Setting Basketball Back (Penn State, Illinois)
Normally, those scoring charts have a steeper increase, but thanks to what might be one of the uglier basketball games in the shot clock era for a major conference, featuring Penn State and Illinois, the beauty of the game was absolutely extinguished.
At least in Champaign, Illinois, it was.
The Big Ten “battle” between these two schools treated the viewers to, simply stating, putrid basketball; something the 38-33 score indicates quite vividly. 38-33 in favor of Penn State. Think about that for a second. In 40 minutes of basketball, the fastest rate either team could score at was less than one point a minute. Furthermore, the average combined score in college basketball this season is right around 137 points a game.
These two teams barely combined for half that.
Here are some other lovely stats each coach is no doubt desperate to forget:
* The two teams combined to miss 68 shots, while making only 28.
* Shooting a combined 28-96 is not the way to go through a basketball game, son.
* They shot a combined SIX OF THIRTY-THREE from behind the 3-point line. 6-33 — or 18 percent.
* Illinois shot exactly ZERO free throws.
* Six for thirty-three? REALLY?
* One player in double-digits — Penn State’s Talor Battle with 11.
* Penn State scored 21 points in the second, only 13 points less than the necessary total to beat Illinois. If the Lions had a normal second half last night, they could’ve been shut out in the first and still would’ve won.
* Illinois did not score 20 points in either half.
* Did I mention ZERO free throws for Illinois? Is that even possible in a Big Ten basketball game?
Like most are saying, it certainly appears as if the Big Ten decided shot clocks were optional, and both coaches turned them down, giving us last night’s offensive explosion. No other explanation works — well, except the obvious: Both teams are so offensively inept, games like this are bound to happen.
Adding a final insult to incredible offensive ineptitude, this display of bad basketball happened on Illinois home court, meaning, not only did Coach Weber’s team lay an absolute egg, they did it for all the Illini fans to see.