Penn State Basketball Continues Its Outstanding Iowa Hawkeye Impersonation

Nathan BitnerSenior Analyst INovember 20, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 02: Talor Battle #12 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates with team mates after defeating the Baylor Bears during the NIT Championship match at Madison Square Garden on April 2, 2009 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Wow, the NIT sure is looking nice right now for the Nittany Lions. Items in the rearview mirror may be far less significant than they appear.

Apparently jealous of Iowa's horrendous start with true nice-guy Mr. Lickliter at the helm, Penn State continues to try to one-up the Hawkeyes and prove that they, too, belong in the basement of the Big Ten.

Their efforts today resulted in a 63-60 loss to Tulane that wasn't as close a game as the score indicates. Tulane led by 10 with eight minutes left in the game, but PSU rallied, which itself is rather surprising, considering the Lions' final field goal percentage of 27.6.

This atrocity of a game followed on the heels of Penn State's drubbing at the hands of UNC-Wilmington. Losses to the Seahawks and Green Wave were not quite what the NIT defending champions were expecting in Charleston. In fact, there are few sports where anyone should log consecutive losses to teams named the Seahawks and Green Wave.

This is a really poor version of the Charleston Shuffle and will definitely not be remembered as a "classic" in Nittany Lion basketball lore, except for classically displaying that Talor Battle has absolutely no one on this team who can help him win.

He's also proven he's not quite ready to do it himself, turning in a 3-for-13 performance, including a paltry one-of-five from behind the arc. At least Battle makes his free throws, though (logging another eight-of-eight after last night's 11-of-12 effort).

Sophomore guard Chris Babb was invisible for the second game in a row, though not quite invisible enough, shooting one-of-six on his three-point attempts before mercifully being yanked for most of the game.

Junior forward Jeff Brooks was one of the few brighter spots for Penn State, but no one has shown enough consistency to indicate that PSU is even guaranteed of being able to beat Indiana or Iowa this year. Consider it a three-team race...for the basement.