I was one of them.
I was climbing.
I brushed off the Bradley loss, wherever the hell Bradley is. It was an odd game, I thought. They were playing in back-to-back games in the odd, small gym in Cancun, Mexico. Surely they’d iron out the wrinkle, and Penn State would make a charge to contend in the Big Ten, right?
I thought that Tony Carr was a great individual player, but he didn’t fit the mold of the current Penn State team and was holding them back. I thought Lamar Stevens would take the reins of this surging program that ended its 2017-2018 campaign hoisting a trophy in Madison Square Garden with Stevens being the NIT Tournament MVP.
I was wrong.
This season has been absolute torture for Penn State hoops fans.
What’s next for Penn State basketball? Head coach Pat Chambers got extended through the 2021-2022 season following last season, but this start to the following season cannot be a good look for Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, who had stated that she was “fully committed to Pat and his leadership of our program.”
Penn State has declined to release the terms on Chambers’ contract, so it is not known what cost it would be to Penn State if it decides to move on from Chambers just a year after his extension was signed.
Chambers was recently suspended for a game after he shoved freshman guard Myles Dread during a timeout in a nationally televised game against Michigan. Although the suspension was rather ridiculous and unnecessary in my opinion, this can’t mean much good for the relationship between Chambers and Penn State athletics.
The bottom line is that Pat Chambers needs to prove that he is actually one of the best coaches at developing talent as he was at one point known as. The freshman trio of Rasir Bolton, Myles Dread and Myreon Jones are the future of Nittany Lion basketball, and Chambers needs to develop them into the key cogs they will need to be for years to come.
Yet, this isn’t all on Chambers. Josh Reaves needs to be the leader of the locker room. Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens may have the talent edge on Reaves, but since return from his brief academic suspension in 2017, Reaves has been Penn State’s best defensive player. He’s also a sneaky good shooter and will bring the intensity when things heat up.
Lamar Stevens has to be the efficient scorer that he was when he was at his best last season.
Mike Watkins seems to have his off-court issues resolved, yet he exhibits consistent defensive lapses under the rim. He still is the great shot blocker that he was recruited for, but the mental mistakes on the court are persisting.
Will a good finish to the 2018-2019 season grant Chambers another year at Penn State?
Who’s to say?
Yet, with how abysmal these first 17 games have been, he should be coaching as if his job is on the line.
Penn State will try to turn around its season as it takes on No. 22 Iowa in Happy Valley Wednesday night.
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