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FIRE ED NOW: Bill Edwards Also Transferring

Submitted by on March 20, 2010 – 2:00 am6 Comments

Words fail me right now. David Jones once again has the scoop.

Bill Edwards, the Ohio Senior Player of the Year in 2008, was a late addition to Penn State’s freshman class last year, passing up on a number of MAC and A-10 schools to sign with the Lions.  Entering with considerable hype, Edwards was often compared to Jamelle Cornley, and drew rave reviews from everyone who saw him play during practices.  Here’s what our fearless leader had to say about Edwards when he signed:

“We are very excited to have Bill joining a very strong 2009 recruiting class,” Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis said. “He is a very strong kid that can play any perimeter spot and also use his strength to post up defenders. He is a very good ball-handler and passer, a strong perimeter shooter and has that Big Ten prototype body.”

Though he struggled initially, Edwards couldn’t take all the blame, as he had to deal with nagging knee injuries and, like so many freshmen, to become acclimated with the speed of the college game.  Edwards missed a number of games throughout the season, and was limited in many others, but showed a ton of real, legitimate, promise.  He was perhaps the only Lion, other than Talor Battle, who seemed to want the ball in his hands.  A cerebral, heady player, Edwards knew the game better than perhaps any other Penn Stater, and took advantage by finding the seams on the floor.

Like so many freshmen, Edwards’ future potential was merely glimpsed at by his statistics–though he often struggled to find an outside shot, Edwards was competent driving, and playing in the post–despite his 6′5 stature, Edwards collected two double-doubles during the season, the same number as Andrew Jones. It was a strange phenomenon watching Edwards play–put his brain in Jeff Brooks’s body, and you’d have one of the best players in the Big Ten.  Due to those injuries and the advanced competition, Edwards often struggled to complete plays, and especially at the beginning of the season, seemed to think he was still in high school.  But the gears were moving, and down the line, Edwards would’ve been a starter for this team.

Presumably, he’s going to head to one of those A-10 or MAC schools that he spurned last year, and he’ll probably develop into one of a very nice player on one of those teams. But the story, as it was yesterday, isn’t that Bill Edwards is leaving, it’s that, once again, Ed DeChellis has proven that he has completely lost this team. Just a week ago, Tim Curley spoke of the vision that he and Ed shared–hey Tim, was it your “VISION” to have a mass exodus of talented young players from this team? You’re “confident” that Ed is taking this team in the right direction? Right now, it’s completely unfathomable to think anybody could’ve done any worse. We’ve now established that winning isn’t important–well, what the fuck is?

I don’t care if Penn State beats the odds and actually makes the NCAA tournament next year (though he won’t). If all you Ed DeChellis apologists can take credit away from Jerry Dunn for reaching the Sweet Sixteen, then I can do the same thing. Last year, Penn State won the NIT in spite of their incompetent head coach, and it’s clear that Babb and Edwards–and god knows who else–were just waiting for Curley to make that announcement, that Ed was coming back.  Because when they knew DeChellis would return, they knew they wouldn’t.

If you’d fired Ed last week, Tim, we’d still have Chris Babb. We’d still have Bill Edwards. We’d have young, talented prospects and the promise of better recruiting. 3-16 would be a distant memory, not a harbinger of more failure to come.

For you fans of DeChellis, I don’t know how you can continue to delude yourself.  Sure, he hasn’t lost the team. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

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  • tonylion

    Do you really believe that Babb and Edwards are leaving because DeChellis is coming back?

  • Chad

    I think the real problem is Curley. If he gave two shits about basketball we would never have this mass exodus to begin with. Ed is only partly responsible.

  • psudevon

    I can't say that's not why. All I can do is point out a correlation, and though it does not necessarily imply causation (Thanks, Mrs. O'Brien), it certainly could.

  • psudevon

    Chad, I'm working on a post that echoes your point. Stay tuned, it should drop in the next few days, and it's a doozy.

  • tonylion

    I think it's a reach.
    Players transfer most of the time when they forsee a lack of playing time.
    That's my guess but it's a good guess.
    Babb would battling Buie and Frazier for the two guard spot.
    And Edwards was injury prone and unable to beat out Brooks or Jackson.
    I suspect the coaches have some forwards targeted for next year.

  • TonyLion

    I was wrong about the playing time.
    PSU just released this as reported at FOS.

    “In those meetings, both Chris and Bill expressed a desire to be closer to home, for different reasons, and elected to pursue transfers that would make that possible. We wish them both well.”