B1G Basketball Preview: Penn State

Written October 23rd, 2011 by Eric

Of all the teams that finished 9-9 and middle of the road in the Big Ten, the only one that believed they were having a magical season was the Penn State Nittany Lions.  That’s no slight on Penn State, quite the opposite in fact, for a team that regularly struggles in basketball.  Unfortunately the struggles may continue unabated for some time to come.

New head man Pat Chambers

At the end of the season, as Lions fans were already reeling about the prospect of losing production from four of their top five scorers to graduation, head coach Ed Dechellis bailed on Penn State to accept the head coaching job at Navy.  Thus, not only did the team lose 1652 out of 2144 points scored last season (77.1%), they also lost the coach that made it all possible.  To be honest, Dechellis probably saw the writing on the wall this coming season and decided to spare himself the trouble.  It’s pretty hard to reload after those kinds of losses.

It’s all up to new head coach Patrick (Pat) Chambers, fresh from his shiny job at Boston University.  Chambers coached for two years for the Terriers, netting a 42-28 overall record, and 23-9 record in the America East Conference.  In his last year at Boston, the Terriers won their conference tournament and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.  He will face a much steeper climb in the Big Ten with the Lions, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the task. Read More