Lions a Little Short in the Backcourt

A suspension and an injury have knocked two Penn State basketball players out of action early in the preseason.

First-year Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers has already been thrown a couple of curveballs.

The Nittany Lions are faced with replacing four starters from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. Now two key returnees are out of action, one of them indefinitely.

Redshirt sophomore guard Jermaine Marshall has been suspended for violating team rules, according the school's athletic communications department. The nature of the violation is not clear.

Marshall has not participated in team activities since preseason practice began Oct. 14. A team spokesman said Chambers will continue to review Marshall's status, and will not publically comment on the situation until it has been resolved.

Meanwhile, senior guard Cammeron Woodyard has been sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove loose material from his left knee. He is expected to be out of action for another two to three weeks. Woodyward has not practiced yet, either.

These situations would seem to clear the way for more immediate playing time for a couple of newcomers: 6-foot-1 freshman Trey Lewis, a high-scoring combo guard from Ohio; and 6-4 sophomore Matt Glover, a transfer from Sheridan Community College in Wyoming.

Sophomore D.J. Newbill, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, is not eligible to play this season under NCAA transfer rules. But he is allowed to practice with the team.

Marshall played in 28 of 34 games last season. He averaged 2.5 points per game. That is actually second among returning players, behind only Frazier (6.3).

Woodyard also played in 28 games, starting three. He averaged 1.8 points per game.

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