This has been....interesting, to say the least. My two cents:
Both coaches have been mediocre recruiters, but Chambers' philosophy blows Ed's out of the water.
Ed and his staff had an uncanny knack of finding the greatest under-recruited prospects from all over the country. Even the near misses turned out to be great at other schools. For all the flack we give Ed for 2010, he was one random coaching hire at Colorado away from landing a future NBA 1st round pick
. But the issue was there never seemed to be a quality plan B recruit when one of their top targets spurned us, which ultimately is what left his teams without a bench (and wasted scholarships). While they presumably scoured the country for these under-the-radar prospects, time wasn't being spent cultivating relationships with any talent-rich areas that could lead to bigger and better things. I would also like remind everyone that Ed, despite his strong coaching pedigree with point guards, took three whole recruiting classes to land a true point guard after inheriting Luber. Mooch Jackson/Mike Walker couldn't handle the basketball for 30+ minutes in the Big Ten. That's still bizarre to me looking back on it.
There just never seemed to be much effort from Ed's regime to make a splash on the AAU scene. Now Chambers could be benefiting from twitter, and I don't want to imply that Ed's assistants never tried either, but PSU's presence in the summer these days is much more prevalent under Pat than it ever was under Ed. You are not going to land big-time players if you are not involved with Nike's EYBL, Adidas' Invitationals, or Hoop Group's events. It's just that simple in 2014. Seeing clear evidence of Chambers' relationships at premiere AAU programs like Team Philly/Team Final in Philly, WE R 1 in Delaware, Team Takeover in DC and Compton Magic in CA can (and will, with some wins) lead to unfiltered access to their biggest fish.
There is a strong perception on the PSU internet that Chambers is a much better recruiter than DeChellis. I agree that this isn't justified based on the results so far. Almost does not count one bit in this game, although I do think it's garbage that some think JUCOs/transfers are disqualified from this discussion. Players are players, no matter their path to State College.
Chambers' biggest failing in recruiting these days is his inability to outrecruit Villanova (Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Mikal Bridges, Tim Delaney, etc.). And his biggest mistake so far was not accepting Devin Thomas' verbal commitment. It should not have come down to BT or DT. We should have taken both, even if on paper it was "oversigning". But again, I think Chambers' potential to sustain and build off success is unparalleled when compared to DeChellis. IMO, it's a matter now of overachieving either this year or next and getting that momentum/credibility on the recruiting trail.
Ideally, it would have happened this year so they could have really hit Philly's 2015 class hard this summer. A lot of big time players down there. Maybe it still can?