Who is that?: Ed is the current head coach of Penn State's men's basketball team.
Why you probably don't care: As of 2/18/09 Ed's gone 75-99 (27-69 Big Ten) since being named Penn State's head coach. The best Penn State has finished in conference during Ed's coaching stint was 7th place last season.
Why I care: I'm a Penn State graduate so when a Penn State team starts performing well, even if I never really cared about them, I can suddenly act interested and get away with it.
Why you might want to care: Ed currently has the Nittany Lions in 5th place. Behind Talor Battle, and Jamelle Cornley, Penn State is looking to make their first NCAA Tournament since Ed started coaching.
Why you probably still won't care: After beating Michigan State and getting the "tourny talk" started, Penn State proceeded to lose 3 straight. They squeeked by with a win against Minnesota and won in embarrassing fashion vs. Illinois. Over this stretch its becoming obvious that Penn State likes to lose games they should win, and win games they should lose. With 4 games remaining, 3 of them which they should win, they will most likely go 1-3.
Why I don't like Ed Part 1: So you're one of the biggest schools in the country but have been plagued with horrible basketball teams for decades. You tried the whole "let's hire an assitant" theory with Jerry Dunn. Besides stumbling headfirst into a sweet 16 berth, Jerry didn't do anything special at Penn State. He's faded into assistant coach obscurity since then. So now that Dunn's gone, what do you do? Aggressively pursue a proven big name coach that could bring in top recruits from accross the nation, like Steve Lavin? No, you hire another former assitant named Ed DeChellis. Coming off of a first round NCAA Tourney loss with Southern Conference "powerhouse" East Tennesse State. The lack of effort put into fill the head coach position at this critical moment in Penn State basketball was a mockery.
Why I don't like Ed Part 2: Ed's first 5 years at Penn State remind me of my GPA there. Bad, Worse, A little bit better, Bad Again, Crappy. So after making the NIT Penn State decides to extend Ed's contract. Quick thinking Penn State! We wouldnt want another crappy basketball team scooping up our lackluster coach when his contract expired. How embarrassing would that be if we lost to Southern North Dakota State Community College with Ed DeChellis as their coach? What kind of precident is that setting? Be horrible for a couple years and then make the runner up tournament, lose at that and we reward you with more money and a longer contract. Naive Penn State fans rejoiced. The smart ones sighed, and cancelled their season ticket orders. Let's play a game. Pretend (if you have to) that you don't care about Penn State basketball. Name off the "big name" recruits Ed has brought to Happey Valley. Pretty boring game, right? I only know of Mike Walker because I'm from central PA, and he really didn't do jack in college. Geary Claxton came to Penn State because UConn didn't have a scholarship for him. Battle and Cornley are worth a mention, but both only came to Penn State because they're considered undersized for their positions and were passed on by other schools.
Why I don't like Ed Part 3: I've never seen Ed actually "coach" Penn State to a victory. This season, Penn State has won because Battle was on fire, a team couldn't match up with Cornley, or the other team just flat out played bad, or some cobination of all three. It's never been due to some innovative offense, or some cleverly orchestrated defensive strategy Ed put together. He can't even get his players to hit free throws on a semi consistent basis. My obnoxious Steelers/Yankees fan friend was watching the 38-31 joke that was the Illinois game and said "I think Ed found a lineup that works!" to which I replied "Ok is it working, or not failing miserably? There's a difference". Ever see the Big Ten Network commercial with all the Big Ten coaches saying a line here and there. Ed's got a clip board with a massive Penn State logo on it because no one knows who he is. Most coaches have a school pin if anything. Names liek Tubby Smith and Thad Matta speak for themselves, but Ed has a bumper sticker. The ironic part is if Penn State somehow manages to remain in the top 5 and make the tournament Ed will have a good shot at winning Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Summary: I'll give Ed a little credit. He got Battle, and possibly his younger brother for the future. He also has a good looking recruit coming in Tim Frazier. But guards alone aren't going to let you succeed in the Big Ten. He's also landed 6'9" Sasa Borovnjak (Jan Jagla anyone?). If he somehow leads Penn State past the first round of the tourny it could lead to good years to come. I'd love Ed to prove me wrong and turn Penn State into a program worth watching. But really Penn State, spend the money and get the first notable name coach available.