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Penn State 84, Bloomsburg 67
Nov. 5, 2017
Bryce Jordan Center (University Park, Pa.)
Penn State Quotes
Patrick Chambers, Penn State head coach:
I was looking forward to seeing how we’d handle the back-to-back. I thought we played in spurts; we did some good things. Give Bloomsburg credit. They played hard, which I knew they would, but it was important to do a back-to-back. Last year, back-to-backs weren’t the best thing. We weren’t competitive. So again, saw some spirts. I was limiting guys some minutes. Some guys got some bumps and some bruises and some ankle twists, and I just wanted to be smart with our team. For the most part, the core group of guys did a nice job and then you always get the younger guys, get them some minutes and get them out there with the home crowd here in this arena (Bryce Jordan Center). Some things to build on and things we need to get better at, but dress rehearsal is over. We’re looking forward to this week and Friday.
How comfortable are you with playing a smaller lineup with four guards and one big in the post?
When you play these smaller teams, we’ve got to take advantage of Lamar’s [Stevens] strength and size, and we’re just better defensively too. We can switch a little bit more; we can keep them in front a little bit more. I used it (smaller lineup) a little bit last year. It’s really going to be a gut feel for when we use it, and scouting for when we use it, because we’ve got four really good big men that I really want to see just play at two, three, four increments and keep them fresh and just wear down opponents, especially the fours and fives.
What did you learn from your team from the back-to-backs that you may not have known before?
We have some work to do. I thought we did a good job yesterday. I thought we competed yesterday. I thought at stretches today we competed. We're looking for more consistency on every possession and then leadership. I think our leadership needs to step up here and command some huddles and take care of the locker room and that’s a process. We have a senior leader, you got a junior leader, and two sophomore leaders and they’re working hard at it.
Do you have an update on Mike Watkins?
Mike’s doing great and working hard. Day-to-day right now. I just want to see him at a level academically, basketball-wise, socially. Obviously, there’s a standard here that we’re going to hold him to, but he is doing a great job of checking a lot of boxes right now, so day-to-day.
What do you see Deivis Zemgulis’ role to be this season?
Deivis is going to back up Lamar [Stevens] right now. He did a nice job yesterday, one-for-two (field goals), did some good things, made his free throws. He’s just got to stay out of foul trouble. They’re silly fouls; he knows what we’re doing. He’s in the right position, and he just doesn’t need to bump or push and things like that. Play with your lower half, but not with your hands. He did a great job in a two-man game with Shep [Garner]. He knows the offense. He communicates out there, so he’s going to back up Lamar right now, and he’s shooting the ball well in practice. He was 1-for-2 yesterday. He’s right around 48-percent in practice, which is pretty good because we’re working on defense a lot.
How’s John Harrar been coming along and what did you see in him today?
John is an energy guy, and he plays hard. He has no ego, and he’s just going to go out there and compete. He doesn’t even need to touch the ball, but the guys love him. They’re going to give him the ball. He got up-and-down, did a nice job on the defensive end, he sets amazing screens, but just his juice, his energy, his love and passion for the game. It’s going to be hard to keep him on the bench.
How would you assess your three-quarters court press defense?
Same thing, in spurts. We did a better job yesterday flying around, and I’m so happy for this back-to-back because you’re going to have one at the Barclays (Center) and then at the end of the year, so it set up well. I thought sometimes in the press today we did a nice job. We got deflections, got steals, really put them on their heels and then sometimes we didn’t convert well, and we didn’t get to the level of the ball. So, we’ll show them these clips. They understand the goal is to play 40 minutes of Penn State basketball and we’re still far away from that.
What did you see from your bench unit at the end of the game when Bloomsburg starting to make a run?
It was a little playing to the score, and we’re working on the zone (defense). Sometimes when you play zone, you relax. So, I thought we relaxed a little bit, and give Bloomsburg credit, they kept competing and kept playing hard. John (Sanow; Bloomsburg head coach) did a great job. He’s got a nice team. So, we just can’t relax. We got to be relentless. That’s my job. My job is to get them to compete on every possession.
Shep Garner || Sr. || G
What are your two biggest takeaways from these two games this weekend thus far?
Just competing on every possession. No matter who we’re playing, just going out and trying to set the standard for the way we want to play the rest of the year.”
There are some young guys out there on the court today. How do you help assist their play?
Great young players. We all have room for improvement, but I think they came in ready. They’re strong and talented. They’re getting better every day so I can’t wait until we get to March to see how good they are, but they’re really good young players.
You came out really strong at the beginning of this game. Is this something that not only yourselves, but the team is really working on trying to execute for the season?
We want to come out ready to play at the beginning of the game to set the tone. I think that’s important to our team just coming out, setting the tone, letting the other team know that we’re here and ready to play. So, we’ve really been focused on that in the preseason.
Lamar Stevens || So. || F
Lamar, at one point it was you as the forward and then surrounded by four guards. How comfortable are you in that setup and how much space does that give you in the post?
I’m very comfortable with it. It’s something I really worked on over the summer trying to become a better all-around player on offense, being able to score on the post inside and out. So, I’m getting very comfortable with that, something new I’m trying to get added to my game.
What do you see as the biggest improvement that you guys need in the next five days before your first game?
The biggest improvement I would say we have to make is probably just playing hard on every possession. We have a lot of young guys on the team that
Visiting Team Quotes
John Sanow, Bloomsburg Head Coach
What were your thoughts/feelings on today’s game?
I thought we came in and competed hard for 40 minutes. I thought Penn State did a lot of good things, both on the offensive and defensive end. I thought they executed well, and I thought we did too. I thought our guys knew that it was going to be very difficult, that they were going to pressure us, and that they’re a big, physical team. But I thought, offensively, we came down and were able to do some pretty good things to keep us involved in the game. Then I thought, defensively, we mixed up our pressure a little bit, and we were able to create some turnovers into offensive buckets, so I thought that helped us. Overall, I thought it was a great experience for our players, our team, and our program, and I thought both teams played pretty well overall.