Penn State coach Patrick Chambers opened his weekly press conference Monday with a statement.
“No hair, don’t care,” said Chambers, wearing a red, white and blue headband featuring the slogan. “That’s No. 1 for Thon coming up this weekend. It’s a great cause that I was a part of today, so really important weekend coming up for Penn State and all Penn Staters, especially those children and families who are battling pediatric cancer.
“So let’s make sure we get out there and we support them either with our time or our finances. I think that’s really important.”
The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon aims to raise money and provide support in the fight against pediatric cancer. Thon starts Friday at 6 p.m. and continues through 4 p.m. Sunday.
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Chambers then addressed his comments on the officiating after Penn State’s 76-73 loss to then-No. 19 Maryland on Saturday. Chambers described a foul call on Penn State’s Jordan Dickerson with 1:50 left in the game as “the worst call I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”
Dickerson was pulled down by Maryland’s Evan Smotrycz on the play. The coach also said Saturday “it’s a joke the way we’re officiated.”
“I’m passionate about my players,” Chambers said Monday. “I’m passionate about my program and I will fight for these guys every second that I’m the head coach here, and every minute for this university and these fans and alums. But it’s over and I have to move on to Wisconsin.”
The Nittany Lions (15-11, 3-10 Big Ten) host No. 5 Wisconsin (23-2, 11-1) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Chambers said he hasn’t heard from the conference about his comments.
Chambers also said that he and Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour have met.
“She’s 100 percent behind me, which is awesome,” Chambers said. “She likes everything that we’re doing, loves everything that we’re doing, loves the direction of the program, loves our fight and our dedication.”
Chambers approaching Taylor’s injury with caution
Penn State forward Brandon Taylor reinjured his right knee Saturday against Maryland.
Taylor went down with 1:22 to play after colliding with Terrapin guard Melo Trimble in the paint. Trimble finished a finger roll before his momentum carried him into Taylor’s right knee.
Taylor first injured the knee against Rutgers on Jan. 24 and missed two games. He played the last four games wearing a brace.
“It’s going to be day-to-day,” Chambers said. “He’s definitely out today. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But I don’t want to push him if it’s the same injury because he’s just going to keep getting hurt and then mentally it’s going to mess him up.”
Chambers said guard Devin Foster did not play against Maryland due to a “banged up” knee. Foster had played in eight straight games, getting at least 15 minutes in the last seven.
“It swelled up and he just didn’t feel like he could go,” Chambers said. “So again, you don’t want to put anybody in position where they’re going to fail.
“So if he’s not 100 percent mentally and physically, then I can’t put somebody out there even though he might have wanted to play. I don’t think that’s fair to him or his teammates.”