There was something big missing from the Penn State men’s basketball team in last night’s game against Boston College not named Tim Frazier.
As the Nittany Lions (3-3) took on the Eagles (3-4) last night at the Bryce Jordan Center, the frontcourt was nearly non-existent, combining for a woeful 11 points in a 73-61 loss.
Frontcourt starters Ross Travis, Jon Graham and Brandon Taylor have been expected to crash the boards and create second chance opportunities for the Lions as well as stepping up offensively after the crucial loss of Frazier and struggled to do both. Guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall were forced to carry the team with 22 and 25 points, respectively.
“D.J. and Jermaine, they need help. They can’t do it all on their own,” head coach Patrick Chambers said. “We need to definitely play harder. Boston College came out and played harder, and I think that’s going to be a very good team come January.”
Leading rebounder Ross Travis shouldered the load for the Lions, pulling in 13 boards, but only put in five points on 2-for-9 shooting. Graham and Taylor combined for six points. Taylor scored just three points on 1-for-2 shooting after a breakout performance last week against with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting against Bucknell.
“I got to do a better job developing them, I’ll take the hit,” Chambers said. "We need to work on some moves that they’re comfortable with that they can finish. They did a great job against Bucknell, but we needed that tonight.”
The Lions do not appear to have many other answers for their frontcourt struggles. Big men Sasa Borovnjak and Donovan Jack saw limited time off of the bench without significant production. Chambers is hopeful for the improvement of these players.
“I think as Ross Travis and the bigs get more touches, they’ll get more comfortable as they come along here,” Chambers said.