Subtract one 6-foot-1, 170-pound Energizer Bunny and add two 6-foot-4, 205-pound shooters and this will result in the quandary that is Penn State's current point guard situation.
Behind D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall -- who have alternated at the point and shooting guard the past few games -- the Lions lack depth, and they are therefore asked to play similar minutes to what the speedy Tim Frazier had played prior to his season-ending injury in November.
The outcome has been mixed for Newbill and Marshall, the traditional wing players who have played 36 and 34.25 minutes per game, respectively, in the four games since Frazier went down. Playing so many minutes, the two players have been noticeably gassed throughout games this season and this may be contributing to them producing more turnovers than assists -- a combined 56-to-40 rate between them on the year.
Against La Salle on Wednesday, Marshall played 37 minutes while Newbill played all 40 in the Nittany Lions' 82-57 loss to the Explorers. Despite tallying five assists, Newbill had his third-lowest scoring outing of the year with 12 points while Marshall led the team in scoring but turned the ball over four times.
Meanwhile, even with Ross Travis also playing a full game against the Explorers, the Lions' other three starters averaged playing just 22 minutes in the game, to put the heavy responsibilities of Newbill and Marshall in perspective.
Coach Patrick Chambers said he expects the guards to adjust to their new demanding roles eventually, but replacing Frazier's endurance has not been an easy task.
"Tim was an Energizer Bunny," Chambers said. "He could run all day. If we played a double-header and we had to play him 40 and 40, he would do it. That's just the type of kid he was. Now, these guys aren't built like that."
Frazier has certainly shown himself to be a rare breed, playing 38 minutes per game last season while also leading the Big Ten in assists and being named to the conference's All-Defensive team, as well.
The senior, who ruptured his left achilles tendon, said the stamina he developed is not an easy thing to teach Newbill and Marshall.
"It's definitely tough," Frazier said. "I've had conversations with D.J. after [games] and he's been like, 'I don't know how you do it.' And I couldn't give him any type of answer, either. It just happens. You get used to it and eventually it will come naturally."
Despite their inconsistency, both Newbill and Marshall have led the Lions in scoring in the past four games, combining to account for 61.3 percent of the team's points.
Chambers said he worries about how long the two guards will be able to shoulder so much of the load, but he added he already has a plan in place to account for this concern.
"I'm approaching practice much differently than I did last year, much differently," Chambers said. "I got to manage their bodies. I got to manage their time. I got to manage their minds."
Newbill said both he and Marshall have benefited from the lightened load in practice and they expect to get used to the added minutes as the season goes on.
"We're just embracing our role," Newbill said. "Coach is doing a good job helping us out...making practices so there won't be so much wear and tear on our body so we can go out there and play 30, 40 minutes a game."