Ok, you're Penn State Basketball Coach Ed DeChellis and man, do you have problems.
What to do, what to do.
- Three straight losses by over 15 points -- The Hawkeyes won 77-58, then Purdue [62-47] and Indiana [75-56] beat you at home.
- Your third leading scorer, with 9.9 ppg and 3.7 assists and who had started the first 12 games is gone.
- Only one of your subs averages more than a point a game.
- Your two frosh guards are forced to play over 35 minutes a game.
- You've lost 6 of your last 7 games, and you barely won a game in OT [against NU] and you have to play NU at home Saturday.
First off, there is on bright spot in all this:
#00 Soph Forward Aaron Johnson [PSU Photo left] with his 9.3 point per game and 6.3 rebounds per game average who has been coming off the bench for the Nitanny Lions.
He's been playing 23 minutes a game and really isn't crying about playing time. DeChellis said Thursday that Johnson is going to start Saturday, but he doesn't say who he'd replace.
If I had to bet, it will be Center/Forward Robert Summers [So 6-11], averaging only 3.5 ppg, but you don't know. The Lions could elect to go big, and pull Ndu Egekeze [6-6] instead. You just don't know, and DeChellis isn't talking right now.
Then there's the saga of junior Jan Jagla, [right] the 7 foot Berlin native who has been playing "small" forward for the Lions averaging 14+ points a game with over 8 rebounds.
Jagla would like to play power forward instead of small forward.[He is the tallest guy on the team afer all] He says he understands that the coach wants him to play outside, but he'd rather play the 4 where he's more comfortable.
Since moving outside, he's numbers have dropped off -- he's averaging just under 11 ppg and 8 boards in conference games -- and we're reading talk of putting him back on the other side.
Of course there's the little problem of guarding NU's Jitim Young. Young scored 16 in the 2nd half against the Lions. Trying to neutralize Jitim is something the Lions have on their minds.
The Lions are -6 in scoring against their opposition. They also allow opponents to shoot at 42% [vs 39%]. They also have allowed their foes almost 100 points more in the first half - looks like the idea is to get ahead of them early.
The game will be on TV & Radio:
Putting them in the Purple Reign categories:
- The Big Gun - #22 Jan Jagla 14.2 ppg/10.9 in conf/, but #20 Marlin Smith is averaging 14+ ppg in the Big 10
- Deadeye Dick - #44 Ndu Egekeze hits 54+% of his FGs
- The Bomber - #20 Marlin Smith - 123 shots from the arc
- Off the Boards - #22 Jan Jagla with 8.4 boards per game
- Charity Stripe - #3 Ben Luber at 76.6%, but that "other guy" used to shot 78%
- Pickpocket - #3 Ben Luber has 33 steals
- Super Sub - #00 Aaron Johnson - but he might start so....
- Helping Hands - #3 Ben Luber is also the Assist leader with 4.2 per game
Off the Bench [Averaging more than 9-10 mins]:
- Forward: #44 Ndu Egekeze, [Sr. 6-6] 7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, #22 Jan Jagla, [Jr. 7-0] 14.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg
- Center: #21 Rob Summers, [So. 6-11] 3.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
- Guard: #3 Ben Luber, [Fr 6-0] 7.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, #20 Marlon Smith [Fr 6-0] 11.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Challenges for the Wildcats
- Forward: Aaron Johnson [So.6-9, 250] 9.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, #45 Jason McDougald [Jr 6-9]
- Center: #24 Kevin Fellows [Jr 6-10]
- Get up big at halftime
- Make them turn the ball over
- Get that shooting percentage up
- Remember this is Our House!
- ESPN2 - Dave Strader, play-by-play; Bucky Waters, analyst
- WGN Radio and the Web with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand
- And WGN on the Internet
Statistics from Penn State official site
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