FOS NCAA Notebook

Battle is a center of attention; Media focuses on the Nittany Lions; Special K living a dream; Ed and Reggie talk hoops.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Guard Talor Battle is Penn State's go-to guy on the court.

Here is Tucson, where the Nittany Lions are preparing for their first NCAA Tournament appearance in a decade, he is clearly the go-to guy for the media, as well.

Penn State faces Temple in a second-round game at McKale Center Thursday morning. Wednesday was the last day of pre-game press conferences for the showdown. Battle, State's all-time leading scorer, was surrounded by reporters throughout the open-locker room session.

This came much to the amusement of some teammates.

“It's pretty funny to me,” senior forward David Jackson said. “Better him than me. They bother him and he has to worry about.”

Added senior forward Steve Kirkpatrick: “Don't worry, we give him crap about it. He loves the attention, I think he thrives on that.”

The minute the locker room opened, Battle was immediately surrounded. Senior Jeff Brooks, long a favorite of the PSU beat, was in the back of the room by himself.

“Generally, they go to him, then they all come to me,” Brooks said. “I'm happy you came over. One down, 30 to go.”

While teammates might make fun of the attention Battle receives, to a man they understand why he gets it.

“When you hit as many buzzer-beaters as he has and come up big in big games -- I think he deserves the attention,” Kirkpatrick said.

“Talor is very good and deserves all the attention he is getting,” Jackson added.


Speaking of the media, the Lions seem to be enjoying the added exposure the entire team is getting here in Tucson.

At a typical Penn State press conference during the season, there might be half a dozen reporters on hand. Here there are significantly more than that.

“It's a little bit different, but that's good because you get a chance to get some exposure for the program,” Jackson said. “People want to know about us, you get a chance to talk to people. It's a fun experience and I'm enjoying it.”

Added guard Tim Frazier: “It's a great experience, it's awesome. You see all the media guys and all the questions, it shows you are better. We finally made it in (to NCAAs). If we keep winning, more media will be here.”


Nobody appears to be enjoying himself here more than Kirkpatrick. Though he could have played more a smaller school, the deep reserve and walk-on said he is thrilled to be part of a team that has made it this far.

“It is awesome,” Kirkpatrick said. “We remembered sitting there, the feeling we had, when we didn't make NCAAs (in 2009). Now we're here. Flying out to Tucson on a school week, hanging out for a couple of days and getting ready to play is the most fun there could possibly be.

“Penn State, I came because the academics were just as good as the athletics -- all of that -- and they've treated me very well. This is what makes it all worthwhile, to have this opportunity. As a kid, you watch the NCAA Tournament, and you're like, man, I really want to play in that some day. And here we are.”


• How important was the “practice" at McKale Center Wednesday? DeChellis spent much of the session talking to the CBS announcing crew of Dan Bonner and Reggie Miller.

• Temple center Lavoy Allen is a Philadelphia native. When asked if Penn State recruited him and if he ever heard other players from Philly talking about PSU, he said: “Yeah, Penn State was one of the first schools to recruit me. No, I haven't heard much about them from other Philadelphia guys.”

DeChellis and the TV folks.

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