Found February 28, 2013 on Down with Goldy:
Unfortunately league rules say that the Gophers can't just end the season now and head to the NCAA Tournament and have to finish out their schedule, and as such they will welcome the Penn State Nittany Lions to Williams on Saturday, a game that just got much more interesting with Penn State's home win over Michigan last night.  The Nittany Lions show signs of a team coming together with several close calls leading up to this one (a 2-pt loss to Iowa, 8-pt loss at Michigan, and a 5-pt loss at Illinois) so the Gophers can't overlook this one - not that they could anyway. The Nittany Lions beat Michigan mainly on the strength of great 3-point shooting (10-20), Michigan's poor 3-point shooting (5-20), and forcing a lot of turnovers (15).  These are not things Penn State usually does well, ranking 321st in the country in 3-pt shooting (29.1%), 217th in opponent's 3-point shooting (34.5%), and 286th in forcing turnovers (18% of opp. possessions).  It sounds like a big fluke, but looking at their three games prior they've made major strides in all three of these categories, and considering the Gophers struggle defending the three and turn the ball over as if they hate it, I feel a bit concerned. Penn State plays just seven guys, and they mainly rely on two guards - D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall to supply most of the scoring with both averaging north of 15 points per game and accounting for almost exactly 50% of the team's scoring this year (50.4% to be exact).  Both guys fit the chucker mold - high shot attempts, low percentages.  Newbill is fourth in the league in FGA despite hitting just 41%, while Marshall is 7th and knocks down 39%.  Three-pointers don't get much better, with Marshall again 7th in attempts despite just a 33% success rate.  Newbill, to his credit, can't hit the three (29%) but also has about a third as many attempts as Marshall.  Newbill also has the ability to pass the ball, ranking fourth in the conference with 4.1 assists per game, and rather than settling for jumpers like Marshall mainly does, Newbill attacks the rim and can draw fouls.  Although neither is especially terrifying, either one can get hot (Marshall was 6-10 on threes vs. Michigan) and carry a team.  The complementary players all fill a specific role.  Ross Travis, who the Gophers didn't need, is a horrific shooter who shoots way too many jump shots, but is a terrific rebounder who will probably annoy you at least once in the game.  Sasa Borovnjak is your dopey foreign guy who hangs out in the lane all day but still only gets three rebounds per game.  Brandon Taylor is the designated shooter (as much as their can be one with Newbill and Marshall involved) who sits outside and shoots threes all day (second on the team in 3PA) despite only hitting 31% and being 6-7, and Nick Colella is your annoying little walk-on guard dude.  Travis, Borovnjak, and Taylor have all had semi-big games (although Taylor hasn't hit double figures since early January) but none of them should be able to do much against the Gophers. Penn State has two ways to win this game:  get crazy hot from three, which would have seemed impossible if it hadn't just happened last night, or catch the Gophers coming out flat, resting on their laurels after the big win against Indiana.  I suspect the latter rather than the former to be the biggest danger, but there are a couple factors that I think mitigate that risk.  First, Penn State is just as likely to come out flat and content after winning their first game in Big Ten play against a terrific opponent and then having to go on the road.  Second, it's senior night day!  The one game in a season when you can count on your team coming out fired up and playing with total emotion.  No chance the Gophers come out flat. I think the most likely scenario is the Gophers come out fired up and ready to play, get a bunch of easy buckets, and push Penn State around until they realize they're completely out of their element, leading to a pretty easy Gopher W. Minnesota 77, Penn State 53
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Penn State shocks #4 Michigan

It has been a tough season for the Penn State men’s basketball team, and that is a understatement. Coming into their game with Michigan the Nittany Lions had loss 14 in a row , with all those games coming in conference. Early in the season the Lions also lost their best player for the season with an injury. It looked like PSU was well on the way to their 15 straight loss with Michigan...

Video: Penn State (0-14 In Big Ten) Beats No. 4 Michigan, Fans Rush The Court

‘TCU over Kansas‘ has a contender for the most surprising result of a college basketball game in 2012-2013. Tonight, Penn State, previously 0-14 in the Big Ten, defeated No. 4 Michigan at home, 84-78. The Nittany Lions shot 10-of-20 from 3-point land, with six of those triples coming from Jermaine Marshall. As you can imagine, the fans rushed the court in epic fashion. 

PSU stuns Michigan, 84-78

Jermaine Marshall scored 25 points and Penn State upset No. 4 Michigan 84-78 on Wednesday night for its first Big Ten victory in more than a year.

Gophers end home slate against Penn State on (super) Senior Day.

All good things must come to an end, and hopefully on Saturday, that includes the home careers of Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams, Julian Welch, and Andre Ingram. We don't want to see them go. Rodney Williams soaring through air and Trevor Mbakwe's chest pounding dunks will be sorely missed. But if we do see them play another game in venerable Williams Arena, it means something...

Mitchell: PSU making 'steady progress'

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell says Penn State is making steady progress in implementing the requirements outlined by the NCAA following sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Mitchell, the independent athletics integrity monitor, also said in a statement Friday that the university is making progress in implementing recommendations from Louis Freeh following...

Penn State at Minnesota Preview

Penn State 9-18 (1-14) at Minnesota 19-9 (7-8) Where: Williams Arena; “The Barn” When: Saturday, March 2, 3:00 pm TV: BTN Penn State finally did it, and it was glorious. It took 15 tries, but who cares, that was the most fun I’ve ever had at a game. I’ve been to most Penn State basketball…

FOS TV: Chambers’ Press Conference

See the Penn State coach had to say after his Nittany Lions upset No. 4 Michigan at the BJC Wednesday night.

Penn State stuns #4 Michigan

Just when we thought this college basketball season couldn’t get any crazier, more of the unthinkable happens. Tonight’s victim: The Michigan Wolverines. The Penn State Nittany Lions shocked the college basketball world, as they took down the #4 Michigan Wolverines by a final score of 84-78. The victory marked the first time the Nittany Lions [...]

Video: Hill Combine Exclusive

Penn State defensive lineman Jordan Hill chats one on one with FOX Sports NEXT at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Michigan Moving On From PSU (w/video)

Michigan’s loss Wednesday to a Penn State team winless in conference play was a heartbreaker for the Wolverines. Still thinking about the embarrassing blowout loss at Michigan State, looking to Sunday’s rematch is of greater importance.

Grimm Happy With PSU Visit

The big offensive lineman from western Pa. checked out the Nittany Lions Saturday. Though he did not receive an offer, he felt the trip was productive.

Winning Visit for Delaware WR

Four-star prospect Chris Godwin got a positive vibe from the Penn State staff on his recent trip to University Park.

No. 4 Wolverines shocked by Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Jermaine Marshall scored 25 points and Penn State upset No. 4 Michigan 84-78 on Wednesday night for its first Big Ten win of the season. The Nittany Lions (9-18, 1-14) had lost 18 straight regular-season conference games dating to last season, but they roared back from a 15-point deficit with 10:39 left behind the energetic play of Marshall. The junior...
Nittany Lions News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.