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Messages - rwd5035

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What do you know? The athletic department was in on it.

Always thought that the 2005 team was a sham to begin with.  The Illini deserved that title.  The NCAA should strip the titles from 1993, 2005 and 2009 and darken the Dean Dome for the next four years.  Football as well. 

This is beyond "institutional control". 

Of course, we know that there will be "nothing to see here". 

Illinois didn't deserve the title, as good as they were. They were beaten comfortably by that UNC team.

« on: Yesterday at 01:55 PM »
Truer words never spoken:

I've thought that since the start myself, but good luck convincing most conservatives of that.  They're so hellbent on hating the guy, they've failed to realize that he's carrying out most of the policies they wanted from the guys with an R on their ballot.

Good luck convincing liberals that too.

At least you guys can get the B1G Network.  >:(

Penn State Basketball / Re: Recruiting
« on: October 21, 2014, 07:24 PM »
This Cam Reddish might be a future 5 star.

OT / Re: Upsets everywhere, college football edition
« on: October 21, 2014, 04:09 PM »
I cannot see the selection committee passing over 3(THREE) Top 5 ranked SEC teams to select other teams behind them.

But they won't all be top 5 teams by the end of the year. That's the point. There will be at most 2 imo. If there's 3 I'll be surprised.

Penn State Basketball / Re: Give Pat a contract extension
« on: October 21, 2014, 02:18 PM »
How about this, since it seems that Pat won't get an extension at least until during the season or after it (or never), let's wait and see how the team does before getting up in arms. Maybe Sandy wants to see how Pat does.

OT / Re: Upsets everywhere, college football edition
« on: October 21, 2014, 08:29 AM »
No, I get your point.

I'm just saying you don't know what the selection committee is going to do. You are guessing without having seen their first poll, which we will see October 28. We will know what they think then. We will know if they are looking at putting two SEC teams in. Maybe they'll rank all conference leaders ahead of those who aren't leading their conferences? WE JUST DO NOT KNOW. Which is what I have been saying the whole time, and the WE in WE JUST DO NOT KNOW, includes you.

And again, let's not project like we can predict college sports. It's inherently unpredictable given the age of the participants, for all we know another big upset can happen this weekend.

But again, are you going to rescind your point on the Big XII?

Going back to the original point, I was not trying to predict each individual game.  Actually, that's part of what I felt was off about Palm's article.

What I am saying is that there is something that is VERY predictable in college sports...   ...the media's opinion.  That's why I say that ther will be 2 SEC teams in the playoffs.  It doesn't have near as much to do with individual game outcomes as it does with what the media and pollsters will think about the SEC.

I have said before that none of the voters will care about the OOC played in Sept when the end of the season rolls around.  Mississippi State is ranked #1.  Can you, off the top of your head, tell me who they beat OOC?  Do you think that anyone else has gone back and looked over their schedule?

If Mississippi State goes unbeaten, they will have beaten Auburn, won at Alabama and at Ole Miss plus beaten Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Their OOC is somewhat irrelevant from that perspective IMO, they'd have three or four wins over top 10 teams in this scenario. The OOC wouldn't matter as much in this scenario.

However, you are also assuming that the playoff committee is going to weigh very heavily into what the AP and Coaches polls are saying. Again, we don't know what is factoring into their decision. I find it likely that the committee would be hesitant to put two SEC teams in a playoff given the backlash from 2011 but I don't assume that this is completely accurate.

I think the committee will be under some credibility pressure to avoid two SEC teams in the playoffs if an equally deserving BCS conference champ is also available

This is the key. Let's assume TCU, Oregon, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Florida State all run the table (they all won't, but let's assume this for the exercise). Does the committee put in Mississippi State and Alabama let's say? I don't think they do. If three of the five complete this task, do they put in an SEC team? Again, I think they'd be hesitant too. I currently believe that the most likely scenario is there will only be one representative from each conference unless there's multiple two loss conference champions.

Penn State Basketball / Re: Recruiting
« on: October 21, 2014, 07:43 AM »
I never thought Broddie was next in line in any sort of definite view. He even admitted in an interview that we weren't even one of the schools talking to him most (unless it was poor writing). I'm guessing Tony Carr might be someone we are focusing more on for whatever reason.

Penn State Basketball / Re: Recruiting
« on: October 20, 2014, 08:12 PM »
I feel the same. Good luck to him, maybe he'll change his mind later.

OT / Re: Upsets everywhere, college football edition
« on: October 20, 2014, 03:44 PM »
No, I get your point.

I'm just saying you don't know what the selection committee is going to do. You are guessing without having seen their first poll, which we will see October 28. We will know what they think then. We will know if they are looking at putting two SEC teams in. Maybe they'll rank all conference leaders ahead of those who aren't leading their conferences? WE JUST DO NOT KNOW. Which is what I have been saying the whole time, and the WE in WE JUST DO NOT KNOW, includes you.

And again, let's not project like we can predict college sports. It's inherently unpredictable given the age of the participants, for all we know another big upset can happen this weekend.

But again, are you going to rescind your point on the Big XII?

Penn State Basketball / Re: Recruiting
« on: October 20, 2014, 03:43 PM »
Alex Kline ‏@TheRecruitScoop  3m3 minutes ago
2016 Potomac (MD) PG Randall Brodie has committed to Memphis following a weekend visit.

OT / Re: Upsets everywhere, college football edition
« on: October 20, 2014, 01:33 PM »
Are you going to amend that the Big XII is guaranteed to get a team? Because it's looking likely that the conference winner will have two losses, yet you guaranteed they'd get a team in. That's not looking the most possible today.

And let's not forget the following games have to happen:


All of these teams have two games against each other. There will be losses.

There's a long way to go still. Could the SEC get two teams in? Yes, of course they could. Let's not forget though that this playoff happened because Alabama got to the BCS Championship game despite not winning their conference. When will you stop purporting to know exactly what a playoff selection committee that has never done anything is going to do? They release their first ranking October 28, we'll know what they are thinking then.

Penn State Basketball / Re: PSU hoops articles, videos, etc.
« on: October 19, 2014, 03:33 PM »
I agree. Frazier wasn't efficient last year but just because he was inefficient doesn't mean losing him is no big deal.

OT / Re: OT: PSU Football
« on: October 17, 2014, 11:39 AM »
Am I reading correctly that football season ticket payment is due Feb 1?  Three months earlier than in the past? 

Yup, that is correct. Don't know why they are doing it this way.

Penn State Basketball / Re: PSU hoops articles, videos, etc.
« on: October 17, 2014, 11:39 AM »
Got my tickets for PSU/Drexel at the PPL Center. :)

These ticket prices are insane!   :o

PENN STATE LIONS VS. DREXEL DRAGONS. Event Date: Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Facility: PPL CENTER

I got 2 tickets in the lower level for $43/ticket. Not the best price but it's a new arena and seating is probably limited.

Penn State Basketball / Re: PSU hoops articles, videos, etc.
« on: October 16, 2014, 01:30 PM »
Got my tickets for PSU/Drexel at the PPL Center. :)

That all seems plausible. I don't expect Travis to be as much of a ball handler as Brooks was in 2010-11, so cutting down on usage will be a huge hinderance in that sort of jump. I do expect him to maximize whatever talent he has his senior year through his work ethic though.

I would like to know if I could find a stat with how many times Travis had shots blocked at the rim. I seem to recall several instances last season where he had a shot blocked, got the rebound and got blocked again.

A key player that needs to up his offensive game is one I wanted to highlight for the next post. It's time to talk about the Big Ross Man, Ross Travis. Here's his shot chart:

I think it's best to start with the weaknesses for Ross, given that if we are going to take a leap, he's going to have to come into his own his senior season. For one, he needs to be a better finisher around the rim. Here's the actual numbers from his attempts around the rim:

He's not only attempting a significant number of his shots at the rim (42%), which is a good thing, that can't be understated. It's good that he's trying to get to the rim and finish, theoretically it should be the easiest shot on the floor. Ross's problems might go into shot selection though and that's why his conversion rate is so poor (43%). I think we've all seen Ross on too many occasions try to finish through defenders when he doesn't have the space or the room, much to his and our detriment. For someone of his size and strength, finishing at the rim needs to be an area that he excels in. He's a good leaper and can dunk with ease, it seems bizarre though that he struggles so much in this particular area of the floor. Which leads me to believe that shot selection is Ross's biggest problem and if he can rectify that, either through passing up a shot to an open guy on the perimeter or another area of the floor and just finishing stronger at the rim, as a team, we will see great benefits. We can't have someone who plays near 30 minutes of the game as a good rebounder, defensive player struggle in the paint to finish. It's too much to overcome when you consider that we are underdogs as is. A big improvement from Ross in this area along with some fine tuning in other areas of his offensive game should see us prosper greatly.

The left baseline is Ross's strongest area of the floor though. Here's those percentages:

Oddly, there's such a large overlap in this area of the floor, that I can't get more than one bubble at a time. But this is a huge chunk of his shot selection, 1 in every 4-5 shots he takes is from this area of the floor and he makes them at a substantial clip and is among the best in the country at it. For one, after analyzing DJ's shot chart last night, it's interesting that they are both better from this side of the floor as right handed players. Perhaps it leads to spacing issues for both players if they both prefer this area of the floor and prefer to get to the rim? This is a purely rhetorical question but it's an interesting question to see if we can observe improvement over the course of this season. But, I don't want to focus on the rhetorical and note that Ross is very good from this side of the floor and hopefully it will continue to be a strength for him and this team.

The Jeff Brooks Comparison.

Thanks to, we can compare former collegiate players with current ones. Since Ross Travis arrived on campus, he's gotten the Jeff Brooks comparison and some people are giving up on him after a junior season that many hoped would see the leap, but wasn't quite what people wanted. Unfortunately, we can't compare shot charts between Jeff Brooks and Ross Travis because the data for Brooks isn't there and I do not know how to figure it out. However, we can compare statistical seasons. Here's the link to compare 2009-10 Jeff Brooks with 2013-14 Ross Travis,

The one thing that stands out to me with the Jeff Brooks/Ross Travis comparison is that statistically it does not seem so far off just looking at the numbers. There are some areas where one excels in more than the other. For instance, Jeff Brooks had a far higher effective FG% (53.1) to Ross Travis's 45.8%, was a better passer (1.38 apg) to Ross Travis's .97 apg, and a better shot blocker (2.3% block percentage) to Ross Travis's 1.3%. However, Ross Travis was a far superior rebounder (7.0 rpg, 7.4% offensive rebounding percentage, 20.2% defensive rebounding percentage) to Jeff Brooks (4.1 rpg, 5.7% offensive rebounding percentage, 15.8% defensive rebounding percentage) and got to the line (47.8% FT rate) far more than Jeff Brooks did (24.4%).

The similarities that stand out for me are offensive categories though. I'd copy the chart in here if StatSheet didn't color both the same so it was nigh on impossible to determine who is who. But here are the crux of the comparisons:

Offensive rating: Jeff Brooks 102, Ross Travis 100.1
FT Percentage: Jeff Brooks 65.2%, Ross Travis 68.8%
3 Point Attempts: Jeff Brooks 39, Ross Travis 30
3 Point Percentage: Jeff Brooks 30.8%, Ross Travis 30.0%

It's pretty interesting how tight these numbers are. For instance, if Ross would have shot 9 more threes last season and made 3 of them, he'd have been equal with Jeff Brooks in 3 point shooting percentage for Jeff's junior year. Jeff being such a good 3 point shooter his senior year (shot 40.3% on 67 attempts) helped elevate us another level. Jeff had an offensive rating of 118.1 and his effective FG percentage went up to 58.9%. I think it would be unrealistic to expect this kind of growth from Ross in one season, as he's a slightly different player to Jeff Brooks offensively. Ross likes to get to the basket (as evidenced by his FT Rate, whereas Jeff's pretty much stayed the same from junior to senior year) and has done so throughout his career (albeit with limited success, a jump in that could help our offense that much more though), so that kind of growth from 3 would be difficult to expect. But a more efficient Ross Travis would help our offensive greatly and I have some confidence he can make a noticeable leap in his offensive play this season.

So, in conclusion, I'd say that if Ross Travis could build on his offensive game a bit, he could be a very effective player for us. To add an effective offensive game to his already impressive rebounding statistics (ending top 5 in the B1G the last two seasons) would be a huge benefit to our squad. He needs to be more selective with his shots around the rim and look to pass if he gets the opportunity and it would be important if he could shoot the 3 at an average clip to help spread the floor for our other drivers, Newbill, Thorpe, Garner, Johnson. But the makings of a good senior season are here if he can play within himself more and with more composure, something I think we'd all expect from a senior, especially one who has done as well in the class room as he has. 

I don't even see Newbill in the list on that site.

He's listed as D.J. Newbill.

For those who read Grantland, Kirk Goldsberry shot charts are among the best tools to use to show where players are particularly efficient on the floor. Thanks to Nylon Calculus, we are now able to the same for college players, now, all incoming freshman won't be here because there's no data for them. For those of you who want to look at our other players, it's not organized as well as it could be, it separates by players, so you have to find each individual player on a list. I will probably do a few more of these though. If you do decide to look at them on your own, here's the site: You can click on the individual dots to see his shot volume from within 5 feet of that area and his percentage from those areas. I'll include some of that in my post.

DJ Newbill Shot Chart:

First off, a lot of positives here! He takes a significant proportion of his shots at the rim (approx. 44%) and does above average at it! He can be a better finisher at the rim, even though he makes around 61% of those looks. His numbers at the rim, are actually very similar to Andrew Wiggins's stats at the rim in terms of shot volume and success (approx. 41% of his shots, making approximately 62% of them). He does well from the mid range on various spots on the floor, mostly the left side.

Here's a more in depth shot chart with DJ's successes from around the paint, where he takes a solid proportion of shots and shoots it very very well.

Easily one of the biggest strengths of his game is his ability in this sort of area of the floor. Judging by my estimates based on there being some overlap in these areas, DJ is taking about 15-18% of shots in these areas of the floor and as the dark red indicates, he's excellent and is among the best in the country from these areas. The left side of the floor is clearly among DJ's strengths and where he feels most comfortable, which is a bit unique given that he's right handed, but it's a real strength of his. As you can also see, there's some red along the perimeter, his best, most consistent area being on the top of the key, and one splatter of red from the left wing (though he's only taken 2% of hit shots from there, and is making them at a 91%[!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] clip).

Let's look at DJ's weaknesses, there are two pretty clear ones here:

He's not a strong three point shooter, as you can tell by the large amounts of blue surrounding the perimeter. This is an area I hope we see some growth in this season and I think we all knew this. So I'll keep my criticism to it at a minimum, I think his most glaring shot weakness is how unsuccessful he is on the right wing and right side of the floor. He's a very left sided dominant player and here's his best areas on the right side of the floor highlighted:

There's not only larger gaps in the mid range areas outside the paint that DJ tends to thrive in on the left side of the floor, but he tends to shoot more threes from the right side of the floor than mid range shots, which is not a strength of his and I think almost all of us knew this or assumed so. He needs to become more well rounded from this perspective to reach his maximum as an elite level scorer. He's currently very dominant on one side of the floor and does not seem comfortable on the right side. But, if he can continue to get better at finishing around the rim, if he can develop more comfort on the right side of the floor and gets a little bit more range, he could be an elite level player that leads us to the next level. I think we are going to be heavily reliant on DJ this year and where he goes I think we'll be likely to follow. That's not to say the others can't contribute and help us, but DJ is the star, he's going to need to be one this year if we are going to be a surprise team in the B1G and scratching the surface of the bubble or NCAA Tournament.

OT / Re: Football: Michigan thread
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:41 AM »
Maybe this is what Lar is suggesting, maybe not, but it's how I feel about it.  Refs are instructed to look more closely at certain situations than others.  Offside on a regular kickoff might not be a point of focus -- in fact they might even be instructed to overlook it if it's not too flagrant, with the idea of keeping the game moving along.  When the kicking team is trying to recover the ball, there is a much larger advantage gained by being offside.  Therefore, the refs are probably told to watch very closely for that.  I have no issue with this as long as it's called evenly by situation across the board.

You might be right but it's still a rule of the game that needs to get called when violated. If Michigan would've attempted and recovered an onside kick in those circumstances, do you think the ref would've said in hindsight that 1/2 of their coverage team was offside, so now I'll throw the flag after they recovered it?

Offside on a regular kickoff might not be a point of focus, I get Larry's point. That doesn't mean that refs should swallow their whistles every time players are offside on a kickoff. It's basically suggesting that the refs are entirely incompetent because they can only blow the whistle or throw a flag on things they are asked to focus on.

OT / Re: Football: Michigan thread
« on: October 15, 2014, 09:08 AM »
The lack of calls on those plays does not make the call on Penn State's onside kick "Fishy".  We're talking very different circumstances.

Of course it does. It shows a lack of enforcing the rules. Suddenly when the play matters more, then they call the penalty but before it, they don't. To take it to the extreme, it'd be like if you got charged or arrested for a crime that hasn't been enforced by a cop in State College in 100 years, wouldn't one of your biggest arguments be that they don't even enforce this crime?

Would your answer change if Michigan disguised an onside kick (similar to the Saints in their Super Bowl win over Indy) in one of those two kickoffs and recovered, but the refs didn't call the penalty? Just a hypothetical. The potential for them to do it is there, just because they chose not to do that does not mean the penalty should not be called.

At worst from all the angles I've seen, Jesse James is level with the ball, which he is entitled to be so. If he is ahead of the play, it's certainly outside of my view. It's similar to all the times you see a WR's head slightly over the ball on offense, a defender's head slightly in the neutral zone on defense. Those penalties aren't called unless it's obvious that the player is offside.

I've seen way too many still frames to be considered healthy and I still can't say with any conclusiveness that Jesse James was offside. I've seen it blown up from that sidelines, I've seen it from the angle. To me, I think the ref simply anticipated we'd be offside on the onside kick and called it. I don't think he saw it and could have actually concluded JJ was offside, as evidenced by his refusal to throw the flag earlier when Michigan (and probably us too) were offside on a kickoff. It's very similar to when a player is driving to the basket and a ref is already calling a foul on a defender before he even makes contact, as we see far too often in college sports.

When I watch games, I always attributed PSU's poor 3 point defense to poor rotation and off the ball defenders not being in the correct position.

The rotations were better during the B1G season but I agree, it was a huge problem at the start of last season.

I'll state the obvious and say all we need to do is make some OPEN shots.  We didn't seem to have a problem getting good looks last year (if my memory is correct, which might not be the case), but we had a big problem making them.

I wouldn't disagree with this just going off of memory. I'm sure I could probably get access to some kind of shot percentage chart like that but it would be really intensive and I unfortunately just don't have the time.

For me, the biggest things we need to do this year:

1. Play more as a team with less isolation opportunities, this requires players to move the ball well and run better sets.
2. Improve 3 point shooting.
3. Forcing turnovers on defense.
4. Stop fouling at such a high rate.

Those are the things I want us to improve upon and I think it's doable. It's a lot to improve upon though and while I think this is an intriguing season, it wouldn't be all that surprising to me if we won 16-18 games again.

OT / Re: Football: Michigan thread
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:51 AM »

There's only one side. You are either onside or offside.

Wait a minute.  Didn't you just list two sides, the onside and the offside?   ;) 

Oddly this technicality doesn't bother me, but there aren't multiple sides. There's one side, with two different outcomes, that doesn't change it to a plural.

OT / Re: Football: Michigan thread
« on: October 14, 2014, 08:03 AM »
We weren't offside at all.
It was offsides, by the slightest of margins. Impossible to know for sure in real-time, but after checking out slow mo replays from multiple angles, a helmet appeared to cross the 20 yard line as the ball was kicked. What a bummer though, one of best onside kicks I've seen. Game of inches right...

First off, it's offside. I don't know why there's a fascination with calling it offsides. There's only one side. You are either onside or offside. It's a moot point though, the clock management at the end of the 4th quarter was so bad even Andy Reid was probably like oh geez, that's not particularly great.

Second, I still don't think he's offside after seeing numerous still frames. Keep in mind the number of times a player is lined up in the neutral zone with his helmet poking for the ball and it's not called (am seeing this more and more), he's not offside at all. It is the opposite of conclusive.

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