Tag Archives: Penn State basketball

Penn State basketball update: Big Macs!

Jerry Dunn never gave me a Big Mac.

A silly video from Fight On State of Patrick Chambers giving out Big Macs at the State College McDonald’s. Here’s the story: Chambers is the (Big) Mac Daddy

The promotion was if Penn State scored 70 points this weekend, you could redeem a Big Mac with a ticket stub. They sat on a lead with 67 points against Nebraska. Chambers felt bad about it and it was decided to do the promotion anyway. That’s pretty cool, there were never promotions like that when I was a student. Of course, back then you couldn’t spell Nittany without N-I-T either, even with Dunn as the head coach, so we had to settle for some decent basketball to watch. Still, free fast food wouldn’t be so bad. The team is going to be fun to watch grow and the current freshmen students will probably have a really fun ride, much more fun than those perennial NIT teams of the late 1990s, with it if they get on.

The Nittany Lions won’t be dancing this year (11-15, 3-10), but despite being out-manned/out-gunned/etc. they have played respectively for the most part, especially senior guard Tim Frazier. The future with Chambers as coach looks brighter than in a long time.

UPDATE: Over on the WWN Facebook page (don’t forget to Like it), one commenter notes that Bruce Parkill once gave her and a friend pizza while the waited for NIT tickets.

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Penn State basketball defeats #22 Illinois (again)

Another casualty of the scandal? Other Penn State sports. People like me are so heartbroken we’re not giving them their due. It isn’t fair I suppose, but my motivation for the alma mater and everything about it is at an all-time low. Let me me correct that this morning — the Nittany Lions beat Illinois 54-52 at the Bryce Jordan Center. They did it wearing gray uniforms which were kind of dumb.

Beating Illinois is something the Nittany Lions do with regularity which is odd. We’ll take it. Tim Frazier made the game-winning layup. The Nits have beaten the Illini 3 out of the last 4 years in University Park on late shots.

Not a lot of people showed up, as usual, but it may have been snowing up there. The game was on ESPN2 as well. It is going to take time to wake
up the sleeping giant dude with a pituitary problem that is Penn State basketball. Coach Pat Chambers seems suited to the task.

Penn State is now 10-10 (2-5). I’m not going to start saying anything yet…

Recaps

Illinois at Penn State RecapBlack Shoe Diaries

Tim Frazier’s layup seals victory for the Nittany LionsThe Collegian

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New Penn State basketball coach Pat Chambers looks promising

Pat Chambers, who just led Boston University to a NCAA tournament bid, has been chosen as the new Penn State men’s basketball head coach. Chambers is a Philadelphia native who was an assistant at Villanova. I don’t get too into football recruiting and basketball recruiting is even worse, but having someone with experience in Philly is something that Penn State has never had (Patriot-News). This aspect has been missing from Penn State basketball since time immemorial it seems.

Oh a few other things about Chambers — 12th of 12 kids, walk-on Division II player, worked in marketing after college before getting into coaching. Also, 3 of his siblings are Penn State grads and a nephew is a walk-on for the football team. Penn State went out of the family for this hire, but not too far out.

The reaction to Chambers has been pretty good, it looks like Athletic Director Tim Curley did surprisingly well given how late in the process they had to find a coach. David Jones of the Patriot-News says that Chambers is a salesman that PSU has lacked. Jones also notes that I’m on board.

CDT
Chambers plans to make changes

ESPN is praising the hire:

Pat Chambers has PSU fans pumped

Penn State hopes Chambers brings new life

Penn State blogs

Penn State’s Curley Hits Home Run With Chambers HireBlack Shoe Diaries

Why Chambers Is A Great FitLinebacker-U

The presser is at 2:30 on Big Ten Network — live feed

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Ed DeChellis leaves Penn State for Navy

Ed DeChellis, just months removed from his first NCAA tournament berth as head coach of his alma mater left the Penn State Nittany Lions to become head coach at the Naval Academy. The story, which was broken by David Jones of the Patriot-News: Ed DeChellis to take head coach job at Navy, was shocking to the Penn State fanbase this afternoon and welcomed by much of it which is unfortunate.

Ultimately, blaming DeChellis for Penn State’s basketball woes is like buying a minivan and complaining it doesn’t handle corners well and and has an uninspired 0-60 time. It is reasonable to conclude that the reasons DeChellis was hired in the first place were (in no specific order):

  1. He was part of the Penn State family and thus found the job more appealing than others did
  2. He would not command a high salary
  3. He would maintain the off-court academic values of university

Those are Intercollegiate Athletics’ values. Those values have worked pretty well (though there is certainly some discontent) for the football program under Joe Paterno and in non-revenue sports. However, in the very competitive world of men’s college basketball, it has fallen flat. The basketball team plays in an arena that cares more about selling concert tickets. They got bumped from their practice court for Bon Jovi rehearsals! The make-shift practice court had a crooked hoop. Yet, DeChellis has been scapegoated so viciously for the state of Penn State men’s basketball. The bottom line is the university did not care about the program or DeChellis. If they cared about the latter, they wouldn’t have strung DeChellis along for so many years.

I believe that athletic director Tim Curley figured DeChellis was a coach the could hire on the cheap because he would just be so happy to be coaching at his alma mater. Curley and co. could just let the guaranteed revenue come in and if the team started winning great. If they were a non-factor, well at least they weren’t spending a lot of money. That seems to have changed as DeChellis teams improved which is the opposite of what one would expect, right? Curley comes off as so disingenuous about the whole matter and now he’s stuck trying to find a coach in late May after chasing away somebody who thought it was going to be a dream job and just had his most successful season. Guess what, nobody else is going to feel that way and seeing how DeChellis was treated will surely raises concerns for prospective replacements. Curley is stuck with a limited applicant pool — a scenario he deserves, but Penn State fans don’t.

The irony of all of this, is that following DeChellis greatest achievement as head coach, an NCAA tournament berth, he realized it was never going to get better. His contract was not extended, so the writing was on the wall. He maxed out his potential at Penn State this past season and intercollegiate athletics did not seem to mind letting him know he felt that way. The perception was that DeChellis would be fired if Penn State regressed this upcoming season, a likely scenario given the number of seniors who departed. DeChellis had to get out while he could do it on his own terms, more or less. DeChellis is taking a pay cut for a 5 year contract, but DeChellis rightly felt he needed to cut his losses and make a move. Navy is probably a very good fit for him, one where the expectations will be grounded in the reality of the situation, rather than what they should be and are not. He won’t have indignity of Bon Jovi taking his practice space either. DeChellis also gets to live in a lovely town near the Chesapeake Bay and two major cities where the sun actually shines more than 40% of the time. I am happy for him.

For Penn State, DeChellis was not the problem, but he wasn’t the solution either. I do not believe that a coach of similar stature can come in and make Intercollegiate Athletics care about basketball. Until an alumnus/alumni is willing to specifically commit to the program, I believe that the status quo will remain at Penn State. I could be wrong and I have a bit of a track record of being wrong about Nittany Lions hoops, but I think they will be hard pressed to get somebody with “Penn State values” who is a value.

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO FROM BLUE WHITE ILLUSTRATED

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Ed DeChellis will be Penn State’s basketball coach for a while

DeChellis gets boost from ADAltoona Mirror
Penn State athletic director Tim Curley gave Nittany Lions basketball coach Ed DeChellis a vote of confidence yesterday. No surprise there, but given the #fireed mentality out there, worth noting. PSU made the NCAA tournament in season 8 of DeChellis’ tenure which is an unacceptable timeline too many fans. It probably should be, but this is where we are as a program and unless somebody wants to dump a lot of money into it, nothing will change. That being said, I don’t get all worked up about DeChellis because he probably has the most security of any Big Ten coach. He’s a alumnus who views this as “the job,” he doesn’t cost a lot and he runs a clean program. I think he is a thoroughly decent person too. Unless the bottom falls out completely, I think DeChellis has at least 3 years of breathing room.

I don’t expect much from the 2011-12 Nittany Lions, but by 2012-2013 they need to in the postseason again. A reasonable goal for the next decade of Penn State hoops is 3 or 4 trips to the NCAA tournament and just as many to the NIT.

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Penn State falls to Temple, 66-64 on last second shot

The first Penn State Nittany Lions team to make the NCAA Tournament lost to the same program that ended their last trip ten years ago — the Temple Owls. This time around though, Penn State was in it the whole way and came one possession short of sending it to overtime. Temple’s Juan Fernandez hit a 17-footer with 0.4 seconds left to win the game. Talor Battle, one of the best three Penn State basketball players ever, had just made a long-distance 3-pointer to tie the game. Reggie Miller, who was providing color commentary for TNT, was impressed. However, it was the previous Penn State possession that set up the disappointment. Battle was stuffed and Temple responded with a bucket.

Penn State played 75% of the game without its second-best player, Jeff Brooks. After getting a second foul, Brooks sat out the second part of the first half. Early in the second half, Brooks dislocated his shoulder blocking a shot, an injury that had proved costly earlier in the season as well. Without Brooks, the Nittany Lions could not win, though they came close.

The Nittany Lions played valiantly and left everything on the court. It was a big step for the program, but is hopefully the beginning of a renaissance of Happy Valley hoops. A tournament invitation can’t be realistically expected annually, but within 3 seasons, probably 2 actually, this program needs to be back in the tournament.

Last-second shot nullified memorable Penn State effortPatriot-News

Juan and DoneCDT

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NCAA Tournament: Penn State vs. Temple at 2 p.m. on TNT

USA Today cover with Talor Battle
UPDATE: Talor Battle was on the cover of today’s USA Today near the newspaper’s flag (not masthead). So was, was another Ta(y)lor — Miss Swift.

Penn State plays its first NCAA Tournament game in 10 years this afternoon. Four seniors Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson and Andrew Jones are starters and go into today’s 2 p.m. game (TNT) against Temple in Tucson knowing they are only guaranteed this one game. They should be motivated.

The Nittany Lions face the same program that eliminated them from their last tournament game, Temple. The Owls and Nittany Lions are not strangers, having played each other in the previous two seasons. A pre-season scrimmage is said to have been a rout for Temple. The Owls lost their starting center, Michael Eric, a month ago. They also have F Scootie Randall coming off an injury.

Ed DeChellis has coached one NCAA tournament game, in 2003 while coaching East Tennessee State, and lost. Temple’s Fran Dunphy is 1-12 in the tourney with most of those games and losses coming as head coach of Penn. Temple has been eliminated in the first round the last three years.

I’m picking with my heart more than my head, but I think Penn State pulls this off. Battle and company have gone through too much to be one and done. My prediction: Penn State 58 Temple 53

FURTHER READING

The bank is always open for Talor BattlePatriot-News
Battle is a pool hustler on the basketball court.

Spotlight glaring on Lions’ seniorsCDT

Why is the game in Tuscon instead of DC?Patriot-News
Or halfway in Hershey for that matter.

GO STATE, beat Owls!

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Penn State going to NCAA Tournament, faces Temple in Tucson on Thursday

Even after a 71-60 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, the Penn State Nittany Lions are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years. Here is how the team reacted:

MARCH MADNESS IN HAPPY VALLEY: PSU to play Temple out west, in first NCAA Tournament bid in 10 yearsCDT

The face off against Temple Owls, in Tucson on Thursday — St. Patrick’s Day. Game time TBA.

The last time Penn State was in the tournament, it was Temple that eliminated the Nittany Lions in the sweet 16. The two programs have played each other regularly, but not this season.

Congratulations to the whole team, especially Talor Battle and coach Ed DeChellis — you overcame an awful lot to get to the tournament this season.

Lastly, let us joyfully put a certain meme to bed for this season. :)

UPDATE:

There are two writers who should be better prepared for this matchup then any others, David Jones who covers Penn State for the Patriot-News, but also keeps his eye on the Big 5, and Dick Jerardi who is the Philly Daily News college basketball beat writer and an analyst for Penn State basketball on the Penn State Sports Network,

Penn State and Talor Battle finally will take NCAA dance — against Temple!Patriot-News
Jones reminds us that Temple won the last two meetings in the series in 2009 and 2010. The Owls are missing some big men though which is good news for the Nittany Lions.

Jerardi is chatting at 1 p.m.

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Penn State headed to Big Ten final, maybe the NCAA tournament?

Deal with it

Hey Sparty


Penn State just crushed Michigan State 61-48 in the Big Ten Conference Tournament semi-finals. Talor Battle finally played well, raining threes down on Sparty in the second half. The Nittany Lions just kept pulling away from a 26-26 halftime score as the Spartans missed shot after shot.

Has Penn State done enough now to reach the NCAA Tournament? Dave Jones thinks so. They can make it a moot point tomorrow when they face Ohio State, who dominated the league this season. Game time is 3:30 on CBS.

Battle carries Penn State to Big Ten finals - ESPN

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Penn State goes up 14-0, hangs on to beat Wisconsin 36-33

That’s a basketball score folks, men’s basketball, even. G Talor Battle stunk up Conseco Fieldhouse for the second consecutive night, but he scored enough, including a late trey and a critical 1st foul shot in 1 and 1 to get Penn State to the insurmountable 36th point. In the process of scoring about 9 points on the night, Battle passed Jesse Arnelle as the all-times points leader for Penn State basketball. Battle still has a long way to go before he catches Arnelle in years served on the Board of Trustees though.

Penn State started 14-0, then 16-2 before letting Wisconsin back in it. It was 20-18 at one point and I think the Badgers actually got ahead 22-20 early in the second half. I was not the greatest tribute to basketball one will ever see. I think most of my games in 4th grade (go BULLETS!) were higher scoring. By the way, Jay Paterno is mighty defensive about this win on Twitter.

I don’t know that a 36-33 win is exactly the stuff the NCAA Tournament selection committee looks for in picking bubble teams. Penn State and Battle better play a lot better at 4:15 p.m. (CBS) against Michigan State if they want to go somewhere other than the NIT.

UPDATE: Nittany Lions time travel again to peach basket days, beat Badgers 36-33 in Big Ten tournament

It doesn’t look like they are in the tourney yet based on what I am seeing on colleerpi.com and ESPN Bracketology. They need to beat Sparty today — I don’t know if that will be enough. Win today and tomorrow and it is all a moot point because they’d get the automatic bid. They ought not get ahead of themselves though.

The Nittany Lions split with the Spartans this year and have done okay against them over the years.

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