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BSD Mailbag 3.14.14

You've got questions, BSD has answers.

Jamie Sabau

Which Penn State QB that's not Rob Bolden would make the best WR and what WR would’ve made the best QB?Success With Honor Always
Rashard Casey would have been tremendous in the slot with the right offense. Any time he had the ball in his hands he was a threat to make it to the end zone thanks to his overwhelming athletic ability. He may have been the lone source of excitement during the 2000 season, which launched The Dark Years.

As far as a receiver as a quarterback, I'll go with Brett Brackett. If he would have stuck with his original position, he may have started during the 2011 season. While he may have helped an anemic 2011 offense, it would have also caused a chain reaction where Matt McGloin likely doesn't have an incredible 2012 and become an NFL starter as a rookie.

What's your earliest Penn State football memory? I learned how to add by watching Penn State football and I was adding before Kindergarten. gerrylovesnathalie
I love this question, but it's going to involve me making some confessions. First off, I grew up as a huge Browns fan so college football didn't get much attention in my household (everything became reversed once the Browns moved to Baltimore, but that's another story). Most of the college games I watched as a young child were Notre Dame, because of a family-friend who played for the Irish during their glory days of the late '80s.

My first Penn State memory was watching the 1992 Penn State-Notre Dame game with my dad to watch our friend play (he was a starting guard, and it was a pretty big thrill for me as a kid to see him play on TV). I asked who Notre Dame was playing and he responded "Penn State." Except I thought he said "Kent State," so I thought that's who I was watching until they showed the score at the end of the first quarter (anyone remember when they didn't have the box score in the corner of the screen?). The next couple hours played a major part in what turned out to be a lifelong obsession with Penn State football. It was something about watching a team play smashmouth football in the mud and snow for three hours in those simplistic white uniforms. I specifically remember thinking that the plain white helmet with the blue stripe was the coolest thing I had ever seen on a football team. I just thought it was so amazing that a team would send a message that they were all about business and didn't have time for flash. I also remember my dad talking about how Penn State's coach was "a real class act," which helped seal the deal. They lost that game 17-16, but gained a fan for life.

Also, to your point about football teaching you math- when we learned our multiplication tables in second grade I already had the threes and sevens memorized because I could just count field goals and touchdowns.

Given the returning players for next year, what specific area of improvement should we expect on next years men’s BB team? jiminore
To ensure you receive an intelligent response, I'll turn things over to Chad:

Well first we should figure out what the hoopyballers were bad at so we can see what they need to improve on. Despite what your eyeballs may have told you, Penn State was one of the best teams in the B1G at defending inside the three-point arc, holding opponents to just 45% shooting on 2-point field goals. If you're a glass-half full kind of person, you'd attribute that to the defensive acumen of Donovon Jack (1.5 blocks per game), Brandon Taylor (1.1 bpg) and especially Jordan Dickerson (just 1.3 bpg, but only averaged 10 minutes per game). If you think the glass is half full of poop, then you're likely to point out that Penn State fouled more than any team in the conference, which converted points usually scored near the hoop into free throws. Defending without fouling has to be something Pat Chambers emphasizes this offseason, and as good as Tim Frazier has been for this program, getting more minutes for sophomore-to-be ballhawk Geno Thorpe could be addition by subtraction on that front.

Offensively, Penn State's biggest worry has to be outside shooting. Early in the season the Nittany Lions looked like they could put up 80 points on any given night - Jack, Taylor, Allen Roberts, and D.J. Newbill were all shooting close to or over 40% from beyond the arc and that created lanes for Frazier and Ross Travis to operate. When the shooting went cold, the entire offense stagnated and that produced stretches like the opening 10 minutes at Minnesota last Sunday. Next season, expect to see John Johnson and Graham Woodward take on larger roles. Both are capable shooters (as long as Johnson isn't pulling up from 20-feet out of the triple threat) and between Woodward and freshman Shep Garner, who should both handle point-guard duties, the outside shooting has the potential to be there. Of course, this is Penn State basketball we're talking about here.

What can account for our early exits in the BIG tourney on the women’s side? jiminore
And now we turn things over to Cari:

I don't think early exits in your question should be plural; of the Maggie Lucas years, only this year is really that disappointing (her freshman year, we went to the finals; semis the last two years). This year's tournament, though, was undoubtedly a disappointment; I'm not really sure what we can chalk it up to, but one of the things is a really tough first round opponent--Ohio State, even in their down years, is always a tough team that is ready to go come March, and when a team shoots over 70% from the field it can be tough to overcome (including over 71% from 3). Defense has been an issue for this squad all year--and that was in full effect in the loss, when Ohio State scored more in the first half than either of the two meetings of the teams all year. If they don't clear up their defensive efforts, the Lady Lions probably won't make it past the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Who wins a David Taylor vs. Ed Ruth matchup at 174 LBS? Aqua Velva Man
Once again ladies and gentleman, Miss Cari Greene:

Possibly the best question ever, and if you had asked me a year ago I might have a different answer. But for some reason, Ruth has looked a little more lethargic this year (in Ruuuuuth standards, at least)--and David Taylor has been doing David Taylor things. Give me the Magic Man, but in a close one.

What is the best location-themed souvenier to buy as a gift from a really shitty place, for instance Warren, OH or Palo Alto, CA? WorldBFat

I don't know why I'm even offering a response considering you just disparaged my hometown. First of all, Warren has many authentic ethnic restaurants that you just can't find anymore in nearly any other area. Secondly...Ok, Warren is a post-industrial town with its share of struggles. I enjoyed growing up there but my generation had to move if you didn't want to seriously limit your career prospects. Anyways, I was going to recommend a t-shirt from the infamous Hot Dog Shoppe but apparently they do not sell them, or even have a website for that matter. I think a framed picture would work just as well.

MFK WorldBFat, HumbleBuckeye, ReadingRambler. jman07
M- HumbleBuckeye. He seems like a very well-adjusted and reasonable human being, which would make him very easy to get along with in real life.

F- WorldBFat- I'm sure it would get weird at times, but would be a night you would never, ever forget. Plus you would likely get to see him in those red shorts.

K- ReadingRambler- he's an entertaining guy, but I'm sure it would start to get really annoying 24/7. No offense, dude.

I'm torn on how I feel about the new ticket price system this year Like Or Dislike? giraffelover

I'm a fan. It comes out to basic supply and demand- hopefully it improves attendance for the less exciting non-conference games while making more money for the athletic department from games fans are willing to shell out the big bucks for. It's a much better system than forcing people to purchase tickets to games they may have no desire or availability to attend like they did last year.

Why does the dentist give you a free toothbrush? Can you really trust that toothbrush? Doesn’t it make sense that the dentist would instead give you cookies, candy, or something less nutritious like meth to help drum up repeat customers and encourage expensive and extensive root canals and bridge work? Dbridi

You would think the dentists would have caught on by now, huh? However those toothbrushes they give you are so flimsy that I'm sure it's still helping them churn a profit.

Why is there a giant kung fu ad on SBN? And on a scale of 1 to Ohio State, how much does it suck? bondom34

I usually am understanding about ads since it's just the nature of the beast, but that one made me pretty furious. It's not fair to the readers to make the site more difficult to navigate, and it's not right to intentionally cover up the work that a dedicated group of people put together in their free time because they love providing a service for the BSD community. My complaints fell on deaf ears, but was told by management that the ads "are really slick," so at least we have that. Either way I offer my apologies for any frustration it may have caused on Tuesday.

If you went into a restaurant and ate everything in the restaurant and they had to close the restaurant, would you be allowed back in the restaurant?

Why would a restaurant ban its best customer? Unless you're asking about a buffet. In that case....The Simpsons already did it.

The Browns have released Brandon Weeden. Please report on your boner duration and turgidity starting from the moment you heard the news.WorldBFat

I'm honestly not all that excited because I'm certain the Browns will once again throw away a bunch of draft picks to overreach on yet another QB who will be released in a couple years. The Browns have made some truly awful picks over the years but Weeden was doomed from the start. They used a first-round pick on a 29-year old QB, meaning that the only way he would be successful is if he set the world on fire as a rookie. Sorry that's not going to happen, especially given what he had to work with in Cleveland.

While I have trouble reading comments while at work and very busy when not at work, I have not noticed very many fanposts or fanshots related to JZ’s latest "work", stuff from Ray Blehar, Celemens stepping down and recanting or the trustee elections. Maybe I missed them. If not, is this a conscious editorial decision, the most passionate partisans on both sidesno longer allowed to grace the board, or is it just IT fatigue and folks just more excited about Wrestling, WBB and men’s shoot hoops showing some signs of life? Former_DC_Buck

We made a decision about a year ago not to cover the Sandusky Scandal unless there was actual news involved. There's really no point in covering a few individuals who randomly make media appearances just for the sake of attention with nothing of value to to add. The community is free to create fanposts and fanshots if they please, but that seldom happens. Feel free to interpret that however you wish.