VIDEO: Nittany Lions Prepping for No. 5 Indiana
Jan. 5, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill said the preparation for every game on the schedule is the same, regardless of who the Nittany Lion basketball team is playing.
"It's never about the other team; it is always about us," Newbill said. "If we give our good effort and play as hard as we can, then we like the outcome."
The Lions have a defined set of core principles and a foundation to play hard, defend and rebound every time they step on the floor. That was evident in the practice gym on Saturday morning, as the Nittany Lions competed against one another with outstanding energy in preparation for Monday's home clash with fifth-ranked Indiana (7 p.m. on BTN).
Following a 60-51 setback at Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener on Thursday, the Lions went back to work on Friday to kick off three days of practice before taking on the Hoosiers. Head coach Patrick Chambers labeled Saturday's practice session as one of the best in his two seasons at Penn State because of the energy and attitude that virtually blew the roof off the BJC.
Penn State battled its way into a one-point game in the final 2:52 at Wisconsin before falling by nine. Newbill and fellow sophomore Ross Travis said the Lions will learn from their mistakes down the stretch and move forward in Big Ten play with the same mindset they brought into the practice gym this weekend.
In addition to the aforementioned effort on the defensive end of the floor and attitude, the Lions will need to make shots on Monday against an Indiana team leading the nation in points per game (87.9 ppg). The Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0) also rank sixth nationally in field goal percentage (.510), eighth in three-point field goal percentage (41.4), 10th in assists per game (17.5 apg), fourth in rebound margin (+12.7) and first in scoring margin (+28.3).
Sophomore center Cody Zeller leads the Hoosiers in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg) while shooting 62 percent from the field. Junior guard Victor Oladipo is second in scoring (13.6 ppg) on a blistering 67 percent field goal percentage. In all, five Hoosiers average double figures, including sixth-man Will Sheehey (12.4 ppg). Senior guard Jordan Hulls (10.9 ppg) ranks fourth nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.514).
Monday's game kicks off a big week for the Lions, who will play three games in a span of seven days. Following the IU contest, Penn State takes on Northwestern in the BJC on Thursday (8 p.m. on ESPNU) before traveling to Mackey Arena for a matchup against Purdue on Sunday (12 p.m. on BTN).
Coach Chambers and the Lions are looking for a boisterous student crowd on Monday for the Indiana clash, which is the first day of classes for the spring semester. Make plans to be inside the BJC on Monday.