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Penn State Basketball
Vs. Rider – Head Coach Chambers
December 22, 2017
Patrick Chambers | Head Coach
It’s unfortunate. Give Rider credit, they played hard. As a head coach, we talked about it after Binghamton, you’ve got to get your kids ready to play, you’ve got to motivate your kids and I’ve got to do a better job. I saw it slipping a little bit in practice. We tried to re-engage with them to get them prepared and limit distractions, and not think about going home after this game and driving home, and all that good stuff. And we got beat, and they deserved to win.
This is where I am an optimist. I hope this is an incredible lesson for these guys, because they’re in a lot of pain, and that’s a good thing. They need to feel the pain before we head into the Big Ten. We’ve got one more noncon, and we’ve got to take care of that, and then we head into Maryland and Northwestern, I believe. So let’s hope that we learn from this and understand we have to continue to get better and we have to continue to compete. We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got 17 games, and we can make it up.
Q: On the last play, it looked like you defended pretty well. Can you take us through what happened there, starting with Lamar Stevens not converting on his free throws?
PC: It’s unfortunate, and it magnified Lamar’s missed free throws, and that had nothing to do with it. NOTHING to do with it. Nothing. I felt like we were going through the motions, and when you go through the motions, you’re going to get beat. You’re going to get beat.
We’re still youthful. We’ve got sophomores leading this group, and I said this last press conference: Until they understand the magnitude of coming in every day and working extremely hard every single day, and if you take your foot off the pedal, and you don’t do that and you don’t continue to this process of getting better, mental conditioning. Well, this is what’s going to happen. And that’s what happened.
But I thought we defended the last possession really well. I’ll watch the film tonight, but I thought we did. He was there. That kid (Frederick Scott) is a good player. He’s 6-8, and Shep (Garner) was in his grill and he made a tough shot. And good for him, because he had just missed two free throws.
We executed our press break very well. It’s just unfortunate, but again I go back to, it’s a 40-minute game. I’m not magnifying the free throws. We did not compete to the level that we needed to.
Q: Having this sort of break after this sort of game, not to belittle the holidays, but how difficult is this going to be, or is it a good thing to step away after something like this?
PC: It’s a good thing. They probably need to get away from me and I need to get away from them. Let’s all take a break, a big deep breath, exhale a little bit and go enjoy our families, go enjoy Christmas, which is what we should do. Family is really important at this point, so I think it’s going to be a good thing giving them a few days off and get them back up here and back to work.
Q: Do you feel like the team overlooked Rider, as far as not being ready to play tonight?
PC: I don’t think they overlooked them at all. I think they know half the team. I think that’s why there was a little talking going on between the players. There was a lot of talking going on, on the court, but you need to back it up. You need to go out and compete and play tough and physical basketball regardless of who it is, and they did not fear us at all.
Q: Looking at Josh Reaves’ game, what have you seen from him the way he has been able to develop into a distributor this year?
PC: Josh played great basketball. We would have lost by 10 if he wasn’t out there. I know he didn’t shoot the 3-ball well and he’s been shooting the 3-ball well all year. He’s shooting 41 percent. But to have13 rebounds, eight assists and five steals, he’s the guy that people need to be talking about a lot more. This is the guy that’s really emerging as a guy setting the table for a lot of his teammates. And he goes out and competes and he’s been really consistent.
Shep Garner | SR. | G
With a tough loss like this, what can you learn from it and what motivation can you use to improve?
SG: Every game matters, every possession matters, that’s what we preach. This game just validates what we say. We aren’t going to just walk on anybody, we have to go out there and give our best effort.
What was the last possession like, to try and defend that?
SG: It was just a tough shot, and he made it at the buzzer. It was a contested shot, that’s what we wanted to do. We didn’t want to give him an open shot, and we didn’t want to foul him. He made a tough shot.
With Lamar [Stevens] missing the two free throws at the end, how can you as a team help him?
SG: Just get
Coach [Chambers] said in here to us that he thought you guys were kind of going through the motions. Did you sense that and if so, how disappointing is that?
SG: A little bit. We went through the motions a little bit, and we can’t do that. We need to stay
There was a lot of talk about how chippy it was out there. Is that chippiness typical or was it unique to this game?
SG: Both teams know each other. We are all from the same area. We played against each other growing up. It’s always like that when you play guys you know personally off the court. That’s all a part of the game, it’s just part of it. It’s nothing too serious, we all know each other off the court. We go home and we see each other all the time, so it’s nothing too major.