Indiana heads back out on the road on Wednesday night as the Hoosiers travel to No. 23/24 Penn State.
The Daily Hoosier caught up with independent Penn State site Roar Lions Roar for a Q&A session on the Nittany Lions.
To see our answers to Roar Lions Roar’s questions about Indiana, go here.
1. The program has been very patient with Pat Chambers as head coach. With a recent NIT title and now being nationally ranked, are fans happy with that patience and as optimistic as ever about PSU basketball? How full will Bryce Jordan be on Wednesday night?
There are still plenty of doubters who refuse to buy in with Chambers because of the whole “eight years, no NCAA tournaments” thing. But there are plenty of fans who just want to see good basketball, and while it’s taken a long time, this team is legit in a super competitive Big Ten. Nothing about their season so far has been a fluke. The students have been very supportive of a ranked team, so the BJC will actually be a hostile road environment for the Hoosiers.
2. What was going wrong with the team during the three game conference losing streak, and how has PSU turned things around with two big wins?
It’s impossible to point to one thing that was wrong during that skid, so I’ll just say that’s life in the Big Ten. If you look at the box scores and play-by-plays, you’ll see long scoring droughts and awful shooting percentages, but I’d say a lot of it was caused by defensive woes. PSU’s offense is the most transition-dependent in the Big Ten, but you can’t get out on the break if you can’t rebound or you foul uncontrollably. Not making open three-pointers has also been a problem, but they’ve shot the ball much better against Ohio State and Michigan.
3. If Lamar Stevens has an off night, what is generally not going well for him?
Either he’s hampered himself with foul trouble, or he’s not making good decisions with the ball. Stevens has never developed a reliable three-point shot, but he’ll still take a few questionable ones that leave you scratching your head. Obviously he commands a ton of attention from the defense, but he can struggle at times finding the open teammate when he’s doubled. However, he’s scored 10 or more points in 33 consecutive games or whatever it is now, so he’s going to produce. It’s just a matter of how efficient that production will be.
4. How much does Myreon Jones’ ability to knock down three pointers influence how well things are going for PSU offensively?
Myreon Jones’ improvement is the biggest reason why Penn State is a ranked team right now. His development really came out of nowhere. When Rasir Bolton transferred to Iowa State, no one thought Jones with his funky release would be able to do what he’s done. When he gets hot, he’s simply unguardable because the coaching staff has given him the ultimate green light. His shot selection is terrible for any average player, but those 50/41/82 shooting splits don’t lie. The dude is nicknamed Buckets and he just makes tough shots consistently.
5. Indiana fans are curious about former Hoosier Curtis Jones. What kind of season is he having?
So CuJo is Penn State’s ninth man in the rotation, which is the perfect role for him. Can he still be frustrating? Absolutely, as evidenced by his 0-8 line in PSU’s ugly home loss to Wisconsin. He does take bad shots. But he’s also come up huge in big games so far – 14 points vs Syracuse, 18 vs Alabama, 16 vs Iowa, 18 at Michigan. Penn State doesn’t win those without him, and it’s simply unfathomable that PSU’s ninth man can provide that much production when the starters are struggling. The depth of this team has proven to be one of its biggest assets this year, and CuJo is a big reason for that.
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