Friday, June 10, 2011

Penn State Hires Patrick Chambers

With Ed DeChellis leaving for Navy, Penn State has filled their coaching vacancy with Boston University's Patrick Chambers.

Chambers is a little bit of an unknown. He did spend a few years as an assistant at Villanova, but otherwise has just spent two years as a head coach at Boston. Penn State is going to be a complete rebuilding job. I don't want to repeat everything I said in this post, but suffice to say the team is going to be a shell of the 2010-11 squad for the upcoming 2011-12 season. And the rebuilding job is going to take even longer, because hotshot transfer Juwan Staten has backed out of commitment after DeChellis left, and is now headed to West Virginia instead (I'll have another post on that transfer sometime soon).

Chambers is known as an excitable, energetic young coach, but his task will be daunting. Penn State doesn't have a lot of natural advantages relative to other Big Ten teams. They struggle to fill their arena, and they have a lot more in-state competition (Pitt, Villanova, Temple, et al) for less talent than does the Nittany Lions football team. This is a complete rebuilding job, and the top priority for Chambers has to be his 2012 recruiting class. The only way Penn State doesn't finish in last place in the Big Ten this coming season will be if another team horribly disappoints because of injuries or just general bad play. No coach on earth could earn even an NIT bid with the roster that Penn State has right now.

But I've pointed to recent short-term success stories at bottom-tier BCS conference programs. What Mike Rice has done in one year at Rutgers is a perfect example of what is possible at Penn State. Only time will tell.

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