Sunday, January 3, 2010

Penn State Pre-Game Analysis

Opening Thoughts: Coming off that impressive win, it’s hard not to be excited about this team. Up next for them are the Nittany Lions of Penn State in Happy Valley.

What the Expert Nerds Say:

Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #15 and PSU #121. He makes Wisconsin a 6-point favorite.

Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #6 and PSU #82. He predicts a 65-58 Badger victory in 59 possessions and gives the Badgers an 80% chance of winning.

Penn State Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’0” JR Talor Battle (19.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 50.5% 2PT)
*G – 6’5” SO Chris Babb (7.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 82% FT)
*F – 6’7” JR David Jackson (8.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 52% 2PT, 42% 3PT, 80% FT)
*F – 6’8” JR Jeff Brooks (8.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, 55% 2PT)
*F – 6’10” JR Andrew Jones (7.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 52% 2PT)
G – 6’1” FR Tim Frazier (7.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 42% 3PT)
F – 6’6” FR Bill Edwards (7.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG)
G – 6’5” SO Cammeron Woodyard (2.2 PPG)

This season they have played at a pace of 65 possessions per game. They play a variety of defenses, not specializing in any.

They have lost key players Jamelle Cornley, Stanley Pringle, and Danny Morrissey to graduation.

Key Player:

Talor Battle – He’s the most aggressive offensive player, taking 30% of the shots when he’s on the court. His offensive rating is a great 109.5. He shoots 51% from 2, doesn’t turn the ball over (13.4%), gets to the line a bunch (4 FTAs to 10 FGAs), and is a great rebounder, especially for a point guard (16% defensive).

What Penn State is really good at:

1. Defensive Rebounding. PSU is 11th in the nation at it, grabbing 75.7%. Wisconsin is #1.

2. Not sending opponents to the line. They are 10th in the nation at keeping opponents away from the line, with opponents taking 1 free throw for every 4 shot attempts.

3. Pump Faking. Only 7.5% of their 2-point attempts are blocked, good for 84th.

4. Taking Care of the Ball. They are 36th in the nation with a rate of 17.7%. They are also 29th at not getting the ball stolen from themselves.

5. Defending the paint. The Lions are 60th in the nation, holding their opponents to 43.5%

What Penn State is really bad at:

1. Defending threes. PSU gives up 35.9% from deep, good for 235th.

2. Forcing turnovers. They are 298th in forcing TO’s at 18.1%, and 302nd in steals at 7.7%.

Relative efficiency:

When PSU has the ball: PSU has scored a good 1.08 PPP in their first 13 games, while UW has given up a great 0.91 in their first 13.

When UW has the ball: PSU gave up a good 0.94 in their first 13 games, while UW has scored a great 1.16 in their first 13.

Pace: PSU has played at 65 possessions per game so far in their first 13 games compared to UW’s 63 in their first 13 games.

My expectations:

1. Battle doesn’t reach 17. Hughes has always been able to bully him into a bad game.

2. Leuer scores more than 19. Leuer is a dominant force in the paint.

3. Badgers attempt more than 15 free throws. Wisconsin gets to the line a lot and PSU doesn’t send their opponents to the line. Something’s gotta give.

4. Jason Bohannon lights up PSU, making more than 2 threes. Just cuz.

My Prediction:
The Badgers win their 6th straight, beating the kittens 69-58 in 62 possessions.

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