the pool? Cameron looks at him and says:
That is basically me today. Drowning in a pool of bad possessions and needless turnovers Nick Ward dove into the pool and pulled me up. He was running the floor, blocking shots all over the place. He should have 2 more points if the refs knew what goaltending was. Ward is playing like he wants to get another Freshman of the Week award and the leader of this team. He and Bridges have the talent to be one hell of a front court duo, but...
2. Someone Get Bridges A Map
Miles Bridges was lost all game. It honestly reminded me of that stretch of the Kentucky game when he tried to put the team on his back and played too fast for his own good. Or the Duke game when he tried to put the team on his back and played too fast for his own good. Or the Arizona game when he tried to put the team on his back and played too fast for his own good. Or the...
Look, I know he needs to get some time to get back to the speed of the game but he was not the same Bridges he CAN be. That being said, the dude is crazy athletic and can still do things like this:
He is going to make me shake my head in awe and disgust all season, isn’t he?
3. The Big Ten is Wonky This Year
Is the Big Ten the best conference in the nation this year? No. Is there any singular team that is going to run away from the conference? No. Can basically anyone but Rutgers make a run and rattle off some wins? Yes.
This is what Big Ten ball is like. String together some good wins, lose an ugly one. Fire back with some home stands and get some bad bounces on the road. 3-1 is a good start to the year, but this team needs to keep working. The Spartans are talented enough to be able to win 10 conference games but they need to get some discipline and need it quick. Take a deep breath, there is a lot of basketball to play.
BONUS: Dan Dakich is something else, isn’t he? Dude was ragging on Tum Tum all game. Even as Nairn was driving and making baskets. Just a solid smh moment for me today.