By bringing in DJ Newbill coach Patrick Chambers was instantly able to do something that former coach Ed DeChellis struggled mightily with, and by that I mean obtaining highly recruited talent. As a senior at Strawberry Mansion Newbill was a first team all state selection and a McDonald’s All-American candidate. He led his squad to the 2010 PIAA Championship game which took place here at the Bryce Jordan Center, posting 15 points as they lost 49-47. As a freshman at Southern Mississippi Newbill finished with Conference USA All-Freshman first team honors, averaging 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to go along with a shooting percentage of 53.5 percent.
Patrick Chambers comes from Boston University as a relatively unknown, but in just a few months on the job you can instantly see that his philosophy will be different from his predecessor. While DeChellis did not make full use of the recruiting advantages that coaching at Penn State presents, Chambers was quick to utilize his resources by bringing in Newbill. Chambers has been able to climb the coaching ladder quickly since beginning his Division-I career in 2004 when he started as director of operations at Villanova. After one season Chambers was promoted to assistant coach of the Wildcats and eventually associate head coach in 2008. In his two seasons as the head coach at Boston University, Chambers posted a 42-28 record with two America East Conference Championship appearances and a NCAA tournament appearance in 2011.
Expectations should be extremely low for the Nittany Lions this upcoming season given that Penn State lost four of its five starters with only starting point guard Tim Frazier returning. But if the job Patrick Chambers has done in his first few months in any indication of his long term performance, than I am excited for where the program is headed. Once Chambers is able to get his own recruiting classes in and instill his system, Penn State may finally develop into the Big Ten force that they have always had the potential of becoming.