UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State men's basketball head coach Patrick Chambers met with a packed media
room Wednesday afternoon to preview the 2016-17 season on media day.
With nearly every seat in the Bryce Jordan Center media room
occupied, Chambers took questions from members of the media before the 2016-17
Nittany Lions were made available for individual interviews in the practice
Penn State preseason practice is well underway in
preparation for an exhibition matchup against Lock Haven Friday, Nov. 4 at home
in the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions officially open the regular
season Friday, Nov. 11, welcoming Albany to Happy Valley for a 7 p.m. matchup
in the opening game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.
A Fearless Approach
In his opening statement, Chambers made note of the team's
mentality this year, which is simply to be fearless in their approach. With a
tough non-conference schedule that's stacked with tough opponents and features
five road or neutral games, Chambers stressed that the focus right now is for
the Nittany Lions to be the best they can be and get better every day, while
also keying in on attention to detail.
"If we can do the little things great, that could be the
different in a couple more victories for us heading into this great
non-conference that we've put together."
More from Coach Chambers and his outlook on the season
Poised to welcome the program's highest ranked recruiting class
in program history, Penn State's signing class featuring Tony Carr, Nazeer
Bostick and Lamar Stevens all join walk-on Grant Hazle and Virginia Tech
transfer Satchel Pierce, who will sit out a year. The Nittany Lions will also
see first-year contributions from Mike Watkins, who was not eligible to play
last year and UCONN transfer Terrence Samuel, who also sat out last year.
"I think this summer session and the fall preseason that we
had kind of gave the new guys an indication of what to prepare for how hard
practice would be and I think they are adapting," Chambers said.
Chambers also sighted that consistency in practice is still
an area where the Nittany Lion newcomers can work on improving to build trust
among teammates and coaches heading into week one.
Among newcomers Chambers mentioned today, he noted that he
has seen tremendous versatility from Stevens, a 6-7 forward who has already
shown the ability to play at the three or four and even the five in a tight
"We are moving him all over the place and he has earned it,"
Chambers said. He's strong, he's a freakish-athlete, shooting the ball much
better than I remember in high school. He is really going out and playing hard,
making mistakes and allowing us to coach him, which I think is huge."
Hear more from Stevens below.
Garner Stepping Up
With the departures of 2015-16 senior leaders Brandon
Taylor, Jordan Dickerson and Donovon Jack, Chambers said that Garner knew
coming into the season that he would need to step into the leadership role to
guide the younger members of the team.
"In the summer and fall, it was a little bit slower for him
but once practice started I now hear him a little bit more," Chambers said. "We
have attitude club in practice and he has been in the top three for eight
practices. For a guard, like Shep, that's pretty impressive."
Garner talks more about stepping into that leadership role
Chambers unveiled plans for a new offensive style coming this season, one that's
up-tempo and quick, ideally producing 80 points per game.
Drawing inspiration from NBA teams such as Golden State
Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nittany Lions will look to inject
some serious speed into their game this year.
"There are going to be some tough stretches, there are going
to be some high turnover games and that's something we have to coach these
kids," Chambers said. "But we are going to play at a very high tempo. That is
what we want to do this year. I am committed to it."