The Penn State Nittany Lions aren’t going to be in the discussion as a contender in the Big Ten this season.
A year ago, Penn State finished just 12-20 and it went 4-14 in the conference–not exactly records to write home about.
But perhaps this will be a season in which the Nittany Lions inch a little bit closer to a return to respectability.
It’s going to take time, to be sure. Patrick Chambers is only in his second season as the head coach, and regardless of how instant we want things to be in this era of sports, building a program takes time.
You have to believe, though, that the Nittany Lions can be much better than a year ago. I’m not saying they will be good enough to go to the NCAA tournament or even the NIT, but they should be better.
After all, they do return senior Tim Frazier, who is hands down the the best player on the team.
Frazier was rock solid a year ago. He averaged 18.8 points per game, pulled down 4.7 rebounds per outing, dished out 198 assists and tallied 43 steals.
He enters the year just 30 points shy of becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in program history and needs only 157 assists to break the school record for assists in a career.
Frazier should be just as effective this year, especially since he spent part of the offseason at the Lebron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. The time spent there should pay dividends this year.
Frazier has been named a preseason All-Big Ten selection and there is no question that he should be one of the top players in the conference.
Because the Nittany Lions do have Frazier on their side, they should be a much better team than they were a year ago.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten Columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.