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Penn State Basketball: News and Notes From the Hardwood - 10.31.14

KenPom ratings, bad lists and more!

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get into yelling about why nobody in the mainstream college basketball media is #TalkinBoutTheLions, there's the small issue of the lack of shootyhoops content being churned out by this here blog of late. While you're probably not in basketball mode just yet, the season is approaching quickly and we here at BSD are working hard on some medium-to-big projects that will hopefully enhance your Penn State basketball experience. So keep your eyes (and ears, wink wink) peeled for some great content. For now though, you'll just have to settle for another small update. To the outrage!

Called It!

It was apparent two weeks ago that D.J. Newbill was going to be passed over for a few preseason honors, but with this week's release of a number of "Top 100 Players in College Basketball" lists, it's becoming clear that Penn State's star guard is getting overlooked by just about everyone. None of the three writers over at CBS Sports felt inclined to pick Newbill for their list, and sadly, the mothership's Mike Rutherford did not consult BSD's basketbros when choosing his list - a list which did include Northwestern's JerShon Cobb and Ohio State's Anthony Lee. Cobb did not make any all-conference team last year and Lee is a graduate transfer who averaged 13 points per game on a bad Temple squad in 2013-14. Uh huh. It's not much of a consolation, but Newbill was the first mentioned among Rutherford's "50 Who Just Missed." This just goes to show what an uphill battle Penn State faces to become relevant in the national landscape.

Early Numbers Don't Lie, Hopefully

If there is one preseason projection you would want to shine some favorable light on your team, it's probably Ken Pomeroy's. And boy, does KenPom like Penn State this year. The Nittany Lions start the season ranked 56th in the country after ending 2014 at a meager 82nd. Two opponents in the Charleston Classic are yet to be determined, of course, but other than 57th-ranked Miami, Penn State will be favored in every non-conference game according to these early projections.

The downside to these projections? KenPom loves the B1G as its top conference again this year, despite the perception that the league will suffer a drop in quality due to the number of players that left.  As such, KenPom is predicting a 7-11 record and 11th place finish in-conference for PSU, which would mark an improvement of one win over last season.

Lightning Round

  • Last Saturday afternoon saw Penn State beat Penn State in the Blue-White scrimmage, in which Brandon Taylor and true freshman Shep Garner reportedly looked impressive. From the sound of this recap from BWI's Nate Bauer, Pat Chambers drew up a variety of plays for Taylor, who will be counted on as the second scorer in the early portion of the season.
  • Oh yeah, Geno Thorpe did this at the scrimmage (video courtesy of legend UncleLar):
  • This should come as no surprise, but both the men's and women's shootyhoopers have been taking care of business in the classroom for a while now. According to the NCAA's latest reports, every player that came to the school between 2004-05 and 2007-08 (not including players who transferred out) eventually earned a Penn State degree, giving both programs a 100% Graduation Success Rate (GSR). So thanks for that, Ed and Ren--uh, nevermind.