Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Big Ten Year in Review - Minnesota/Penn State

So, now that the annual Billy Packer Douchebag Extravaganza is entering its second week - and my bracket is in flames (the chalkiest tournament in recent memory, this March Madness) - I'm going to begin reviewing the Big Ten season. I'll be referring to the preview I did in December, pointing out where I was right and, more often than not, where I was wrong.

MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (9-22 overall; 3-13 conference)

I think that pretty well sums it up.

First, from the preview:
The rumors of Dan Monson's imminent demise have been greatly exaggerated over the past couple of seasons (to the point that the Star-Tribune made a "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline gaffe last March). He benefits from being the fifth-biggest game in town (Vikings, T-Wolves, Gopher football, and Gopher hockey are bigger, as are ice fishing and licking flagpoles). But this might be the season where he finally goes down. The Precious Metallic Rodents return zero seniors, and only four players with conference game experience. Vince Grier is gone, along with pretty much everyone else you ever saw in a Gopher uniform over the past season. And that team wasn't very good, either. They're replaced by a ragtag group of JUCO transfers and typically unathletic Minnesota big men. And the unathletic big men are their best asset this season. Yikes. Throw in Monson's traditional inability to win games (as in, one NCAA appearance in six years) and all indications are that this team will blow, a feeling that has been confirmed by early-season losses to Iowa State, Southern Illinois, Montana, and Marist. Ouch. This one's gonna hurt....You can't spell "Minnesota University Golden Gopher Basketball" without "STRUGGLING." 9-20, and Monson gone by February 1.
I Was Right:

Well, I was right about Monson. He was gone by the beginning of Big Ten play. And the unathletic big men were their best asset; the best Gopher all year was Spencer Tollackson (the aforementioned brother from My Name is Earl). Oh, and I hit the number of wins right on the money. Someone call Vegas.

I Was Wrong:

I was wrong to say there were no positives for this team. There were no seniors, so the experience of a Big Ten season alone should help, especially with the return of Coleman, Mackenzie, Tollackson, and Abu-Shamayla. All four of those guys showed a little promise this season. If they ever decide on a coach, they could be a little interesting next year. Also, I was apparently wrong on the number of games they would play. Not entirely certain why.

Prognosis:

Still pretty negative. The program has absolutely no continuity at the moment, and the athletic department really doesn't seem to care. They return everyone, but I don't know exactly how good that is. I would expect a little improvement next year, but 6 conference wins would be great unless Bob Knight is the next coach.

PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (11-19 overall; 2-14 conference)

The closest PSU came to stomping an opponent all season.

From the preview:
JoePa, titanium knee and all, could probably outjump anyone on this team. That being said, they're young, they had a relatively good year last season (6 conference wins, NIT appearance), and their best player returns....Geary Claxton will make or break this team. He averaged 15 last season; getting into the 19-22 PPG range could take this team over the top. Combine that with some experienced guard play (2 senior starting guards, neither of which score a whole lot) and PSU might not be too bad....There's no size on this roster. They have a couple of stiffs over 6'9" but no low post threat. Actually, outside Claxton and Jamelle Cornley, who averaged over 11 PPG last season, there's not a whole lot of scoring here. Big problem when the team that scores the most points wins the game. Oh, and Claxton broke his hand and will be out until at least the second week of December....The Claxton-less Lions already lost to Stony Brook. And then they beat St. Joe's. So who the hell knows what's going to happen? I'll say they finish about 5-11 in the conference (they have a brutal two week stretch in February where they will face tOSU and Wisky twice each). They'll drop at least two more in non-conference play. That means something like 15-14 should be about right.
I Was Right:

They had no size or scoring. And JoePa could outjump everyone.

I Was Wrong:

I completely underestimated the effect College Station apathy has on this team. I don't think Iowa fans can understand how little PSU fans care about basketball. Their spirit has been sucked dry by year after year of rebuilding projects, losses, firings, rebuilding projects, losses, firings, ad infinitum. England and Ireland haven't repeated history this often. Every coach walks into that program looking to turn it around, and every one fails to make an immediate impact, and the fans head for the exits. Ed DeChellis may soon be gone, for exactly the same reasons (Run Up The Score, if you want to chime in here on whether I'm accurate and why, I'd appreciate it).

I was right to say that Claxton was their best player, but even his Herculean performances couldn't hide the fact that this team sucked. Claxton finished with 16.9 PPG, but would have had to approach 30 to pull PSU out of its tailspin. In fact, some might argue that Claxton's return hindered the progress of this team in some way. I also failed to call the inevitable win at home over Iowa in late February, a pick so obvious a caveman could make it.

When I'm calling in a wager on Iowa-Penn State, I wonder, "Are
there demons inside this contraption controlling my thoughts?" I
don't know. My caveman mind cannot grasp these concepts.


Prognosis: I don't think Ed DeChellis is a particularly bad coach; he's just a mediocre coach in a no-win situation. He should get one more year, and I think he will. He returns a (hopefully) healthy Geary Claxton and the underrated, and very talented, Jamelle Cornley. They should be better. Then again, they can't be worse.

8 comments:

Zane said...

I LOVE your reference to Billy Packer. If his time hasn't gone already, it never will. They'll be propping him up as a cadaver and playing back his stereotypical diatribes, meaningless as always, and manually moving his head back and forth for the cameras.

Anonymous said...

[p]Led the four into the hotel shop Shi Ze night cherry cherry blue at the counter holding the night before listening to them on the [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener sale uk[/url] shop paternity Waldorf hotel . Did YOU really feel how chilly it GHD Pure iv straighteners obtained when it arrived in?moncler as being [url=http://www.officialghdstore.com]cheap ghd straighteners store au[/url] a fan, you may need to absolutely take on most of your clothes . If you haven't been active [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]cheap ghd straighteners stockists[/url] beneath a bedrock for the accomplished few years, again you will accept heard of ghd straighteners . Bang - cherry Ze legs in the air of the night lying motionless on the carpet Then the king suite echoes within [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]classic ghd straighteners stockists[/url] the piercing screams of a person so that night was almost a kind of cherry blue feeling of living in the slaughterhouse . Jacket, replica [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener uk[/url] moncler males jackets obtain a pocket of garments reflects a lighting effects line . Cooler, lighter bodyWith its enhanced external body, the [url=http://ghdhairstraighteneraustralia.webstarts.com]ghd hair straightener australia[/url] Gold traditional ghd outlet styler is cooler to touch and lighter to look after 篓C the good mixture to produce any style . If you are fortunate adequate to getmarried in Fall 2010, then start searching [url=http://ghdstraighteneraustralia.webstarts.com]ghd straightener australia[/url] for best hairstyles along owning a striking gown . 6%, [url=http://www.womenghdironssale.co.uk]ghd flat irons[/url] 1.[/p]

[url=http://keepittrill.com/online/2012/03/kony-2012-scam-stop-supporting-invisible-children/comment-page-2/?rcommentid=140837&rerror=incorrect-solution&rchash=97f5c64523ed0267b6cec94e58855d4f#commentform]Here Offer the cheap MBT shoes online with good quality 7l[/url]
[url=http://z1z9.com/vb/showthread.php?p=66649#post66649]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals shoes online with high-quality 6v[/url]
[url=http://algebralessonsonline.com/wp-content/plugins/zingiri-forum/mybb/newthread.php?fid=2]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals for men online with good quality 6z[/url]
[url=http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/09/23/what-i-bought-22-september-2010/]There Offer the discount MBT sandals for men online with high-quality 9c[/url]
[url=http://www.palace-jeux.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=454390#p454390]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals for women online with high-quality 0q[/url]

Anonymous said...

[p]Led the four into the hotel shop Shi Ze night cherry cherry blue at the counter holding the night before listening to them on the [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener sale uk[/url] shop paternity Waldorf hotel . Did YOU really feel how chilly it GHD Pure iv straighteners obtained when it arrived in?moncler as being [url=http://www.officialghdstore.com]cheap ghd straighteners store au[/url] a fan, you may need to absolutely take on most of your clothes . If you haven't been active [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]cheap ghd straighteners stockists[/url] beneath a bedrock for the accomplished few years, again you will accept heard of ghd straighteners . Bang - cherry Ze legs in the air of the night lying motionless on the carpet Then the king suite echoes within [url=http://www.icheapghdstraighteners.co.uk]classic ghd straighteners stockists[/url] the piercing screams of a person so that night was almost a kind of cherry blue feeling of living in the slaughterhouse . Jacket, replica [url=http://www.ghdstraightenershop.co.uk]ghd hair straightener uk[/url] moncler males jackets obtain a pocket of garments reflects a lighting effects line . Cooler, lighter bodyWith its enhanced external body, the [url=http://ghdhairstraighteneraustralia.webstarts.com]ghd hair straightener australia[/url] Gold traditional ghd outlet styler is cooler to touch and lighter to look after 篓C the good mixture to produce any style . If you are fortunate adequate to getmarried in Fall 2010, then start searching [url=http://ghdstraighteneraustralia.webstarts.com]ghd straightener australia[/url] for best hairstyles along owning a striking gown . 6%, [url=http://www.womenghdironssale.co.uk]ghd flat irons[/url] 1.[/p]

[url=http://garmin.hu/blog/20090623/egyes-hajoban?page=5]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals shoes online with high-quality 7j[/url]
[url=http://forums.gogocj.com/showthread.php?tid=63954&pid=138511#pid138511]There Offer the cheap MBT sandals for men online with good quality 6y[/url]
[url=http://forum.brillkids.com/announcements/welcome-our-new-forum-moderators-mela-bala-mandabplus3-and-kerileanne99%21/]Here Offer the discount MBT sandals shoes online with high-quality 4k[/url]
[url=http://www.bailiang100.com/bbs//viewthread.php?tid=1722926&extra=]Here Offer the di[/url]
[url=http://31iscream.ldblog.jp/archives/51694254.html]Here Offer the discount MBT sandals shoes online with high-quality 9d[/url]

Anonymous said...

vOlo cheap ghd
wPpt ugg sale
bIaf michael kors bags
9zXvx cheap uggs
6dKfr chi straightener
4hVdx ghd
8yTkh cheap nfl jerseys
7bTid ghd nz sale
2pEbq cheap north face
1rVoh ugg online
3nLyz ghd hair straighteners
9cKpl michael kors bags
4dMnk nfl shop canada
7vRnw ghd baratas
3pCgg cheap ugg

Anonymous said...

mZzj cheap ghd
kLap cheap ugg boots uk
cSuc michael kors outlet
9sIfz GHD Hair Straightener
9tMdu burberry store
7bEvq bottes ugg
9lRed ghd
4jJil louis vuitton handbags
5eGtj michael kors purses
3xAem ghd uk
9bXkn cheap uggs
8rStb discount nfl jerseys
6nCmt michael kors sale
3iTpx GHD Pas Cher
6sTqc cheap uggs

Anonymous said...

WrpYrw [url=http://www.outletlouisvuitton4borse.com/]Louis Vuitton Borse[/url] MyvIlh http://www.outletlouisvuitton4borse.com/

PhzPdt [url=http://www.borse4louisvuitton.com/]Vuitton Borse[/url] UbwTra http://www.borse4louisvuitton.com/

QcgYzc [url=http://www.borse2louisvuitton.com/]Louis Vuitton[/url] ZbbFwq http://www.borse2louisvuitton.com/

Anonymous said...

uenvks cheap klonopin no prescription - clonazepam online pharmacy http://www.klonopinsaleonline.com/#clonazepam-online-pharmacy , [url=http://www.klonopinsaleonline.com/#klonopin-cost ]klonopin cost [/url]

Anonymous said...

hello order lunesta - order lunesta online http://www.lunestaonlinesales.net/#order-lunesta-online , [url=http://www.lunestaonlinesales.net/#order-eszopiclone ]order eszopiclone [/url]