New Penn State basketball coach Pat Chambers threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the State College Spikes game the other night and talked with the Daily Collegian's Steven Petrella afterward. The topic of recruiting came up and Chambers had some interesting comments.
"We’re definitely gonna recruit Philadelphia and get out to Philadelphia and host as many alumni events as possible," Chambers said. "But we gotta go to the rest of the country and get the best players. We gotta get out there and really just spread our ourselves like a wildfire and get the right fit for guys who want to get their degrees and like to play basketball."
Many have assumed Penn State will zero in on Philadelphia as the center of its basketball recruiting efforts, but Chambers, through his words and actions, is signaling that he has bigger goals than that. From the addition of Akosa Maduegbunam out of Boston the other day to the targeting of Central Dauphin's Devin Thomas as well as a number of New Jersey recruits, Chambers is making it pretty clear he's a big picture kind of guy.
This is good.
Philadelphia is obviously talent rich, and Penn State finally has the resources to get serious about recruiting there, but it's not the only place in the Northeast to find good basketball players. The staff clearly sees, even in the early going here, that being a one trick pony isn't going to work if this program is going to take the next step into NCAA Tournament regular territory.