Dribble Handoff: Who ought to Penn State basketball rent to switch Pat Chambers?


Just a bit over eight months in the past, Penn State basketball cracked the highest 10 for the primary time since 1996. The Nittany Lions have been 20-5 and jockeying for a high spot within the Large Ten standings whereas ninth-year coach Pat Chambers acquired adulation for lastly breaking by in a tricky job.

It has been all downhill since for Penn State because the Nittany Lions misplaced 5 of their ultimate six video games, fell out of the AP Prime 25 and have been robbed of the chance to play of their first NCAA Match since 2011. Chambers was accused of racial insensitivity by a former participant a number of months later and on Wednesday he resigned.

Jim Ferry, who spent the previous three seasons as an assistant for Chambers, will take over because the interim coach for the 2020-21 season. However the Nittany Lions might be searching for a brand new head coach within the months to return. The excellent news is that they need to have loads of candidates to choose from. There was only one energy convention opening following the 2019-20 season (Wake Forest), and Penn State might be first in line to get its choose on this go-around of the teaching carousel.

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For this week’s version of the dribble handoff, our specialists weigh in on who Penn State ought to rent as its subsequent basketball coach. 

John Becker, Vermont

The Penn State job is a tough job — arguably one of the troublesome jobs in any Energy 5 convention. The varsity has solely been to 4 NCAA Tournaments since 1965, solely two since 1996. And if you mix that truth with the truth that Pat Chambers was reportedly making simply $900,000, it is cheap to imagine the candidate pool might be restricted to assistants and mid-major coaches.

So the place ought to Penn State look? 

In my view, the objective ought to be to rent anyone who has already been a constant winner at no matter degree as a result of, at a spot like Penn State, you are by no means going to have higher gamers than many of the different applications within the Large Ten, which is why you higher have anyone who can actually, actually coach. It is an method presently working at Rutgers, the place Steve Pikiell was employed away from Stony Brook after ending first or second within the America East 4 straight seasons. Like Penn State, Rutgers is a troublesome job. However Pikiell, a confirmed winner and revered trainer, had the Scarlet Knights positioned to make the NCAA Match final season earlier than the occasion was canceled, and he’ll enter this season with a staff ranked twenty first within the CBS Sports activities Prime 25 And 1. So, for those who’re Penn State, why not give attention to the man who has been working the America East for the reason that second Pikiell left — specifically John Becker? At Vermont, Becker has gone 109-28 over the previous 4 seasons, a report that features a 59-5 league mark. He is secured 4 straight America East regular-season titles leading to 4 straight America East Coach of the 12 months awards. So Penn State may do rather a lot worse than to look to the identical convention the place Rutgers discovered anyone able to successful at a tough job in a tricky league in an try to duplicate the Scarlet Knights’ current success. — Gary Parrish

Jeff Boals, Ohio

A rising star within the teaching career, Jeff Boals has ample expertise as an assistant and a burgeoning head teaching resume to buoy his candidacy right here at a spot like Penn State. Boals is getting into his second season because the Ohio coach, the place he is off to a pleasant begin. However he actually confirmed his chops at his final cease, the place he took the reins of Stony Brook from Steve Pikiell and had the Seawolves successful 24 video games by his tenure’s finish. Boals additionally has a powerful pedigree as an assistant, most notably at Ohio State, the place from 2009-2016 he served on Thad Matta’s employees and helped recruit the likes of D’Angelo Russell and Jared Sullinger. He does not fairly have the credentials to make a major leap to a top-tier gig — no less than not but — however he is a winner on the mid-major degree who could give severe consideration to a job like Penn State that has energy convention standing and a possibility to show he belongs on the highest degree in teaching. — Kyle Boone

David Cox, Rhode Island

David Cox is 39-24 in two years as Rhode Island’s coach after stints working underneath Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh, John Thompson III at Georgetown and Dan Hurley at Rhode Island. He additionally labored underneath Mike Rice at Rutgers, which implies the Nittany Lions would wish to do a radical little bit of homework earlier than going this route. But when every thing checks out, Cox has the fitting mixture of energy convention expertise, head teaching expertise and the right geographic background to succeed at Penn State.

What Cox does with Rhode Island this season might be notably attention-grabbing to look at after the Rams misplaced a number of key gamers to switch. That might be trigger for concern with a training candidate. However Cox has finished an amazing job of bringing transfers in to switch those that have left. If he can mix them along with star guard Fatts Russell and maintain Rhode Island on a successful trajectory this season, Cox might be an amazing possibility for Penn State. — David Cobb



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