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SI: Penn State Unlucky in 2010, Should Improve In 2011

From a buzzer-beating loss to Minnesota, to narrow defeats against teams like Illinois, Virginia Tech and others, it's easy to point to bad luck in 2010 as a reason the Nittany Lions finished with such a lackluster record.

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According to Andrew Glockner of Sports Illustrated, the metrics back up whatever fans thought they were seeing last season.

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The Nittany Lions went 3-15 in the Big Ten last year with a points-per-possession margin of -0.07 after going 10-8 the year before with a margin of -0.04. Overall, Penn State finished nearly five games worse than expected last season, making it the second-most unlucky team in Division I. The young Nittany Lions did some things very well. They led Division I in defensive rebounding percentage and very rarely put people on the free-throw line, both of which are strong positive defensive indicators.

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Glockner doesn't think he Lions will be in the Big Dance this season, but with four seniors in the projected starting lineup, the Lions could be primed for another run at an NIT Championship with a little better luck in 2011.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.