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Big Ten Tourney Rnd 1 - Penn State - OPEN THREAD

The way I see it, we need 2 guys to step up tonight and we have four or five guys capable of doing so. In the first meeting between these fine mediocre teams it was Lawrence Westbrook who stepped up with 29 points while Blake Hoffarber chipped in 11. Game 2 was a little different when we had four guys who scored in the dozen to baker's dozen range. Here are the most likely candidates

  • Blake Hoffarber - I really think he's going to have at least one huge game in this tournament. Maybe it will be today, maybe it will be tomorrow (if we survive). He has scored 11 points or more in 13 games. We are undefeated in those games. So either he is just able to score more points against weaker competition or when he scores the rest of the team is significantly better.
  • Ralph Sampson III - had his second best Big Ten game at Penn state when he recorded a double-double. Ralph is capable of dominating the paint tonight and if he does things should really roll for the Gophers.
  • Damian Johnson - Nobody has more to prove today than DJ Swat who is rather disappointed that he was left off the Big Ten All-Defensive team. I think you'll see a typical all-around performance from Johnson, if he can get up into that 15+ point range then life should be good.
  • Lawrence Westbrook - how could I forget LW who had what I feel was his best game as a Gopher in the first Penn State game. The problem was the second game when he tried to recreate his first game. The result was a season high six turnovers to go with 0/5 shooting from behind the arc. He is capable of carrying this team, but he is also capable of doing more damage than good.

I'm asking for two of them to step up. The best part of this is that we can win even if Talor Battle has a good game. He averaged 22 ppg in the two Gopher meetings and his team still came out 0-2. So keep him under 25 and then take care of our own business on both ends of the floor.

Penn State is hot, but I like our chances to move on to Michigan State.