After Penn State’s win over Illinois, coach Patrick Chambers took the blame for his team’s turnovers.
The coach said the Nittany Lions have to figure it out, later adding that if players are careless with the ball, they’re going to spend some time on the bench. Chambers is trying to create better habits at practice too, making players run extra after turnovers during scrimmages.
And he’s using the team’s film sessions to fix the problem.
“We’re going to talk to them about what they saw, why they’re making these decisions,” Chambers said Monday at the team’s media availability. “We talk about simple and solid and really valuing the basketball. We’re just not doing that at a level that we need to do it in the Big Ten.”
The Nittany Lions are averaging 13.8 turnovers per game in Big Ten play — tied for third-most in the conference — and 13.6 turnovers for the season. They’ll look to limit their mistakes when they take on Indiana on the road at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Penn State point guard Tony Carr, who had just one turnover against Illinois, said turnovers can be the product of trying to do too much.
“Or I’m just not seeing the right read at the right time,” Carr said, “so just slow down on ball screens and things like that.”
Penn State committed a turnover on its first possession against Illinois as Josh Reaves had a pass deflected and stolen by Jalen Coleman-Lands. Less than two minutes into the game, Lamar Stevens committed another turnover.
The Nittany Lions only committed two more turnovers in the first half and jumped out to a 45-25 lead.
But the miscues played a factor in the second half when the Fighting Illini rallied to set up a tense finish. Illinois scored 11 points off of eight Penn State turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
Chambers knows it will be crucial to limit the mistakes at Indiana.
“You got to do it on the road for sure,” Chambers said. “If you have too many live-ball turnovers, they’re going to turn into dunks, 3s, the place is going crazy. That’s not a good formula at all.”