It is no secret that the 2017-18 season will be a pivotal one for the Penn State men's basketball program under seventh-year head coach Patrick Chambers. Based on comments Thursday from athletic director Sandy Barbour, that is the view of the university's athletic department as well.
Barbour spoke to a crowd in Altoona Thursday during the Coaches Caravan event held there, and one of the topics she commented on was the status of Chambers' team.
"I believe we're making progress, but it's not a 10-year plan," Barbour said, per John McGonigal of the Centre Daily Times.
Some might interpret that to mean that the pressure is to make the NCAA Tournament this season, but Barbour left the door open for an NIT berth being the progress she is looking for, saying they may "need to take a step first."
With Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, and Mike Watkins all entering their sophomore seasons and Josh Reaves and Shep Garner rounding out the starting lineup, it is clear that Penn State will need to improve on its 15-18 record from the 2016-17 campaign. How much they improve and how far they go will go a long way in determining the direction of the program over the next few years.