DeChellis Starts On A New Journey….
… no, not THAT journey. While teams like Cornell and Northern Iowa are still playing for a championship for the 2009-2010 season, Penn State and men’s basketball Coach Ed DeChellis have officially turned the page. The 2010-2011 season had its unofficial start yesterday with the first spring workout at the Bryce Jordan Center. After the fun was over, DeChellis held his first press conference of the year and talked about a variety of subjects. Here are some of the highlights:
- Disappointment. Not quite a highlight, but it was definitely mentioned a lot with regards to this past season. Expectations were not met and from what was gathered from the players, it was because the team wasn’t as close-knit off the court as they had been in years past.
- Lack of confidence caused a number of close losses this season. However, DeChellis was quick to point out that things were not done any differently with this year than the NIT championship team of last year. With another year of experience under everyone’s belts, that should change next year.
- The non-conference schedule. Penn State will be traveling to Blacksburg to play Virginia Tech this year to finish up their home-and-home series. The Big 10/ACC Challenge invades the BJC this year with an opponent to be announced. And the big shocker of the day, an SEC team will more than likely appear on the schedule next year (home or away still to be determined). DeChellis said that his staff broke down the bubble teams from this year and looked at their schedules to see why they might not have made it into the tournament due to the level of competition they faced.
We didn’t really hear much about Chris Babb’s and Bill Edwards’s intents to transfer. Coach DeChellis said it was a private matter between him and each of those players. Taran Buie, Talor Battle’s younger brother, for those of you who don’t know, was only mentioned once with DeChellis, who said he couldn’t put expectations on a high school kid yet.
Finally, the big point taken away from the conference was that the coach said he had no control over a number of things, including his job security, the tournament committee and team bonding. Perhaps he’d best not shirk responsability–that type of thinking is what will lead him out the door if Happy Valley sees another mediocre year on the hardwood.