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Messages - mjg

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1
Getting that win of Colorado would have really helped too.

Had we beaten Colorado, we might have lost the next night and still gone 1-1 out there.  It would have helped our strength of schedule though.

2
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: February 8, 2016, 04:40 PM »
While I was in NY for the Super Saturday deal, I was talking to a very knowledgeable hockey guy (he has coached for USA hockey) who told me that Smirnov is the real deal.  I can't wait to see some of the Roar Zone signs for him once he arrives on campus - the kids could have some real fun with his name.

He is absolutely the real deal.  His best year (based on numbers) was two years ago when he played with Scott Conway -- who is absolutely tearing up the BCHL this year.  Fargo doesn't have the firepower that Indiana team had (that team folded following that season, which is why Denis is in Fargo).

Did you talk about the guys committed for next year at all?  That class is potentially better than this class -- assuming they all sign. 

Murray is on the central scouting list of potential draftees.  He's listed at something like 6-4, 205 and he's only 17 right now. 

Biro leads the AJHL in points per game -- tied with someone 2.5 years older than he is.  Biro will be 18 in March.  He's listed at 5-11, 160, but that's plenty big for a skilled player. 

Barratt is one of the top scorers on the US national development under 17 team.  He's a little bigger than Biro.  He's also a PA kid, which is always nice to see.  Logan Hutsko is on the same team.  He was committed to PSU, but flipped to BC back in the fall. 

I'm not as familiar with Jakubowski and Didur.  It's not easy to find things on these kids.  It's actually tough to find commitments, decommitments, etc. unless you continue to comb twitter for info.  Even the big college hockey sites are behind.  CHN still shows Steve Ruggiero as a PSU commit.  He's current playing for Providence College.  So hopefully I don't end up following the wrong guys for too long.  And please let me know if you hear anything I might have missed.

3
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: February 8, 2016, 02:51 PM »
BSD chimes in on the recruiting class.  No one has mentioned a transfer who is coming in as a junior as well.  D Trevor Hamilton played a year and one (maybe 2) game at Miami.  He's also in the USHL this year.  I guess Penn State can't announce his arrival until later since he's a transfer and doesn't sign a letter of intent.  But BSD could mention it.

Also, about Denis Smirnov, he's on pace to become just the 5th player in USHL history to score 40 points in each of his first 3 seasons in the league.  If he does, he'll join Kyle Connor, Shane Sooth, Mike Seidel and John Kemp.  Connor is probably the top freshman in the B1G this season (Michigan) and was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets (17th pick in round 1) in 2015.  Sooth is having a nice career at Northern Michigan.  Seidel played for Minny Duluth for 4 years (scored 88 points if I added correctly) and now plays in the ECHL.  Kemp played two years for Nebraska Omaha.  I can't figure out where he went from there. 

Smirnov was also drafted by the KHL a couple years ago.  If my memory is accurate, first round, 40th pick (no clue how that works out).

Anyway, here is the BSD article.

http://www.blackshoediaries.com/2015/12/23/10654216/penn-state-hockey-recruiting-class-2016-17-sturtz-smirnov-pavlychev-jones-peyton-gadowsky

Smirnov is up to 38 points on the year.  That's good enough for 7th in the USHL (tied with another PSU signee, Nathan Sucese).  He's scoring at about a point per game pace (38 points, 39 games), so it's possible he reaches the 40 point mark this week. 

4
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: February 8, 2016, 02:46 PM »
We are hanging right around the bubble at 16 in both the pairwise (the one that matters) and the USCHO rankings.  This is despite a four game losing streak that ended with a 5-3 win at Minnesota Saturday night.  That's our first ever win in Minnesota in, I'm pretty sure, 6 attempts.  I'm actually amazed that we are holding onto that ranking.  In my opinion, we are at best no better than Minnesota.  Despite splitting with them at home and at their house, our wins were close games and our losses were pretty much blowouts.  Still, we are solidly ahead of them in the rankings despite trailing them by 6 points in the conference standings.

We'll probably need to make a lot more noise down the stretch to have a shot at an at large bid.  I'm not sure going 6-2 will be enough unless some other things fall into place.  We have 6 road games, 2 each at MSU, UM and Wisconsin.  Our only remaining home games are 2 against Ohio State. 

My hope for the year was to improve over last year.  We were 18-14-4; 10-9-1 last year (exclude the B1G tournament 0-1).  We currently stand at 17-8-3; 7-5-0.  Overall, 2 more wins get us there.  But I'd like to see us improve on our conference record as well.  Hopefully we do no worse than 4-4.  That gets us to 21-12-3; 11-9.  It won't get us to the NCAA tournament, but is still a heck of a lot better than where I expected when this all started a few years ago.

5
Penn State Basketball / Re: PSU hoops articles, videos, etc.
« on: February 8, 2016, 11:44 AM »
SIAP, but I didn't see this until today and couldn't find it here...

http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2016/01/19/penn-state-nittany-lions-recruiting-pat-chambers

Quote
They rank 128th in point differential when adjusted for strength of schedule, 136th in kenpom.comís database, theyíve already lost to Duquesne and Radford and any optimism over their chances of clinching the programís fourth NCAA tournament berth since 1965 has long since dissipated.

Haven't we been to four NCAA tournaments since 1965?  91, 96, 01, 11?  Guess when the number is that small, accuracy isn't urgent.

6
Still on track for the 8-win Big Ten season

huh?

Of the remaining schedule, we'd need to win 2 vs. Nebraska, Rutgers on the road, NW and Illinois at home.  Assuming losses to MSU and Iowa.  I guess it's possible, but no way I'd say we are on track to get there. 

7
OT / Re: OT: PSU Football
« on: February 5, 2016, 03:21 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how does PSU get pictures of these new signees in a Penn State uniform so fast? Are they allowed to photograph them during their official visit? Are they allowed to send the recruit a uniform to wear to bed as pajamas the night before? Do they have a Photoshop wiz among the intern pool?

Pretty sure the photos are taken during visits to the campus, but could be wrong.

They always seem to take photos when the kids visit.  The kids often post them on Twitter and every PSU football media Twitter account retweets them.

In discussions with friends over the quality or lack of quality in this class, the subject has turned to the overall job Franklin has been doing.  I argue he's doing just fine, just need to close the talent gap and we'll start winning 9, 10 or more games per year.  I truly believe that coming.  But I still hear the arguments that Franklin is a lousy coach and just a great recruiter.  Well that certainly remains to be seen.

One area that we discussed that I don't see much mentioned about on any forums is the high quality people we've had in the last several classes.  I honestly can't recall anyone getting in trouble since Oakman.  Not saying it hasn't happened.  But it's happened so infrequently (if at all) that nobody has focused on it.  Our kids have also continued to excel in the classroom.  I saw recent posts on Twitter saying the team had a record number of 3.0 GPAs during the fall semester.  Regardless of wins and losses, this stuff alone makes me proud to be a Penn Stater.

8
Penn State Basketball / Re: @ Iowa IGT
« on: February 5, 2016, 11:22 AM »
Is it really the team not coming together or do we just have too thin a squad right now? We have to remember that Reaves is out with no timetable for his return (and I'd estimate he's out for another week or two), Watkins isn't eligible to play this year but he gets to have a redshirt year, Shep isn't at 100% with his ankle and neither is Banks with his back. That's just too many players for our thin squad to handle, couple that with some of the squad deficiencies we have, the B1G schedule we've had and it's nearly insurmountable.

This game was against Iowa right?  A top 5 team?  Some people are acting like this was Rutgers. 

10
OT / Re: Football: Hack Track(er)
« on: February 1, 2016, 11:33 PM »
So wait... according to this video, Hack is apparently brilliant at reading the Temple defense, but Temple kept outsmarting him....okay?  Wouldn't he have been one step ahead of them if he was such a great NFL-caliber QB mind?  This is the same Temple team that gave up 44 to USF, they weren't exactly the steel curtain out there.

I know his arm is just wonderful and everybody wants to play contrarian to the prevailing wisdom on a guy for the all mighty page views and retweets, but when your most impressive plays of a guy are him throwing the ball away because the other team outsmarted him, I don't know if that screams NFL prospect.  Or that the criticism Hack received was unjustified. 

I don't agree with you so much on you highlighted point above.  It's because of these 2 points...

1.) He showed he could do it under O'Brien.

2.) I think Franklin is a HORRIBLE coach.  Franklin's coaching has more to do with Hack reading and reacting to Temple's defense than anything else. 

A position like RB or DE has a lot of read and react that is natural.  A QBs ability to do so is absolutely dependent on the coaching staff's preparation in scouting the Temple defense and helping Hack to 'cram', much like a test in class.  Hack is not going to be able to look at Temple's defense and know what's going on.  That all happens in the film room.

I think Franklin's other huge deficiency is in game planning.  Does the offensive scheme allow for many variable options from the same set?  Do we have the plays in the playbook to counter what Temple may be showing on defense, and have we practiced those plays in the days leading up to the game.

I don't think things like that have to do with the QB.  I just don't think those miscues are on Hack.  I think Franklin has a very loose and haywire offensive scheme, and that Franklin NEEDS a mobile QB because of it.  IF Franklin is given a 5-star blue chipper that is a pocket passer, he is completely unable to put a scheme around that QB for him to be successful.   To me, that is just plain bad coaching.

Do we think that was Donovan/Rahne?  Or Franklin?  Will having Moorehead as OC and QB coach change anything?

When you are a Head Coach, you put your stamp somewhere on the program.  O'Brien had a good offense and a very good QB.  You expect Chip Kelly to have a good offense.  You expect Buddy Ryan to have a good defense.  The team will reflect the specialization of the coach.

Franklin cut his teeth as an offensive coordinator.  I just cannot see how a team can be this bad for what is now 2 years, and have a Head Coach who was a former Offensive Coordinator stand by and do nothing about it.  He had to have involvement in the offense.  I can't believe that we can simply write it off on Donovan/Rahne.

....again, just my opinion....

So Moorehead won't have much impact? 

11
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: February 1, 2016, 02:29 PM »

12
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: February 1, 2016, 01:37 PM »

13
OT / Re: Football: Hack Track(er)
« on: February 1, 2016, 08:56 AM »
So wait... according to this video, Hack is apparently brilliant at reading the Temple defense, but Temple kept outsmarting him....okay?  Wouldn't he have been one step ahead of them if he was such a great NFL-caliber QB mind?  This is the same Temple team that gave up 44 to USF, they weren't exactly the steel curtain out there.

I know his arm is just wonderful and everybody wants to play contrarian to the prevailing wisdom on a guy for the all mighty page views and retweets, but when your most impressive plays of a guy are him throwing the ball away because the other team outsmarted him, I don't know if that screams NFL prospect.  Or that the criticism Hack received was unjustified. 

I don't agree with you so much on you highlighted point above.  It's because of these 2 points...

1.) He showed he could do it under O'Brien.

2.) I think Franklin is a HORRIBLE coach.  Franklin's coaching has more to do with Hack reading and reacting to Temple's defense than anything else. 

A position like RB or DE has a lot of read and react that is natural.  A QBs ability to do so is absolutely dependent on the coaching staff's preparation in scouting the Temple defense and helping Hack to 'cram', much like a test in class.  Hack is not going to be able to look at Temple's defense and know what's going on.  That all happens in the film room.

I think Franklin's other huge deficiency is in game planning.  Does the offensive scheme allow for many variable options from the same set?  Do we have the plays in the playbook to counter what Temple may be showing on defense, and have we practiced those plays in the days leading up to the game.

I don't think things like that have to do with the QB.  I just don't think those miscues are on Hack.  I think Franklin has a very loose and haywire offensive scheme, and that Franklin NEEDS a mobile QB because of it.  IF Franklin is given a 5-star blue chipper that is a pocket passer, he is completely unable to put a scheme around that QB for him to be successful.   To me, that is just plain bad coaching.

Do we think that was Donovan/Rahne?  Or Franklin?  Will having Moorehead as OC and QB coach change anything?

14
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 07:40 PM »
I think people do not truly understand the concept of "passing".

I don't care if we have 3 or 4 point guards on the floor.  Someone on here mentioned about it being a huge benefit if Watkins can pass out of the post.  I think that is much more in line with what the team needs.

If someone is thinking of some schoolyard type of drive-and-kick is what we mean by passing, then they have completely missed the point.  Watch Michigan State and Iowa and Purdue.  Watch how the ball moves to an open shooter, not just some one-pass-and-chuck scheme.

True, but when it starts with a shooting guard trying to play the point, we are already behind. A true PG should get the offense into the right flow from the start.  And hopefully, that means everyone else is playing their proper position and doing what they are best at.

"should" is a dangerous word.  Because if we use the word "should", and it doesn't happen, then who do you blame?

We HAD a "true PG".  We had Timmy Frazier.  Timmy is playing in the NBA.  We had Timmy lead the BIG TEN in apg by a WIDE margin, yet the team as a whole was dead last in apg in the BIG TEN.  How does that happen?  We had Frazier and Newbill in the same backcourt, and the team came in last in apg in the BIG TEN. 

In both seasons mentioned above, I don't remember the team ever having what I would describe as a good flow.

...why do you think that is?  Why do you think it would change?

Because I expect that every other position on the floor will be an upgrade over what we had then. Even Frazier and Newbill. Maybe not at first. But eventually.

15
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 04:52 PM »
Very good point brought by some, in regards to lack of shooters. It is amazing how much more of the floor is opened up by teams having to identify shooters. Someone (maybe ron brown) brought up the WIDE OPEN looks being missed in the Ohio State game. Our guys hit them at a respectable rate maybe that game swings the other way. Looking at the current roster, for next year, maybe Shep and possible DZ can improve their %. Other than that, I don't see potential. Carr and Bostick both have that as weaknesses, not sure about Hampton.

I'll echo what rwd said -- Hampton can shoot but he'll be coming off an ACL tear.

I'll also repeat myself -- we'll have two true point guards in Carr and Samuel.  Hopefully, they get the ball to our shooters like Shep, DZ, Banks and allow them to catch and shoot instead of shooting off the dribble.  That alone should improve accuracy.  Should.

I think people do not truly understand the concept of "passing".

I don't care if we have 3 or 4 point guards on the floor.  Someone on here mentioned about it being a huge benefit if Watkins can pass out of the post.  I think that is much more in line with what the team needs.

If someone is thinking of some schoolyard type of drive-and-kick is what we mean by passing, then they have completely missed the point.  Watch Michigan State and Iowa and Purdue.  Watch how the ball moves to an open shooter, not just some one-pass-and-chuck scheme.

True, but when it starts with a shooting guard trying to play the point, we are already behind.  A true PG should get the offense into the right flow from the start.  And hopefully, that means everyone else is playing their proper position and doing what they are best at.

16
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 11:38 AM »
LOL, who is talking about this class being like a Kentucky class??? The bar is pretty low at PSU, but are you really doubting that the talent coming in over this year and next isn't the best we have seen as a program? You can always play the "on paper" card, but let's be honest here... a group of 7+ players like we have in these 2 classes is a different level for PSU than we are used to.  I guess it's nice to point out that they won't come in an win PSU a national championship right away, but I'm not sure who you are reminding as I'm pretty sure most on this board are well aware of that.

I'm saying they won't win a national championship, period.  They very likely won't win a B1G championship.  The "best class" at PSU in the last 20 years is still the worst class at Kentucky in that same time frame.  There is not enough context being given to that 'best class' phrase that gets thrown around.  There are many classes at many schools that would qualify as better than any class ever at PSU, it's just worth pointing out that while our team is getting better they still might have a worse roster (per recruiting rankings, 1-13 on a roster) than 8 or 9 teams in B1G.  Closing the gap sure, but still trailing.  That's important to keep in mind.

I think these guys we're getting should be good.  But I don't think we're going to look at our team in 2-3 years and feel like they are any better than say, the 2011 or 2009 teams.   I think we'll lose a lot of close games and struggle to make the tournament unless the 2017 and 2018 classes are equally as impressive as 2016.

One nice thing about our recruits is that a lot of them have played full high school seasons together already.  Some more than one.  That's gotta help with chemistry and familiarity from the start.

17
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:48 AM »
LOL, who is talking about this class being like a Kentucky class??? The bar is pretty low at PSU, but are you really doubting that the talent coming in over this year and next isn't the best we have seen as a program? You can always play the "on paper" card, but let's be honest here... a group of 7+ players like we have in these 2 classes is a different level for PSU than we are used to.  I guess it's nice to point out that they won't come in an win PSU a national championship right away, but I'm not sure who you are reminding as I'm pretty sure most on this board are well aware of that.

This is Chambers' 5th season and I doubt he's getting any job offers from schools he would leave PSU for after this season, meaning he's coming back for a 6th year.  I think we can safely say that he wasn't a short timer.... because, well, he's already not one.

Some players would likely leave, but to assume the talent would leave in droves is silly without knowing who they might hire as a replacement. If we are looking at 2-3 years from now, most of these kids will be down to 1 or 2 years of eligibility left and transferring is not an obvious choice at that stage in their careers.  The point I'm making is that I'd much rather see him replaced while we have talent on the roster to both help in hiring and to mitigate yet another rebuilding process.  To suggest that's impossible because everyone will leave when you have no idea what the circumstances are or who the new coach is just plain silly.

Wait, are we now trying to replace Chambers?  Geez, let's give him a chance to coach the best 7+ players (as a group) we've ever had for a couple years first.

18
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:44 AM »
To be honest, I'm tired of turning corners.  I'd rather be on the right path and go full speed ahead. 

19
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:16 AM »
Very good point brought by some, in regards to lack of shooters. It is amazing how much more of the floor is opened up by teams having to identify shooters. Someone (maybe ron brown) brought up the WIDE OPEN looks being missed in the Ohio State game. Our guys hit them at a respectable rate maybe that game swings the other way. Looking at the current roster, for next year, maybe Shep and possible DZ can improve their %. Other than that, I don't see potential. Carr and Bostick both have that as weaknesses, not sure about Hampton.

I'll echo what rwd said -- Hampton can shoot but he'll be coming off an ACL tear.

I'll also repeat myself -- we'll have two true point guards in Carr and Samuel.  Hopefully, they get the ball to our shooters like Shep, DZ, Banks and allow them to catch and shoot instead of shooting off the dribble.  That alone should improve accuracy.  Should.

20
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 27, 2016, 10:57 AM »
Turn the corner often enough and you're back to where you started.

Only if you keep turning the same direction.

21
Penn State Basketball / Re: When do we turn the corner?
« on: January 27, 2016, 10:29 AM »
I really think two big problems are 1. we depend on the 3 way too much, as if it wasn't evident in last nights 4 of 25 performance and our 5 total foul shots.

Taking threes is not the problem.  Missing them is.  We are bad shooters, we've almost always been bad shooters.  But you have to make threes in today's game.  We can't be trading 2 for 3 with all these teams.  Plus, you act like there is some guarantee that we'll shoot a higher percentage from 2 than from 3.  When you take out things like transition layups and putbacks, that just isn't the case for most PSU teams because of your point #2 -> we don't have good big men.  Plus, the 3-pt shot is not a difficult one for many college players, our biggest issue is that we don't recruit shooters and we don't move the ball to get in-rhythm shots often enough.  Soooo much 1 on 1 offense, shooting off the dribble is difficult for guys not named Steph Curry.

It just seems like this year's team has way more talent than what we have had

It does not seem that way at all to me.  BT is a good player being asked to be a great one.  Shep is a scrappy player and a solid shooter when he has time/space, but he is not Talor Battle 2.0 in terms of a guy who can will your team to victory 5 or 6 times a season.  Reaves lacks a TON of polish on the offensive end.   Banks has taken huge leaps forward this year but is still extremely raw and inconsistent.  Moore has great touch but poor footwork and just not enough strength to succeed in the B1G night in, night out.  Those are your best 5, clearly.   We lose one and have 2-3 years left with the other four (assuming they stay here), so hopefully they all continue to develop but none of those guys are leading us to the promise land - they are all role players at best on a team that 'turns the corner', so we have to hope that the next group of guys is everything we're being promised and then some. 

None of the other guys on the active roster right now strike me as players who should be getting meaningful minutes if we're to have 6 legit new players next season in the mix, no offense to any of them.  Maybe DZ, though I have a hard time seeing where he fits in if he doesn't become absolutely lights out from long range.  Maybe he does.

We're firmly in that 11-13 range in the Big Ten this year, a very BAD big ten compared to most years by the way.  But I don't know how you can look at our roster and think we should be doing any better. I also don't think the influx of new guys next year suddenly catapults us up into the 3-6 range either.  It would take about 3 consecutive years of recruiting classes like the 2016 class to get us there, plus some improvements in strategy and development from all those suits on the bench. 

If getting back into the 7-9 range is considered turning a corner, then I think we're possibly on the way.  But if you mean something more like the 3-6 range in the league, we're a good 3-4 years away and need a lot of work (and luck) done still to get there.

This is a very good league, in case people forget, and most of these traditional powerhouses are not going away. 


I mostly agree with Geno/Watkins here.  Two things I'll add. 

First, on the complaining about needing a big man coach.  Moore has really impressed me at times.  I'm hoping that's the result of coaching and hard work.  And that he'll continue to improve.  What Watkins adds to the interior remains to be seen.  But if those two can be an improvement over Dunkerson and Jack, we'll be better. 

Second, on the complaining about our poor passing.  We'll have two true point guards on the roster next season.  That alone should help getting the ball to guys who are in position to shoot.  Could be what guys like DZ and Banks need to take that next step as shooters.

22
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: January 26, 2016, 12:56 AM »

23
OT / Re: OT: PSU Ice Hockey
« on: January 25, 2016, 01:41 PM »

24
OT / Re: Football: Hack Track(er)
« on: January 25, 2016, 11:19 AM »
Wonder if Brady's draft stock is going to drop since he can't play while under siege.
 

Clearly his Hall of Fame candidacy has taken a major hit.

The thing with Hack is whether or not he can overcome what he's been through.  Will he forever hear footsteps?  He kept plugging along until that last hit in the bowl game, so I have hope.  Time will tell.

25
Penn State Basketball / Re: this snow storm is serious
« on: January 23, 2016, 12:08 PM »
My "Big Dig" was less costly and didn't take as long as Boston's, but it did beat me down this morning. I expect phase two later tonight won't be as challenging. I think we got about 18 inches in Mount Joy.

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