GAME 15 Penn State: Swole

Discussion in 'Men's Basketball' started by bac2therac, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    This game was one for the annals tonight. One that will be written on the beams of the trapezoid walls of the RAC perhaps most akin to the Temple win in the 88-89 season. There may be have been higher ranked opponents taken down. There may have been more dramatic last second finishes. There may have been better played games. But has there ever been in the aftermath of a game that you just got the sense that the foul, permeating and almost everlasting stench of that revolting "Same Old Rutgers" was banished for good to the bowels of the RAC. The importance of this game can not be diminished. The who's, the how's, the why's and what was done was enormous tonight. Penn State is a very very good team. An incredibly physical and tough team that impose its will on you. Not going to shoot you out of the building but they will take you out of your game and choke and throttle you until you wave the white flag. Penn State did exactly that for a good 15 minutes or so of the first half. It was RU on the big stage yet again, in a spot we have seen maybe dozen of times ready to take the next step program wise but coming up flat with a big stinky egg. It certainly seemed like that is what we were going to get but its amazing this team has the ability to hang in and to borrow some other peoples phrases "pound nails". In the end, it was Rutgers running away with the game while the Lions limped back to their den.

    The Nittany Lions really snuffed out the RAC crowd with that defense which was huge as you could tell the difference in the confidence of Rutgers players as the crowd got more into it, especially toward the end of the first half. But geez RU 's first four possessions were turnovers. They had 6 turnovers before even hitting their first fg which didnt even happen until 12:26 left in the game. Somehow RU just found themselves down 12-6 because there defensive effort was superlative and it just got better and better as the game wore on. A key juncture RU faced was 24-14 with about 5 to go but RU responded...some big free throws by Shaq Carter and Caleb made some incredibly important assists to Myles and Ron in the paint that seemed to spark the offense. It would be Jacob Young though fouled on a missed 3 who made two there, hit two more and got a layup that cut the lead to 27-24 and from then on, the RU offense settled in and shook off the anemic start. Somehow despite playing so below par, RU was just down 33-28, not that bad of a spot to be but a look at the stat line saw a big hurdle to overcome.

    RU was outrebounded 23-17 in the first half. They allowed Watkins to just dominate the post going 7-7 and allowing PSU just too many 2nd chances. The final stats show RU outrebounded PSU 43-36. RU outrebounded the Lions an incredible 26-13 in the 2nd half...are you kidding me. Mike Watkins finished 7-8 for the game and only a couple of foul shots in the 2nd half. He was totally made a non entity by some incredible defense by Myles, Shaq, Yeboah as well as the guards hitting the boards. Such an incredible turnaround. I didnt hear the post game from Pike yet so I do not know what was said in that lockerroom to change things but this was a totally different Rutgers on both ends of the court. The dominance in rebounding gave RU some better shots at being aggressive and attacking rather than setlling into the half court. But on offense, it seemed like RU who had guys in the first half driving into trees only to miss badly seemed to really seem to corrected their court vision. They found their spots where they had some clear lane. They hung around the basket where they were able to rebound and get some putbacks. I thought overall it was important to come out strong to the 2nd half and RU obviously got the message with that 7-0 spurt. Seemingly the two teams would go through a stretch where they traded daggers with one another. What a great game to watch as both teams just matched each other in slugfest that reminded you of a tournament game. Thats what makes Penn State tough, that is who they are, they do not go away quietly. But do not underestimate Rutgers, how many times have you watched this same type of game in the RAC where RU fades away as their offense goes south. But Jacob Young kept coming. That 3 wasnt pretty but evoked memories of Earl Johnson vs SJU at MSG. RU suddenly up 6 but Stevens kept coming, Jacob would answer, the all of sudden Myron Jones of PSU got hot with 10 points in just 90 seconds and suddenly RU was done 51-49

    There were two key moments after that that just altered the course of this game and pushed it to the Rutgers ledger. Montez Mathis came up big with a step in 3 that gave RU a 52-51 lead, a lead that they would never relinquish. Jones could not hit his counter, in fact Jones shot himself out of the game missing his last 4 shots before he made a worthless 3 in the first minute. Montez followed this up with two more buckets by hanging around the basket on the first and following his miss on the 2nd. Montez completely played within himself in the 2nd half, a stark contrast to his first half play. When he plays like this he is a total x factor for this team. A very difficult guard to defend. That little burst of points was at a critical juncture and paved the way for next man up....Ron Harper Jr. Ron became THE MAN tonight for his play over the course of about 3 minutes where he was unstoppable around the rim and drained every single one of his 8 free throws in that stretch . It was likely his dipsy do to push the lead to 64-54 plus the Jacob Young steal leading to more Harper free throws that pounded the final nail in the Nittany Lions coffins. All of a suddent RU was pouring it on, a tight game was not even close. This Rutgers team was swelling up....swole some might say. They were getting better and better in the closing minutes while Penn State spirit was broken. They had lost their fight as it was RU throttling and stepping on their throats, laying haymaker after haymaker. Same Old Rutgers my ass

    Make no mistake such a team effort. The loss of Geo was very evident in the opening half. RU still is a better team with him. Today EVERYONE chipped in. All about roles and playing within their abilities. Sneaky good was Caleb who was just really bad offensively early but contributed in other ways....8 boards and 4 assists...big time and underappreciated. Shaq Carter 11 minutes, 6 pts, 3 boards, 1 block 2-2 ft....accepting his role. How about Paul Mulcahy 31 freakin minutes, 5 assists, zero turnovers, 4 boards, 2 steals. Its just amazing how far he has developed in just a few games. He was incredibly comfortable out there from the get go vs tough physical PSU guards. Remember the Pitt game, he looked like he wouldnt be ready for anything. His confidence and vision is one of the biggest reasons RU is succeeding without Geo...and I love he doesnt have to provide offense but he can and they know he can. Jacob Young now 3 games in a row of calm confident heady play. It is safe to say he has turned the corner. I have no idea what happened here but I will not question it. How dangerous is Rutgers with Young on the court, he is making it easier for every other guy on the court to get their offense going. I am convinced that the Big 10 coaches the last 2 games have slept on him. I think the secret is out but no problem we have plenty of options. Yeboah and Myles certainly quieter offensively but damn their defense was good and PSU ended up frustrated and settled for some ill advised outside shots. That Watkins only took 1 or 2 shots in the 2nd half..are you kidding me. Myles ended up with 10, I didnt like his play earlier when he airballed a layup, second half he was back to his old self again and yes he can play against top competition.

    RAC crowd...we are getting there. The first half wasnt a good half of RU hoops so the fans understandably never got into it but in the 2nd half, the RAC came alive and you can just see how it energizes the team and elevates their play. Really good moments in the 2nd half with fans on their feet even in the 200 and 300s levels. The noise on defense is starting to approach the levels of the Waters years. We still have 8 home games to go so alot of practice to fine tune everybody. I expect at least 6 more sellouts going forward hopefully starting with Indiana. The crowd matters at this level when you need to win every game....11 game win streak at home, wow

    Oh so where was I......oh yeah Same Ole Rutgers...yeah bye bitch. Its just different this time. And yes there will be losses and I think its likely they lose at Illinois. SHU could be chalked up to a fluky rival win, Wisconsin is a solid enough win but not overwhelming, well Penn State, now its 3 and this could be the best team of the 3. How about the way these wins are won...going away, swelling up, not hanging on to win by 2 or 3, not surviving a last second Bryant three. No we seem to be in some rarified air here.How do you get to be a post season team? It all happens quick and you do not really realize where you are until you are in it. Moving up the escalator to the penthouse and there is no thought of turning bac.
     
  2. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    oh and to add more...Coach Pikiell did a brilliant job in that lockerroom. I was criticizing him in that first half for that offense but he made the key adjustments and instilled the right mentality to get his charges to execute in the 2nd half on both ends. Pikiell has had a challenging job this year figuring out minutes and substitutions patterns. I think we as fans sometimes become impatient when we judge too harshly in the beginning. Pike has figured things out, he is now trusting players with more and realizing when some players can't provide everything but they can still contribute. I know he is a huge fan of Geo so this must be a tough time for him trying to get his teams to stay cohesive and grind it out even when things are not going well. I figure that Geo also had words for his teammates at halftime as well. The next challenge for Pike is keep his team's heads from swelling up too big. RU is on the verge of being a major story. There will be talk before Illinois but a win at Illinois and a possible national ranking and the incoming "Rutgers has not been to the the NCAA tourney in 29 years but that could change this year" talk is going to be a challenge to keep focus on the path to winning the next game and blotting out all the talk that is message board fodder.
     
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  3. whofrewdatmataRU13

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  4. richthedentist

    richthedentist All Conference
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    Great review and I think we can beat Illinois
     
  5. RU848789

    RU848789 Hall of Famer
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    Read it - it's good stuff. Nice job bac. Feels good eh? Supposedly Geo gave a passionate halftime speech - pretty cool.
     
  6. whofrewdatmataRU13

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    I did and always do.

    Bad joke!
     
  7. BillyC80

    BillyC80 All American
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    Nicely done bac.
     
  8. Degaz-RU

    Degaz-RU Heisman Winner
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    Some really memorable lines in a typically thorough recap. Love it.

    Revsine said on the BTN post game that we’re the only team in the country that has two double-digit wins against top 25 teams. How about that?

    Our defense is FOR REAL.
     
  9. read option

    read option Senior
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    Thought about the title of your recap down 24-14. Called it “Another letdown”. Now after a big time 72-61 victory, let’s title it “We’ve officially arrived”

    Nice job, Bac.
     
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  10. mesa4234

    mesa4234 Junior
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    My thoughts exactly
     
  11. urbanecane

    urbanecane Junior
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    My biggest takeaway from this game is the fact that guys contribute even when their shots don’t fall. McConnell was a mess offensively most of the game but he had some big time boards and assists. Yeboah couldn’t hit a 3 to save his life but he was grinding out there.
     
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  12. MadRU

    MadRU Heisman Winner
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    Passing tests. We passed another one vs. PSU. This was arguably the best team we have played to date. No slight to Seton Hall, they were without their second best player and Powell did get hurt. Penn State is a legit team playing well coming in. We passed the test.

    Paul M. played very well on help defense. Got his hands on balls and disrupted play. Its coaching and basketball IQ. Our transfer Jacob Young gained confidence in the Caldwell game and has kept it going, he is huge now especially with Geo sidelined.

    Each game another player steps up. 12-12 from RHJ from the line and confidence to be the man.

    Most of the rest BAC covered, good job as usual.

    On to the next.
     
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  13. Proud NJ Sports Fan

    Proud NJ Sports Fan Hall of Famer
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    More paragraphs please
     
  14. BOCA93

    BOCA93 Junior
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    Great recap. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall during halftime. Pike looked really irate on the bench late in the first half. At one point the BTN announcers commented about how they were glad he wasn’t mic’d Up as he was dropping a torrent of F bombs. I suspect he ripped the team a new one in the locker room, especially about Watkins. He was a complete non factor the rest of the game.
     
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  15. bethlehemfan

    bethlehemfan All American
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    Nice write up. Offensive boards in h1 were 0-5. You know that was a big message at halftime and had to change. Boy did it Great effort
     
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  16. gregkoko

    gregkoko Freshman
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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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  18. RocktheRac

    RocktheRac Heisman Winner
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    Good write up. It's good to see the crowd getting into the game. 200 and 300 actually standing and cheering. How bout Doreen and Claire getting on the big screen. First RU game and they get PT. FYI, Claire told me in the hall after the game that the Hillsborough Deli is having a special today and I think after every RU victory this year. Half price Sloppy Joe's.
     
  19. RUHouston

    RUHouston All Conference
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    "Same Old Rutgers my ass" - Quote of the YEAR!!!!
    [​IMG]
    Great recap, Bac!
     
  20. G- RUnit

    G- RUnit All American
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    Best review of the year!!!
     
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  21. brad1218

    brad1218 All American
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    Green, the most important thing about these wins is that we are not really even playing our best. You used to champion this all the time. We would typically upset a ranked or good team because we got crazy hot. It would be an anomaly. We are winning playing our B game. This is sustainable.
     
  22. Scarlet Shack

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    We are learning how to defend turf ....
     
  23. RUKnights86

    RUKnights86 Sophomore
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    Great recap by BAC as always. Just a few things that I observed that I felt were key/interesting/important

    1. First half TO, not sure if anyone noticed but Pike sat down on the bench & told Knight to go talk to the team. Never seen him that frustrated with their play. Think that reaction was needed by him and helped them get right.

    2. On any given night this team has multiple offensive weapons, something we are not used to around here. As Pike likes to say we share the ball, and it is a thing of beauty. Yes Ron scored the most tonight, but Myles with a quiet 10, Young in double digits, Carter gets 6 and so down the line. Go back & look at the box score of all our games, our leading scorer is well balanced over the course of the year.

    3. Key moments: Weathering the play of Jones when he went on that burst and trading buckets. That was a thing of beauty to watch in basketball, the teams trading punch for punch but Tez's 3 to grab the lead was huge. Loved his game in the 2nd half after seemingly complaining a little too much in the 1st when he drives wouldn't fall.

    4. The crowd: I cannot speak to the older days that some reference but I have been going to the RAC for over a decade and I cannot recall all of the 200 & 300 getting on their feet in that final 5 minutes. It was something else to not feel like the outcast in the 200s standing. We still can be louder but the crowd really brought it today.

    Confidence is high right now, they need to remain that way but also keep it in check. Illinois will be a tough one again come Saturday against the likes of Kofi inside and their guard play outside. Defense travels and we need to keep playing with that top flight defensive level and play our brand of basketball and if we do that, we have a chance in any game to get a W.
     
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  24. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    That's the crazy thing....
    No one had more than 5 FGs
     
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  25. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    Is swole short for swolen? As in the state someone feels after lifting weights.

    Lost in BACs analysis is the title. Was there ever an explanation or reference?
     
  26. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    this is going to be the question.

    It is clear as day defense is the calling card of the team.

    Does it travel in an airplane?
    Is it with us on a Wednesday in early February smack dab in the middle of a B1G schedule with classes 3 weeks complete?

    People are going to need to realize this type of effort isn't going to be there EVERY night. There will be natural ebbs and flows to the season. We have only 1 freshman, but there is a freshman wall. It will be hit...and broken through.

    I am really enjoying the ride and the team is playing exactly how a team I want to root for plays.
     
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  27. angmo

    angmo Junior
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    Nice recap. I was watching thinking to myself "how is it still close and we can't buy a bucket?" As soon as they scored to open the second half, I knew they were gonna win.

    Just a great, sloppy, grinding game to watch. Really a classic.

    Edit: Loved that Wenzel was the color for this game.
     
  28. YoUnG-Ru-FaN-FL

    YoUnG-Ru-FaN-FL All Conference
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    I love you bac. Your write ups, like since I was a teenager (I'm in my early 30s now), I've always appreciated and have read, even when I've gone inactive. Great job as always!
     
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  29. bac2therac

    bac2therac Legend
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    Sounds like skipped over a paragraph :chairshot:
     
  30. ru66

    ru66 All American
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    those in the 100 level seats were standing as well
     
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  31. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    0__0
    Sorry. Got it now.
     
  32. ScarletNut

    ScarletNut All Conference
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    Yea, it was to see us old farts standing and cheering in all sections.
     
  33. cubuffsdoug

    cubuffsdoug All American
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    PSU fans complain Wenzel used "we" and "us" when describing the action and results of Rutgers against State Penn. :Laughing
     
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  34. YoucancallmeRay

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    Hard for me to read bac's long summaries, so I do the cliff notes version, lol. I don't think it's been emphasized enough how big Harper's defense on Stevens was. It was huge and a big, big key to the win. He wanted to guard Stevens, possibly to get NBA scouts to notice since Stevens will probably be a second rounder, but regardless, Harper offensively, but especially defensively, was tremendous. Also, I've been down on Mathis due to his offensive limitations and poor decision making, but his decision making has been much better the last few games and he had a solid game last night. If he could only make foul shots and develop a jumper. His defensive, which is just as good as everyone else on the team, is not so good as to override his limitations, imo.
     
  35. RW90

    RW90 All Conference
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    Solid defense and rebounding will carry this team this year.
     
  36. RW90

    RW90 All Conference
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    Glad to see I wasn't the only one who needed to look that word up.
     
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  37. RUKnights86

    RUKnights86 Sophomore
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    I understand the hesitation and there is some validity to that for sure & will be tested. But I have confidence that it will more nights than not. Will there be some ebbs & flows like you mention sure it is only natural during a long season, but there has been no reason to suggest more nights than not it wont. This team is a top 30 Kenpom adjusted defense team and the sample size is large enough for me to be confident it will. Agreed though that the hallmark of this team is tough defense, grit and grind. Loving every minute of the ride.
     
  38. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    Something to consider......
    took 58 FG attempts and 18 of them came from 1 slot of the lineup (MathisYoung). 7-18 (44.4% eff FG)

    They played 44 minutes, but essentially it was 1 lineup slot as they were rarely on the floor together and i believe 1 of the them was on the floor almost the entire game.

    I am going to guess that is not the recipe for offensive success most nights. The JohnsonCarter slot was 7-10 from the floor (70% effFG)

    If Paul is going to play 31 minutes and get 2 shots up we are going to have to live with Mathis and Young taking more attempts then we will normal like to see. I realize Harper at 5-10 was really more when you consider his FTs taking away the actual "scoring" attempt.
     
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  39. Greene Rice FIG

    Greene Rice FIG Hall of Famer
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    Bart has us 12th......

    Looking at numbers......adjusted defensive efficiency AWAY
    St. Bonnies 126.7
    PITT 97.7
    MSU 87.5
    Nebraska 91.6
    Average 100.875 (would put us 187th ranked)

    HOME
    Bryant 86.1
    Niagara 67.8
    Drexel 87.7
    SFA 80.6
    NJIT 99.5
    UMASS 80.6
    Wisky 92.8
    SHU 64.7 :WideSmile:
    Lafay 58.1
    PSU 83.3

    Average 80.1 (that would put us #1 WVU is at 82.6 overall)
     
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  40. kcg88

    kcg88 All American
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    Top 4 teams since a month ago (December 8): http://barttorvik.com/?year=2020&so...1&top=0&quad=5&venue=All&type=All&mingames=0#

    1. Duke
    2. Michigan State
    3. Kansas
    4. Rutgers
     

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