D.J. Newbill is “fit” for a new season

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Andrew Albert (@andrewjalbert01)

D.J. Newbill had 18 months to prepare for his next college basketball season. He took that time to shape his body into what can lead him to success as Big 10 guard in 2012-2013 at Penn State.

D.J. Newbill (left) will play his first season at Penn State in 2012-2013 (Photo: Mitch Cockrell/SportsPageMagazine.com)

“I’ve been working on my body,” he said. “Getting a Big 10 body, because the Big 10 is the best conference in the nation.”

“I cut down body fat. I was about 13% body fat, and then I got into the summertime and it was down to 6%. I cut some weight off me too.”

Newbill weighed in at 220lbs at his heaviest during his redshirt year. He has now cut back to around 205lbs, which is about what he was at during his freshman year at Southern Miss.

Newbill was forced to sit out the 2011-2012 season due to NCAA transfer rules after he transferred to PSU from Southern Mississippi.

“The toughest part of sitting out was battling every day out there in practice and not being able to battle with them in the real games,” Newbill told CoBL by phone.

The Philadelphia native made an immediate impact as a freshman at Southern Miss, averaging 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He played over 30 minutes per game as a freshman, and provided a legitimate scoring threat for the Golden Eagles.

Newbill originally committed to Marquette University during his junior season at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia. After the Golden Eagles landed Oregon transfer Jamil Wilson, they no longer had the space for the Strawberry Mansion grad.

“I was mad and hurt when this first happened. Now I’ll just go forth with my career somewhere else,” Newbill told Philly.com in 2010.

That somewhere else ended up being at Southern Mississippi. Newbill immediately made an impact in Conference USA.

“I think I was ready for it,” he said. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. I was one of the key players on my high school team, and it just transferred over to college.”

“I just felt like the system wasn’t where I wanted to be in my college career, and I wanted to be close to home,” he added.

Head coach Pat Chambers and Penn State landed the 6-4 guard in August of 2011, and he has been working with the team ever since. Coach Chambers, who has strong Philadelphia ties, was one of the main pulls for Newbill to become a Nittany Lion.

“He is a great coach,” added Newbill. “Some of my friends played for him back at Boston University. Also, the loyalty of Coach Chambers made this decision easy. He is a good, genuine guy, and he is honest. I like that about him.

“You want to play for a guy who knows your background and knows where you come from. He understands my thought process and my drive and why I have it. That was big for me too.”

That understanding has created a great situation for the Penn State basketball team. This offseason, Newbill was named team captain after his impressive redshirt season practicing with the team. He has also taken focus on preparing himself for Big 10 basketball.

Newbill will take the court for the first time in over 20 months when Penn State takes on St. Francis on November 9th. Penn State will travel to the Palestra on December 5th to take on La Salle in Newbill’s return to Philadelphia.

“I’m so excited. I’ve been sitting out for so long it is like a dream come true that I finally get a chance to wear this Penn State jersey.”

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