The sports world was briefed on the NCAA’s punishment to Penn State‘s football program the other day, and not only is their future on the gridiron in an uncertain state, but the school as a whole faces an uphill battle unseen to many.
Therefore, the domino effect strikes many of its sports’ program, including its men’s basketball team, which prepares for its second season under head coach Patrick Chambers.
In year one under Chambers, the Nittany Lions faced the difficulty of replacing one of the school’s top performers in Talor Battle. Penn State finished the 2011-12 season with an overall mark of 12-20 and 4-14 within the Big Ten Conference.
With the aftershock of the Sandusky scandal sending shock waves across the campus, the focus remains on its football program, yet there is not doubt that the pressure remains high on the basketball court, as well.
Penn State has qualified for the NCAA Tournament only once since 2001 and only four times since 1965.
Despite the negative attention placed upon the school, Chambers remains focused on revitalizing the Nittany Lions’ basketball program, led in large part by the return of their top two scorers in Tim Frazier and Jermaine Marshall.
Yet the real question remains: Will the ripple effect also hurt the men’s basketball program?
Chambers, who left Boston University in the spring of 2011 to take over the program at Penn State, welcomes in a three-man freshmen class highlighted by Brandon Taylor, Akosa Maduegbunam, and Jack Donovan.
Prior to the school’s decision to hire Chambers, former head coach Ed DeChellis left the school to pursue the same position at Navy, presenting a unique situation in which many wondered why?
On the same day as the NCAA’s decision, Penn State lost 2013 verbal commit Brandon Austin, who made the decision to re-open his recruitment amid the current situation in Happy Valley.
With Austin’s decision comes the additional questions of whether or not the football scandal hurts Chambers’ ability to recruit and improve on the basketball court?
Initial thoughts would say yes to that question, but Chambers remains focused on the good that the school can offer potential players, but will it be enough?
Even despite its past football success, the men’s basketball program has struggled to emerge, as its rarity in NCAA Tournament appearances proves.
Only time will tell what sort of effect the football scandal will have on Penn State’s other sports, most notably their men’s basketball program. The return of Mashall and Frazier gives Chambers plenty to work with looking forward to the 2012-13 season, but will they be enough to help move Penn State up the conference standings?
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