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Taylor and Travis Ready to Accept Larger Roles

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9777707.jpegBy Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - There's been a changing of the guard for the Penn State men's basketball team.

Not just the guard position, where the departure of all-time assists leader Tim Frazier leaves a void, but also with the leadership of the team in general.

Sure, returning All-Big Ten guard and leading scorer D.J. Newbill is looked at as the leader of the program. But Newbill can't carry the Nittany Lions alone, and that's where Brandon Taylor and Ross Travis come in.


Taylor and Travis aren't unfamiliar names with Nittany Lions fans by any means, as both forwards are returning starters. This year however, Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers will need them to take the next step as both players and leaders.

"D.J. was a huge leader last year for us, and after meeting with coach, me and BT have to step up and assist him," Travis said. "Especially with a big younger class coming in. Our job is to help D.J. and step up and be more vocal leaders and really take charge there in practice.

"The voice doesn't always have to come from coach, it can come from us as well. Just being out there and being a vocal leader is one of the main things we're going to go out there and do."

It's clear that Chambers thinks highly of both players, as he has named them team captains along with Newbill and senior guard Kevin Montminy.

At media day, the pair looked comfortable talking about their new roles as they sat beside Newbill, a spot that last year was regularly reserved for Frazier.

While it is no surprise for Travis to be named a captain since he is a senior, it will be a slightly different adjustment for Taylor, who is still just a junior.

"For me, it's just learning from [Newbill and Travis] and trying to be the best leader I can be," Taylor said. "It's just learning from the older guys who have been here before, to help the younger guys, because I was a freshman not too long ago."

Being vocal and assertive will certainly be a big part of the duo's responsibility this season, but it will not be everything. The Nittany Lions will need both of them to produce on the court as well.

While both are forwards, they each bring a different skill set to the court. Travis is a banger that has used grit and determination along with every ounce of his 6-foot-7, 235 pound body to lead Penn State in rebounding the past two seasons with 7.2 boards per game over that stretch.

Taylor, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 235 pounds, averaged 4.9 rebounds last season but has the ability to score both in the paint and from outside, having registered 14 double-digit scoring games last season.

The key for them this year will be consistency, as they look to lessen Newbill's scoring burden now that Frazier, last year's second leading scorer, has graduated.

"During the offseason, I worked on a little bit off ball-handling because I can help now, I can dribble a little bit," Taylor said. "Then just working on my intermediate game and working on my post and becoming a better post player because that's something we need here and something we haven't had the last few years."

Consistent scoring down low is definitely something the Nittany Lions need and an aspect that Taylor (9.2 points per game last year) and Travis (8.4 points per game) will both try to work on throughout the season.

It is also a role that Chambers believes Taylor is especially suited for, especially after an offseason in which he trimmed down his physique in addition to working on his game.

The fourth-year coach compared the Tabernacle, New Jersey, native to Draymond Green, the former Michigan State star and current Golden State Warriors forward.

"I compare him to Draymond Green, who could really post up a lot of people, and Brandon worked on that early in the summer," Chambers said. "First part of the summer he chiseled down, he's right around 13 percent body fat where he was up in the 20s when he came in [as a freshman]. He worked on getting stronger and his post-up game, because we need him in the post to get us some easy baskets."

In addition to Taylor and Travis, the Nittany Lions will have plenty of help down low from 7-foot-1 junior center Jordan Dickerson, 6-foot-10 forward Julian Moore and 6-foot-9 junior forward Donovon Jack, who will see plenty of minutes in the frontcourt.

With four players who all started games last year and Moore fighting for starting spots, it isn't guaranteed that Taylor and Travis will start every game. Still, that doesn't change their roles on the team.

"How we handle the reps is just us taking the time and watching the younger guys and what spots they're in," Travis said. "The earlier we make corrections now the less we'll have to make them during the games."

More than half of the Nittany Lions (nine out of 14 players) are either juniors or seniors, and it's that experience that Chambers believes separates this Penn State squad from past teams. A big part of that experience is the duo of Taylor and Travis, and it's their development that could take the Nittany Lions to the next level this season.

"I think right now, I think they're enjoying developing as leaders," Chambers said. "We're spending a lot of time together after practice. We'll have meetings in my office, so far it's been once a week, and we're making really difficult decisions on how to handle life, on the court and in the locker room. It's going well so far." 

Newbill Ready to Lead Nittany Lions

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9857407.jpegBy Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- While the position may be familiar, the circumstances have certainly changed for D.J. Newbill.

For the second time in three years, the senior finds himself as the starting point guard of the Nittany Lion basketball team, having played there for nearly the entire 2012-'13 season. This time around however, he's a bit more prepared for the challenge.

In 2012, Newbill was thrown into the fire when star point guard Tim Frazier went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon four games into the season, and was forced to play a position he was unfamiliar with.

Two years later, with a year of experience playing the point and an All-Big Ten nod as a shooting guard last year under his belt, the Philadelphia native is ready to resume ball-handling duties once more.

"I think I'm very comfortable," Newbill said. "Coming into the season, I didn't know if I was [playing point] so I prepared myself just in case.

"But I'm sure coach is going to play me some at the point. All offseason I worked on ball handling and things like that so I'm feeling pretty comfortable."

Although head coach Patrick Chambers currently has Newbill penciled in as the team's point guard, it is likely that the senior will play both on and off the ball throughout the season.

One of the best offensive players in the Big Ten, Newbill finished second in the conference in scoring average last season with 17.8 points per game and has led the Lions in scoring the past two seasons.

The key for the Newbill this year will be increasing his assist total now that Frazier, the program's all-time assist leader, has graduated. While he averaged just 1.7 dimes last season playing mainly as the shooting guard, he averaged a more robust 4.0 when playing the point as a sophomore.

"Whatever's going to make our team the most successful, whether it's him on the ball or him off the ball," Chambers said. "Because he's very efficient, and you can see his numbers from last year, and he does a great job of reading ball screens."

Not only will Penn State need Newbill to help replace Frazier's passing skills, it will also need him to fill the leadership void left by the departed guard.

A five-year player, Frazier not only was one of the greatest players in Penn State history, but also the voice of the team and the face of the program.

Now that he has gone, the Lions will look to Newbill to help fill those roles and also assist fellow captains senior forward Ross Travis, junior forward Brandon Taylor and senior guard Kevin Montminy grow as leaders themselves.

"For all of us, it's coming to practice everyday and raising the level of competition and trying to maximize guy's ability everyday in practice," Newbill said. "Ultimately, we're all leaders of the team so I think it's good when the guys see us stepping up and taking that role, especially for the younger guys."

For Newbill, leading by example is especially important, as the Nittany Lions have a host of new guards for him to mentor.

Currently, Penn State has true freshmen Shep Garner and Isaiah Washington and junior and Vincennes University transfer Devin Foster battling for playing time.

"I think Devin might be one of the best passers I've seen in a long time," Newbill said. "His decision making coming out of the pick and roll is one of the best I've seen coming through this program.

"Isaiah, I think he's going to be a great defender for us, he's long and athletic. And Shep is just going to be a tough nosed guard, coming in playing hard every possession and defending and rebounding."

The development of those players will be key to the success of the Nittany Lions, as it will give Chambers the flexibility to play Newbill at both guards spots.

Even if Newbill does stay at the point full-time, he will need someone to spell him for a breather once in a while. As much as Chambers relies on the skills of the 6-foot-4 guard, he knows it isn't in the best interest of the team to overuse him.

"When you rely on Tim [Frazier] like we did and now we're trying to fight that with D.J.," Chambers said. "He's such a constant and he's so reliable and very efficient that you want him out there for 40 minutes. I take him out of practice now because we have to learn to play without him on the floor.

"We're starting to earn the trust [with the backups] where I believe they'll come in and lift us up."

What Chambers likes the most about his team's guard situation is that he has plenty of options to choose from. Making that possible is Newbill, who has stated he doesn't mind what spot he plays as long as the team is winning.


"D.J. Newbill wants to do what's best for this team," Chambers said. "Whether that is the one or the two." 

Sights and Sounds from 2014 Men's Basketball Media Day

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VIDEO: Media Day Player Press Conference 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team welcomed members of the media to the Bryce Jordan Center on the Tuesday afternoon for the team's annual media day festivities.

Head coach Patrick Chambers kicked off the events with a season-preview press conference before a packed room inside the BJC. The Nittany Lions are one week into official practice, and the season begins in one month on Nov. 14 against Morgan State (7 p.m.).

Take a look through some news and notes from media day.

Newbill and the Floor Generals
10434816.jpegTwo seasons ago, D.J. Newbill was put in an unfamiliar position. Following a season-ending injury to Tim Frazier, Newbill was forced into the role of playing at point guard for the first time in his life. A natural shooting guard, Newbill spent the 2012-'13 season learning the ropes of an unnatural position. The trial by fire helped expand the Philadelphia native's game into an All-Big Ten season one year ago (17.8 ppg., 4.9 rbg.). Now, as a senior, Newbill is ready to do whatever is necessary to help the team to win.

"It doesn't matter which position I play, I just want to do what is best for the team," Newbill said.

For now, Coach Chambers believes Newbill is best suited as the team's primary point guard. The starting five is far from being set in stone, but the senior is the team's top candidate to play at the No. 1 spot. Newbill focused on the growth of his entire game over the summer, but emphasized ball handling. While he is a natural scorer with the ball in his hands, Newbill is the team's top leader and will direct the offense with great poise and command.

"I'm very comfortable at the point," said Newbill. "Coming in to this season, I didn't know if I would be at the point or not so I prepared for it just in case. But I'm sure Coach is going to play me some at the point all season. All offseason I worked on ball handling and things like that, so I think I'm feeling pretty comfortable."

Behind the veteran, two newcomers are competing for minutes as the primary backup at the point guard spot. Chambers said that he has been impressed with both junior Devin Foster and freshman Shep Garner in their efforts at the point guard spot. Chambers said both players have a high basketball IQ.

Open Competition at the No. 2 Spot
The Nittany Lions have a host of options for the off guard spot in the starting lineup. Chambers highlighted the competition between senior John Johnson and sophomore Geno Thorpe. Johnson averaged 6.7 points per game last season and has the ability to not only stretch the floor with his range, he can get to the basket and score in traffic. Thorpe took full advantage of the extra practices and game reps during the postseason last spring. A gifted athlete with tenacious attitude on defense, Thorpe will look to expand on the offensive end of the floor in 2014-'15. Chambers also mentioned 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman Payton Banks as a guy who could see some time at the No. 2 spot depending on how big the Nittany Lions wanted to play. Banks stretches the floor as a threat to score from the perimeter.

"Those guys are getting after it," Chambers said. "I really am pleased with the direction of practice and the competition in practice. The guys understand what's at stake here, minutes, starting spot. Those three guys are really getting after it and we'll see how it unfolds these next three weeks."

Veteran Leaders
While Newbill is the team's undisputed floor captain, the Nittany Lions have a terrific complement of leadership from the upperclassmen on the team. Chambers announced that Newbill, Ross Travis, Brandon Taylor and Kevin Montminy are the team's captains for the 2014-'15 season. Additionally, the team will have a leadership council group made up of the four captains and senior forward Alan Wisniewski. The collective roster has grown and matured under Chambers. He is relying more on the team for leadership than ever before. The early results at practice? Chambers said the veteran players are holding the team accountable for its work ethic and attention to detail on the floor. The team has five seniors and four juniors on the roster.

"D.J. was a huge leader last year for us. Meeting with Coach, Brandon [Taylor] and I had to step up and assist him to give him help with the big younger class coming in," Travis said. "Our job is to help D.J. and step up and be more vocal leaders. We really take charge out there in practice. The voice doesn't have to come from Coach; it can come from us as well. Being out there and being a vocal leader is the most important things and we're going to go out there and do it."

Taking the Next Step
While Chambers does not have a defined win total or set of goals for the team, he believes the talent within this group is more than capable of taking the next step. From the veteran leadership and deep pool of game experience, the Nittany Lions believe this is the year for the program to play at a higher level.


"We're headed in the right direction," Chambers said. "I feel like, as a program, we're a little bit older now. We have some seniors and juniors, which is exciting. We have a good mixture of veterans and youth. I think we have a great understand of our approach in practice, our approach in games, our approach in anything that we do. That takes a long time to put together. Is it really where I want it to be? No, there's still so much growth to go, but it's getting there."


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VIDEO: Men's Basketball Practice I Interviews

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team opened the official practice season on Tuesday morning inside the Bryce Jordan Center. GoPSUsports.com talked with seniors D.J. Newbill and Ross Travis following the first practice of the season.





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VIDEO: Season Preview with Patrick Chambers

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team officially begins practice on Tuesday to kick off preparations for the 2014-'15 season.

The Nittany Lions return 11 players from last season, including five seniors. Penn State opens the season on Nov. 14 against Morgan State inside the Bryce Jordan Center (7 p.m.). GoPSUsports.com spent some time with head coach Patrick Chambers inside his office to preview what's ahead for the 2014-'15 season. Take a look.



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Barbour Eager to Lead Penn State Athletics

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10191947.jpeg
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 18th of August cannot come soon enough for Sandy Barbour.

Introduced as Penn State Director of Athletics on Saturday afternoon, Barbour is thrilled to begin her tenure as the leader of an athletic program that aspires to continue its long history of excellence on and off the field of play.

"When you spend a professional lifetime serving institutions and most importantly students, you dream about coming to a place like Penn State," Barbour said. "You dream about the opportunity to lead a program like Penn State athletics. Why? Because it represents the opportunity to have it all: Athletic excellence, academic achievement, community engagement and fiscal responsibility. So thank you, Eric [Barron]. I am absolutely thrilled, over the top excited about this opportunity and about being the athletic director at Penn State."

A graduate of Wake Forest where she was field hockey team captain, Barbour grew up on the East Coast and has always had a deep passion for Penn State University and its athletic department. That's what drew her to the position when she originally spoke with President Barron about the opportunity.

Immediately, Barbour felt a connection with the people, pride and remarkable accomplishments of Penn State University and its athletic department.

"I love the 'We Are Penn State.' I particularly love what it stands for. It stands for family," Barbour said.

Barbour desires to see national titles in all 31 sports on campus. But first and foremost, she will strive to lead a department with student-athletes who are elite performers in the classroom.

"We are athletic programs again that are all part of a university," Barbour said. "Our student-athletes will be students first, Penn State is incredibly proud of the academic performance of their students and we will continue to be."

Eager to hit the ground running when she begins her duties as athletic director in 23 days, Barbour wants to learn from everyone in the department, especially the head coaches leading Penn State's 31 athletic teams.

"Unity doesn't mean one opinion, and I actually embrace that, embrace the diversity of opinion, diversity in a variety of different ways, and I actually think that will make us stronger in our ability to move forward," Barbour said. "As I said before, I have something to learn from everybody, and I'll be doing a lot of listening."

Numerous head coaches were in attendance at Saturday's introductory press conference. The coaches and athletic department staff then had a chance to mingle with Barbour at a private reception before she boarded a flight to Chicago for Big Ten meetings. The head coaches in attendance exuded great confidence in the future direction of the athletic department.

"There is a culture, history and tradition of tremendous academic achievement at Penn State and that will continue," said head football coach James Franklin. "I know it's important to our president, athletic director and all of our coaches. That will continue. I know we'll spend as much time as we need to so we can start building."


"I am truly thrilled that Sandy Barbour will serve as the next athletic director for Penn State," Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington said. "Sandy is a strong, dynamic and passionate leader. She is also an incredibly smart visionary and strategic thinker. It is exciting to imagine all the ways Penn State University, and Penn State athletics in particular, will be positively impacted by her leadership."

"I loved everything I heard today," head women's hockey coach Josh Brandwene said. "She has passion, vision and just a great understanding of the Penn State community. Both as a head coach and as an alumnus, I am really excited to start working with her."


Barbour will return to California in the coming days to prepare for her full-time return to Happy Valley on Aug. 18, and the new leader of Penn State Athletics is fired up to get started.

"We are Penn State. I'm all in. I'm ready to get going," said Barbour.

 


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VIDEO: Nittany Lion Hoops Offseason Update

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While the first day of official practice is still 74 days away, the Nittany Lion basketball team has been busy in the practice gym and weight room during July.

The coaching staff is permitted to work with team two hours per week. All 14 of the Nittany Lions are on campus taking classes and working out, including newcomers Devin Foster, Shep Garner and Isaiah Washington.

Senior guard D.J. Newbill's offseason has been a busy one. The Philly native spent time at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy (Washington, D.C.) in June. Newbill was also invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy (Las Vegas) in early July, where he played against the four-time NBA MVP in some pick-up games.

"It was cool," Newbill said. "We actually played on the same team, me and LeBron, so it was kind of like give him the ball and stayed out of the way kind of. But it was cool just chatting with him for a little bit. He's a real down to earth guy, real humble."

Newbill was pleased with how things transpired at the two camps over the summer. Now, his focus is solely on helping the Nittany Lions get ready for the season.

"As soon as I got back, it was right back to work," Newbill said. "...It's time to get the guys ready. We have a great season ahead of us, and we have to be ready for it."

Junior Brandon Taylor is looking build on a strong sophomore campaign in 2014-'15. Taylor lost 10 pounds during the first half of the offseason to improve his speed and quickness as he transitions into a wing position.

"I've been in the gym constantly, working on my ball handling and guard work," Taylor said. "I've been working on staying low, working on my footwork, and the little things that go with being on the wing to help get my game to where it needs to be.

Catch up with the Nittany Lions during the summer workout period.





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Looking Back at the Top Events from 2013-'14

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the calendar begins to shift towards the start of the 2014-'15 athletic season, GoPSUsports.com wanted to take a look back at a tremendous campaign for Penn State Athletics.

Fueled by national championships from women's volleyball, wrestling and fencing, Penn State accumulated a record point total in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup in 2013-'14.

Penn State's three NCAA Championships are its most since winning three in 1999-2000. Penn State student-athletes, who have an 88 percent graduation rate, won a school record-tying and conference-best eight Big Ten titles in 2013-'14 and 16 over the past two years, easily topping second place Michigan (9) in combined titles the last two years.

Take a look back at some of the top events from a stellar Penn State sports season.


Men's Hockey: Oct. 11, 2013 - Penn State 4, Army 1 (First Game in Pegula)

HKY_Pegula_First Game.jpgIt was a night fans in Hockey Valley had been dreaming of for years. The Nittany Lion men's hockey team christened the state-of-the-art Pegula Ice Arena with a dominant performance before a boisterous sold out crowd on opening night for the 2013-'14 season.

At 8:14 p.m., the puck dropped in the first game inside Penn State's sparkling new home for hockey.

Nate Jenson owns the honor of tallying the first goal for the Nittany Lions in Pegula. He took a feed from Taylor Holstrom early in the first period and beat Army goalie Rob Tadazak to the high corner, glove side. Just as Jensen scored, the crowd of 6,370 exploded and Zombie Nation blared through the speakers.

An early third-period two-on-one shorthanded goal from Curtis Loik and a breakaway goal from David Goodwin would spark the same reaction. Leading 3-1, Eric Scheid notched a last-second empty net goal to seal the first win in their inaugural game in Pegula.

Hockey Valley could not have any been prouder of its team following the 4-1 victory, and the student section made that very clear. The Roar Zone was full song from the moment it walked into the building 90 minutes before faceoff.

The Nittany Lions went on to win four games inside Pegula Ice Arena during their first Big Ten season. The list of victories included a thrilling 4-0 win over Michigan and a 4-2 triumph over Ohio State during conference play.



Football: Oct. 12, 2013 - Penn State 43, Michigan 40 (Beaver Stadium)

FB_Robinson Michigan.jpegDown by 34-27 at its own 20-yard line with 50 seconds on the clock and no timeouts, Penn State found itself in a difficult situation in sold out Beaver Stadium against rival Michigan.

The stakes were simple. Drive down the field and score a touchdown or the game was over.

True freshman and 18-year old signal-caller Christian Hackenberg jogged onto the field to lead the offense during the 2-minute drill with the game on the line.

On first down at the 20, Hackenberg connected with Robinson, who dragged his toe just inside the sideline paint in front of the Penn State bench for a 14-yard gain.

One play later, it was Brandon Felder's turn.

Hackenberg's toss to Felder in front of the Michigan bench covered 29 yards and set up another first down at the Michigan 37-yard line.

Two plays later, Robinson returned to the spotlight with the play of the game.

Hackenberg fielded Ty Howle's snap and looked to Robinson, who was lined up wide on the left side of the formation. Robinson stuttered in the first 10 yards of his route, attempting to freeze the Michigan defensive back. As he regained full speed, Hackenberg's pass was in the air.

Robinson skied over the Michigan defender and plucked the ball at the highest point in his jump before falling to a rest at the 1-yard line.

Hackenberg finished the drive off with a plunge into the end zone, capping off a five-play, 80-yard game-tying touchdown drive that covered just 23 seconds on the clock.

The teams exchanged blows in the overtime frames before Bill Belton became the hero. Belton trotted into the north end zone of Beaver Stadium for a game-winning touchdown in the fourth OT, capping off an epic comeback and a victory that will live in Penn State history for decades.



 
Women's Volleyball: Dec. 21, 2013 - Penn State 3, Wisconsin 1 (Championship Match)

WVB_Title.jpegPenn State's road to the national semifinals in Seattle was not an easy one in 2013. After knocking off LIU Brooklyn and Utah inside Rec Hall to open the NCAA Tournament, the Nittany Lions traveled to Kentucky for the regional round of the 64-team tournament.

Penn State rallied from 1-0 down to defeat Michigan State in the regional semifinals, which set up a showdown against seventh-seeded Stanford for a trip to the national semifinals.

The Lions and Cardinal battled to a fifth set in what evolved into an epic clash among two of volleyball's heavyweights. Penn State trailed Stanford 9-6 in the fifth before head coach Russ Rose used a timeout. Out of the break, the Lions were not going to be denied.

Penn State scored the next six points in the decisive set on the way to punching a ticket to the national semifinals in Seattle.

Playing in the NCAA semis for the 11th time in program history, Penn State rolled over Washington (3-0), which was playing just four miles from its campus, with a truly dominant performance.

The national title match, the Lions' ninth all-time appearance, was next. Facing off against Wisconsin in the first all Big Ten national final, Penn State jumped out to a hard-fought 2-0 lead before the Badgers rallied to make it 2-1.

Wisconsin took a 23-20 lead in the fourth and was just two points from forcing a fifth set, but the Lions were not done. A service error from the Badgers made it 23-21. With ice water in her veins, ESPY nominee Micha Hancock stepped to the service line. The junior delivered four potent jump serves, two of which dropped for aces, before senior Deja McClendon's kill clinched the program's sixth national title and fifth in the last seven years.

In six NCAA Tournament matches this season, the Nittany Lions dropped just four total sets.


 
Men's Basketball: Jan. 29, 2014 - Penn State 71, Ohio State 70 (Value City Arena)

MBB_Newbill_Craft copy.jpgThe Nittany Lion basketball team trailed Ohio State, 59-48, with 7:58 to play in Columbus after Buckeyes capped off a 10-2 scoring run.

Penn State never panicked, largely thanks to a dominant performance from D.J. Newbill down the stretch.

A pair of buckets from Jordan Dickerson and two free throws from Newbill set the score at 62-59, Buckeyes, with 2:20 to play.

Newbill then fielded a long pass moving right to left across the floor from Frazier before burying a corner three, which tied the game at 62-62 with 1:08 to go. Ohio State scored the next three points to make it 65-62.

Newbill answered in the form of a second clutch 3-pointer with 11.0 seconds to play.

After Ohio State's final possession in regulation came up empty, the game headed into overtime.

The Buckeyes took a 70-67 lead on a pair of Lenzelle Smith Jr. free throws in the extra frame, but Newbill was not done.

The Philly product snaked through the Ohio State defense for a lay-in with 45 seconds to play, pulling the Lions to within one (70-69). The Buckeyes turned the ball over on the next possession, setting up an inbounds play with 13.2 seconds.

Tim Frazier inbounded to Jordan Dickerson, who handed the ball off to D.J. Newbill in front of the scorer's table. Down one with 11 seconds to play in overtime as he crossed halfcourt, Newbill raced to the right side of the floor.

The Philly native wanted the ball in his dominant hand. With one of the Big Ten's top defenders an arm's length away, Newbill began his move with 5.4 seconds on the clock.

After one power dribble to his right, he sent the ball to his left hand under Aaron Craft's extended right arm. Newbill took one more power dribble with his left hand before elevating at the right elbow with 3.5 seconds on the clock.

The ball never touched the rim as it sailed through the cylinder to give the Lions a 71-70 victory. Penn State's win at Ohio State was its first since 2001.



Women's Basketball: March 1, 2014 - Penn State 77, Michigan 62 (Bryce Jordan Center)

WBB_Big Ten.jpegTo put it simply, Senior Day couldn't have gone any better for Penn State's four seniors in 2014.

Maggie Lucas, Talia East, Dara Taylor and Ariel Edwards all were double figure scorers on a day where they were honored with friends and family in attendance as the team claimed its third consecutive Big Ten title with a 77-62 over Michigan.

Edwards led the Lady Lions with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field while Lucas, East and Taylor added 17, 16 and 11 points respectively.

Penn State had control of the game from start to finish as they shot 54 percent from the field, missed just one free throw on 19 attempts and collected seven blocks and 11 steals.

The group of seniors combined for 65 of the team's 77 points; epitomizing their leadership during their time at Penn State in their last regular season home game.

That was expected from a group of four leaders who ensured a team of seven freshmen didn't miss a beat coming off of two-straight conference titles heading into the season.

Edwards, Lucas and East left Penn State as one of the winningest classes ever. They finished with 101 wins, good for second in program history. Taylor was at Penn State for 75 of the 101 wins after transferring from Maryland.

With all of the championships, accolades and wins, it was a perfect way for Lucas, East and Taylor to complete their Penn State careers.

Penn State's third-straight Big Ten title put the Lady Lions in elite company with Iowa and Ohio State as the only programs in the conference to win three or more consecutive conference crowns. The title also fueled the Lady Lions' second run to the Sweet 16 in past three years.




Wrestling: March 22, 2013 - Nittany Lions Clinch Fourth-Straight NCAA Title

WR_Title.jpegPenn State's reign over the college wrestling world continued in March when the Nittany Lions captured their unprecedented fourth-straight NCAA team title in Oklahoma City.

Fueled by NCAA individual crowns from seniors Ed Ruth at 184 pounds and David Taylor at 165 pounds, the Lions celebrated on the sport's grandest stage inside Chesapeake Energy Arena as the 2014 national champions.

By no means was the fourth title an easy one for the Nittany Lions, who edged Minnesota by 5.5 points in the final team standings. Following a victory from Ruth at 184 pounds, the Lions pulled ahead of the Gophers by 1.5 points after two championship bouts.

Minnesota suffered setbacks in its two national title bouts, with the second coming in the ninth match of the evening. As the 157-pound bout ticked to zero on the clock, the white-clad Penn State fans rose to their feet to celebrate the program's fifth national championship.

But the work was not quite done for the Nittany Lions, as Taylor was on deck in the final championship match of night against Oklahoma State's Chris Perry.

You could not have scripted a better way for Taylor's career to end in a Penn State singlet than the way it did on Saturday night. The epitome of a team player, Taylor's imprint on the program goes far beyond his stellar accolades. He didn't miss a match at the national tournament because he wanted to support his fellow teammates. On Saturday morning, he did not need to be at the arena, but he was the first to greet fellow senior James English as he came off the mat after his critical win in the seventh-place match at 149 pounds.

Thanks to another dominant performance, Taylor finished off his collegiate career with a victory in the final match of the national tournament, an individual national title and a team title. 

Taylor and Ruth played a paramount role in Penn State's fourth-straight title, but the Nittany Lions will remain atop the NCAA wrestling mountain because of a hard-fought team effort in the 2014 NCAA Championships.



Fencing: March 23, 2014 - Nittany Lions Clinch 13th NCAA Title

FEN_Title.jpegNo program in Penn State's illustrious sports history has won more national titles than the fencing team. Under the direction of interim head coach Wes Glon, Penn State mounted a furious charge on the final day of the NCAA Championships in Columbus to clinch its 13th national championship.

As a team, Penn State finished the competition with 180 bout victories, toppling Princeton in second-place (159 victories), and St. John's in third (156 victories).

Individually, sophomore Kaito Streets claimed the 2014 men's saber NCAA title. Streets became the 13th individual champion for the Nittany Lions in program history.

In the team race, the Nittany Lions were neck and neck with Princeton throughout much of the competition. The Lions began pulling away from the Tigers on day three of the competition. Penn State clinched the program's third title in the past six seasons on day four.

Streets held the number one spot in the men's saber event heading into the final competition. He knocked off Ferenc Valkai from St. John's to become an individual champion.

Glon has been with the Nittany Lions for 29 seasons, and he has seen all 13 national titles. But the 2014 crown marked his first as the leader of the program.




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Chambers Leading the Fight Against Cancer at CVC Golf Outing

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VIDEO: Patrick Chambers Press Conference at CVC Golf Outing | Photo Gallery

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Attitude is everything for Patrick Chambers.

He and the Nittany Lion basketball program live by the motto of approaching any type of adversity with a choice.  You can either face challenges with a positive attitude or dwell on them with a negative attitude.

For Chambers, there really is no choice.

Everything he touches has a positive tone involved with it.

chambers_cvc_1.jpgThe atmosphere at Friday's 18th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament at the Penn State Golf Courses was living proof of that.

Chambers was hired on the day of the CVC golf outing in 2011, and a sun-splashed Friday provided the setting for another positive step for he and the outstanding event held at the Penn State Blue and White Golf Courses.  More than 300 golfers took the courses on Friday, including several Penn State head coaches.  Baseball's Rob Cooper, women's lacrosse's Missy Doherty, men's volleyball's Mark Pavlik, women's hockey's Josh Brandwene, women's gymnastics's Jeff Thompson, men's golf's Greg Nye and men's soccer's Bob Warming participated in this year's outing.

For Chambers, this year's version of the tournament took on a different meaning.  Chambers lost his brother, Greg, to lung cancer at age 60 on March 18, and the CVC event touched him personally unlike the previous three years.

"For the first time in my life, this event hits close to home," Chambers said.  "It hit me at home with one of your older brothers.  It's been a trying time, yet a time to reflect on great memories with him growing up...I'll mention this today, I saw a Johns Hopkins study on this.  Not only do you need to eat well and stay in shape and take care of yourself, but you need to laugh and have to keep your mind clear of any negativity.  I needed to see something like that heading into last night's event and today.  I feel like he knows that I'm here putting forth more of an effort."

Chambers spent the morning session making the rounds on the golf course saying hello and greeting the participants before playing golf in the afternoon in a group with five-time NBA champion Ron Harper.  Chambers has the perfect attitude to lead a fight against a deadly disease.

"I want this to be a happy event.  I want this to be a celebration.  I want people to have a good time," Chambers said.  "It's a first-class event that everybody looks forward to every year."

harper_CVC_1.jpgChambers and Harper kept the mood light in their six-man group.  Harper provided music in a portable speaker system as the group made its way around the Blue Course.

Beyond the laughs and lighthearted talk on the course, Chambers is among a group of many leaders who play an integral role in a battle much bigger than a win or loss on the court or field of play.  A great deal of credit goes out to former Nittany Lion basketball leaders Bruce Parkhill, Jerry Dunn (both of which were in attendance on Friday) and Ed DeChellis for helping lead the Penn State CVC into what it has become today.

"This runs like a well-oiled machine right now, so I can't even fathom what they went through to get this thing off the ground," Chambers said.  "The level that it is at now is unbelievable...To get this thing off the ground the way they did, and now have $2 million raised in the 18th year.  That's pretty amazing with what these coaches have started.  I am going to carry the torch as long as I can to keep it going. 

The CVC Golf Tournament is the flagship event of the organization created to raise funds year-round to support the American Cancer Society affected by the disease in Centre County through the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (BCAF).  In addition to the golf tournament, Coaches vs. Cancer conducts a year-round calendar of seven events.

The golf tournament has more than doubled in size since it began in 1996-'97, and there could not be a better man with a better attitude continuing to lead the Penn State CVC fight than Coach Chambers.

With the funds raised last year, the CVC eclipsed $2 million raised in the fight against cancer.  While it was a fun day on the golf course, the bigger fight cannot be stated enough. 
To get involved as a sponsor or participant in Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer please visit CVCPENNSTATE.ORG or call 814-330-3337.



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VIDEO: Patrick Chambers Press Conference at CVC Golf Outing

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Hear from head coach Patrick Chambers as he addresses the media at the 18th Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Outing on Friday.