Pat Chambers’ vision for Penn State basketball is finally becoming a reality. Perhaps it’s taken longer than it should have, but the buzz for the upcoming season is palpable. With the arrival of its most ballyhooed recruiting class yet, you can finally say with a straight face that Chambers' program has a Big Ten roster in terms of talent.
It’s certainly been a long time coming after following this staff’s tireless recruiting efforts the last five years, but there is still so far to go before we can say that this program has arrived. With a team devoid of seniors and lacking in overall experience, expectations must be tempered. Or do they?
If this offseason is any indication, Chambers is full steam ahead with the young team he has been able to recruit. The level of confidence the head coach has shown in his program has been noticeably different. From the beefed up non-conference schedule to the intimate new marketing series, Unlocked, these guys believe they’re going to transform Penn State basketball into a nationally relevant program.
Here is a coach who has not made the NCAA’s or even the NIT in five seasons at the helm. In today’s super-competitive world of college basketball, that kind of patience from any athletic department is unheard of. There are plenty of folks who have already written him off thinking he has had ample time to make a winning mark on the program. The time is now to start delivering tangible results on the court.
However, none of that outside pressure seems to be affecting Chambers. Coaches on the proverbial hotseat do not allow unfiltered access behind-the-scenes of their program. They don’t schedule non-conference opponents like Duke and Pittsburgh when they are in need of wins. They don’t garner universal support from the program’s most decorated alumni.
Chambers has welcomed the expectations, because it’s really what he’s always wanted. If any of his post-game tirades about officiating taught us anything, it's that he simply wants his Penn State program to be taken seriously. Now he’s doing whatever in his power to ensure that’s the case, because despite the arrival of bonafide Big Ten recruits, they will still wear the Penn State basketball uniform that so many casually dismiss.
Their journey over the next two years promises to be a compelling story at the very least, and we couldn’t be more excited to start covering the program here at Roar Lions Roar. We hope you are willing to follow along for the ride. Don’t be one of the many cynics that could end up missing the birth of a winning basketball program at Penn State.