Amid a Season of Frustration, Chambers Blasts Officials Following Saturday’s Contest

Pat Chambers finally reached his boiling point with officials Saturday night.

The catalyst?

Down two with 1:50 to go in regulation against Maryland, Jordan Dickerson was clearly tackled to the ground by Maryland’s Evan Smotrycz. With a clear view of the play, the official unfathomably called Dickerson for a moving screen. Have a look for yourself:

The sequence was one of many blunders that led to Penn State’s 76-73 Valentine’s Day heartbreaker. Following the game, a visibly drained Chambers unleashed a pent-up vent on a season of disappointments.

“That is the worst call I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” he said. “They’re pulling Jordan Dickerson down. First of all, time and score. He’s too young, he doesn’t have a feel for the game, shouldn’t call that foul. That’s one. Two is [Geno Thorpe, who was dribbling the ball] back cutted. He went down the middle. He didn’t even use the screen and he got pulled down and they called a foul on him. It makes no sense.”

The foul was Dickerson’s fifth of the game, which effectively ended his night. The big man, despite his foul trouble, was making the Terrapins life difficult down low and was a big factor in the Nittany Lions’ rebounding advantage.

“And if I didn’t complain, Newbill would have never gotten to the foul line because [Melo] Trimble gets there 12 times and he’s a freshman and he’s on the road,” Chambers continued. Trimble is Maryland’s star freshman point guard, who went 12-12 from the foul line Saturday night, and seemingly every time he drove to the hoop was the recipient of a favorable whistle.

“It’s a joke. It’s a joke the way we’re officiated. It’s disappointing. And there was an elbow that they didn’t want to call that they should have called that normally gets called against us. Frustrating, disappointing. But, we got to take the refs out of the game, and we didn’t.”

Nine seconds before Dickerson was whistled for the moving screen, it was a head-scratching no-call that first fueled Chambers’ fire. Brandon Taylor secured a defense rebound, and was clocked with an elbow to the face as he relayed the pass. No foul was signaled.

“It was a huge call, huge play. Huge.”

Here’s video of the entire sequence, and Chambers’ subsequent postgame reaction.

While Saturday served as the biggest explosion from Chambers, it’s not the first time this season he’s criticized Big Ten officials. After another crushing defeat, 66-60 at Michigan State, the fourth-year coach complained that Tom Izzo being “a Hall of Fame coach” and Chambers, of course, not being in that elite class led to tilted officiating.

“I never want to say it’s the ref, because they’re good guys, they try their best,” he said then. “But I just think people look at Penn State very differently. I’m a little tired of it.”

Chambers gets another test against a Hall of Fame coach on Wednesday night. Bo Ryan and his No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers will come to town for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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