I never thought I would see the day when Penn State would ever win any kind of championship in men's basketball. I still can't believe it.
All of the hardships. The losses. The injuries. The transfers. They are all part of the past now. Penn State basketball has officially turned the corner, and we are blowing down the back stretch. I'm not foolish enough to say Penn State is a national powerhouse, but today they took a huge step in standing up in front of the nation and putting everyone on notice that the days of Penn State basketball as a national punchline are over.
Thank you to Jamelle Cornley, Stanley Pringle, and Danny Morrissey, three seniors that will always be remembered for their contributions during this great season and their overall careers. Morrissey deserves special recognition as his Penn State career came to a premature end late in the second half when he suffered a mouth injury while diving to prevent the ball from going out of bounds. His final play symbolized the very effort he gave throughout his entire career. While his play was often the scorn of Penn State fans, his heart and hustle could never be denied, and the Penn State family owes him a tremendous thank you. And maybe some new front teeth.
How wonderful is it to see Jamelle Cornley walk off a winner in Madison Square Garden. He injured his shoulder just moments after Morrissey's injury. But in typical Cornley fashion, he played through it. What a warrior. After the game he embraced Battle and the cameras caught him saying something to the effect of "This is your team now. It's your job to keep this going."
And as Penn State fans, it's our job to keep this going as well. Over the past several years I've heard a lot of people say they'll become Penn State basketball fans when the team starts winning. Well, the team just won. They did their part. Now it's time for us to do ours. Penn State fans filled 36 busses to drive six hours to support their team on a work/school night. There is no reason why the Jordan Center can't be sold out for every home game next year. None. Do your jobs.
Congrats to Ed and team. The 2009 NIT Champions. WE ARE!!!