Pat Chambers walked in to the media room just off the Bryce Jordan Center and jumped on to the podium, a move with the energy Chambers has trademarked the rest of the Penn State basketball program with throughout his short tenure at the helm of the Nittany Lions basketball program.
Expectations are low for a group that lost a majority of it’s points and rebounding from a season ago, but that didn’t stop Chambers from setting his own lofty expectations for a group that returns just one player who saw significant time last winter in Tim Frazier.
“These guys want to be coached, they want to be good, and they want to win. There’s a winners mentality and they don’t accept losing,” Chambers said of his bunch.
Chambers was also quick to point out where the leadership is coming from for a team that lost it’s heart and soul when Talor Battle graduated last spring.
“Billy Oliver, Frazier, and Cameron Woodyard are our captains, and they know leadership never takes a day off. The locker room is the most important thing to me.”
That was about it for Chambers referring to last year, as he made clear early that he and his team don’t spend much time thinking about the squad that made an improbable run to the Big 10 championship game and made an NCAA tournament appearance.
“We talk about who we are and who we need to be and the habits we need to have,” Chambers said.
“We don’t talk about last year.”
Chambers continued to heap praise on junior guard Frasier that began at Big 10 Media day in Chicago, comparing him at one point to Villanova guard Randy Foye.
“Tim is going to stay humble and hungry, and the extra attention he will get will open the perimeter for guys like Cam and Tre Lewis.”
Trey Lewis is a freshmen to watch, as is Ross Travis, who figures to play a big role on this club. Chambers said he has no plan to red shirt anyone at this point, citing a current lack of bodies due to injury as the reason.
Chambers also unveiled the “Attitude Club,” which he said is set-up where stats are kept during practice and the players can move up and down in the Club standings daily.
“Early we only had a few guys coming to ask where they stand, and now we have 10 or 12 guys coming to see how they did that day. That’s what we want to do, focus every day on getting better.”
Frazier also mentioned the Club during his time on the podium, saying “it’s all about when your shot isn’t working, it’s the other things you can help the team do to win, the little things.”