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Eric Gibson

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Member since 24 July 2016 | Blog

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Comment 18 Apr 2017

coming off the heels of an immensely disappointing season - This comment is an immense disappointment.

following the transfer of three players (including the sixth man and only reliable shooter on the team) - Three guys which you heavily criticized for not being good enough. Interesting that Payton Banks is now spun as "the only reliable shooter on the team". Shep Garner has 80 more threes in his shorter career. 

desperately needing a reliable big man - This is laughable with Mike Watkins in the program. Criticize Julian Moore and Satchel Pierce how you see fit, but their presence alone meant a big man was never going to be the priority this month.

Pat's best bet is a JUCO transfer - And that's a bad thing? As if there's never been any good players that have come from this level?

and a decommit from a Patriot League team - Duquesne is actually in the Atlantic-10. Getting offers from NCAA-quality programs like Seton Hall and VCU this month tells me a lot more than where he was as a recruit six months ago.

This after signing a 0-star prospect who didn't even have a 247 page - Because apparently that's the standard of whether you're a good basketball player or not. 

God, the commitments of Carr and Stevens feel so long ago, don't they? - Exactly and we still have another seven months to go until next season. Puts into context how long it can take to build a program when you need to invest 2+ years into recruitments and another 1+ year into development before you can rationally expect winning results in a league as tough as the Big Ten.

Comment 30 Mar 2017

They need role players right now, no doubt, but don't forget that they are just looking for role players. The 2011 team proved you only need a good starting five to make the NCAA tournament. Obviously you will need to get lucky in the health department all season for that to come to fruition, but Watkins/Carr/Stevens/Reaves ultimately determine next year's outcome. So I disagree that this offseason determines Chambers' fate, but it certainly will have a substantial effect on next season. Getting some capable players in the next month or two will at least give them larger margins for error. 

Comment 29 Mar 2017

Thanks for commenting!

I've already visited this topic a few years ago at BSD, because the critics have been singing the same tune going on five years now. Here are my thoughts on what you suggest could be the miracle cure for this program. I specifically looked at Buzz Williams and I'm not afraid to share this now even though the move has unquestionably paid off. Congrats to their AD for having huge balls and winning his bet. 

If Chambers fizzles out next season, I probably would be in support of this kind of bold move. But I will always be skeptical that it's a realistic possibility until I see it finally happen. I don't think paying $2-3 million/yr will convince high major coaches to take the job (although naming your own job security might, in Buzz Williams' case). The really good ones are waiting for the jobs they want. Shaka Smart stayed longer than anyone expected at VCU, turning down numerous opportunities before going to Texas. Archie Miller had the same patience at Dayton and now he's at Indiana. I expect Danny Hurley will take the same route, assuming his URI program keeps improving. He'll wait for the job he wants. I am confident in saying that sure as shit ain't Penn State. 

You are free to believe in-game coaching is what ultimately dictates wins and losses every year. I simply don't buy into that belief. If that makes me an apologist, so be it. See you next March. 

Comment 29 Mar 2017

This is a great point and something that I think is often forgotten when analyzing recruiting. We (the public) only get a limited amount of information. So like, we're all tracking Marcus Littles and Sean Good as "offers" right now, but really, how committable are those "offers"? Their recruitments are completely cold with regard to Penn State. They haven't developed into Big Ten recruits yet and not many high majors are pursuing either guy. You can understand why Chambers would offer a guy like Littles early, because like you said, he has a Big Ten body. Those guys don't grow on trees, especially in your recruiting territory. But his skillset isn't there yet, and if he doesn't show improvement on the AAU circuit this summer, he will not be a serious option. If he is, that's a troubling sign for the rest of the recruiting class and the assumption then would be they had to settle for their plan B or C or even D option. That happens more frequently than we like to admit, because again, it's so freaking hard to recruit for this program. Chambers first few classes were full of reaches because of striking out on the Brandon Austins, Sheldon Jeters, Josh Harts at the last minute. 

I hope they learned this lesson with Isaiah Washington. It's a risk you have to take as an unproven coach at this program - offering prospects so early. You have to be first to gain their attention. If they already have 10+ P5 offers, they ain't gonna listen to Chambers at that point. But this strategy means they have to gamble on necessary development that has to occur before signing day. 

Again, what coach in his right mind would take on this job?

Comment 14 Mar 2017

Penn State beat Maryland, Minnesota, and Michigan State this year, so obviously they can play with those teams. I expect PSU to improve for sure next year, but that should only bring more close games because the league will be really competitive. Then it comes down to whether you believe the players can get it done in crunchtime or not. The freshmen couldn't for the most part this season, but I'm still willing to bet the winning tendencies I saw on big stages in high school will develop at this level. Time will tell. 

Comment 13 Mar 2017

No problem, it can be hard to keep up around here with all of our content. 

I will be troubled and disappointed if there isn't an extension. This is the sole responsibility of the athletic department, one of the few times they can truly be judged on their attitude towards basketball. People are already writing off Barbour for continuing the employment of Chambers. I think that's unfair, because a lot of people in the game would say Pat Chambers is on the verge of a breakthrough.

If Barbour was to fire Chambers now, I do think there would be some public backlash from Big Ten coaches. I could see guys like Izzo or McCaffery making statements in support of Pat while criticizing PSU for their decision. That kind of publicity could deter potential candidates from considering this job. Money doesn't just solve all of the program's failures. You have to prove you know what it takes to win in this crazy business.  

There are valid reasons to retain him for at least one more year, so Barbour now has to recognize his contract is up. Doing nothing will leave the coach out to dry on the recruiting trail. That's a half-ass commitment. You can stand on whatever side of the fence you want when it comes to his potential dismissal, but a rolling four-year contract for whoever coaches Penn State basketball should receive universal support. How do you think Virginia Tech got Buzz Williams

As for Duquesne, I'm almost certain that was another home-and-home series, but no confirmation was ever published by the schools. Makes too much sense for PSU to have another game in Pittsburgh, though. As for a potential series with Pitt, I am hopeful it happens in 2018-2019. They were committed with Pitt to the Legends Classic for over a year, so then would be the first realistic year they could do a series. 

Comment 13 Mar 2017

It can still be a 'do or die' scenario even with an extension. That's why I admit it doesn't really prove anything, it's just necessary protection. The only con from an extension would be more money to buyout if they were to terminate him after next season, but it shouldn't be a substantial amount if they negotiate properly. It's not like Chambers has leverage at the moment nor does he even care about money. This is a guy who quit his millionaire sales job at 30 to start coaching basketball for less than 30k. He's already compensated about $1-2 million less annually than his peers. There has to be money in the budget for increased coaching salaries to get this done.

I will never understand why there's always so much opposition to this. One of the common criticisms of this school is the AD's lack of interest/support for the basketball program. A rolling 4-year contract is a clear-cut example of one way the school can up its support. Why are so many resistant to the idea? How do you think potential coaching candidates view this job when PSU lets its head coach try to recruit on a one-year standing contract? Who would want to work under that insecurity at one of the toughest jobs in hoops?

This flawed logic is why I struggle to entertain people's claims that PSU can lure an Archie Miller-type coach with a big paycheck. You still have to prove you know what you're doing. A one year contract shows you do not.

Comment 08 Mar 2017

Hey Dan - thanks for the promo on ESPN for nearly the whole game today. Your compliments of Chambers and his rising program should cut up nicely for video presentations in recruits' homes this fall. Maybe Chambers can now secure another top-30 class this offseason that allows for more leniency next year if they fail to make the Dance. Wouldn't that be something?