Frustrated Chambers boils over in loss to MSU

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Penn State coach Pat Chambers finally got the undivided attention of an official, and drew a technical foul.

East Lansing — Patrick Chambers has been fighting an uphill battle since taking over as Penn State's coach before the 2011-12 season.

The Nittany Lions had made the NCAA Tournament only once in the previous 10 seasons and Chambers hasn't come close in the last three years. And it appears the frustration is starting to take its toll.

After Michigan State's 66-60 victory at the Breslin Center on Wednesday, Chambers let those frustrations come to a head, drawing a technical foul with 3:41 to play in the game and the Spartans leading by two.

It was a critical point in the game and came after Penn State had been called for three straight fouls to even the team totals at seven.

"That was probably four years of frustration," Chambers said after the game. "Our kids compete. They play hard. They try. Let us decide the game. There was three straight calls against us that were not called all game. And I never want to say it's the refs because they are good guys and they try their best. But I just think people look at Penn State very differently and I'm a little tired of it.

"And I didn't think it warranted a tech, but that's his discretion and that's fine. I hurt my team tonight and I can't do that. I've got to be a solution-driven coach, I gotta be a positive and I gotta coach the game, which I did for the most part."

Penn State was called for 25 fouls while Michigan State was called for 20. The free throws were 25 for Michigan State and 22 for Penn State.

Chambers, nonetheless, wasn't happy.

"I've never sent film until this year," he said. "I rarely called the Big Ten for three and a half years. I can probably count on one hand how many times … I always believe you have to play harder and take the refs out of the game so they should never be in question. I'm a firm believer in that from my pedigree where I come from and my coaches and mentors who taught me that. At some point this thing has got to stop, it has got to switch. I'm not a Hall of Fame coach. Nothing against Tom, nothing against John Beilein, nothing against all these other guys, but it's just got to stop. I'll just leave it at that."

Chambers took some of the blame while praising Michigan State.

"Give Michigan State credit," he said. "I know they were hurting form the Maryland game. They came back and played extremely hard, tough and physical, which is exactly what I expected.

"I feel like I let (my team) down tonight. But if we play like that the next 12 games this thing is gonna switch, it's gonna flip and people will be scared to play Penn State."