Tribune-Review: New season brings stability

Ed DeChellis felt more like a caretaker than a coach during his first season at Penn State.

“Last year, we weren’t really coaching,” DeChellis said. “We were just managing what we had.”

From former coach Jerry Dunn, who was dismissed after a seven-win season in 2002-03, DeChellis inherited a group of inexperienced players and a few malcontents.

There were only two scholarship guards, both true freshmen. The big man was a gangly German who preferred shooting clunkers from beyond the arc to mixing it up under the basket.

By the end of the season, a couple of unhappy veterans had departed, the big man was openly courting scouts from European leagues, and a walk-on with a surgically repaired eye was the team’s most exciting player.

“In the long term, all that (turmoil) probably was a good thing,” DeChellis said. “Because we found out who wants to be here.”