Nittany Lion hoops squad ready to amplify offense
That’s the magic number for the Penn State men’s basketball team this season. More specifically, that’s the number of points the team wants to score every game. That was one of the many messages that head coach Patrick Chambers stressed during media day before the season.
“We want to score 80,” Chambers said. “We’re going to press a little bit more. We’re going to push it — make or miss — as often as we can. We need 8-10 more steals (per game), and we’ve got to reduce fouls. Everybody understands and has a clear goal of who we’re going to be, and what our identity is.
He certainly has the roster to pull it off.
Lineup stalwarts Shep Garner, Julian Moore and Josh Reaves return, merging with the talented and highly heralded trio from Roman Catholic High School: Nazeer Bostick, Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens. And Mike Watkins is ready after redshirting last season.
Notably with the Roman Catholic trio, Chambers has brought in consecutive recruiting classes highly regarded in the national scene.
“We want to play 10 guys right now, and that’s the goal,” Chambers said. “We might put a starting five out, but it’s really a starting 10. We’ve got to figure out the right first lineup, and then the right second lineup. I think as coaches, that’s our job: to marry guys up together that play well together, that can work well together.
“Now, foul trouble can change all of that stuff, and injuries. But in the beginning here, with everybody pretty healthy, we’re going to try (different lineups). Some guys might deserve to start, but we might bring them off the bench, just because they play better with Mike Watkins or Julian Moore, or maybe Terrence plays better with Josh Reaves, where Peyton plays better with Tony Carr. As a coach, we have to look into that stuff to put our players in the best position to be successful. That’s the goal here.”
Fans can count on this: Penn State will be a heck of a fun team to watch this season. And chances are, for many seasons to come. Visit the team’s website for information on single-game tickets and season promotions, and also check out the team’s ticket central for details on buying season tickets and multiple-game packages.
Nov. 19 — vs. Duke*
Nov. 20 — vs. Cincinnati/Rhode Island*
Nov. 26 — at George Washington
Nov. 29 — vs. Georgia Tech**
Dec. 10 — vs. Pitt^
Dec. 18 — vs. St. John’s^^
Jan. 4 — at Michigan
Jan. 7 — vs. Michigan State, at The Palestra, in Philadelphia
Jan. 18 — vs. Indiana
Jan. 21 — at Purdue
Jan. 24 — at Wisconsin
Feb. 1 — at Indiana
Feb. 7 — vs. Maryland
Feb. 21 — vs. Purdue
Feb. 28 — vs. Ohio State
* Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament, at Uncasville, Conn.
** ACC/Big Ten Challenge
^ Never Forget Tribute Classic, at Newark, N.J.
^^ Hoops Holiday Festival, at Madison Square Garden, N.Y.
Top Returners No. Position Class Height Weight
Payton Banks 0 Forward Jr. 6-6 223
Shep Garner 33 Guard Jr. 6-2 187
Julian Moore 44 Forward Jr. 6-10 235
Josh Reaves 23 Guard So. 6-4 210
Mike Watkins 24 Forward Fr. (R.S.) 6-9 246
Top Newcomers No. Position Class Height Weight
Nazeer Bostick 4 Guard Fr. 6-4 187
Tony Carr 10 Guard Fr. 6-3 198
Terrence Samuel 5 Guard Jr. 6-3 208
Lamar Stevens 11 Forward Fr. 6-7 218