Penn State Nittany Lions (8-12, 0-8 in the Big Ten) at Iowa Hawkeyes (13-7, 2-5 in the Big Ten)
When: Thursday, January 31st, at 8:00 PM
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa
Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers is 0-12 in Big Ten road games so far in two seasons with Penn State, and will likely fall to 0-13 after Thursday night’s game at Iowa. Penn State will travel to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on the 13-7 Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday. Iowa is 10-2 at home so far in the 2013 season.
Just a few seasons ago, Iowa was in the same position that Penn State is in now. They had a new coach, Fran McCaffery, and a roster that lacked talent. After a few good recruiting classes, McCaffery’s team is now one of the more talented teams in the Big Ten. The talent isn’t translating into tons of wins so far, but the team is really young still. The reality is that Iowa is in the hunt for an NCAA tournament selection and needs to win this game to enhance it’s chances of dancing in March. Penn State, on the other hand, has just as much pressure to win this game, but it’s a different kind of pressure.
At 0-8 in conference games, Penn State only has 10 more chances to win a Big Ten game. Nobody wants to go winless in league play. The pressure surely has to be building within the Penn State team.
If Penn State wants to pull off the mild upset on Thursday, the Nittany Lions will need to contain Iowa sophomore forward Aaron White. The sophomore is averaging 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and is by far Iowa’s most consistent player. For Penn State, Jermaine Marshall is going to have to get comfortable early in the game. The Nittany Lions will need to find ways to get Marshall the ball in position to score some easy baskets. Jermaine Marshall is capable of being one of the best scorers in the Big Ten, and he can make it look effortless at times. D.J. Newbill will need to be D.J. Newbill in this game, and as Coach Chambers would say, “he needs to play D.J. Newbill basketball.” He needs to distribute, score, and rebound, is that too much to ask? Penn State, as a team, will need to slow this game down to a snail’s pace, and “ugly the game up”. Iowa is a high scoring team, and Penn State is not. The obvious way to keep this game close is to slow it down and limit possessions.
Points per game: Iowa- Roy Devyn Marble (14.4) PSU- D.J. Newbill (15.5)
Rebounds per game: Iowa- Aaron White (6.1) PSU- Ross Travis (6.8)
Assists per game: Iowa- Anthony Clemmons (3.9) PSU- D.J. Newbill (4.0)
Penn State 65, Iowa 71