Pat Chambers had his final press conference for the 2014-15 season today at the Bryce Jordan Center. Unfortunately, we couldn't send anyone to it, but there were several interesting tidbits of information that Chambers dropped about the program.
1) Sandy Barbour has been a bigger supporter of Penn State hoops than any AD during Chambers' tenure
This isn't a big surprise, but it's still nice to hear. Hoops support at Penn State hasn't exactly been spectacular over the last ever, but Barbour seems like a big supporter of Chambers and the program. We know that she has extended his contract and put some money into Penn State hoops, and according to Chambers, that's more than we saw from any Athletic Director in the past.
Chambers, on @SandyB_PSUAD and her public support: "Frankly, we haven't had that type of support. It's nice. It's 'Sandy being Sandy.'"— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) March 23, 2015
Yeah, this is a subtle shot at David Joyner and Tim Curley, but it's also a serious endorsement of the work Barbour has done since getting to State College. Ideally this continues for the duration of her tenure in Happy Valley.
2) The concourse of the BJC is going to be a lot prettier next season
There are a lot of ways to describe the Bryce Jordan Center, like "hideous" and "abomination." Part of the issue is it doesn't seem like a basketball arena, it seems more like a place where they have concerts and THON and graduation and oh by the way sometimes basketball happens in there. Seriously, there are more things paying homage to Elton John, Billy Joel and Michael Jordan than Penn State hoops throughout the concourse.
One thing we know Chambers has wanted to do is get more PSU hoops stuff out on the concourse, and that's apparently going to happen next year. Via Jeff Rice of 24/7:
Penn State's new film room is on scheduled to be completed by November. There will also be more "branding" (basketball-specific signs, pictures, etc.) in the Jordan Center concourse that is due to be completed following graduation this spring.
I think we all agree that the best way to deal with the BJC is a complete overhaul, but that's not possible. This, however, is a really nice start. Getting a new film room is also important, and it's good that it will be in around the time next season begins.
3) Pat Chambers was cheesed about the fine he got earlier this year
As we all know, Chambers rightly called out refs for being awful after the Maryland game. Unfortunately, he got fined for it, but if you ask him, he wanted to say more stuff and maybe throw in a few profanities.
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers doesn't think his rant earlier this season got his money's worth. "I didn't even curse," he said.— Evan Romano (@EvanRomano) March 23, 2015
Pat Chambers rules.
4) Players are already starting postseason workouts
All things considered, Penn State had an excellent end to the 2014-15 campaign. The Nittany Lions won three of their final four games and made a run to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. This was a great way to close out the year, and according to Chambers, it motivated the squad to start working out for next season. Again, from Jeff Rice of 24/7:
Chambers said he's going to try to use the last stretch of the season, when Penn State won three of its final four games, including two in the Big Ten Tournament, as a springboard into next year. Players are already in the gym working out on their own, which he said signaled a change from recent years.
"Sometimes when you finish seasons out you don't want to see a ball for a month," he said. "The way we finished this season has really resurrected this program."
That's really good! It's nice to see that the current crop of players are getting ready for next year already, which apparently is something that hasn't happened all that frequently before. Chambers said that he will break down last season over the next month or two, meet with the staff and have individual meetings with players about stuff they can work on. One such thing is the need to spread the wealth around and have more guys score.
Chambers: "Four guys [DJ, Geno, Ross, Shep] averaged almost 10 ppg towards the end of the year. That's how we have to play."— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) March 23, 2015
Of course, D.J. Newbill and Ross Travis are gone, but that could end up being a good thing. Chambers seems adamant on spreading out the scoring next year, which considering the lack of a No. 1 guy, is almost certainly the smart thing to do.
Update: Here, why don't you just watch the dang thing (courtesy GoPSUTV):