Marley Paul in CoBL:
Before diving into conference play, a young Penn State roster — expected to play five freshmen — will face some early adversity as games against at least five teams that finished higher than the Nittany Lions in the RPI rankings last season are already on the confirmed non conference slate. Chambers has placed an emphasis on strengthening out-of-conference competition for his team, which finished 124th nationally and fourth-worst in the Big Ten in RPI, with hopes to fare better in late season meetings.
“I want to put them in the fire, early and often, and see how they react,” Chambers said June 3, addressing the media at the 20th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament on campus, “and that’s only going to help us.
“And there’s going to be good times and there’s going to bad times, that’s part of the process but when we get to January, when we play in that Big Ten I think we’re going to be that much prepared. Is that 10-3, 13-0, 8-5? I don’t know what it’s going to be, but it’s exciting to know that we’re going to face these challenges earlier and maybe get these guys a little bit further along by the time January comes around.”
Their non-con schedule is highlighted by meetings with three ACC teams (Duke, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech) and a trip to D.C. for reigning NIT champion Georgia Washington (the front end of a reported home and home series.) Penn State will face either Cincinnati or Rhode Island in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.
The aforementioned teams scheduled for non conference play, except for 116th place Rhode Island, all finished in the top 70 in RPI.
“I did a lot of research in putting this non conference schedule together,” Chambers said, adding that he consulted with two people with heavy influence in the NCAA basketball committee’s postseason selection: ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi and an “analytics guy” from the Big Ten, presumably Kevin Pauga, who created his own algorithm, KPI, which evaluates and weighs each game played with an array of variables.
“So there’s no stone left unturned in this situation,” Chambers added. “We really put a lot of thought into this and I just want to give these kids a chance.”…
He was a revelation, a refreshing success story after New Orleans had endured a frustrating portion of the season filled with bad news, including key injuries, a losing streak and the vanishing of realistic playoff hopes. When point guard Tim Frazier signed with the Pelicans on March 16, they’d already begun to lose important key contributors to injuries and had dropped the first four games of a coast-to-coast five-game road trip. From just about the instant the 10-day signee stepped on the court at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, however, the Pelicans began looking like a more cohesive team.
Frazier made an eye-opening debut for New Orleans in a 15-point road win over the Kings, finishing with 14 points and nine assists, a sign of things to come over the final month of the regular season. Almost exclusively in a reserve role, Frazier was an effective scorer (13.1 points per game, 45.0 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range), but more importantly, he adeptly ran the New Orleans offense by consistently spotting open teammates for baskets. Frazier averaged 7.5 assists in his 16 games with New Orleans; if he’d averaged 7.5 over the course of the entire 2015-16 season, it would’ve ranked him tied for sixth in the NBA, behind only Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio….
Dana O’Neil at ESPN:
With this year’s incoming class, Patrick Chambers finally might have solved the riddle. The Penn State head coach signed three players from Philadelphia Catholic League traditional power Roman Catholic High School, signings that not only instantly make the Nittany Lions better but as important, give the program a legitimate footprint in Philly and a hope for the future. Because if this quartet, a class currently ranked 25th in the nation, performs well, there’s no doubt other Philly kids will consider making the quick trip west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to play basketball.
Now or never might seem a bit dramatic, but really if not now, when will Penn State change the tune on its basketball program?
Along with a bevy of guards, athletic wings and bigs who can all run and are in place for a faster brand of basketball at Penn State, incoming true freshman Lamar Stevens also often earns a mention. A mismatch with a “man’s body already” who will arrive at Penn State late next month with a 6-foot-7, 220 pound frame, Stevens serves as an example of what the Nittany Lions would like to see come to fruition next year.
“We want to run,” said Chambers, reeling off the names of Terrence Samuel, Shep Garner, Tony Carr, Nazeer Bostick, Isaiah Washington and Josh Reaves. “So we are athletic, we have speed, we’re really fast, we want to get up and down the floor. And Lamar is going to really be rewarded by running because he’s that good of a finisher and he’s that fast up and down the court.” …
BWI reports that Joe Hampton is enrolling Saturday:
Taking classes in both the first and second academic summer sessions lasting six weeks beginning Monday and lasting through August, it’s a jump Nittany Lion head coach Patrick Chambers is excited to have Hampton start. And, even though Hampton missed all of Oak Hill’s season, he has been medically cleared to participate and work out, which he’s already doing.
“He’s running, he’s shooting, he’s working out,” said Chambers. “But this is a whole new level of mentality, new level of physicality, of conditioning, of weight lifting, of intensity. So I always say we’ll put the training wheels on and hopefully we’ll take them off by the fall.”
Suffering the setback in October, Hampton has used the time since to rehabilitate the knee to the point where the possibility of participation for the 2016-17 season is on the table, said Chambers.
“The injury hurt him a little bit, but he’s already eating well, he’s already listening to us, he’s already doing what he’s supposed to do,” said Chambers. “I look for him Summer Session II to be 100 percent, full force.
— ساتشيل (@satch1032) May 6, 2016
— Patrick Chambers (@Coach_Chambers) May 6, 2016
Height 7′ 0″
Weight 255 lbs.
High School/Other Kiski School (Pa.)
Hometown Barberton, Ohio
Updated: March 18, 2016
2015-16: Scored five points in as many minutes while grabbing three boards against Alabama State in the season opener … Dished out one assist against North Carolina A&T … Grabbed a career-high seven boards, including five off the defensive glass, to go along with six points on a perfect record from the field against Northwestern … Scored two points with two boards in 11 minutes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff … Scored two points in as many minutes against Lamar … Contributed four points against West Virginia … Saw two minutes of action against NC State … Grabbed one rebound and recorded one steal against Duke … Scored six straight points for the Hokies and grabbed four boards, with one steal, against Wake Forest … Shot 67% from the floor for six points and snagged three rebounds against Georgia Tech … Grabbed one rebound in one minute of action against Notre Dame … Scored two points and grabbed a defensive rebound in 12 minutes against North Carolina … Saw three minutes of action against Pitt … Recorded one steal and distributed a season-high two assists in nine minutes against Syracuse … Dished out one dime and grabbed one board against Clemson … Scored one point from the free throw line in two minutes of action against Florida State … Saw two minutes of game-action against Boston College.
2014-15: Has played in 31 games, making seven starts … Had four points and two blocks against Maryland-Eastern Shore … Scored five points and grabbed three rebounds against Appalachian State … Had four points against Northern Iowa … Scored six points and added four rebounds against Miami (OH) … Had four points against Alabama A&M … Grabbed three rebounds and blocked a shot against The Citadel … Scored six points and grabbed four rebounds against Presbyterian … Put up 10 points and grabbed five rebounds at No. 17 West Virginia … Had four points and four rebounds against Syracuse … Scored five points and added three rebounds at Florida State … Made his first career start at No. 6 Louisville, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds … Brought down six rebounds and scored four points against No. 8 Notre Dame … Scored eight point and gave the Hokies great play on defense against No. 4 Duke … Had five points and two rebounds against Boston College. … Had a career day against Miami, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
High School: Won a letter in each of his two years at The Kiski School, where he helped lead Kiski to two state championship runner-up finishes … Ranked as a three-star center … Invited to NBAPA Top 100 Camp … Played one year of AUU ball for Team Adidas PA … Was selected to play basketball with World Vision Sports in China for 3 weeks in March 2014 … Was a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
Personal: Satchel Paige Pierce … Born Nov. 16, 1994 in Barberton, Ohio … Son of Eddie and Tina Pierce … Has an older brother, Eddie … Plans to study business.
Player of the Year
Tony Carr, G, Roman Catholic (Philadelphia), 6-3/170, Sr.
The ultimate big-game point guard, Carr lifted the Cahillites to a second straight Class AAAA state championship, averaging 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Ranked as the No. 41 recruit in the Class of 2016 by ESPN, Carr will play next year at Penn State, alongside two of his current Roman Catholic teammates.