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Pat Chambers, Penn State Hoops Still Confident In Shooting Ability Despite Recent Struggles

It’s not hard to pick out what the issue has been for Penn State men’s basketball during its two-game slide. Quite simply, the ball just isn’t going in the hoop.

In their past two losses to Rutgers and Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions have shot a combined 11-for-47 from three-point range (that’s 23.4%). Pat Chambers’ squad is also shooting a dismal 34.5% from the field in back-to-back losses, but the coach’s mindset hasn’t changed.

“The guys have to continue to keep shooting it,” Chambers said at his press conference Monday. “Out of the 21 three-point attempts [against Wisconsin], I thought three were bad. I thought all the others were very good, in rhythm, uncontested shots, and you gotta keep taking those.”

Chambers added that this past week’s slump doesn’t take away any from any of the confidence that he has in his shooters.

“It’s going to change,” Chambers said. “As you’ve seen in the [Big Ten], anything can happen, so we just have to stay the course, and keep getting better.”

Myles Dread has certainly fallen victim to Penn State’s shooting struggles over the course of the past few games. After an extremely productive freshman season, Dread’s sophomore campaign hasn’t gotten off on the same note, as he’s 0-for-7 from three in the past two games and has made just two in the Nittany Lions’ last four contests.

Like the rest of his players, though, Chambers feels that Dread will soon find his groove once again.

“This is a kid that’s living in the gym, that’s why it doesn’t make any sense that [his shots] aren’t going in,” Chambers said. “Myles is too good of a kid, too good of a player. He works too hard. The ball’s gotta go in for this kid because he’s always in the gym.”

While the shots may not be falling for him as often of late, Dread remains in the starting lineup and is a fairly consistent contributor. Other than these past two games — in which the majority of the team has struggled on offense — the sophomore has added value, including 14 points and career-high seven rebounds against Iowa at the Palestra. Chambers was quick to point out that, despite some missed shots, Dread’s play hasn’t fallen off in other areas.

“That’s what I’m impressed about, [after missed shots] he goes right back and plays defense,” Chambers said. “He had four monster assists at the end of Iowa, his assist-to-turnover ratio is very good. He’s shooting excellent from the free-throw line. We’ll just keep finding ways to get him some shots.”

While it’s obviously not just Dread who’s struggling from three-point range, it’s hard to imagine that the rest of the offense won’t spark up once he gets going. The guard was a valuable contributor to Penn State’s offense last year, and once he gets hot from three he’ll likely spread plenty of confidence and swagger to the rest of his teammates.

Until then, though, Chamber’s message to the rest of his team remains the same: keep taking open shots.

“Somehow we need to get the swagger back,” Chambers said. “They know they have the green light, they never look over to me after a shot’s taken, and I don’t want them to. So they have to have great confidence and keep taking those shots. They’re going to go in. This happens during the course of a year, sometimes you make shots, sometimes you don’t. Hopefully, we can get on a run here.”

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is Onward State's assistant sports editor. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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