USA TODAY Sports
Three new teams join this week, as Maggie Lucas's All-American case is made
There's gonna be a lot of words in the women's shootyhoops section. Like, way more than usual. So here is this week's song of the week (A More Perfect Union by Titus Andronicus). Let's do this.
- One game this week for the 7th ranked Lady Shootyhoopers, as they went Mauti on Illinois and won 95-62. Relevant stats: PSU shot 61.1 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from deep. Four ladies had at least 10 points. Maggie Lucas had a Russell Westbrook-esque 22 points, 9 boards and 5 assists. Alex Bentley had 20 points and 7 assists. They outrebounded Chef Illini 45-26, and held Illinois to 33.3 percent shooting as a team. Oh, Illinois is the second best offensive team in the Big Ten, putting up 71.2 ppg.
- Onto what the title says, making the case for Maggie Lucas as an All-American. There are three locks right now, Baylor's Brittney Griner, Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Delaware's Elena Della Donne. That leaves one forward spot (probably going to Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford) and one guard spot. Contenders in my opinion: Lucas, Baylor's Odyssey Sims and Dook's Chelsea Gray. Sims is on the best team, Gray has probably been the best all around player (12.6 ppg, 5.44 apg, 5.3 rpg, 3.56 spg), Lucas has been an offensive machine (19.9 ppg, 49.3 percent from deep, 45 percent from the field, 4.4 rpg).
- So why Lucas over Gray and Sims? Easy: Neither Sims nor Gray is their team's best player. Sims defers to Griner. Gray defers to Elizabeth Williams. Lucas? She is the best player on one of the 10 best teams in America, and the best player on the best team in the Big Ten. Take Gray or Sims off of their teams and Baylor and Dook are still top 10 teams. Take Lucas off of Penn State, and the Nits are probably a borderline top 25 team. Lastly, remember all of this wasted space when someone I inevitably forgot takes the second first team All-American guard spot and I look like an idiot.
- The Week Ahead: Two games, one on Sunday at home against Michigan, then a game in Minnesota against the Gophers on Thursday. Now, I don't want to sound like a traitor, but if Minny's women's coach is anything like Tubby Smith, I may have to cheer for Minnesota.............on second thought nah.
Track and Field
- (Note, if you want to take a nap after the shootyhoops stuff, feel free. Here's some Enya to lull you to sleep.)
- We've mentioned how insane the men's 4 x 200 team is before. Well, the 4 x 800 team showed how insane they are at the Millrose Games. They nuked the meet and track records, as well as the school record with a 7:21.37. They also beat the team that came in second (dook lol) by 5.5 seconds. Wow. Good on ya, Za'Von Watkins, Brannon Kidder, Ricky West and Casimir Loxsom.
- The Week Ahead: Big Ten Indoor Championships on Friday in Saturday in Geneva, Ohio. Do work, Lions.
- Normally, when a PSU team loses, it sucks. But since they had to go to Rochester, these losses makes sense because Rochester sucks the hope out of people.
- Two games against RIT, both losses. 3-1 on Friday, 4-0 on Saturday. Taylor Gross had the only goal of the weekend. PSU was outshot 90-42. Yep. They should probably see what Julie "The Cat" Gaffney is up to these days.
- The Week Ahead: Two games against Robert Morris. Instead of making a bad Robert Morris joke, I'd like to remind you that Robert Morris should have beaten Villanova in the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
- I know, I know, no moral victories. But the women's gymnastics team posted their highest team score since 2011 in a loss to 3rd ranked Michigan, 197.375-196.700. The only event winner was Madison Merriam, who won the vault.
- The top ranked men's team kept on grinding through this season, beating 11th ranked William and Mary and 12th ranked Temple in Philly. PSU put up a 446.550, Temple came in second with 421.300 and William and Mary came in last with 417.750. Is it possible to be too good? I think the men's gymnastics team is too good.
- The Week Ahead: The guys are going to beat Springfield College. The ladies take on Michigan State and get to see first hand how SPARTY, NO translates to gymnastics.
Swimming and Diving
- The 24th ranked guys team has a week off to get the chlorine out of their hair. The 24th ranked ladies, howevah, are currently in Minneapolis at the Big Ten Championships. They go on until Saturday, so I'll just give a brief recap, I suppose.
- DAY ONE: Women's 200 Yard Medley Relay came in 5th, qualified for the NCAA's and broke a school record (APPROPRIATE .GIF). Women's 800 Yard Free Relay came in 4th.
- DAY TWO: Women's 200 Yard Free Relay came in 2nd, qualified for NCAA's and broke a school record. Alyson Ackman won the B final of the 500 Yard Free and broke the school record in the event. Megan Silverling came in 6th of the A final of the 500 Yard Free and also broke the school record (Ackman was .01 second faster). Merritt Krawczyk and Chelsea Weedman came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the 200 Yard IM. Weedman set the school record in the prelims, Krawczyk broke the record in the finals. Awesome.
- The Week Ahead: The ladies are gonna keep on keepin' on at the Big Ten Championships. The guys start their run at a Big Ten title next week.
- Weird week for the 9th ranked men's volleyball team. After a lengthy homestand, they go on the road to 15th ranked Harvard...and lose 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-23). Aaron Russell led the way with 11 kills and Taylor Hammond had 29 assists.
- The next night they went to Sacred Heart (not this one, sadly) and crucified them, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-23). Five Lions had at least 5 kills with Russell again leading the way, this time with 9.
- The Week Ahead: Back to Happy Valley for two games (one against George Mason on Friday, then one against Princeton on Saturday)/
various State Patties celebrationsbefore hitting the road for a month.
- Fencing had a week off, so (BAD JOKE ALERT) I'm gonna take another stab at this: #GetBillAdamDevonAndDanIfHeCanGetAFlightFromTexas2Wrestlemania
- The Week Ahead: Both the guys and the gals head down to Philly for a meet against UPenn, Dook, St. Johns and Princeton. Going back to that bad joke: speaking of stabbing, here's an old Jim Carrey "In Living Color" skit where he teaches a self defense class. You're welcome.
- The men's tennis team had the week off. I can't think of any funny/obscure tennis stuff to put in here. Dammit.
- The 48th ranked women's tennis team, however, just got back from West Virginia, which probably explains why campus smells a bit funky. They took down Winthrop, 4-3, and Marshall, 6-1.
- The Week Ahead: The women take on West Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth at PSU this weekend, while the guys travel to Virginia to take on VCU and William and Mary. Apparently, there isn't any tennis outside of the Mid-Atlantic.
- UPSET: 15th ranked Men's Lax beat 9th ranked Denver, 15-12. Shane Sturgis and Jack Forster both had four goals, while "arguably the best goalie in the nation" Austin Kaut had 10 saves. LACOSTE FOR EVERYONE.
- The Week Ahead: Lax Power's #1 team in the country, Notre Dame, comes to Happy Valley this week. There will be Lennay Kekua jokes next week. You have my word.
- The Week Ahead: We have three (!!!) new teams to add to Pickin' Nits this week, so I'll keep this short. Golf had nothing this past week, has the Challenge of Champions this week (which totally sounds like something from Pokemon) and Tiger Woods got bounced by a 16 seed in the WGC-Accenture Match Play #TeamBubbaWatson.
- The first team making their debut this week, the 9th ranked women's lacrosse team! Welcome ladies, you will be merged with men's lax in the coming weeks.
- Women's Lax had the most dominant performance of any Penn State team this week, whooping Bucknell, 18-2. Mackenzie Cyr led the way with 4 goals and 3 assists.
- The Week Ahead: The ladies head down to Baltimore to take on 10th ranked Loyola. No word if S. Malory "Duchess" Archer will be suiting up for either team. We'll keep you posted.
- The second team making their debut: softball! Welcome, softball team. I think I have a class with a softball player, so I'll be extra nice to you guys.
- Softball had five games last weekend at the Troy Cox Classic in New Mexico, losing their first three (Colorado State, 10-2; New Mexico State, 10-2; Texas Tech, 14-3) and winning their last two (New Mexico State, 10-2; UMKC, 10-2). Cassidy Bell went yard thrice and drove in nine runs while hitting .600. Her batting average is the same as Nick Colella's free throw percentage (sorry, @ColellaDown, I still love you).
- The Week Ahead: Four games in Chapel Hill, NC: Saturday against George Washington and North Dakota State, Sunday against Iowa State and UNC. Ladies, go to Time Out in Chapel Hill. Eat the chicken cheddar biscuit. Thank me later. The stroke is totally worth it.
- Last sport (I swear): baseball! America's Pastime! Other baseball cliches! Leslie Nielsen!
- Baseball headed down to Johnson City, Tennessee to take on Eastern Tennessee State, where they went 1-2 against the Buccaneers (apparently, there are pirates in Johnson City, Tennessee). After winning the first game, 6-4, the Nits dropped the next two, 8-3 and 9-7. J.C. Coban went HAM, hitting .429 with a homer and five RBI's over the weekend.
- The Week Ahead: Three games, in Lynchburg, VA, against Liberty University. I almost went to Liberty. Talk about dodging a bullet. Nothing good comes out of Liberty. Well, unless you're Samantha Ponder, Samkon Gado or that guy that won season two of "America's Got Talent."