Nitt Picks Falls Short

It was the same old story last night as Penn State lost to the Buckeyes by 12 points. We're at the point now where we have to give up on thinking we can win games like this. We need to look for small victories, and last night there were plenty of them. We came out strong and jumped to a 9-2 lead. We were tied at halftime and had a four point lead with 14:00 to go. But then like this young team does every game they started having doubts and didn't know how to play with the lead. They took bad shots and turned the ball over. Ohio State went on a 16-0 run over a span of 10 minutes, so when Stanley Pringle finally sank a three to end the scoring drought with 4:00 to play it was too little to too late.

Also related to the game and a topic of much debate in this space yesterday was the Target Ten campaign to raise money for THON. Well, despite the Big Ten Netork buying 1000 tickets to the game to help reach that goal the still fell way short.

Despite the multitude of brightly-colored Thon t-shirts mixed with blue and white ones at last night's men's basketball game, the student turnout was not enough to meet the goal of the "Target Ten" Challenge.

The student turnout for the game was about 6,000, Loren Crispell, marketing manager for Penn State basketball, said.

But don't worry. The kids with cancer won't go away empty handed.

Although 10,000 student tickets were not sold for last night's game, Crispell said a portion of the proceeds from student ticket sales for Saturday's game will still go to Thon. Crispell said Penn State basketball reached this agreement with Thon in advance.

"We wanted to make sure that the efforts of the students weren't in vain," Crispell said. "Tonight was a good effort all around, and we're still in a good spot to raise a lot of money for Thon."

You know, several commenters yesterday pointed out and I tend to agree that this is a total ripoff for THON. The University sold 6000 student tickets to the game last night trying to reach the almost impossible number of 10,000. Now just a portion of the proceeds from student ticket sales to the Feb. 2 game with Michigan State will go toward THON. How many students will show up for that game? Maybe 3000? And only a portion of those proceeds will go to the kids with cancer? That just doesn't pass the smell test and BSD thinks the University needs to do more.

But it wasn't all bad news yesterday as Penn State confirmed a player from Villanova has transferred to the program.

Villanova's Andrew Ott, a redshirt freshman forward, has transferred to Penn State and will play for the Nittany Lions next season, according to a press release yesterday.

The 6-foot-10 Ott registered for classes at University Park yesterday and will begin classes this week. And though he will not be able to play in games for the rest of this season, he will be eligible to play for Penn State after the upcoming fall semester is finished.

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis hopes Ott will practice with the team by Friday.

This is a great pickup for Penn State. Ott was a highly recruited player that had offers from North Carolina and Wake Forest. We are in desperate need a big man to play some defense and pull down rebounds and Ott looks like he can fill that void. He will be able to practice with the team this spring and summer so he can hit the ground running next January.

I guess we were Even Steven yesterday as the women's volleyball team lost a player to transfer.

The Penn State women's volleyball team has been surprised by a departure from its national championship team.

Sophomore setter Jessica Yanz, one of the nation's top recruits out of high school who has gotten little playing time with the Nittany Lions, has transferred to Nebraska.

Yanz was highly recruited coming out of Illinois. She split time in the early going of her career with Alisa Glass, but as time went on Glass elevated her game and became the more conistent player. BSD wishes Jessica well in her future endeavors.

And speaking of tranfers, reporters tracked down Chris Baker yesterday and asked him a few questions. It sounds like Baker may be considering leaving Penn State and starting over somewhere.

"If things don't work out here at Penn State, then I'll have to go to another school or something and do what I have to do," Baker said. "I wouldn't want to go to another Division I school just because I'd have to sit out a year, so I'd look to like a Division I-AA school, but I don't know which school."

You know, what bothers me about this whole thing is Baker still refuses to admit he did anything wrong. Here is what he has to say.

"If you didn't know me from football and you read the newspaper, you'd just think that he's the guy that's always beating up people," Baker said. "This has been a rough lesson for me. I'm looking to clear my name up from all this to prove my innocence. ... I'm not a bad guy. I'm a nice guy."

Baker, who along with Bowman will meet with Judicial Affairs next month, said he was wrongfully accused in the HUB incident. He said the truth will eventually emerge but declined to comment about who on the team might be implicated.

"I've been getting accused of something I had nothing to do with," he said. "They had a description of a big black male, and I happened to fit it. I happened to fit the description of a big black male. Walking to class every day, when [news stories] were on the front page, everybody thinks I'm a big thug."

He later added: "I don't feel I'm being singled out, but I don't feel I'm getting a fair shot. I know I didn't do anything and a lot of people in the football building know that I didn't do anything."

Multiple witnesses have testified they saw him stomping two different people in two different instances. Now, I know the police have done some pretty shoddy investigative work like putting a football program in front of the victims and asking them to point to their attacker, but come on. I can't believe this is all about whitey trying to bring down the big black man. Grow up, Chris, and take some responsibility.

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