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Penn State Basketball: Details The Focus As Nittany Lions Head Into Final Non Conference Stretch

by on December 09, 2013 3:25 PM

In a lot of ways things couldn't be going much better for Penn State basketball right now.

A loss to Bucknell the only real blemish on the Nittany Lions' record but a positive in many ways as the defeat seemingly woke the team up only two games into the season. A loss to a talented Ole Miss squad in the Barclays Center Classic Championship game was an unfortunate end to an otherwise productive event for Penn State. And a close loss to Pittsburgh on the road was far from unexpected given the Panthers home record in non conference play.

On the court, Penn State is lead by a starting five that has four players averaging double figures scoring 75+ on a regular basis. Fifth year senior guard Tim Frazier is as good as he ever was prior to injury and the Nittany Lions continue to mature as a team on both sides of the ball.

So while at 7-3 the Nittany Lions are far from perfect, head coach Patrick Chambers' third season at Penn State is still shaping up to be his best one so far.

But they aren't there yet.

"I'd like to see us continue on our defense and rebounding," Chambers said on Monday. The Nittany Lions practiced Monday afternoon for the first time in a long while after a five games in 10 days stretch kept the team on the road more than the court.

"This is our first real chance to practice in a while," Chambers said. "I think we can really get some of our younger guys better today."

The areas of emphasis will continue to be on the defensive side of the ball as a whole. Penn State currently boasts the No. 17 offensive efficiency in the nation, while checking in about the middle of the pack at No. 191 on defense. Both rankings are created by throwing a number of defensive and offensive statistics through a formula. In short, Penn State is a lot better on offense than defense.

So as the Nittany Lions creep closer and closer to conference play, that will continue to be the focus. The little things. Rebounding, defensive rotations, offensive sets, decision making, free throws, crisp passes.

And staying focused.

"Don't even ask me about Rec Hall," Chambers said with a smile, alluding to a retro game across campus this coming weekend. "I'm thinking about Duquesne." 

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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