Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MEN'S BB: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (Take Two) VS.

GAME INFO: Wed., Feb. 27, 2008 - 6:05 PM CST - Bryce Jordan Center; University Park, PA
IOWA: 12-16 (5-10); RPI: 168/ Penn State: 12-14 (4-10); RPI: 159

TV COVERAGE: Big Ten Network (BTN); Matt Devlin and Tim McCormick will call the action.
LINE - Penn State is a 2 point favorite at home.

Cyrus Tate is coming off a very strong week, one strong enough to net him the Big Ten Player of the Week honor. It's my firm belief that he can have the same type of game he had against MSU tonight. PSU is weak inside. The are very much an undermanned team (not unlike Iowa), and give up a lot of size on the blocks. Iowa needs to look to Tate early and often to be sure to avoid any sort of lapse like they did against MSU. Getting Tate involved early, if successful, will open up the shooters from outside. Classic inside-out game should be enough for Iowa against Penn State.

Ed Dechellis has done a fine job of rallying the troops since the injury to their top player, Geary Claxton. Although they have dropped 4 out of 5, they did knock off MSU at home (similar to what Iowa did earlier in the year, although the style of the game differed immensely).

Iowa will need to be on top of their game the next three games in order to have a infinitesimal shot at the 6 seed (and perhaps 5 seed) in the Big Ten tournament. Their run needs to start tonight. It will be a tough game, no doubt about it.

1.) Attitude. Emotion. Drive. This team needs to come out with something to prove and not just go through the actions.
2.) Play within the offense. Work the ball inside-out, getting Tate (leader in FG% in the Big Ten) a lot of looks. Put up the 3s within the offense.
3.) Extend the defense on PSU's guards. Active hands. This includes bodying up Talor Battle, a good looking freshman who can carve up the D.
4.) Play four guards if need be. PSU isn't going to win any height contest, so a lineup like Iowa had during the 2nd half run vs. Northwestern might be the solution.
5.) Work PSU on the boards. Keep a body on Cornley at all times.

Iowa - 61
Penn State - 60

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