Friday marks the official start of year two of the Pat Chambers era for Penn State basketball, as the 2012-13 edition of the Nittany Lions open practice. Chambers’ squad is coming off a 12-20 season in his inaugural season at the helm of the Lions. While the wins were not as plentiful as many would have liked, it was apparent early on that Chambers would have his team ready to play every night. Diving for loose balls, crashing the boards and aggressive defense became hallmarks of the squad.
Then junior point guard Tim Frazier emerged as one of the top point guards in not only the Big 10, but in the country, leading PSU in points, assists and rebounds per game. Now a senior and the unquestioned leader of the team, Frazier will be joined in the backcourt by sophomore transfer D.J. Newbill. The Philadelphia product transferred to Penn State from Southern Miss, where he earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors, with 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Athletic junior guard Jermaine Marshall also returns, coming off an up and down season where he averaged over 10 points per game, but struggled to put it all together on a nightly basis.
The front court will be lead by sophomores Ross Travis and Jon Graham. Travis plays bigger than his 6’6″ frame and is tough on defense and the boards. Down the stretch last year, he also began to emerge on the offensive end. Graham showed flashes on the offensive end as well, but must become more consistent with his post moves, as well as at the free throw line. Expect freshman Brandon Taylor to make an impact too.
Penn State opens the season on November 9th against St. Francis in the Jordan Center. Leading up to the opener, we will take a closer look at the key players, the schedule, and the rest of the Big 10.
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