It all starts with this game. Penn State has been given a clean slate, a difficult schedule, and a roster full of seniors ready for one last shot at glory. DeChellis’ contract is coming close to the end, and the critics haven’t been louder. In a lot of ways the 2010-2011 season is the most important season since DeChellis’ hire almost a decade ago. A successful season gives the athletic department grounds for an extension, whereas another poor season could mean a low note to end the Talor Battle era and increased pressure for a coaching change. It’s a difficult situation, but a very interesting one to follow.
All of that aside Lehigh travels to Happy Valley today for Penn State’s season and home opener as part of a 4 game home stand for the Lions. A solid 4-0 start could go a long way before Penn State makes the trip south to play a talented Mississippi team.
6’3 Guard- C.J McCollum: A bonafide NBA bound player who was named Player of the Year in the Patriot League as well as Freshman of the Year. Averaging 18 ppg, McCollum will put up 20 plus shots a game without even blinking. Maybe his most impressive stat last season was his 42% shooting from behind the arc, a remarkable feat considering the number of shots he puts up each game.
Beating Lehigh comes down to containing McCollum who normally puts up a lot of shots at an effective pace. If Penn State can make it difficult for him by contesting shots that will go a long way towards win number one. On the offensive side of the ball Penn State needs to work on finding a rhythm and getting consistent scoring from their role players like Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones. This isn’t as important for beating Lehigh as it is starting off the season on the right foot. The schedule Penn State has this year doesn’t give them a lot of chances to win while playing their B game, the sooner the team can gel on the court, the better.
5 Questions: (revisited in the review)
- Does Penn State’s bench play any better?
- How does Taran Buie’s first game go?
- How many minutes does Billy Oliver play?
- Does Penn State play 3 guards at once?
- Talor Battle break 20 points?
Penn State shouldn’t lose this game, but Lehigh gave Kansas a handful in the first round last year so don’t be surprised if they stick around. Final score 73-56 Penn State