I’ll be first to admit, there isn't an excuse for bad play, but I think there is something worth mentioning. The NCAA doesn’t have a regulation ball, so as long as it bounces and is some shade of orange, you can use it until it:
B) the game is over.
Now, where this gets interesting is the ball used in the Charleston Classic. It’s called "The Rock," and it’s similar to a street ball. It’s sticky, and it’s slippery when it get sweat on it.
It just so happens the two teams Penn State has played so far in this hodgepodge of a tournament both use "The Rock" on a regular basis throughout the season. While a ball is a ball, a few things lead one to question if somebody had an advantage going into the past two games.
In Penn State's first game of the season, Talor Battle was 11-20 for 27 points. He pretty much hit any shot he wanted. In the team's next game, he didn’t play much, and wasn’t needed for a good portion of the second half, because Chris Babb went off, and the team hit 12 three-pointers. On the whole, the team's first four games work out as follows:
First two games averages: FG= 50% 3pt= 40%
The next two games averages: FG= 31% 3pt= 23%
Meanwhile, UNC-Wilmington is shooting over 55 percent in both categories, including going 10-16 from behind the arc, and Tulane shot 8-19 from three.
Now, I’m not suggesting any foul play, and I’m not trying to make up for bad defense or poor shooting, but I do think it brings to light the need to have a single ball for all NCAA games.
You don't see teams and players go from scoring in the 70s and 80s in games, to games where a three-ball shooting team couldn’t hit a shot to save its life two games in a row.
I would believe it, maybe, if the teams they were playing were top-notch, but we’re not exactly talking the big-name teams here. It’ll be interesting to see if the stats turn around once we’re back home.
After returning home, the Lions shot 46 percent from three and 63 percent from the field in a 87-75 win.