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VIDEO: Nittany Lion Basketball Primed for Opener

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The long offseason is over.  Basketball is back in Happy Valley.  Head coach Patrick Chambers and the Nittany Lions open the 2012-13 campaign inside the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday against Saint Francis (Pa.) at 7 p.m.

Anticipation is high for what has the potential to be an elite Penn State backcourt.  Featuring senior point guard Tim Frazier, junior Jermaine Marshall and sophomore D.J. Newbill, the Nittany Lions have a formidable trio of guards in the starting rotation.  Nittany Lion fans got a taste of the backcourt during the exhibition victory over Philadelphia University, but Friday's clash against Saint Francis will be the first time the guards play together in a game that counts.  Keep an eye on guard Nick Colella's three-point shooting off the bench, as well.

Sophomore Ross Travis added more than 15 pounds of muscle to his frame since the fans last saw him play.  The change in physical condition added a new dimension to Travis' versatile game.  The Minnesota native has a revamped jump-shot to go along with a relentless motor on both ends of the floor.

Inside the paint, Jon Graham and Sasa Borovnjak improved in several different areas during the offseason.  Graham dropped more than 20 pounds, increased his vertical and is now able to play much lighter on his feet.  The same is true for Borovnjak, who Coach Chambers has said is playing with more quickness.  Rebounding will be key for the Nittany Lion frontcourt players.

The countdown clock is at zero, and the Nittany Lions are set to take the floor for the first time.  Watch preseason interviews with assistant coach Brian Daly, Frazier and Newbill for great insight on what to expect in 2012-13 for the Nittany Lions.

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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