PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Following ‘Successful’ Non-Con, Penn State Battles No. 4 Wisconsin in B1G Opener

Pat Chambers hadn’t started Wisconsin preparations until Monday morning, only two days before the Nittany Lions were to travel to Madison to square off against the No. 4 Badgers.

It’s a mark of a veteran team, he said. Instead of worrying about adjusting his lineup to its opponents, Chambers is more focused on fine-tuning his players to continue to play the brand of Penn State basketball he so often preaches: defense and rebounding. “I probably spend more time on us,” he said. “It’s all about what I can do for this team.”

Following a successful non-conference schedule which saw the Nittany Lions jump out to a 12-1 start and receive five votes in the AP Top 25 poll, Chambers said that he needs to fight his natural inclination to over-coach. This is an experienced team filled with leadership, and he wants to let them play. “If you can keep it simple they’re going to have clearer heads and they’ll make better plays,” he said.

The fourth-year coach gave his team several days off for Christmas, and expected the usual languid practice upon their return. It wasn’t, and Chambers praised the energy those practices carried. “When you have a veteran team and great leadership, you know they’re ready to come back. They know the Big Ten season is upon us,” he said.

The Big Ten season is surely a different beast than Penn State’s non-conference journey that only saw them play two true road games and didn’t face a single ranked team. The two road games were at Marshall and Bucknell, attended by crowds of 5,158 and 4,257 respectively. Wisconsin fielded 17,279 for its most recent home game against Buffalo. Still, Chambers said he thinks those travel experiences have readied his Lions for the road challenge.

Wednesday’s matchup at the Kohl Center is sure to be a barometer of the Nittany Lions’ early success. A Final Four team last season, the Badgers returned experienced upperclassmen Frank Kaminsky, Josh Gasser, Sam Dekker, and Traevon Jackson.

Kaminsky was named Big Ten player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season. The senior seven-footer and AP preseason All-American is a matchup nightmare, shooting over 42 percent from three.

Chambers didn’t elude to how Penn State will try to limit the big man’s production, but suggested that it will be a group effort. “There’s not one guy that’s going to stop Frank. It’s going to take all five guys,” he said. “He’s a talented player. Kid can really play basketball.”

The brunt of that responsibility will fall on centers Donovon Jack and Jordan Dickerson. While Jack still struggles with early foul trouble, Dickerson’s post defense has evolved immensely in the past four games, a stretch in which he has 10 blocks. His six blocks against George Washington, the Nittany Lions’ most impressive win to date, carried Penn State on the defensive end.

Earlier this week, Kaminsky and D.J. Newbill had a brief Twitter interaction that hinted at some hostility between the two. Chambers said he wasn’t even aware of the incident, but upon explanation simply said “cool.”

Chambers added that Newbill and Wisconsin’s Dekker were roommates at a camp this season that Kaminsky also attended, and the Big Ten peers became friendly. “It’s all good, all clean,” he said.

The game tips off at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

About the Author

Ben Berkman

State College, PA


More by Ben

Nassib Healthy To ‘Kick Some Ass,’ Johnson And Hackenberg Seek Pro Evaluations

James Franklin made two things clear before the Lions travel South: Carl Nassib is 100 percent healthy for a game for the first time in more than a month, and Christian Hackenberg and Austin Johnson have both applied for draft evaluations from the NFL.

Gameday Observations: Return To Rec

Penn State Stomps Canisius, 81-67, In First Of Two Rec Hall Showdowns


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Career Services will launch Nittany Lion Careers on June 18.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend