Having watched the Purdue game in a half-empty Bryce Jordan, it is so obvious why Penn State ended up 11-19 in regular season and last place in the Big Ten.
Watching the game inside the paint, it is easy to see obvious layups missed, few tip-ins, traveling with the ball and taking the ball down instead of up. These are things that should be learned in high school basketball.
Penn State's inside game is not terrible - it's pathetic. Watching Purdue under the basket is like night and day compared to Penn State. Purdue charges the boards, they tip, they dunk and go straight up for the ball like most major college teams in top conferences.
Is this happening because of coaching, underachieving players or poor recruiting? It is probably all of the above.
First of all let's look at coaching: Ed DeChellis, after seven years, is now 95-121, having won most of those games by playing cupcakes before the Big Ten season. Compare his record to other Big Ten coaches.
Second, underachieving players: The only player that shows up every game is Talor Battle. The rest of the team you really don't know about until the game is over.
The biggest and most important question is recruiting. The fans say a big man is needed. Penn State has had several that haven't worked out in the recent past.
Now comes a 7-foot transfer, Andrew Ott, who can't shoot, can't dribble, can't rebound. Who wasted this scholarship?
Now look to the future. The top recruit is a guard. Yes a guard. Returning next year is Battle, senior, Chris Babb, a sophomore who is showing more and more improvement and finally Tim Frazier, a sophomore who is a more than adequate substitute.
Where are our big men? You can't win with guards only.
It is said that Penn State basketball is a young team, starting three juniors and two sophomores.
Guess what: They are being beaten by freshman and sophomores playing on other teams who will also become better next year.
Once again, Penn State has a class act in a coach, but nice guys can finish last. It is extremely obvious that Ed DeChellis in his seven years has proven he will not be the one to turn the program. How can you win the NIT one year and end up last in your conference the next year and in seven years not go to the Big Dance once?
If Penn State truly wants to fill up Bryce Jordan Center, they must quit playing the "good ole boys" game internally. The fans are starving for a consistent winner.
WNIT?a step down for Lady Lions
There is nothing wrong with remaining with supposedly the best 65 teams in the NCAA Tournament. It is fine just the way it is and very exciting.
Expanding March Madness to 96 teams has no logic or makes common sense. Whoever came up the idea is based on making more money for TV but also "watering down" the competition. This is what has ruined Major League Baseball by expanding more teams and stretching out the available talent.
Teams like the New York Yankees will always come up with the cream of the crop with the payroll they have. And if the NCAA should expand to 96 teams, then you might as well eliminate the NIT, which will also be "watered down" talent wise.
That bring us to the Penn State Lady Lions being extended an invitation to the WNIT. I say no!
Let's take a look at the math. Let's concentrate what they achieved in Big Ten play.
From Dec. 28 through Jan. 24, they were 7-2 and in second place in the Big Ten and ranked No. 23 in the nation.
At that point they were halfway through the season and becoming an amazing success story under their third-year coach, Coquese Washington. And then the roof caved in.
From Jan. 28-Feb. 28, they were a very mediocre 1-8. And then they won a one game and lost one in the Big Ten Tournament and finished.
So they finished at 9-11 in Big Ten play and 17-13 overall.
If you want to make a case for them going to the WNIT, they beat Michigan State. That is not enough. Sure, they get an invite to the WNIT and probably get a game or two at the Bryce Jordan Center and might win a game or two .
That is a prime example of why the NIT and WNIT are for the NCAA wanabees.
Reduced deer herd frustrating
I was confounded after reading Shirley Grenoble's doe hunting article Feb. 28: "Explanation time."
The majority of hunters can agree with her second sentence: "The reduction in the deer population has been dramatic, and most hunters don't like it a bit."
However, the remainder of her article caused her consternation in selecting which week to take vacation to maximize her chances of culling our thin herd of an antlerless deer.
Why don't all hunters take a step back and realize that the commission is counting on us to be gullible? I don't like that a bit.
Shirley has fallen victim to the commission's propaganda: Give them multiple seasons, give them extra days and keep doe license allocations high.
Their mission is increased revenue, plain and simple. The commission has accomplished their goal of satisfying the insurance companies with a decrease in deer-to-vehicle collisions.
If the commission truly cared what the hunters wanted, an immediate reduction for 2010 doe allocations would be first on the list during the Pennsylvania Game Commission meeting in April.
Hunters want to share their love of the woods with their children. That love involves deer sightings on a higher probability than we currently enjoy, not necessarily deer kills. I've spent countless days afield in the last number of years with my son and family members with very few sightings to satisfy most hunters.
I've seen older members of our hunting party decide to quit hunting, and some have died without seeing an increase in the herd in their later days. Admittedly, proposed changes to expand the split/concurrent antlered season are a step in the right direction, thus reducing days when both does and bucks may be harvested.
I'm really not a PGC basher. They've made me a believer in the arena of antler restriction.
But with fewer does to breed, the number of fawns dropped in the spring will most certainly decrease, thus impacting the sightings in the fall. I've hunted state game lands and private ground in recent years with poor results (based on sightings, not kills).
Like Shirley stated, the reduction has been dramatic. But we as hunters have the power to bring our decimated herd back. Just because we can shoot does doesn't mean we should. I haven't applied for a doe tag in 30 years.
Of course, those families impacted by the nationwide unemployment numbers may need the venison to freeze for later consumption and for that purpose. Those hunters should fill their bellies.
Let's not be drawn in as unlikely partners in the scheme of further herd reduction. Look around, fellow deer hunters: If you don't like the low deer herd population, then do something about it.