Talor Battle and Company Hitting Stride (and Shots) Just In Time

Ryan StaloffContributor IDecember 23, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Chris Babb #10 of the Penn State Nittany Lions drives against Malik Story #34 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He's heard the skeptics, and he refused to buy it.  

Leading scorer Talor Battle has had to carry Penn St. on his back to compensate for his inexperienced teammates.  

Many questioned whether the new cast of characters could replace the departed seniors—Jamelle Cornley, Stanley Pringle, and Danny Morissey.  

Time and again, the team was unable to hit open shots when given the opportunities this season. Despite these struggles, Battle had confidence in his teammates. 

After a couple of sub-par performances, Battle has flourished of late, averaging 23 points over the last three games. 

However, Battle was not the only one to elevate his level of play in the latter part of the team's non-conference season.  

Freshman forward Bill Edwards showcased his limitless potential in victories over Gardner Webb and American, scoring 25 points and shooting 6-of-9 from three-point land.  

Sophomore Chris Babb appears to have found his shooting touch, as he hit 5-of-7 from behind the arc over the past two games.  

Babb also made noticeable strides in his midrange game and has grown to be a force on the glass, corralling six or more rebounds in each of the past four contests.

Combine the performances of these two budding underclassmen with the spark provided by freshman guard Tim Frazier and the steady play of David Jackson and Jeff Brooks, and it appears that Battle may have found the right supporting cast just in time for Big Ten play.