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Basketball Media Day Recap: Pat Chambers Fiercely Defends Mike Watkins

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Purdue vs Penn State Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State basketball held its official 2018-2019 Media Day session yesterday, and it started off on a testier note that usual, thanks to Pat Chambers having to answer a question about just how many more chances he can give Mike Watkins, after Watkins once again found himself in trouble with the law.

When asked why he continues to give Mike a chance instead of simply booting from the roster, Chambers cited Mike’s rough upbringing in Philadelphia and how afraid he is of Mike ending up in the streets should have remove him from the team. Really though, words don’t do the exchange justice, so here’s a video below.

Exchange aside, some other tidbits and words of wisdom offered by Chambers included the following (full transcript can be seen here):

  • Lamar Stevens sounds as if he is the one who will lead this team in the post-Tony Carr era. According to Chambers, Lamar has been “really focused” on his defense and he is being double-teamed in practice in order to learn how to make plays out of the double team.
  • With regards to replacing Carr and Shep Garner’s 3-point shooting production, Chambers cited Lamar’s 50% and Josh Reaves’ 52% shooting from behind the arc last season and singled out incoming freshmen Myles Dread and Rasir Bolton. Chambers also noted that the freshmen were all shooting 40 percent or above from downtown in practice, but wants to see how they fare in a scrimmage setting.
  • John Harrar has gotten leaner and is being developed into more of an offensive weapon. Unfortunately, Harrar is also dealing with an undisclosed upper-body injury with no real timetable on his return.
  • Transfer Izaiah Brockington apparently has a better vertical leap than Reaves. Chambers says they are looking into seeing if they can get him a waiver for immediate eligibility.
  • It sounds as if Jamari Wheeler has spent all offseason working on his jump shot, which has significantly improved. He is expected to start at point guard.