Penn State Basketball Declines CBI Invitation, Concludes Season
The roller coaster ride that was Penn State’s 2014-15 season is officially over. The Nittany Lions, after two wins in the Big Ten tournament, ultimately declined a bid to the CBI and failed to receive an invitation to the more selective NIT. Illinois will serve as the lone Big Ten representative in the NIT.
Pat Chambers and the Nittany Lions finish the season 18-16 overall, despite a poor 4-14 conference performance. Though the 18 wins are the most since 2011, 11 conference losses by less than 10 points will lead to many “what if?” questions. What if the team took advantage of its 12-1 start? What if it won those close games that became the heartbreaking losses we grew so accustomed to over the course of the season? Could this team have made the NCAA Tournament if things went in its favor?
Here is what we do know, however. D.J. Newbill, whose Nittany Lion career is over, leaves as the fourth-leading scorer in Penn State history with 1,812 points in three years. He hit the 2,000 career point mark against Ohio State in early March, which made him one of only 11 active Division I players to accomplish such a feat. He will next look to prepare himself for the NBA Draft, where he hopes to be one of the 60 names called on June 25.
Ross Travis, Kevin Montminy, and Alan Wisniewski also see their careers come to a close. Travis emerged from a season-long slump in the Big Ten tournament, scoring in double figures the final two games.
Pat Chambers had a challenging season, but all signs suggest Sandy Barbour will have him around for the next season. A prime recruiting class, an experienced returning backcourt, and some momentum following the Big Ten tournament will carry Penn State into the 2015-16 season.
The flaming bus may be gone for a little while, but it will never be extinguished. On to next year.
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