Alan Wisniewski had logged total of six minutes in Penn State's first 18 games of the season. The 6-foot-9 junior walk-on from Michigan played 17 minutes Saturday night at Nebraska, finishing with career highs in points (6) and rebounds (8).
Chambers is hoping for a big student turnout Thursday when Penn State hosts Iowa.
Say this for Patrick Chambers and the Nittany Lions, who are still searching for their first Big Ten win with less than two months remaining in the season -- they aren't lacking in creativity.
"When you're 0-11, you want to do some different things," Chambers said Tuesday, "and that's what we're doing."
In the past week, Penn State has practiced in Holuba Hall with the football team and in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions, who do yoga as part of their regular offseason routine, have been doing weekly yoga sessions with a campus fitness instructor for the last few weeks.
Chambers has also searched for alternative lineup combinations during the last few games, mixing Wisniewski and fellow walk-on Kevin Montminy as well as freshmen Akosa Maduegbunam and Donovon Jack and sophomore Patrick Ackerman into what for most of the season has been an eight-man rotation. It hasn't yielded many results; Penn State, which ranks last in the Big Ten in field goal percentage at .381, is shooting 30 percent over its last two games.
"I'm trying to find production," Chambers said. "Whoever earns it in practice is going to play. Guys are playing hard in practice. They still have energy and enthusiasm. As long as guys continue to bring it, they're going to get chances."
Chambers hopes the additional minutes for the reserves will influence the way his starters play.
"Some of the other guys are worried about missing shots and what they look like," he said. "And we've got to try to get rid of that."
The Nittany Lions' second-year coach has also decided to shake things up in Penn State's student section heading into Thursday's 9 p.m. game against Iowa, and raise money for one of the school's most well-known philanthropy efforts in the process. Chambers has pledged to donate $10 to Penn State's Dance Marathon for every student that attends the game.
Chambers remembers speaking to the crowd at THON last year and wanted to do something special for the event this weekend, even though the Nittany Lions will be on the road.
"THON has just blown me away," Chambers said. "It really has. I don't get nervous in front of people. I was nervous last year when I looked up and looked around. That was powerful to me, for me. I'm sure it was for my team. That's stuck with me since. This is what I'm doing this year. Hopefully in the future I can do more."
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