What To Make of Penn State

        Moral victory? Still a loss in Big Ten play. Penn State hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with 19 seconds left on the clock and a one-point lead. This would be their third upset of a Top 25 conference foe in four games. And yes, this is the same Penn State team that lost to Maine at home less than a month ago.

        The Nittany Lions were in a position to make a defensive play and stop Purdue and hold on for the win and they didn't. The Boilermakers' All-American forward, JaJuan Johnson, sealed the game with an effortless jumper with 3 seconds on the clock.

        It's another bitter loss for Penn State who fell short in the final seconds against Ohio State earlier in the week. Jared Sullinger converted on a 3-point play with 13.2 seconds left to provide the difference in the Buckeyes' 69-66 win.

        If Penn State can knock off Michigan State and Illinois at home and take Ohio State and Purdue to the limit on the road, why can't they finish in the top 6 or 7 in the Big Ten? According to acclaimed statistician Ken Pomeroy's rankings, PSU ranks 27th in the country in tempo-adjusted offensive efficiency- that's ahead of Big Ten foes: Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State. However, on the opposite end of the court is where the team needs to pick of its play; on the same measure, Penn State comes in at a very mediocre 109th in the nation- that's good for 8th in the conference. They really struggle to defend the 3-point line- ranking 332 out of 345 Division I teams as they let opponents shoot a scorching 40.1 percent against them.

By President Corey Ruff - 1-20-11