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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2011-12 BIG Basketball Preview: Penn St.

Coach: Patrick Chambers- 0-0
Lost: G Talor Battle, F Jeff Brooks, F David Jackson, F Andrew Jones, G Taran Buie (transfer)
Returning:  PG Tim Frazier (Jr), G Jermaine Marshall (RS So), F Billy Oliver (So), G/F Cammeron Woodyard (Sr), F Sasa Borovnjak (RS So), G Nick Colella (Jr)
Tim Frazier will need to continue his great passing
but also add some scoring for the Lions this year.
New faces:  PG Trey Lewis, SF Ross Travis, C Patrick Ackerman, C Peter Alexis, F Jon Graham (Redshirt), G Matt Glover (transfer)

Preview:  You’ve got to feel for the returning players at Penn St.  Gone are four starters who all played more than 75% of available minutes including the best player in program history (Battle).  Also leaving is head coach Ed DeChellis who did a great job in his last two seasons even getting the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament last year.  Now four new starters will need to be found under new head coach Patrick Chambers.  Tim Frazier is the one returning starter and will need to be the floor general.  He is an adept passer who can get to the rim at times but is not a strong outside shooter and often has trouble taking care of the basketball.  He’ll need to improve in these areas to help a team with serious offensive deficiencies.  Freshman Trey Lewis is the most highly regarded recruit and will likely start a lot of games this year. Hopefully he’ll be capable of picking up some of the offensive slack. Sasa Borovnjak seems another likely candidate to take a starting spot.  Borovnjak has a series of post moves and can rebound but it will be interesting to see how he stacks up against other big men in the conference. Finding two other legitimate starters will be difficult.  Of all the remaining players Billy Oliver seems to have the most promise but has had trouble staying healthy.   Patrick Ackmeran could see a lot of playing time but will probably need to add girth to take the pounding he’ll encounter during the season.  There’s not a lot to like here for this season but there is talent that over time can develop and help this program become a middle of the conference team.  That year is not this year, however, so expect some ugly losses and a last place finish.
Shot in the dark at the starting 5:
PG Tim Frazier
G Trey Lewis
F Jon Graham
F Billy Oliver
F Sasa Borovnjak
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