Coach Ed DeChellis Earns Three Year Extension
Men’s basketball head coach Ed Dechellis received a three-year contract extension today after coaching his team to an NIT championship six months ago.
The 2008 media elected Big Ten coach of the year enters his seventh season with the Lions, and he holds a mediocre 84-103 overall.
However, university athletic director Tim Curley could not be more thrilled with his coach. “Ed and his staff have built a great foundation for continued success on the court, in the community and in the graduation of our basketball student-athletes for years to come, and I am excited about the direction and leadership Ed is providing to the program,” Curley said.
Though Curley may give DeChellis nothing but the highest of praise, DeChellis has received much criticism over the past few seasons by fans and the media. While he may have begun to turn the tide of the program in 2008 as he led the team to a 27-11 record, many attribute this success to the soft out of conference schedule that ended up costing his team a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
This year will prove to be a big test for the Nittany Lions, as the team faces a considerably tougher schedule without departed stars Stanley Pringle and Jamelle Cornley.
However, Talor Battle enters the season as a pre-season candidate for the John Wooden Award, and he should receive help from an influx of freshman, headlined by fellow guard Tim Frazier. Forwards Chris Babb and David Jackson return to provide experience on the wings, and will be relied upon heavily to help replace the big shoes vacated by Cornley. Junior center Andrew Jones completes the returning starting lineup, and projects to further improve on his 6.2 point 5.8 rebound per game averages with performances similar to his NIT statistics.
Nittany Nation faithful will have their first chance to purchase season tickets for the 2009-2010 season October 8. The fans can only hope that DeChellis’s success was more than just a product of the weak schedule.