Basketball Observations From The BJC
With Hoops Madness in the rearview mirror, the Penn State men’s basketball team took the court Saturday afternoon against the mighty Slippery Rock University in an exhibition scrimmage leading up to next Saturday’s season opener against Hartford. The Nittany Lions were victorious in the scrimmage 64-47. Rather than recap a meaningless game, we’ll give you some quick-hit observations from the action:
- As previously covered, the Bryce Jordan Center has installed a new scoreboard. After several malfunctions last year, the upgrade was much needed, but it’s annoying not to have players’ stats displayed.
- Penn State went with a starting lineup of Tim Frazier, Cammeron Woodyard, Matt Glover, Jonathan Graham, and Billy Oliver. This could change, as frequent substitutions were made early on.
- Pat Chambers removed his suit jacket about thirty seconds into the contest after two unsuccessful possessions. Chambers did not sit down for the rest of the game, a nice change from the often stoic Ed DeChellis.
- Speaking of sitting down, I was always perplexed as to why chairs were moved onto the court for players to sit during timeouts in the past. That does not appear to be the case this year.
- After a 4-0 Slipper Rock lead, Woodyard got PSU on the board with a three pointer. Billy Oliver followed with a three and scored sixteen points–more than he had in his final eleven games last year combined.
- With 12:44 remaining in the first half, freshman Ross Travis dove into the first row of the stands going for a loose ball. Hustling was a recurring theme throughout the game.
- Freshman Trey Lewis hit a three with 8:00 to go in the first half. He is one player fans should have their eye on early in the season. He may not start, but he should play significant minutes.
- Pat Chambers was an assistant coach at Villanova when Jay Wright popularized a four guard set–and Chambers worked especially with the backcourt. Do not be surprised if he brings that lineup to Penn State this year. However…
- Sasa Borovnjak was impressive in limited time and will look to provide some much needed size for the Nittany Lions.
- Shoutout to the fan who made the pure 1/2 mv2 sign. Well played.
- Tim Frazier nailed a big three pointer to end an early Slipper Rocky run in the second half. He would finish with a team high nineteen points along with seven assists and six rebounds. Chambers gave Frazier some pretty high praise during media day earlier in the week, and there is no doubt this is his team in the post Talor Battle era.
- The Frazier highlights did not end there. He brought the crowd to their feet with a fast break dunk six minutes into the second half.
- The air ball chant was heard frequently from members of Nittany Nation directed at Slippery Rock players.
- Walk-ons Kevin Montminy and Nick Colella had some great hustle plays in the final minute of the game.
The regular season begins in less than a week, tipping off Saturday afternoon following the Penn State-Nebraska football game. After losing four starters in Battle, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson, and Andrew Jones, expectations are low for Chambers and the Nittany Lions, but they appear more than willing to go to battle for each other and their new energetic coach. This could lead to them surprising some doubters in the Big Ten, if Saturday’s exhibition was any indication.