Though only an exhibition game, it was the BJC debut for Chambers, who replaced Ed DeChellis in the off-season.
The differences in styles between the two coaches were on display Saturday, and not just because Chambers is significantly more demonstrative on the sideline.
Where DeChellis was known for sticking with a six- or six-man rotation -- and his starters gobbling the vast majority of the minutes -- Chambers clearly has no problem going to his bench. Nine different Nittany Lions saw the floor before the second media timeout, including walk-on guard Nick Colella.
Later, he subbed in four new faces just 1:04 into the second half. All told, the Lion bench outscored the Rock bench 24-5.
Chambers said he was less concerned with getting a feel for his personnel than he was with playing at an extremely intense pace. PSU had 12 steals in the game and players hit the floor while chasing at least a dozen loose balls.
“I want to play so hard that they put up a fist and ask to come out,” Chambers said. “That's how hard we want to play, and it's very difficult to do that -- to play hard for 40 minutes. We need everybody.”
The only Nittany Lion to log more than 29 minutes was Frazier. He overcame a poor shooting start to finish 6 of 16 from the floor for those 19 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds in 37 minutes. He went to the line nine times, making six.
Oliver, plagued by poor shooting last season, stepped up his game on this evening. He was 4 of 8 from the arc and drew praise from Chambers for taking four charges.
Oliver credited his teammates for preventing him from getting down on himself.
“Even when I was missing them, the guys came over and said keep shooting, the stroke looks great,” he said. “That really helps fuel my confidence.”
Rookie guard Trey Lewis came off the bench to add 10 points for Penn State. Another true freshman, Ross Travis, played 27 minutes at small forward, power forward and even center. He made only 1 of 7 shots but had a team-high eight rebounds.
Penn State opens the regular season against Hartford at the BJC next Saturday. Tip time will be determined once kickoff time for the PSU-Nebraska football game has been settled.
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