December 22, 2010

Penn State Loses to Maine: Tim Curley Likes The Direction of This Blog Post

The new official mascot of Penn State basketball.
Yep, that really did just happen. A senior-laden Penn State team led by one of the most dynamic players in program history lost by double digits at home to Maine, 74-64. Mighty Maine came into this game sporting a 5-5 record that included losses to the likes of such basketball powerhouses as Brown, Quinnipiac, and Delaware State but somehow, Penn State managed to make the Black Bears look like a potential NCAA Tournament Cinderella team thanks to a shitty defensive performance, particularly on the perimeter, where Maine connected on 11 of its 19 attempts. The offense wasn't much better, shooting a paltry 39 percent from the floor as Talor Battle and DJ Jackson were the only two players showing any scoring ability, racking up 26 and 18 points respectively. Jeff Brooks, a pleasant surprise for most of the non-conference slate, pulled a fine disappearing act with only two points to go along with his six rebounds (although in fairness, Brooks did find himself in serious foul trouble, eventually fouling out late in the game) and Andrew Jones once again proved that he couldn't post up against Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf, putting up a quiet four points and three rebounds.

I was at work during the first half but came home and listened to the second half of this shit show on PSU's student-produced Com Radio, though I really wish I had discovered a feed with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the game for the Penn State Sports Network. According to my Twitter sources, Jones was being openly critical about Ed DeChellis and the program (which I will no longer refer to as the "Fighting DeChellises" since they don't even put up much of a fight these days). For those of you who aren't familiar with Jones, he is the type of person who will defend a coach to the bitter end. This has led to him being labeled on the PSU message boards as a 'blind homer' of sorts. When somebody such as Jones is openly criticizing your performance on air however, you know your days as a coach are numbered.

This brings me to my next point: Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, or whoever the hell is in charge of making such decisions, needs to do the right thing and force DeChellis to resign effective immediately. Keeping Ed on board as coach through the Big Ten slate would be merely prolonging the inevitable and the last thing us 50 remaining Penn State basketball fans want to see is a team that just doesn't give a shit, plodding along through another tortuous 19 games (that's 18 conference games plus a loss in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament). Promoting Dan Earl or Lewis Preston to interim head coach would give this team a shot of energy going into the Big Ten schedule, which could lead to a couple of 'feel good' wins and at the same time give the Athletic Department more time to find Ed's successor. Surely, this time around, they will have no choice but to conduct an actual national search since there is nobody from the PSU basketball family remotely qualified to take over this position*

Year 8 of the DeChellis era is proving to be
eerily similar to Year 8 of his predecessor's.
Time to break out the signs again...
This feels like the end of the Jerry Dunn era all over again, except in some ways it's even worse than that because there is some semblance of actual talent on this team and it's being squandered through poor coaching and a lack of a supporting cast due to weak recruiting. At the very least though, Ed's successor will inherit a program with basketball offices/facilities more up to par with a typical Big Ten program's along with a well-organized student section in the Nittany Nation. Obviously, the right candidate will be someone who can provide an instant upgrade in recruiting/player development, the two areas that are in the most dire need for improvement. Whether that means the Athletic Department (and what few basketball boosters) actually pulls off a Cael Sanderson-style coup in landing a name coach or whether they grab a solid mid-major coach remains to be seen.

All of this talk about Ed's replacement of course, is rather meaningless until his ouster becomes official. Let's all hope that the higher-ups aren't feeling as sadistic as usual in their treatment of PSU hoops fans.

* Presuming Dan Earl doesn't get promoted to full-time coach, of course. Or that Pete Lisicky gets the call on his red phone out in Arizona and accepts the job...come to think of it, that latter scenario doesn't sound so awful. 

Follow LBU on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to by Email


  1. This Post Title = Awesomeness

    But overall I must agree. It's time...

  2. I always forget that Penn State plays basketball until I take a look at my Twitter stream.

  3. It's times like this that I'm glad I'm a wrestling fan.

  4. Shit, compared to basketball, football seems like a juggernaut right now.

  5. Love the title! And that's a notable stipulation in your asterisk. It's for that reason that I wouldn't mind seeing Ed bungle the rest of the season. If the team "turns it around" under Danny Earl, you know Curley would love to just hand him the job.

    You're 100% right that the next coach must have ZERO ties to PSU.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. The Dan Earl asterisk was more of a joke than anything else. Granted, I can't say with 100% confidence that Curley WOULDN'T consider promoting him under such a scenario. This program just needs an act of desperation in order to start showing some life on the court again and I feel cutting Ed loose mid-season would do just that.