Different Kind of Whiteout

Due to a heavy snowstorm that pelted the region, classes were canceled at Penn State Wednesday. But for the Nittany Lion basketball team, the show must go on, and the PSU athletic department is taking a creative approach to ensure that students show up for a key game at the Jordan Center Wednesday night.

The “show,” in this instance, is Penn State's first nationally televised game of the season, against No. 2 Ohio State. It tips just after 7 p.m. and will be shown live on ESPN.

Because of the snowy weather, Penn State is going to allow all university students into the game at no charge. Students need only show up at Gate A of the BJC and show a valid PSU ID to be admitted.

Current student season ticket holders who attend will be rewarded with a free concession item to be collected at a future game.

In the meantime, here is our preview of the big game.

No. 2 Ohio State @ Penn State

Tipoff: 7:02 p.m., Bryce Jordan Center

Records: Penn State 10-13, 1-9; Ohio State 22-3, 10-1

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 41-70 in four seasons at Penn State and 146-163 in 11 seasons overall; Thad Matta is 68-21 in three seasons at Ohio State and 170-52 in seven seasons overall.

Series: Ohio State leads 21-13.

TV: ESPN. Terry Gannon (play-by-play) and Stephen Bardo (color) will call the game.

Radio: ESPN 1430. Steve Jones (play-by-play) and Dick Jerardi (color) will call the game for the Penn State Sports Network.

Last Time Out: Penn State lost at Northwestern (53-51) Saturday. Ohio State beat Purdue (63-56) in Columbus the same day.

Next Up: Penn State is at Wisconsin Saturday.


Penn State

G Danny Morrissey, 6-3 So. (10.8)

G Ben Luber, 6-0 Sr. (5.7)

F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Jr. (16.4)

F Jamelle Cornley, 6-5 So. (14.2)

F Milos Bogetic, 6-10 So. (4.3)

Ohio State

G Ron Lewis, 6-4 Sr. (11.2)

G Jamar Butler, 6-2 Jr. (8.6)

G Mike Conley Jr., 6-1 Fr. (10.4)

F Ivan Harris, 6-7 Sr. (8.7)

C Greg Oden, 7-1 Fr. (15.3).


• Quickie Quiz: Penn State has faced 44 top-five opponents since 1950. How many of those games did it win? The answer later.

• Penn State embarks on a brutal stretch where it meets the nation's second- and third-ranked teams in three straight games. The Lions are at No. 3 Wisconsin Saturday and then travel to No. 2 Ohio State next Wednesday. According to STATS Inc., no Division I team has played three top-3 opponents in three consecutive games in at least the last decade. What a way to try to snap a nine-game losing streak.

• Talk about head-scratchers: Starting point guard Ben Luber has not scored in four of five games, and in Big Ten action has made 14 of 46 shots (30.4 percent). Reserve David Jackson has logged fewer league minutes than Luber, yet has made 21 of 47 shots (44.7 percent). Given that they have nearly identical assist-to-turnover numbers, it is difficult to see why Jackson isn't seeing the bulk of the PT at the point.

• Penn State has 12 blocked shots in 10 conference games. Oden alone has 40 blocks in 11 league outings.

• Quiz Answer: Penn State won six of the 44 games, the last an 82-74 upset of No. 2 North Carolina in the 2001 NCAA tournament.

FOS Prediction: Ohio State 76, Penn State 62.

Comment: We won't be surprised if the Lions flirt with an upset through the first 30 minutes or so. But OSU has too much across-the-board talent and depth.

FOS Record: 18-5


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