Chambers’ program lacks discipline
When Penn State basketball coach Pat Chambers recruited a very talented group of players from the same state championship high school from the Philadelphia area two years ago, this was the finest class he had ever recruited.
After the 2015 season, he was rewarded with a two-year extension on his contract, which now runs through the 2018-19 campaign.
Now, in December, his sophomore-laden team has a 10-4 non-conference record entering yesterday’s game with Coppin State.
Last Friday, however, his team lost to Rider, 71-70, in the last seconds of a game the Nittany Lions should have won easily over a team with a 145 RPI rating.
On top of that embarrassment, one of Chambers’ young players, Nazeer Bostick, violated a golden rule in any team sport by allegedly saying during warm-ups that “this game will be over in the first 10 minutes.”
The Rider head coach overheard this comment and passed it along to his players. Say no more as the Rider players had all the motivation they needed to beat Penn State.
Chambers had no comment afterward based on third-person hearsay.
If this did actually happen, any head coach would tell his players “don’t put your foot in your mouth” and give the opposition all the ammunition to win.
I am sure a man of Chambers’ spotless character would make it one of his principles to hammer home with his players, but young players have a habit of letting things slip.
In World War II, it was said, “Loose lips sink ships,” and the Axis Powers got a lot of loose information from the bars frequented by our military personnel in destroying many of our ships at sea.
Going back to Big Ten conference play: My feeling is lack of consistency will keep the Lions out of March Madness once again.
Switching gears, congratulations to the Black Knights of the Hudson for winning a thrilling game in the Armed Forces Bowl. Army West Point has an outstanding triple option offense as they didn’t throw one pass in the game.
This is Army’s first 10-win season since 1996 and only the second one going back to the 1898 season.
Rose, PSU volleyball still has a lot to sell
My fellow mailbag contributor Les Hart made a premature prediction last week when he wrote about the demise of the Penn State women’s volleyball team and suggested it’s time for legendary coach Russ Rose to retire.
The one college sport that my wife and I mutually agree upon is women’s volleyball, and together we watched this year’s national championship in agony.
Yes, Penn State did not win it all for the third consecutive year, but once again the Lady Lions were a Final Four team, and the seniors once again were part of a national championship team.
We were fortunate enough to attend the last national championship PSU won in 2014 in Oklahoma City.
When you can recruit someone and tell them that during their career at Penn State they will probably win at least one national championship and participate in at least one other Final Four, that’s why women volleyball players stand in line to get to Penn State under Rose’s coaching.
Yes, Rose is a Hall of Famer in the sport, and that accounts for a lot of the interest in the program. Players know their game will continue to improve under his tutelage.
Hang in there, Les, and have heart. I think there is still a lot of fruit on that Penn State tree. These young underclassmen seem to really blossom those first two years, and I suspect it’s the great coaching they get beyond their high school years.