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Game 14: Indiana Preview

After a valiant, but ultimately fruitless performance in Madison, the Nittany Lions host the #5 team in the country.

Jordan Hulls, noted Lion tamer.
Jordan Hulls, noted Lion tamer.
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Who: Indiana Hoosiers (13-1)
When: Monday, 7:00PM
Where: Bryce Jordan Center

The stats will tell you that this game should be a blowout, and it's hard to argue in favor of anything else. Indiana ranks in the top ten in the country in numerous offensive statistical categories, including points per game (87.9 ppg, 1st in the country), field goal percentage (51%, 7th) and scoring margin (+28.3, 1st). The Nittany Lions, by comparison, rank 250th in scoring, 258th in FG%, and 221st in scoring margin (-1.2 ppg). Penn State won't be able to compete with the Hoosiers in a run and gun game chock-filled with possessions. That much is evident, despite the fact that the Lions were able to stick around in this fixture last year, an 88-82 thriller.

Tom Crean's club has a number of scorers capable of carrying the scoring load on any given night. Swingman/human bouncy ball Victor Oladipo is averaging 13.6 ppg on 67%(!) shooting from the field, and Jordan Hulls shoots 51% from three despite an 0-4 effort last Monday against Iowa. The senior guard enjoys playing against the Nits--he averaged 20.7 ppg against the Lions last year on 13-22 shooting in three meetings. Christian Watford and sixth man Will Sheehey each average more than 12 ppg, and impressive true freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell's 2.6:1 assist to turnover ratio isn't bad, eh Boo Boo?

Oh yeah, almost forgot. National POY candidate Cody Zeller (16.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg) is pretty good too.

Losing 60-51 at Wisconsin on Thursday was, all things considered, a decent result--though Pat Chambers wouldn't argue as much. There were some real positives to take away from the loss, including individual performances from D.J. Newbill (12 points, 8 boards, 2 posters) and Jermaine Marshall (19 points). Most importantly, the Lions were in a game in which they were granted one solitary free throw attempt by the referees, a "feat" you are unlikely to see repeated again in conference play. Chambers would like to see better production from the frontcourt, as Sasa Borovnjak, Jon Graham and Donovon Jack combined for a mere 10 points and four rebounds in 38 minutes against Wisconsin.

The students are back from winter break, so hopefully the BJC will be rocking for the first home game against a ranked opponent this season. To those who would rather watch that silly foobaw game--you never know which games can turn into classics, even if you aren't on the winning side.

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