Are You Ready...for Half-Court Offense?

There are fewer things less adrenaline-pumping than watching a Big Ten basketball offense at work.

For example:

Watching paint dry, grass grow, etc.

Shaving regularly

Paying MSRP for anything

Writing for an SEC blog outside of football season (zing, that's self deprecating)

Penn State and Ole Miss will meet at the Tad Pad at 6 p.m.(non-televised) where the undefeated Nittany Lions face its toughest test of this early season.

PSU (4-0) takes its first road trip of the season to Oxford to play our Rebels (2-1). Here's a few things to consider going into this match-up.

1.) Though undefeated, Penn State has defeated teams with very unimpressive pedigrees (Central Connecticut, St. Joe's, Lehigh and Fairfield) by a combined 54 points.

2.) Penn State won 11 games last season but were roughly 12 to 14 baskets away from a .500 record.

3.) The Nittany Lions rank in the bottom half of the NCAA in field goal percentage and points per game.

4.) The Blue and White from Pennsylvania are a relatively experienced team featuring five juniors and seniors and lean heavily on three seniors, Jeff Brooks, Talor Battle and David Jackson, for point production.

Battle is the player who is the most consistent scoring threat for Penn State. He's had three consecutive seasons of double digit points per game, and he's in a position to make it four seasons already this year.

The Rebels are coming off a loss to a well-balanced Dayton team who took advantage of a really poor second half shooting effort by Ole Miss (also, one of Chris Warren's worst games in the Red and Blue).

PSU offers a chance for Ole Miss to get back on track and get a win over a quality opponent. Yes, PSU is one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, but they should grab between 14 to 16 wins, which would be good enough to rank in the Top 100 RPI teams by the end of the season.

One thing that was a little surprising about the game against Dayton last Saturday was that the Rebels started to look fatigued in the second half. This would likely be an explanation for the poor shooting in the second half.

What Ole Miss has tonight is a team that will set up in a half-court offense and run set plays, which is efficient but very boring. The Rebels have enough length and athleticism to limit mismatches against a fundamental, strategic offensive basketball team.

Bold predictions for tonight's game:

Nick Williams leads the Rebels with more than 20 points. The Indiana transfer may remember the old foes from up North and light them up accordingly as PSU keys in on Chris Warren.

Steadman Short gets double digits in scoring and rebounds. What? Yeah, the big man breaks out. He's shown flashes of good play, and I think this will be a game where he uses his big body well to fill up a stat sheet.

Andy Kennedy wears a conservatively tailored suit. Yeah, we all know this won't happen. ITS BOLD PREDIKSHUNS Y'ALL!!!111

Final prediction

Ole Miss 82

Penn State 71

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