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October 27, 2011

Patrick Chambers


THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement.
COACH CHAMBERS: I've got to tell you, it's an honor to be a part of the Big Ten. And it was an honor to be there at dinner last night with all those great coaches and coaches that I'm sure I've taken some things from and sharing stories and recruiting, basketball stories.
It was great to be a part of it. I'm thrilled to be a part of Big Ten, and I'm excited to be a part of Penn State basketball.

Q. Patrick, what has surprised you at all about your players in the first couple of weeks of practice? Anyone in particular and anything in particular that they could do?
COACH CHAMBERS: I would say Tim Frazier, his level of play. Now, I've coached a lot of great guards: Kyle Lowry, Corey Fisher, Scottie Reynolds, Randy Foye. And I'll put Tim Frazier right up there with those guys. His speed, his intensity, his willingness to be coached is really second to none.
And that's what we need this year. We need a guy that's going to fill that void. You need leadership with a young team. We lost four seniors. And Tim has taken a torch and he's happy to carry it. And that's the way he's coming to practice every single day. And we keep stats in practice.
It doesn't happen very often that he loses the statistical category of what we keep. He's big-time. And he comes with that approach, that business-type approach that I want to get better, I want to be the best, I want to be a leader.
I have been tough. If you can't tell by my voice, if you don't know me, my voice is a little scratchy right now. I've been very tough on him. And I think if you're tough on your leader and your captain and your best player, I think the rest of the guys are going to follow. And they're also going to recognize, hey, he's just as tough on him as he is on me.
Something to be said for that. That's the way you grow a team. If we start treating guys differently because of their talent level, then I don't think I'm doing my job and I'm not preparing Tim for his future.

Q. All of us in this room are familiar with the history of Penn State football. Why has it been so difficult for Penn State's basketball to rise to that kind of a level and be a big consistent winner? And when you were interviewing for the job, did you make any kind of commitment or promises to say you're going to bring the program to that level?
COACH CHAMBERS: Good question. First of all, Penn State football is amazing. Joe Paterno has been there for 100 years. What he's done there is incredible. We're going to try to emulate that.
I want to take what he's done, that model, and bring it over to basketball. And I think Ed and Jerry and Bruce all did that in their tenures in their own ways.
There was no promises, though. But my vision is to make Penn State basketball tops in the Big Ten, tops in the country every single year, just like football.
We've got to go out and recruit those type of players, those type of kids. It's very unique, though. We need to find kids that are serious about their academics, serious about getting their degrees, and love basketball and love to play and want to be pushed and want to be driven. And that's a unique athlete.
We're trying. We're out there, we're searching, we're looking. But Ed just went to the NCAA tournament last year. Two years prior to that they won the NIT championship. I mean, that's still pretty impressive, two out of three years is pretty good years.
We want that consistency. As I say in practice, persist in intensity. We want to persist at an intense level of men's basketball, and I think we can attain it.
I think we're headed in the right direction. We've just got to get the right kids in the program.

Q. What's Jermaine Marshall's status?
COACH CHAMBERS: He is still suspended. And he's working very hard to get back on the team. And I'm really proud of what he's doing and where he is now. He's doing well academically. Working out on his own. I'm communicating with him.
We have team rules. And we have a way that -- there's a standard of excellence in our program now, and if you don't abide by that standard of excellence, then you're not going to be a part of the program. It's that simple.
And that's the way I want it and that's the way it's going to be moving forward. We want kids that have great character and integrity and think Penn State University first, Penn State men's basketball second, and, oh, by the way, your family third. That's what we're striving for.
If he continues on the path that he's going, yes.

Q. You also lost D.J. Newbill for a little while. So are you going to get into a situation where some of the assistants have to play in scrimmages?
COACH CHAMBERS: Actually, I heard you played really well last week. So I was thinking about can we get a reporter, an exception. I've got to talk to compliance about that.
Our guys are working hard. The guys we have on the second team are working hard. But we did lose D.J. Newbill to a -- he broke his shoulder in practice.
Good news/bad news. We're playing hard. We're competing. We're getting after it. Bad news is we have some injuries.

Q. You look like you're going into some areas maybe to recruit that Penn State hasn't spent a lot of time in the past. What do you have to do to get some of these kids that you're going after to come to Penn State?
COACH CHAMBERS: You know what, Penn State has a lot to offer academically. We have all the amenities you need to be a great player, to be a great program.
I think people just need to get there and see it. We need to get kids on campus. And we can't be afraid to get into some backstreet brawls. We can't be afraid to go up against Villanova, Georgetown, Pitt, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan State, wherever the area may be. We're focused right now in the northeast corridor, so we're going up against a lot of Big East teams.
But we can't be afraid of going up against those guys. And we're going to get that one guy. It's going to happen. We've had a lot of big-time kids on campus. It's going to happen, and we just gotta get them there.
And our message is, you know, we're a great program, great institution, a young coach that's going to be there for you and who is going to put you -- drive you but is also going to put an arm around you, love you up a little too.
That might be unique for this generation, the generation of now.

Q. On that topic of recruiting, as a Philadelphia guy, that's one area that Penn State has had a tough time recruiting over the years. Just with your background, what do you think it will give you in recruiting in that area and going up against the programs you're talking about, the Villanovas, the Georgetowns, the people that recruit that area?
COACH CHAMBERS: It's all about relationships. I built those relationships throughout my whole life in Philadelphia. Played high school ball in Philly, college ball in Philly. Philadelphia is an important piece for me because of those relationships, trusting relationships. Those coaches want to send their players to guys they trust, and hopefully parents know who you are and they know your family, they know where you grew up, so that's where you want to send your kids. And you want to send them to the right situation as well.
So I'm hopeful. It's not just Philadelphia. We've got to go everywhere. We have to go where the talent is. Obviously that's where my relationships are, that's where I'm from, but we need to dive into those relationships.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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