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PSU basketball: Mickey Mouse
November 26, 2007 - Neil Rudel
No wonder Penn State has historically avoided some of the more marquee early-season basketball tournaments.
The Nittany Lions finished dead last in the eight-team Old Spice Classic played from Thanksgiving through Sunday in Orlando.
After a not-unexpected loss to South Carolina in which Penn State played hard but not necessarily well, coach Ed DeChellis' Lions lost consecutive games to Rider and Central Florida to limp home with an overall record of 2-3. They seriously shot 3-pointers as if blindfolded, going 18-of-82 in the three-day tourney.
And yes, DeChellis was there and not at the Magic Kingdom.
If the atmosphere for Sunday's 11 a.m. matchup with UCF, in which you presumably could hear the sneakers squeaking on the floor, wasn't compelling, imagine how many non-students Wednesday night's 9:30 tip (for ESPN2) will draw for Virginia Tech's visit to the Jordan Center as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Based on the tragedy its school endured during the past year, Virginia Tech deserves better.
If you think things are bad at Penn State, consider Bobby Jones' body of work down the road at St. Francis: He's now somehow in his ninth season while having won 12 of his last 50 games.
Nice to see Doug West on the Villanova bench during the Old Spice Classic. West, the former Altoona High great, is in his first season at his alma mater as an assistant under Jay Wright.
'Nova, by the way, was hosed by an absurd call in Sunday night's title game, made by an official without the best angle, with 0.4 seconds left, gift-wrapping North Carolina State the championship.