Penn State will be looking to avenge an embarrassing Jan. 7 loss to Indiana by storming into Bloomington, Ind. and pulling off a stunning upset against the mighty Hoosiers. Then again, let’s all be honest here, Penn State is a 25 point dawg tonight, so no one should realistically call for an upset. Every player on Indiana, probably all the way down the bench, could most likely be a starter on Penn State this season. On a pure talent scale, Penn State and Indiana are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. Let’s dive in to some of the stats going in to tonight’s game:
Penn State is the only remaining win-less team in the Big Ten now, after Penn State found a completely new way to lose in their last game against Nebraska at home. PSU had a possession in the final 30 seconds where it seemed they shot about 23 free throws, and missed 22 of them. The 23 free throws and only make 1 of them stat is obviously a huge hyperbole, but in my opinion, the only way to describe how awful this team is right now is with the help of a bit of exaggeration. Nothing is going right for Penn State right now.
Penn State is currently in the midst of a 13 game road losing streak, and that will likely be 14 after the game tonight.
Indiana is averaging 84.4 points per game on the season, that is good for 2nd in the country. They are also making over half (50.2%) of their field goals, and 41.3% of their three point attempts. Penn State is averaging 62.2 points per game. This is because of two things: 1. Penn State plays at an incredibly slow pace, using most of their energy on defense, and 2. They can’t make their shots. Penn State is shooting 39.3% in Big Ten games.
The ONLY good stat I could find for this game tonight that goes in Penn State’s favor is that Penn State had won two straight games in Bloomington before last season’s defeat. Coincidentally, Penn State played IU last season on the day we learned of the passing of the great Joe Paterno, it was almost a year ago to the day.
Indiana did prove to not be invincible at home though, as Wisconsin went in to Bloomington and upset the Hoosiers last Tuesday. Just a reminder, Wisconsin and Penn State aren’t exactly comparable teams, Wisconsin is clearly better.
Here are the keys to the game for Penn State tonight:
1. Play hard, defend all night, impose your will on the Hoosiers. Ugly this game up as much as possible.
2. DON’T turn the ball over, they need to prevent Indiana from scoring in transition.
3. Don’t get off to a slow start offensively, make your shots.
My prediction: Indiana 83 Penn State 59