JUCO All-American has two years of eligibility following successful stint at Vincennes University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (April 16, 2014) – Devin Foster has signed a national letter of intent to join the Penn State men’s basketball team beginning with the 2014-15 season, Patrick Chambers, who enters his fourth season as head coach of the Nittany Lions, announced Wednesday. The Vincennes University junior college product has two years of eligibility remaining.

Foster, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound point guard, spent two seasons at Vincennes, tallying 12.2 points and 4.8 assists per game with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.1 in 2013-14. He led the Trail Blazers to a 34-3 record and a third-place finish in the 2014 NJCAA Division I Tournament.

A Second Team JUCO All-American, Foster also shot 39 percent from behind the arc, ending the season with 59 3-pointers and an average of 1.6 per contest.

“Devin is coming off a remarkable season, leading his team to the Final Four and being named a JUCO All-American,” Chambers said. “He’s a competitive kid, who will bring a winning attitude to our program.”

Foster produced 20 or more points in eight games last season, including a career-high 28 on 10-of-14 shooting vs. Richard J. Daley College Jan. 3. He came up with at least five assists in 22 games with a career-best 11 (with one turnover) against Lindsey Wilson Nov. 19.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Foster played his high school basketball at Jefferson Township and with the AAU’s Dayton Nets. Foster will enter Penn State along with incoming freshmen Shep Garner (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) and Isaiah Washington (Williamsport, Pa./Williamsport) as signees for the upcoming season. The trio of guards will join All-Big Ten rising senior D.J. Newbill, John Johnson and Geno Thorpe in making up a steady Nittany Lion backcourt.

JUCO point guard Devin Foster commits to Penn State

Lions 247:

Penn State received a late addition to its 2014 recruiting class when Jefferson Oh. Vincennes University guard Devin Foster verbally committed to the Nittany Lions while on campus.

The recently named 2nd Team JUCO All-American played two seasons at Vincennes, who recently finished in 3rd place at the 2014 NJCAA Division I Tournament, where Foster was named to the All-Tournament team.

“Devin is a strong combo guard, and also a lefty,” said Vincennes coach Brian Davis. “He’s an athletic guard that can knock down the three or attack the rim. He played mostly the point down the stretch for us and led us to a 34-3 record and third-place finish at the national tour.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound guard averaged 12.2 points per game, shot 39 percent from three 59-of-150 and had a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2013-14.

Foster was a 2012 recruit out of high school and will have three years to play two. Penn State also welcomes 2014 signees Shep Garner and Isaiah Washington to the fold for the 2014-15 season.

With Foster’s addition and Graham Woodward’s recent departure, the Nittany Lions still have one scholarship open for the 2014 class….

via JUCO point guard Devin Foster commits to Penn State.

Nits sweep Buckeyes in regular season

 

AP, via ESPN:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State coach Patrick Chambers didnt think it was the matchup or the fact that it was Senior Night that allowed his Nittany Lions to beat Ohio State again.

No, it was something more basic.

“I think we were mad,” Chambers said, emphasizing that his team had been thumped by Iowa and Nebraska in its previous two games. “It just happened to be Ohio State tonight. We came out and played desperate and with a sense of urgency. And we played angry.”

D.J. Newbill scored 23 points, Tim Frazier added 16 and Penn State held off a late rally by No. 22 Ohio State for a 65-63 victory Thursday.

via Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Penn State Nittany Lions – Recap – February 27, 2014 – ESPN.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil

Not quite in the right order, but a late-game call Wednesday night at Indiana left Penn State’s Jordan Dickerson (Hear No Evil), Donovon Jack (Speak No Evil) and Pat Chambers (See No Evil) striking a classic pose.

See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

Maybe not quite as meme-worthy as Bob Dole’s classic observation about a meeting of former Presidents Carter, Ford and Nixon.

The full sequence: 4ZOTodL.gif

 

Penn State 66, Indiana 65

 

 

Maddening but tenacious Penn State hoopsters on a little roll with trip to see Sparty on deck | PennLive.com

Dave Jones:

For the first time in five years, Penn State has won three straight Big Ten games. That is worth some praise if for no other reason than it’s hard to get your feet under you when you’re 0-6.

And that’s where the Nittany Lions were just two weeks ago. Now, not actually that improbably, they stand at 12-10 and 3-6 in the Big Ten and at 98 in the Rating Percentage Index. Yeah, well, it’s still unlikely for the NCAAs.

The sad fact is, had the Lions simply won two of three games they flat-out squandered — Indiana, Minnesota and at Purdue — they would now sit in fourth place in the Big Ten at 5-4. But at least there’s something to talk about.

Penn State fights. Penn State has talent at key spots. That much has been established. You don’t lift yourselves out of such a hole without either.

Now, smart basketball? Not always this team’s forte and that’s what’s impeded it so far and probably will eventually kill it from an NCAA standpoint. They do too many dopey things at late junctures. Simple in-bounds plays have been a continuing adventure.

But guts? This team has it. And it also has one of the very best players in the Big Ten in D.J. Newbill. Nobody in the conference is harder to guard. That remained apparent during the Lions’ maddening 79-68 defeat of Purdue yesterday at the Jordan Center.

via Maddening but tenacious Penn State hoopsters on a little roll with trip to see Sparty on deck | PennLive.com.

Dave Jones:

Technically, they all add 1 to either the W or L column. But the truth is, some losses are more damaging and some wins more empowering.

Penn State has had plenty of the former this season, heaping despair upon doubt. Coming to mind but certainly not alone are the blowing of an 18-point lead in the last 6:30 of regulation against Princeton and 1-point loss at Purdue. Both were gut-punch losses.

But last week against Nebraska, the Nittany Lions got an ugly home win that at least stabilized a listing team. And last night at Ohio State, they won a game that could turn out to be worth more than just 1.

That’s because nothing about it was easy. Even as Big Ten road games go, the Lions’ 71-70 overtime win was a grueling uphill hike. Win a game like this one and your guys start believing anything is possible.

via Penn States upset of Ohio State didnt seem like one by the end | PennLive.com.

Pitt transfer John Johnson makes big splash in first dive into Penn State men's hoops | PennLive.com

Dave Jones:

[John] Johnson was spectacular in his Penn State debut during a 92-82 defeat of Mount St. Mary’s that played out quite a lot more anxiously than anticipated. After practicing with the team throughout the first semester, Sunday was his first game of eligibility, per NCAA transfer rules.

That Johnson scored 20 points off the bench isn’t the half of it. The greater revelation was that he looked like a man out there. Considering that Johnson is 21 years old and has played a season of serious D-I ball at Pitt (all 39 games in 2011-12), you wouldn’t expect him to be timid. But there was more to it than that.

During a second half in which Penn State unexpectedly found itself in a lay-it-down Philadelphia schoolyard scramble, Johnson looked totally comfortable. He played not just with supreme confidence but aggressiveness. He was exactly what the Nittany Lions needed when they needed it.

Combined with the added size of the 7-foot [Jordan] Dickerson, the Lions (9-4) suddenly appear to have some legit prospects as the non-con season ends and Michigan State awaits on Dec. 31 (5 p.m.) at the Jordan Center to start the Big Ten.

via Pitt transfer John Johnson makes big splash in first dive into Penn State men’s hoops | PennLive.com.

Ben Jones:

Penn State basketball will add a little more height to the roster as sophomore center Jordan Dickerson has been cleared to play and will take the court for the Nittany Lions on Sunday against Mount St Marys.

“We are excited the NCAA has approved the waiver for Jordan,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said of the news. “He has worked hard to develop during his six months with the program and we look forward to working him into our lineup and taking advantage of his presence in the post.”

Penn State submitted a Legislative Relief Waiver to the NCAA requesting it waive the year in residence requirement that generally applies to transfers in basketball. The rule usually requires that all transfer athletes sit out a season following transfer to another program. A sophomore, Dickerson will have two additional season in Happy Valley following this year…

via State College, PA – Penn State Basketball: 7-Footer Jordan Dickerson Cleared By NCAA, Eligible Immediately.

Big Ten Geeks:

Maybe Penn State Really Does Have Best Backcourt in the Country

A year and a half ago, Penn State coach Pat Chambers made a bold statement:

“Can’t wait! I think we’re going to have the best backcourt in the country! You heard me, in the country,” he exclaimed, referring to Newbill and Frazier. “The reason is because those two together.”

While Chambers’ excitement clearly damaged his sentence structure, it also raised eyebrows. Could Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill, a low-usage transfer from Southern Miss, actually comprise the nation’s best backcourt?

It took a year longer than expected to find out, but the answer appears to be a surprising “maybe.”

To look at this objectively, I took KenPom’s list of the top 100 offensive ratings in the nation (minimum 24 percent usage and 40 percent minutes played – we want high usage, high efficiency starters, not great role players).  I then filtered the list down. First, since we’re looking at duos, I eliminated players that did not have a teammate also in the top 100. Then, I eliminated duos that included a player that is clearly a forward and not a guard in the context of his team.

We are left with this list:

Player Team Ortg Usage
Russ Smith Louisville 121.6 31.1
Tim Frazier Penn St. 120.9 28.7
Jordan Adams UCLA 134.6 28.3
D.J. Newbill Penn St. 120.0 25.2
Kyle Anderson UCLA 118.3 25.0
Chris Jones Louisville 121.2 24.7

Admittedly, this is a quick and dirty approach. Defense is not considered, nor is schedule strength. We’re also only a third of the way into the regular season, so there’s a lot of basketball left to be played.

With those grains of salt taken, we’re left with three contenders for the nation’s best backcourt (so far): Russ Smith and Chris Jones at Louisville, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson at UCLA, and Frazier and Newbill at Penn State. An argument could be made that UCLA’s 6-9 Anderson isn’t really a guard, but his assist rate and lineup usage suggest otherwise.

It doesn’t appear that Chambers was completely insane when he made that bold statement. There’s a long way to go, but Frazier/Newbill has a chance to be the best backcourt in the country, at least on the offensive end.

via Big Ten Geeks: Surveying the Landscape « Big Ten Network.