UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Nittany Lion basketball team will officially open the Patrick Chambers era
on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. against Hartford inside the Bryce Jordan
Take a look at the Starting Five for the 2011-'12 season opener.
First Game of New Era
Coach Chambers has been counting down the hours to the season-opener since he was named head coach on June 3. The Nittany Lions will bring a new attitude and intensity level onto the floor under Coach Chambers this winter. Saturday's game is the first-ever doubleheader with the hoops game tipping off after the football game against Nebraska. Penn State opened its exhibition season with a 64-47 victory over Slippery Rock last weekend.
Frazier Setting the Tone
Junior point guard Tim Frazier is the lone Nittany Lion starter back from last season. Frazier took his game to a higher level during Penn State's run to the NCAA Tournament last season. He averaged 10.5 points per game, 5.9 assists per game and 4.6 rebounds per game over the final 11 games of the season. Coach Chambers wants to utilize Frazier's speed and athleticism as the focal point of the Nittany Lion offense. Frazier is a co-captain with senior Cam Woodyard and junior Billy Oliver. All three players will provide leadership for the team, but Frazier will set the tone.
Every day at practice, the men's hoops managers keep track of "Attitude Club." Coach Chambers instituted the points system for hustle plays, deflections, diving on the floor, rebounds and more. The managers keep the attitude stats on a daily basis, and the Lions compete every day at practice to become the top of the Attitude Club. The same is true for games. Last Saturday, Coach Chambers cited 18 dives on the floor from the Nittany Lions during the exhibition game. Penn State will pride itself in playing hard, battling for loose balls, rebounding and defense this season. Keep an eye out for that.
Saturday's opener with Hartford kicks off a stretch of five games in nine days for the Nittany Lions. Penn State will play Radford on Monday (7 p.m.), Long Island on Wednesday (7 p.m.), No. 2 Kentucky on Saturday (Noon in Connecticut) and South Florida or Old Dominion on Sunday (2 p.m. in Connecticut).
A Look at Hartford
Like the Nittany
Lions, Hartford enters the season looking to replace four starters in
2011-'12. The Hawks lost more than 80
percent of their offensive output after the departure of four of their top five
scorers. Hartford will turn to a trio of
seniors - Clayton Brothers, Genesis Maciel and Andreas Torres - for leadership
this season. Maciel, a 6-9 forward from
Los Angeles, is the top returning scorer (7.0 ppg). He finished with a team-best 36.8 percent
clip from beyond the 3-point arc last season.
Torres, who missed all of last season while recovering from knee
surgery, tallied 6.7 points and 4.4 assists in 2010-'11. Hartford finished 11-20 last season. The Hawks were picked to finish seventh in
the America East Preseason Coaches Poll.
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