The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

October 30, 2013

Chambers, Frazier ready to lead optimistic Lions

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State’s Patrick Chambers is comfortable looking ahead because of one player in particular who is coming back.

The Nittany Lions coach has a two-year record of 22-41 that includes a 6-30 mark in the Big Ten, yet he shows no trepidation about saying that he want this year’s squad to finish in the top half of the conference.

His optimism stems from the return of point guard Tim Frazier, who was a force during Chambers’ first season, but missed all but four games last year because of an Achilles tendon injury.

Frazier led the nation in 2011-12 by accounting for 58 percent of his team’s offense with 208 field goals and 198 assists; he averaged 18.8 points and 6.2 assists per game.

He’ll be joined in the backcourt by D.J. Newbill, who last season ran the point in Frazier’s absence, and scored 16 points per game.

“It’s kind of like having two floor generals on the court now,” Newbill said.

Transfers John Johnson (Pitt) and Allen Roberts (Miami, Ohio) and freshmen Geno Thorpe and Graham Woodward are also in the mix.

That certainly helps Chambers’ optimistic outlook.

“I really want us to be in the top half of the Big Ten this year,” Chambers said. “I don’t want us to be in the bottom. If we can stay healthy, we can do some great things.”

Frazier hopes to use his quickness to help Penn State repeat the success it enjoyed in 2011 when it finished second in the Big Ten tournament but lost a first-round NCAA Tournament game to Temple, 66-64.

“I’m not a big, stocky guy so speed is my best asset,” Frazier said. “Any time I can use that is going to make me feel that much better. We’re fast guys, especially those young freshmen. That is going to benefit us.”

Projected frontcourt starters are center Donovon Jack and forwards Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor. Travis is the Big Ten’s second-leading returning rebounder (7.4).

Here are five things to know about Penn State:

An on-court coach: Frazier served as an assistant coach while rehabilitating last season. “I was a coach for a year and not many players are able to say they were a coach and then come back and play,” he said.

“I think that’s going to benefit me from being in (Chambers’) ear all the time.” Chambers said that Frazier’s basketball IQ is “off the charts now; he’s aware of everything in this program.”

His best shot: Chambers said he helped Newbill “tweak” his shot over the summer by not allowing him to take a shot from outside the paint for 30 straight days. “He stayed disciplined and he did it,” Chambers said. “It’s very noticeable; shots are falling through.”

The new guys: Johnson will be eligible on Dec. 22. “I don’t think it will take me long to get adjusted,” Johnson said. “We practice very hard and we go game speed in practice. The speed of the game won’t be a problem for me.” And Chambers is enthused about Roberts, who will be eligible for the team’s Nov. 9 opener against Wagner: “Right now, he’s our best 3-point shooter.”

Summer vacation: The Lions won two of three games in August on a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands designed for extra practice and a little bonding. “I know this sounds funny saying that they like each other, that they genuinely care about each other, but you win some games you’re not supposed to win when you have that,” Chambers said.

The schedule: Penn State’s nonconference schedule is highlighted by games with Penn, La Salle, St. John’s and Pitt. The Lions open their Big Ten schedule New Year’s Eve at home against Michigan State. “It’s a long season,” Chambers said. “We have to continue to be the best team we can be by the end of the year and I think we’ve done that.

“Looking at our record you might not agree with that, but I think we’ve finished strong both years and won some games maybe we weren’t supposed to.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local High School Baseball and Softball Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs 4-15-14

    April 14, 2014

  • horizontal hawks Fighting Falcons win playoff series against Tomahawks

    The third period of Game 3 of the NAHL North Division semifinal served as a quick primer of the Johnstown Tomahawks’ playoff fortunes against top-seeded Port Huron.
    Trailing by two goals going into the third, the Tomahawks ramped up the intensity, producing a goal early and a multitude of chances at an equalizer until the game’s final moments when goaltender Max Milosek stopped Jordan Watt’s breakaway try as the Cambria County War Memorial Arena’s horn sounded.

    April 12, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide