20 Questions: Does Sam Dekker Make Wisconsin a Final Four Contender?

Posted by Andrew Murawa on October 21st, 2013

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Semantics matter. And semantics makes this one a no-brainer, in so many ways. No, Sam Dekker does not make Wisconsin a Final Four contender. Now don’t get me wrong, Wisconsin may well indeed be a Final Four contender (a question I’ll get to later), but if so, it is not solely due to Dekker. First and foremost, basketball is a team sport that requires five competent players on the court playing well together. And even in the best of cases, one superstar coupled with four, well, schmucks, does not make for a Final Four team, no matter how good that superstar is. And at a place like Wisconsin with a coach like Bo Ryan, this goes double. Under Ryan’s swing offense, the Badgers are going to run sound fundamental offensive basketball, coupled with hard-nosed stingy defense on the other end of the court, and they are going to take what the opponent gives them. Sometimes that will mean Dekker will be able to have big nights, but on other occasions, Wisconsin is going to need big contributions elsewhere. Even if Dekker has the best year in the history of Wisconsin basketball, the Badgers will still need some help.

Sam Dekker Leading Wisconsin To A Final Four? There Are Plenty Of Reasons To Be Skeptical (Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports)

Sam Dekker Leading Wisconsin To A Final Four? There Are Plenty Of Reasons To Be Skeptical. (USA Today Sports)

The second thought about this question, even taking away the nitpicking first paragraph of my answer is this: What has Sam Dekker done so far to deserve anything approaching a “yes” answer here? I like Dekker’s game and I know damn well that one of the things that makes Ryan such a successful coach is his ability to get players to improve from year to year. So I fully expect him to significantly better his 9.6 point and 3.4 rebound per game averages from his freshman campaign. And clearly with Mike Bruesewitz, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren all gone from the Wisconsin front line, there is going to plenty of room for Dekker to pile up minutes and crank up the production. But the fact that those three seniors have graduated means this team is less likely to compete for a Final Four this season than last, a year in which, I might remind you, the Badgers got knocked out in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament. Even if Dekker goes out and averages something like the 19.4 points per game he dropped in Wisconsin’s summer trip to Canada (a nightly average which would be the best year out of a Wisconsin player since Alando Tucker won the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2007), he’s still going to need plenty of scoring help from the returning backcourt of Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson, along with Josh Gasser, who returns from a season lost to an ACL tear. And frankly, while we can expect Dekker to improve, can we really expect him as a sophomore to be as good or better than guys like Tucker or Jon Leuer were as seniors? I think not.

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Rushed Reactions: #22 Wisconsin 68, #3 Indiana 56

Posted by WCarey on March 16th, 2013

Walker Carey is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report from the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center following Saturday’s matchup between Indiana and Wisconsin. You can follow him at @walkerRcarey.

Three Key Takeaways:

Wisconsin Stopped the Hoosiers Again

Wisconsin Stopped the Hoosiers Again

  1. Indiana is still deserving of a #1 seed. Even with the setback to Wisconsin, the Hoosiers still have one of the best resumes of the country. Indiana was the outright regular season champion of the toughest conference in college basketball. The Hoosiers won road games at Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan. It has as much, or more, talent as any team in the country. A record of 27-6 is not usually the record of a #1 seed, but college basketball this season has been anything but the usual. Indiana should still be a #1 seed and it should still absolutely be viewed as a strong contender to get to the Final Four.
  2. Wisconsin is the definition of a team. The Badgers certainly do not have any guys who can be considered “stars,” but what they do have are eight players who contribute to every game. Point guard Traevon Jackson is a true point guard who is always looking to make his teammates better. Shooting guard Ben Brust is always a threat to catch fire from deep at any time. Forwards Jarred Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz , and Ryan Evans are all seniors who bring the Badgers extremely tough and disciplined play in the post. Freshmen Sam Dekker and George Marshall along with sophomore Frank Kaminsky come off the bench and routinely make an impact for the Badgers. While there are certainly teams in the Big Ten who have a lot more individual talent than the Badgers, there might not be a team who plays together as well as the Badgers. Wisconsin’s ability to play together as a unit makes it a tough team to beat and a team that should never be taken lightly.
  3. Wisconsin certainly has Indiana’s number. With Saturday afternoon’s victory, Wisconsin has now won 12 consecutive games over Indiana. While a majority of those wins came when Indiana was down, it is still quite the amazing statistic. Indiana is viewed by many as the best team in the country, but Wisconsin has defeated the Hoosiers twice this season in fairly commanding fashion. The Badgers’ physical style of play coupled with their deliberate attack on offense frustrates almost every team they play and it could certainly be one of the reasons for their utter domination over Indiana. This is definitely a streak that should be followed as next season comes around because it will be fascinating to see if Wisconsin will be able to top Indiana yet again.

Star of the Game. Ryan Evans, Wisconsin. The senior forward was all over the place for the Badgers. He finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. Evans also supplied Wisconsin with very capable defense against Indiana’s Christian Watford who is always capable of an offensive explosion. Jared Berggren (11 points and five rebounds) and Sam Dekker (11 points off the bench) were also considered, but Evans was clearly the best player on the court for the Badgers.

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Big Ten M5: 03.07.13 Edition

Posted by KTrahan on March 7th, 2013

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  1. The postgame scene at Assembly Hall after Indiana’s loss to Ohio State on Tuesday night was… well, it’s tough to really describe it. “Odd” doesn’t really do it justice. Following the loss, The Hoosiers held a ceremony for their departing seniors and cut down the nets to celebrate clinching a share of the Big Ten title, thanks to a Michigan win over Michigan State two days earlier. IU won, but it lost. It was celebrating, but the scene was depressing. It’s strange that IU was so set on having a net-cutting ceremony that it didn’t wait until the Big Ten Tournament, when it would have made a lot more sense.
  2. Michigan State still has a lot to play for this season, including a Big Ten title and a subsequent run in March Madness. However, the Spartans got some good news for next season when they found out forward Branden Dawson plans on returning for his junior year. Dawson is likely a future NBA player and he has improved and lived up to his potential considerably since stepping on campus two falls ago. Staying an extra year gives him the chance to make the jump to elite and becoming a certain first round pick. This news potentially extends a long streak of MSU players not leaving early, dating back to Shannon Brown’s departure in 2006.
  3. Despite its early-season hype, Ohio State quickly dropped into the second tier of the Top 25 due to quite a bit of inconsistency from its young players. Outside of Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes have struggled to find contributors on both ends of the floor. Now, however, OSU is rolling on a four-game winning streak after taking down Indiana in Bloomington. The most encouraging sign is that the Buckeyes are doing it without dominance from Thomas, who has recently been in a scoring slump. If OSU can win without Thomas carrying them, who’s to say they can’t go on a run in March if he finds his groove?
  4. The Big Ten race is confusing. Five teams can potentially still win a share of the conference title, and depending on a number of different scenarios, we will likely see multiple-way ties for first place in the conference. This chart from The Only Colors is by far the best way to tell how any potential ties will be broken up. Since the Indiana-OSU and Michigan-Purdue games have already been played, the number of possibilities has since narrowed, but Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin still all have a chance to get the No. 1 overall seed, even though Indiana is far and away the favorite.
  5. Sunday’s loss to Purdue was a tale of two halves for Wisconsin, just as it was for Badgers’ guard Traevon Jackson. Jackson had been playing well recently, and he continued that trend in the first half against the Boilermakers. But he struggled in the second half, particularly with his passing the ball. While he had problems earlier in the year with his passing, he looked like he had gotten the issue fixed in recent games. Before the Purdue game, Jackson had three of his most efficient offensive games of the season, which also turned out to be some of Wisconsin’s most efficient games this year. In order for the Badgers to be effective down the stretch, Jackson can’t play like he did in the second half on Sunday.
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Wisconsin Has the Best Defensive Backcourt in the Big Ten

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on February 22nd, 2013

Deepak is a writer for the Big Ten microsite of Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about B1G hoops at @dee_b1g.

During the preseason, it was clear that the Big Ten was loaded and well respected by the pollsters because four teams – Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State – were ranked among the top-15 in the nation. Despite the conference’s depth, the historically overlooked Wisconsin Badgers received some well-deserved respect and were also ranked in the Top 25. But after Josh Gasser’s season-ending injury before the season even started combined with four non-conference losses – Florida, Creighton, Marquette, and Virginia – Ryan’s team dropped out of the rankings and had to sort out their issues with the backcourt. Big Ten Nation of course was well aware that Ryan has never finished worse than fourth in the conference since he took over in Madison. The conference season re-ignited the Badgers and now they stand once again as one of the top teams in league play with a 10-4 record. Despite the lack of offensive firepower due to Gasser’s injury and the departure of All-America guard Jordan Taylor, his backcourt mates Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson have locked down some of the best guards in the conference to make Wisconsin a strong contender for the Big Ten title and beyond.

Ben Brust is one of the best defensive guards in the Big Ten.

Ben Brust is one of the best defensive guards in the Big Ten.

Before we discuss Brust and Jackson’s defensive impact, let’s review the numbers to prove that they are the best defensive backcourt in a league filled with offensive talent. The Badgers rank first in two key defensive categories: opponents’ effective FG% (41.1%) and opponents’ long-range shooting (26.2% 3FG). All of the top guards in the Big Ten – Trey Burke, Keith Appling, Jordan Hulls and Andre Hollins – have been a victim of this killer defense from the Badgers’ backcourt. Ryan’s teams have always been known for their intensity on defense and they ranked second in those categories during 2012 as well. Their opponents shot 29% from three last season, still three percent higher than this year. This boost in Wisconsin’s perimeter defense has resulted in the Badgers allowing just 0.91 points per possession compared to 0.96 last year. This shows that Brust and Jackson have been a great duo who understand their roles and execute Ryan’s defensive game plans very effectively.

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Late Game Struggles Continue to Haunt Iowa

Posted by KTrahan on February 8th, 2013

With 20 seconds left in regulation of Wednesday night’s Iowa-Wisconsin game, Traevon Jackson’s three-pointer bounced off the rim, then the backboard, then fell into the hoop to tie the game up. Josh Ogelsby’s three-pointer just before the buzzer looked good, but then rimmed out. Thus has been the story of Iowa’s season so far, as the Hawkeyes went on to lose 74-70 in double overtime. Iowa certainly has a squad that looked capable of making the NCAA Tournament this year, but the script in every chance to get a marquee win has been the same — a blown late lead and a heartbreaking loss. The Hawkeyes have blown late leads to Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota and now Wisconsin. The only late leads that they’ve held onto against marquee opponents have come against Wisconsin (in the previous meeting this season) and Iowa State. Jon Rothstein and Ken Pomeroy both sympathized with Iowa fans after the loss:

Fake Fran McCaffery was clearly frustrated, as well (great Twitter follow, by the way):

Apparently it was possible to get closer to the hump without going over it. Dammit.

— Fran’s Red Face (@FransRedFace) February 7, 2013

It’s tough to know what to make of all of Iowa’s late-game collapses. The Hawkeyes have clearly had trouble figuring out how to play with a lead at the end of games — they nearly even blew the home lead to Wisconsin. It’s almost as if Iowa goes into prevent defense, to use a football term. And, as the saying goes, the only thing prevent defense does is prevent you from winning the game. The Hawkeyes try to avoid fouling and get very conservative, which allows the other team to get back into the game. Since Iowa isn’t a great shooting team, it’s tough for the Hawkeyes to make the last shot at the end of games.

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Why Indiana Lost: Badgers Defensive Game Plan Was to Allow Zeller to Do His Thing

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on January 16th, 2013

Deepak is a writer for the Big Ten microsite of Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about B1G hoops at @dee_b1g.

You may consider Wisconsin basketball boring as they make it their primary objective to slow the game game. You may even consider them boring because they don’t wow you with their athleticism. But if you are a basketball fan, you have to appreciate the Badgers’ Tuesday night effort in Bloomington leading to a big upset over the Hoosiers. Bo Ryan’s team executed a solid game plan to beat Tom Crean’s squad by five points and are standing tall in the early Big Ten race with a 4-0 record. It was very clear from the tip-off that the Badgers weren’t going to let the Hoosiers beat them from long range, instead preferring to let Cody Zeller get his shots in the paint. After trailing by one at the half, Ryan told ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Ponder that they were trying to contain the Hoosiers’ other weapons around Zeller such as Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. Zeller toyed with Jared Berggren in the paint to end up with 23 points but the rest of the Hoosiers were held to a relatively quiet night.

Bo Ryan's Badgers played great defense to upset the Hoosiers in Bloomington.

Bo Ryan’s Badgers played great defense to upset the Hoosiers in Bloomington.

Assembly Hall serves as a huge advantage for the Hoosiers by making it very tough for opponents to dig themselves out of a rut once IU makes a run. Most of the big runs begin in transition or consecutive long-range shots from Indiana’s sharpshooters: Hulls, Watford, and Will Sheehey. But together this trio was held to just 1-of-5 shooting by the Badgers’ backcourt of Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson. Brust must have studied every one of Hulls’ jumpers this season because he knew his tendencies and stepped into Hulls’ favorite spots on the floor immediately before he got there. Hulls loves to shoot the deep ball in transition and is very efficient as he goes left towards the top of the key to use his quick release on the jumper. Someone who averages five shot attempts per game from beyond the arc was held to just one shot from the perimeter last night! That statistic proves that Brust played him so tightly that he couldn’t even free himself up to take a shot during the second half. Brust’s backcourt mate Traevon Jackson was just as effective on defensive rotations and helped lock down Sheehey to an 0-of-6 performance. Not only was IU’s long-range threat neutralized by the Badgers, but the Hoosiers couldn’t get anything going in transition either. Victor Oladipo couldn’t find a rhythm offensively because he wasn’t able to lead transition like he usually does because the Badgers pulled back immediately after missed shots and also covered Watford at the perimeter to prevent transition threes.

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Big Ten M5: 11.05.12 Edition

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on November 5th, 2012

  1. Exhibition games don’t mean much in the grand scheme of the season, but you get a good first look at the freshmen. Michigan State’s Gary Harris is arguably the most interesting freshman in the conference and will be scrutinized especially as Branden Dawson tries to get back to 100% after an ACL injury. After two exhibition games, Harris has impressed Tom Izzo on the offensive end of the court. He looked really good off the dribble in the game against Northwood and scored 14 points. However, he admits that he needs to be more effective on defense specifically against the pick-and-roll. Izzo will demand Harris’ improvement on defense but his offensive production will help the Spartans during the non-conference season.
  2. Speaking of freshmen in the league, Purdue has a couple of good guards who are expected to contribute immediately. Even though Ronnie Johnson and Rapheal Davis were not ranked in the top 30 by Rivals coming out of high school, both of them have the talent to be very good players in the league. Each of the freshman guards scored 16 points in Purdue’s exhibition win over Newberry with Davis scoring all of his points in the second half. Ronnie Johnson may be the primary point guard in the rotation after the departure of Lewis Jackson but Davis will play a significant role off the bench. Guard Terone Johnson (9.1 PPG last season) will carry the offensive load for the Boilermakers; he scored 18 points in the exhibition.
  3. As Matt Painter tries to incorporate new talent into the rotation, Bo Ryan has to figure out how to replace Josh Gasser at the point guard position. Every guard on the roster will need to help out with Gasser’s loss and the latest scrimmage in Madison has obviously led to more scrutiny of the guards. Redshirt freshman George Marshall has been impressive and appears to be the frontrunner to replace Gasser. Traevon Jackson‘s jumpers were a good sign and Ben Brust showed why his minutes will increase this season — Brust averaged 7.3 PPG in 21 MPG last season and is expected to play a key role in the backcourt. Ryan once again praised Frank Kaminsky, a forward who has a good jumper for a big guy which fits perfectly in the Ryan’s offensive system.
  4. The Iowa Hawkeyes are considered a sleeper in the Big Ten mainly due to their underclassmen such as Aaron White (11.1 PPG) and Adam Woodbury. Junior wing Roy Devyn Marble (11.5 PPG) will be their primary scorer offensively, but Fran McCaffery believes that Eric May, the only senior with a scholarship on the roster, needs to be effective for Iowa to meet their lofty expectations this season. May averaged 4.3 PPG in 14.7 PPG last year but wants to be a lock-down defender for the Hawkeyes during his final season. May is supposed to be in “great shape” according to the coaches and Iowa will definitely need somebody to set the tempo on the defensive end after losing Matt Gatens to graduation. They will push the tempo and play a fast brand of basketball but if they are not able to defend, McCaffery’s team will fall short of making the NCAA Tournament.
  5. Speaking of former Big Ten seniors, Illinois’ Mike Davis was drafted as the fifth overall player in the NBA Development League over the weekend. Davis had a solid career at Illinois as he averaged at least 11 PPG from his sophomore season on. He was not highly recruited out of high school but former Illini coach Bruce Weber appreciated his work ethic and intensity. Davis also averaged eight rebounds per game during the final three seasons, and he has the size (6’9″) to continue to play professional basketball at some level for a few years. He might not make the NBA but he can certainly work his way out of the Development League and possibly play in Europe for a few seasons.
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Pac-12 Morning Five: 12.15.11 Edition

Posted by AMurawa on December 15th, 2011

  1. With UCLA’s 60-47 win over Eastern Washington on Wednesday night, the Bruins moved to within one game of .500 on its disappointing season. UCLA played mostly man-to-man defense after having used quite a bit of zone in their previous win, and was successful in limiting EWU to 30.2% eFG, but their ineffectiveness on the glass is just the newest of concerns for an underachieving team; UCLA allowed EWU to grab 41% of their offensive rebound opportunities while taking 80% of the defensive rebounds. Nevertheless, senior point guard Lazeric Jones continued his strong run, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and threes.
  2. UCLA played without sophomore forward Travis Wear, who spent the evening in the hospital with a skin infection, possibly related to a the cut he sustained on his left foot while snorkeling in Hawaii following the Maui Invitational. Wear was given antibiotics and apparently responded well to them, meaning he is likely to be released from the hospital on Thursday. With UC Irvine next up for the Bruins on Saturday, Wear is in no rush to come back, but the team is quite a bit thinner up front than had been expected, as reserves Anthony Stover and Brendan Lane each got 18 minutes on Wednesday night.
  3. Sticking with the Bruins for a bit longer, Jordan Adams, one of UCLA’s two current signees for next year, believes that the #1 recruit in the nation, Shabazz Muhammad, will be headed to Westwood next year. He also thinks Tony Parker, the #31 ranked recruit according to ESPNU, is headed to the City of Angels as well, giving the Bruins what would likely be one of the top three recruiting classes in the nation. Adams is so sure, he’s already even volunteering for sixth man duties. UCLA may be down in the dumps right now, but that foursome would provide a big boost for a team in a temporary lull.
  4. California is set to beef up its non-conference schedule in the next couple of years with a home-and-home series with Wisconsin. The Bears will travel to Madison next season before hosting the Badgers in 2013-14. Dates are not yet set, but looking ahead to next year, Cal will be without  Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp, while Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor will have moved onto greener pastures, but matchups like Traevon Jackson vs. Justin Cobbs, not to mention Bo Ryan vs. Mike Montgomery, will be sure to make that matchup one to keep an eye on.
  5. Finally, two nights ago, Oregon State freshman Eric Moreland pulled down 14 rebounds in just 19 minutes against Illinois-Chicago, making it his third game in his young career with double-figure rebounds. Playing limited minutes, Moreland is grabbing 30% of the opposing team’s missed shots, and almost 16% of his own team’s missed shots, numbers that would be among the best in the nation if he played enough minutes to qualify. Moreland, who transferred from UTEP prior to last season before sitting out a year with a shoulder injury, is still getting used to his 6’10” frame (and 7’4” wingspan) after growing five inches between his junior and senior years of high school, but if this is him prior to being comfortable in his own skin, just wait until he embraces his NBA-ready body.
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RTC Summer Updates: Big Ten Conference

Posted by Brian Goodman on August 8th, 2011

With the completion of the NBA Draft and the annual coaching and transfer carousels nearing their ends, RTC is rolling out a new series, RTC Summer Updates, to give you a crash course on each Division I conference during the summer months. Our latest update comes courtesy of our Big Ten correspondent, Will Green.

Readers’ Take

Summer Storylines 

  • Sully’s Back, But With Demands – In the year 2011, in the age of ‘now,’ in a profit-first educate-yourself-later society, amidst a flittering of teenage NBA draft picks, ferocious freshman phenomenon Jared Sullinger decided to stay in school. How quaint. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing quaint about Sullinger, his (rightly) assumed sense of on-court leadership, his brutally physical style of play, or that Ja Rule-esque snarl that makes him look like a squirrel who just ate a questionable nut. But seriously, it’s highly unlikely that anyone other than Jordan Taylor will stand in the way of Sullinger winning the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, and rightfully so. He has spent the better part of the off-season slimming down and getting faster. The best player on the best team in the conference simply can’t suffer a slump; he’s worked too hard and has clearly made a commitment to improving his game before leaving for the pros. The question is less about what Sullinger’s level of performance will be than it is about the effect his performance will have on other members of his team. Last year, his 17 /10 were a reflection of consistent contribution that was also part of a greater team-wide cohesion. Jon Diebler, David Lighty and even Dallas Lauderdale each had pronounced and vital roles on last year’s team. They’re all gone now. While some of the supporting cast and several new stars-in-the-making will join Sullinger, will increased reliance upon him make OSU more of a one-man show? Or will the Buckeyes continue to roll out a team-focused squad with four scorers in double figures and a core group of five guys who notch 30 minutes a game? Whatever happens, Sullinger will be back and he will be better than last year. Consider yourself warned.
  • Welcome, Nebraska – On July 1, Nebraska officially joined the B1G, an acronym whose ludicrousness we continue to subconsciously validate by pronouncing it ‘Bih-one-ggg’. If you’re scoring at home, UNL’s entry makes for 12 teams in the Big Ten, a conference that shouldn’t be confused with the Big 12, which only has ten teams now since Nebraska left it. Now that we’ve all scratched our heads for second, we should pause to consider how massive the amount of potential football revenue must have been to persuade the intransigent Big Ten to alter its ranks. The Cornhuskers’ inclusion marks only the second change in league makeup since the 1950s. So how will the other 11 schools adjust to the adjustment? Football-wise, they should all watch their backs. On the basketball court, though, it probably won’t have a big (or should we say, a ‘B1G’) impact. Sadly for Husker fans, their roundball team loses two of their top three scorers and has some major offensive issues to solve in a league whose tempo of play limits even the country’s very best offenses. Head coach Doc Sadler continues to recruit a healthy mix of transfers and high school players, but over his five-year tenure nine of them have left due to reasons other than matriculation or the NBA. Nebraska has had some encouraging moments in recent years, including a five game improvement in Big 12 play from 2009 to 2010 (from 2-14 to 7-9). The team’s defensive efficiency would’ve finished fourth and it’s adjusted tempo would’ve finished fourth slowest in last year’s Big Ten. In some respects, Nebraska feels like a perfect match for the conference. And yet, for many of those same reasons, it might be a little out-matched in its first few years.
  • Ed DeChellis Leaves For Navy – Nowadays, stories like these are rarer than that bloody slice of carpaccio you once had at a fancy restaurant: a coach leaving a higher paying, higher-infrastructure, higher strength-of-schedule situation for a middle of the pack team in a unambiguously low-major conference. Make no mistake: Ed DeChellis didn’t become the new head coach at Navy. He stopped being the head coach at Penn State. Unless they’re ousted via scandal or especially egregious results you simply don’t hear about power six coaches voluntarily leaving for a “lesser” job. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. Or is it? The answer to that question centers around just how much “less” of a job the Navy coaching position really is, and if anything DeChellis might have done warranted the move. The wink-wink nudge-nudge consensus is that while DeChellis didn’t necessarily knock anyone’s socks off, the school refuses to take basketball seriously. Some have lambasted the athletic department’s commitment to DeChellis and the program overall at a school that’s known best for intense linebackers and an 84 year-old Italian-American man. It will be interesting to observe new head coach Patrick Chambersin his first few seasons and see whether or not he runs into a similar set of struggles as DeChellis did during his tenure. If the holistic drawbacks of coaching in University Park really outweigh the benefits to the extent that someone would walk away from the position, then PSU has bigger problems to fix than figuring out how to win in the Big Ten this season. But if anyone can overcome whatever said “drawbacks” may or may not be, it’s Chambers.

    The Buckeyes, led by big man Jared Sullinger, are easy favorites in the Big Ten.

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