Barbour: Chambers Will Be Penn State’s Coach Next Year

It’s been a long year for Pat Chambers and Penn State basketball.

After a program-best 12-1 non-conference slate, the Nittany Lions have plummeted to the bottom of the Big Ten amidst a four-game losing streak, sitting 3-12 in conference play ahead of only lowly Rutgers. Along the way, Chambers’ comments criticizing officiating cost the university $10,000, and 10 single-digit conference losses have seemingly decimated any ounce of confidence in the team’s ability to win a basketball game.

But, according to PennLive’s David Jones, athletic director Sandy Barbour confirmed that she plans to stick with Chambers for at least another year, even if his team loses out. Jones texted Barbour Monday morning to reaffirm her commitment to the energetic coach.

“Yes,” she replied. “He deserves more opportunity than he’s gotten. And we need to help him more. No one wins if we just keep turning over men’s basketball coaches. These things take time. I believe we have the chance to turn a corner.”

These comments, of course, come only several days after Penn State was blown away by an untalented, though recently hot, Northwestern team on the road. The 60-39 final was the Nittany Lions’ largest margin of defeat all year, and, more importantly, the first time it looked as if the team gave up.

Chambers, now in his fourth year at Penn State, will have plenty of questions to answer at the end of this season, although a prime incoming recruiting class may help quell some concerns. Still, as Jones noted, Donovon Jack, Brandon Taylor, and Ross Travis – players that have been with Chambers for at least three years – have to some degree regressed this season, a sign of poor development on Chambers’ part.

To further complicate issues, D.J. Newbill, Penn State’s only consistent scorer and leader, graduates at the end of this season, leaving a large void at the guard position.

Chambers is a likeable guy, and his communication with fans and the media, not to mention his passion for his program and the community, is laudable. Off the court, he does the right things.

Let’s just hope things get better on the court next year.

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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