Indiana

Indiana at No. 4 Penn State: Nittany Lions seek best start in nearly a decade

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CSN

Indiana at No. 4 Penn State: Nittany Lions seek best start in nearly a decade

No. 4 Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten)
Beaver Stadium, State College
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Scouting Penn State
The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions (4-0) nipped Iowa 21-19 last week, when Trace McSorley hit wide receiver Juwan Johnson, a native of Glassboro, N.J., for a seven-yard touchdown as time expired. Running back Saquon Barkley, who leads the FBS with an average of 253.3 all-purpose yards per game, piled up a school-record 358 against the Hawkeyes, including 211 on the ground, on 28 attempts. He has rushed for 518 yards (7.8 per carry), and has 23 receptions for a Big Ten-leading 335 yards. Defensive end Shareef Miller, a Philadelphia native, leads the team with six tackles for loss, two sacks and two hurries. He recorded a safety last week against the Hawkeyes, while wearing No. 19 in honor of fellow end Torrence Brown, who has been lost for the season with a knee injury.

Scouting Indiana
Morgan Ellison ran 25 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns as the Hoosiers (2-1) beat Georgia Southern 52-17 last week. J-Shun Harris, who is third in the FBS with an average of 26.1 yards per punt return, also ran one back for a touchdown for the second straight week. The Hoosiers rested four starters in the game, and saw four regulars depart for health reasons, including starting quarterback Richard Lagow. Lagow is, however, expected to play this week. He has clicked on 58 percent of his passes, for 564 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions. His backup, Peyton Ramsey, has also played in all three games to date. Wide receiver Simmie Cobbs, who missed most of last season because of injury, has 18 catches. Linebacker Tegray Scales has 26 tackles.

History
The Lions lead the all-time series 19-1, and emerged with a 45-31 victory last year in Bloomington.

Storyline to watch
Indiana bottled up Barkley last year, limiting him to 58 yards on 33 attempts. The Lions nonetheless rallied from deficits of 24-14 and 31-28, as McSorley threw for 332 yards and two TDs. He also ran for a score.

What’s at stake?
PSU has not been 5-0 since 2008, when it shared the conference title.

Prediction
Penn State 42, Indiana 21

Potential 2nd-round targets for Sixers in NBA draft: Centers/power forwards

Potential 2nd-round targets for Sixers in NBA draft: Centers/power forwards

The Sixers appear to have zeroed in on Markelle Fultz now that they’ve traded up to No. 1 in the NBA draft. But what about all of those second-round picks?

With four second-rounders, the Sixers could go in just about any direction.

Will they select the best player available, a player that fits a need or a draft-and-stash candidate from overseas?

Here’s a look at 10 players the Sixers could have their eyes on in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft.

Jordan Bell: Power forward, 6-9/227, Oregon
This is looking more and more like a pipe dream by the day. Bell’s buzz continues to grow as the draft nears and some mocks now have him sneaking into the end of the first round. 

However, if he is there early in the second, the Sixers would be wise to pounce.

Bell was the defensive anchor (Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year) and a rebounding machine for Oregon. He averaged 8.8 rebounds a night last season and really made his name in the NCAA Tournament when he grabbed double-digit boards in every game during the Ducks’ run to the Final Four.

With a high motor and ability to play above the rim on both ends, Bell is definitely a guy the Sixers should keep their eye on. After all, you don’t come across "a Dennis Rodman-like player” that often in the draft (see story).

Johnathan Motley: Power forward/center, 6-9/230, Baylor
If Bell is off the board, the Sixers could opt for the similarly-skilled Motley.

The lanky big man covers a lot of ground with a 7-4 wingspan. Motley combined that length with supreme agility to be a terror for opponents at Baylor.

He averaged 17.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting and 9.9 rebounds last season as a junior with the Bears as he received the Karl Malone award as the nation’s top power forward.

While Motley doesn’t provide much versatility and is coming off surgery in April for a torn meniscus suffered during the NCAA Tournament, he is well worth a second-round selection for the Sixers.

Thomas Bryant: Center, 6-10/241, Indiana
Bryant brings the similar length (7-6 wingspan) and physicality to the court as the first two players mentioned. He’s a bruiser down low and loves to finish with authority at the rim.

That powerful demeanor resulted in 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season for the Hoosiers.

However, what makes Bryant intriguing is his improved three-point shooting. The 19-year-old big made 5 of 15 attempts (33.3 percent) from long range as a freshman before connecting on 23 of 60 tries (38.3 percent) as a sophomore (see story).

With the emphasis being placed on shot making from all positions in today’s NBA, that could be just the skill that gets Bryant’s name called.

Alec Peters: Power forward, 6-9/225, Valparaiso
If it’s shot making the Sixers want, Peters is their guy.

Peters is a dead-eye shooter from just about anywhere on the floor and in any situation. He can pull up off the dribble, find space off the pick-and-roll or simply spot up for a jumper. 

Even after shooting a career-low 36.3 percent from three-point range as a senior, he still finished with a 41.6 mark from long range during his four years at Valpo.

Peters averaged 23.0 points (eighth in the nation) and 10.1 rebounds last season to be named Horizon League Player of the Year.

The NBA certainly offers a higher caliber of players than the Horizon League and Peters will have to do all he can to survive defensively, but his level of shooting ability will make that easy to overlook.

Jonah Bolden: Power forward, 6-10/227, Serbia
There are few international prospects projected to go in the second round that are worth getting excited about (French center Mathias Lessort and Slovenian small forward Vlatko Cancar could be the only ones), so let’s go with a player that has a bit of history in United States.

Bolden was born in Australia, but he moved to the U.S. with his family at 17 years old and played his final season of high school ball in the states. He followed that up by attending UCLA, where he redshirted a year and then averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 boards in 21.7 minutes a game.

Bolden felt his skill set as a ball-handler and perimeter shooter weren’t being used correctly with the Bruins, so he bolted for the professional ranks in Serbia. It’s worked out so far as he put up 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from three in his first season with KK FMP Beograd. That was enough to earn him the Adriatic League Top Prospect award, which has become pretty prestigious after NBA draft picks such as Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic won it in recent years.

There have previously been some issues to dig through with Bolden both on and off the court. But with NBA-ready skills of his own and his father to pass down nearly two decades of professional basketball knowledge (mainly in Australia’s NBL), that is more than enough to take a risk in the second round.

Others to keep an eye on: Lessort, Purdue PF/C Caleb Swanigan, Utah PF Kyle Kuzma.

Penn State loses marathon to Indiana in triple overtime

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Penn State loses marathon to Indiana in triple overtime

BOX SCORE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana needed three career-high scoring efforts to extend a Big Ten game nearly lost twice to beat Penn State 110-102 in triple-overtime on Wednesday night.

Sophomore center Thomas Bryant scored 31 points, eight more than his previous best, and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Hoosiers (15-8, 5-5).

Josh Newkirk and Robert Johnson also set personal bests with 27 points apiece.

"We had enough time to do it," Johnson said with a chuckle after a game that lasted more than three hours. "Those guys, we just kept fighting and it didn't matter who had to make the play."

Newkirk hit a go-ahead 3-pointer for a 98-95 lead with 3:05 remaining in 3OT. The Nittany Lions (12-11, 4-6) then lost their composure as Indiana freshman guard Devonte Green stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored on a layup for a five-point lead.

"You fight, you know?" Bryant said of logging 44 minutes, another career high, as was Johnson's 50 minutes and Newkirk's 46. "You just gotta do it. It's no other way around it, (you) just gotta do it, be a man."

The Hoosiers led by as many as 10 points in the final overtime.

"That was unique, wasn't it?" Indiana coach Tom Crean said with a smile.

Penn State freshman guard Lamar Stevens had a career-high 26 points.

"The basketball gods are not on our side right now," Nittany Lions coach Patrick Chambers said. "That's OK. That's OK. We have to keep working, keep developing better habits."

Penn State was in position to win the game at the end of regulation as well as the first overtime. But Indiana freshman forward De'Ron Davis sank two free throws to tie it at 72 with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation. Then Newkirk's driving layup at the buzzer, eventually counted after a lengthy video review, tied the game at 80 at the end of the first overtime.

"Newkirk, it has got to be one of his best games that I have ever seen him play," Chambers said, "and I watched him at Pittsburgh and coached against him at Pittsburgh. Good for him."

At the end of the second overtime, Penn State freshman guard Tony Carr sank a pair of foul shots to tie it at 73 with 4.5 seconds remaining. Carr scored 23 points.

Bryant, a 6-10 center, dominated inside with eight points in the third overtime.

"It would be hard for me to be much prouder of them," Crean said. "I don't know if I could be, in the sense of how they battled through and did not give in."

First time
Indiana's storied 41-year history at Assembly Hall had never before hosted a triple-overtime game. But it wasn't the first time the Hoosiers had to play three extra periods. Indiana outlasted Wisconsin 86-85 in three overtimes on Feb. 16, 1987, at Madison, Wisconsin.

Too much drama
Just two weeks ago, Hoosiers junior guard James Blackmon Jr. sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 78-75 road win over Penn State at State College, Pennsylvania. Indiana blew a 14-point lead midway through the second half before its leading scorer played hero at the end.

Blackmon is now sidelined indefinitely by a lower leg injury. And another key Indiana cog, sophomore forward OG Anunoby, is out for the season with a knee injury.

Big picture
Penn State: Losses in four of five road games has dropped the Nittany Lions in the conference standings, including below the Hoosiers, which increases the likelihood of a lower seed in the Big Ten Tournament and a possible early exit. Time appears to be running out on this team qualifying for a March tournament.

Indiana: Still recovering from losing its two best players to injuries, the Hoosiers are trying to figure out new roles for players who weren't counted on before to play lengthy minutes. The team needed this boost-of-confidence home win, especially when considering five of the last eight games are on the road. The Hoosiers are just 1-4 away from home.

Up next
Penn State: Returns home to host conference cellar-dweller Rutgers (12-11, 1-9) on Saturday.

Indiana: Has challenging visit to No. 10 Wisconsin (19-3, 8-1) on Sunday.