The No-Quit Nittany Lions
There was no need to storm the court after this one, a la the Michigan aftermath last week, but what we witnessed against the Cornhuskers was a statement nonetheless. In some ways, it was just as important to our growth, all things considered. Up by 19 at the half, a young team that has spent all season finding every way they could to give games away kept their foot on the gas and the door completely slammed on any attempt at a comeback. Dare I say it, but what I saw on Tuesday night was a team that may have quite possibly turned the corner. There was confidence out there on that court and more importantly, those no-quit Nittany Lions looked like they were having fun.
The beast, Lamar Stevens, had his way all night long and finished with 29. Mr. Electricity, Josh Reaves, slam dunked the benchmark 1,000 points as a Nittany Lion. Jamari Wheeler continued to give his Oscar-worthy Gary Payton imitation, and the freshmen Miles Dread and Rasir Bolton are beginning to have the look of grizzled vets with ice running through their veins. A team that went winless through December and January now has three in this month alone. They have the look of a team that could give headaches to anyone they play against, as the upper-echelon in the Big Ten jockey for higher seeds and teams on the bubble, like Nebraska, fight for tournament survival.
And then there’s the curious case of Patrick Chambers. What do you do with the guy? A month ago we all saw the end of an era, myself included, and then he proceeds to pull magic out of the hat. There won’t be any nets to cut down this season but this team has already conquered demons most squads would have succumbed too and some huge credit goes to Chambers for holding it all together. Despite all the glaring flaws, the job he's done this year on and off the court is nothing short of masterful. I don’t see any way we risk losing everything by starting fresh without him. The players love him and they are just now beginning to see the fruit of all their hard work. At this point, the overall record is secondary to the heart these no-quit Nittany Lions have on display night in and night out, and that just might be enough to buy us all some more time together.