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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- GoPSUsports.com talks with Pittsburgh area natives Bob Shoop and Terry Smith
at the Coaches Caravan stop in Pittsburgh.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- GoPSUsports.com catches up with special teams coordinator and running backs
coach Charles Huff during the 2014 Coaches Caravan stop in Washington, D.C.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the first time since 2008, the Nittany Lion
men's tennis team is set to compete in the NCAA Tournament. No. 23 Penn State takes on UNC Wilmington in
the first round on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia. On the heels of a record-breaking regular
season, watch a video preview heading into the tournament.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Uniontown Photo Gallery | Pittsburgh Photo Gallery | Coaches Caravan
VIDEO: Day I Recap - York & Hershey | VIDEO: Day II Recap - Baltimore & Washington, D.C.
PITTSBURGH - The 2014 Coaches Caravan capped off
its first full week on the road with two stops in the western half of
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus played host to the final lunch stop of
the week. From there, the modified bus
rolled north to Station Square in Pittsburgh for an evening reception. Take a look through highlights from the third
day on the road for the 2014 Coaches Caravan.
Stop No. 6 - Uniontown (Penn State
Fayette, The Eberly Campus)
The Coaches Caravan bus departed Washington, D.C., just before 7 a.m. on
Thursday for a scenic trek through the Appalachian Mountains en route to
Uniontown for the sixth stop on the 17-event tour during May. Thursday's stop at the Penn State Fayette
campus was the first for the Coaches Caravan in its three-year existence. The scenic campus is situated in a place with
superb views in every direction.
"This is my first trip here, and this place is absolutely beautiful," women's
soccer head coach Erica Walsh said.
Walsh, along with men's soccer head coach Bob Warming and football coach James
Franklin again headlined the final day of the first week. Walsh captivated the audience with another
rendition of her visualization story of taking a prospective student-athlete on
a recruiting visit.
Coaches Walsh and Warming have spent portions of the bus rides from event to
event educating him on college and professional soccer. Warming used it as a lighthearted joke with Penn
State Fayette crowd.
"It has been so great to be on the bus to educate Coach Franklin about the most
popular sport in the world - soccer," Warming said.
Having now been on the road for three days on the Coaches Caravan, Coach Franklin has gotten an opportunity to meet fans and supporters from several areas in Pennsylvania and surrounding region. Since the day he arrived in Happy Valley, the support has stood out to him. He is passionate towards the fan base and wants to meet as many folks as possible.
"It's great to get out around the state and connect with as many people as possible," Franklin said. "The support has been the most impressive thing for me. We need your support."
With two more weeks ahead, Franklin is eager to meet as many fans as possible. The tone of his message has been constant over the first week of the Caravan. He's thrilled to be the head coach of Penn State, and he wants to make the fan base proud of the football program.
Stop No. 7 - Pittsburgh (Sheraton
The Caravan's first week on the road wrapped up
in front of 450 fans in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Home to 56,000 alums in the greater metro
area, the Steel City is home to some of Penn State's most loyal supporters. The room was filled with energy from the
moment the doors opened prior to the reception at 6 p.m., and all three head coaches received a warm
reception during their speeches.
Additionally, Pittsburgh area natives and assistant coaches Bob Shoop and Terry
Smith joined Franklin, Walsh and Warming for the evening event. Shoop (Oakmont) and Smith (Aliquippa)
recruited in the area during the day before shaking hands with countless
Nittany Lion fans at the evening event. Nittany
Lion great and former NFL quarterback Chuck Fusina was among the Pittsburgh
area lettermen inside the Sheraton Station Square saying hello to Coach
Franklin, as well.
All six stops this week featured passionate Penn State fans. The individuals sitting in the rooms
listening to the coaches speak are among the undying supporters the
University's athletic department has.
However, Pittsburgh's rich history as a sports town, especially when it
comes to football, always makes it an exciting evening event on the Coaches
Caravan. Thursday's event was no
The NIttany Lions will begin a four-game series with rival Pitt beginning in
2016 (Sept. 10) when the two teams meet at Heinz Field. The Penn State fan base in Pittsburgh is
fired up for the team's return to the city, and it was clear on Thursday how
excited the group is for the new era of the football program under the
direction of Coach Franklin.
"This is your football program, not mine," Franklin said. "I am so proud to be your head coach."
Thursday was the final day for Coach Warming to be on the Caravan. The leader of the men's soccer program was
terrific all week long. He was candid,
lighthearted and passionate when it came to delivering a message to illustrate
how much he loves Penn State and how much he enjoys the support of Nittany
The Coaches Caravan returns to the road on Tuesday for a stop in King of
Prussia. Week two also includes a lunch
stop in Philadelphia, dinner in Scranton, lunch in Northern New Jersey and an
evening in New York City.
Day I - 165 miles
Day II - 130 miles
Day III - 387 miles
Total - 682 miles
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Park, Pa. - Entering his senior season, Penn State pitcher Tim Dunn wasn't
exactly sure what role he would have under new head coach Rob Cooper and new
pitching coach Brian Anderson.
almost exclusively as a reliever his first three years under the previous
coaching staff, the left-hander had always had aspirations earn a role as a starter
but felt as though the opportunity might never come.
was ready for whatever role they saw me in but I wasn't quite sure what (my
role) would be," Dunn said. "If anything, I was thinking long-relief."
the first month of the season, that's mostly the role that Dunn occupied,
coming out of the bullpen five times in Penn State's first 19 games. At that
point, it seemed like the senior was destined to be a career bullpen guy.
all changed on March 22nd when the Nittany Lions played the first of back-to-back
doubleheaders against Bucknell. In desperate need of an extra arm, Anderson and
Cooper decided to give Dunn a shot, and he responded with a five inning,
one-run performance in a 4-3 Penn State victory.
then, Dunn hasn't looked back, establishing himself as the Nittany Lions most
consistent and reliable starter the second half of the season. Entering this
weekend's series against Indiana, the Coto De Caza, California, native boasts a
2.23 ERA along with a 2-2 record.
a guy who had only three career starts in 26 appearacnes going into the season,
Dunn has had little difficulty dealing with the increase in innings, going at
least five innings in all six of his starts in 2014, including a five-hit, two-run
complete game on April 25 at Minnesota.
haven't necessarily tried to change anything I've just tried to pound the zone
with my fastball and get ahead in the count," Dunn said. "I definitely like
starting more because you get to be out there for a while."
Dunn may not have changed much about his pitching approach, he definitely has benefitted
from having the chance to work with a new pitching coach in Anderson.
senior hurler admitted that although he believes he always had the ability to
be a starter, he might never have gotten there without Anderson's tutelage and
willingness to give him a shot.
with coach Anderson, I've been able to attack hitters a little differently,"
Dunn said. "He stresses those things along with throwing strikes and he creates
a mindset that makes it easier to pitch."
Anderson looks at Dunn now compared to when he first saw him throw at the
beginning of the year, what he notices is not so much a change in technique but
a change in demeanor.
the 6-foot-3, 205 pounder to slide into the role of the ace of the staff, he
had to first believe that he could do it, and Anderson thinks that adapting
that mindset has been Dunn's biggest growth.
don't think his stuff has gotten better, I think his confidence and his ability
to attack hitters has improved," Anderson said. "He's throwing on Friday nights
for us and it takes a special guy to go out there against another team's number
admitted that Dunn was originally not one of the guys he expected to end up as
a starter on a staff that includes pitchers with more starting experience like
Nick Hedge, Patton Taylor, and Greg Welsh, but that the team's leader in ERA
never let what role he was given change his attitude.
the same time, seeing him embrace being a workhorse for the team, especially
during the team's most challenging portion of the season against their Big Ten
opponents, has easily been one of the Nittany Lions most positive developments
in the past month for the coaches.
impressed me the most has been the fact that he didn't have a set role going
into the season and he's been able to take advantage of a starting role without
letting go of it," Anderson said. "He's welcomed it with open arms."
has been so focused on pitching this season that he's barely had a chance to
think about the fact that his career as a Nittany Lion is winding down.
Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2012, Dunn has already taken advantage of his
upcoming degree in business by getting a job with an investment company in
Newport Beach, California, though he is not quite ready to hang up his glove
a kid who traveled across the country to realize his dream of becoming a
college baseball player, Dunn wants to make the most of his last few starts so
that he can leave the Penn State program with no regrets.
"I haven't thought about it (graduating) that much
but it's a strange feeling and it's definitely bittersweet," Dunn said. "Being
able to be a starter has definitely been a nice way to end my college career."
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Right around 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, room 133 in the
East Area Locker Room exploded as the Penn State Nittany Lions learned they had
been selected as one of 26 teams to compete for a national championship in the
The celebration lasted around 60 seconds before head coach Missy Doherty
addressed her team and the focus shifted from celebrating to preparing.
Penn State drew Princeton in the first round of the tournament, and will
travel to the Charlottesville, Va., home of the University of Virginia to open
play on Friday.
"I think it's awesome," Doherty said of her program making the
tournament. "This is where Penn State should be. I'm excited for our team, that
we made it to the NCAAs again. It's a great goal to have every year. And to be
ranked as high as we are in the country as well is just a credit to what they
have done all year."
The Nittany Lions and Tigers have become very familiar with one another
over the years and the two programs just met on the lacrosse field 11 days ago.
Penn State defeated Princeton, 13-12, in their regular-season finale.
"Yeah, I mean, I think it's been a good week," Doherty said. "I think we
could rest after our ALC tournament; the girls have been in exams all week, so
it's been a good pace to work up towards this weekend. [We] potentially have
two tough games, especially facing Princeton, who we just beat by a narrow
margin, we know it's going to be a battle come Friday."
Princeton poses an interesting challenge for Doherty's squad. The Tigers
will enter the game hungry for a win after falling to the Nittany Lions in
their last matchup. They are a quick team, who likes to outhustle their
opponents, and they are very effective on offense.
In their matchup on April 26, the Nittany Lions ended the first half
with an 8-4 lead after outscoring the Tigers 5-1 over the last 12:44. A strong
start to the second half widened the lead to 13-7. Princeton responded well,
but the stingy defense from the Nittany Lions limited the Tigers offense and
helped secure the victory.
For Doherty and her team, the schedule will remain the same and their
focus will remain the same - win. Penn State has been hungry for this
opportunity all season long. The Nittany Lions have qualified for the NCAA Tournament
the previous two seasons, and have yet to advance beyond the quarterfinals.
This season, they feel they have a better opportunity to make their mark on
this tournament and move beyond the quarterfinals.
One of the factors
heading into this game is the Nittany Lions already having experience playing
at Klöckner Stadium. They traveled down to Virginia earlier this season to take
on the Cavaliers and have become familiar with the stadium and all its nuances.
balanced teams also have tremendous success in this tournament. Nineteen
Nittany Lions have registered at least one point this season, and it seems as
if the offense can come from anyone on the roster. Heading into this first
round game, the balanced attack Penn State has should be very helpful as they
try to make a postseason run.
The Tigers enter their matchup with the Nittany Lions after falling to
the University of Penn in the Ivy League title game, 9-6, while Penn State
enters after falling to Johns Hopkins in the first round of the ALC tournament.
After a long week of practice, the moment has finally arrived in just a
few days. Game time is set for 4 p.m., on Friday and you can bet Doherty and
the Nittany Lions will be ready to go.
"NCAAs are one-and-done," Doherty said. "You have to go in, be ready to
take advantage of each play, each moment, and play those out and have a good
Baltimore Photo Gallery | Washington, D.C. Photo Gallery
VIDEO: Day I Recap - York & Hershey | Coaches Caravan Registration
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
The Coaches Caravan bus rolled south for day two
of the first travel leg on Wednesday morning for stops at the Inner Harbor in
Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
A sold out crowd of more than 230 enthusiastic fans greeted a cast of Penn
State coaches, which included James Franklin, Erica Walsh and Bob Warming, in
Baltimore. Take a look through
highlights from the second full day on the road for the 2014 Coaches Caravan.
Stop No. 4 - Baltimore (Marriott Inner
Wednesday's lunch stop in Baltimore marked the
third-straight sold out crowd during the initial leg of the 2014 Coaches
Caravan. On the heels of Tuesday's
announcement that the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is headed to the area
(Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.) in 2017, the Penn State fans in the room
were excited about what is ahead as the conference's footprint extends to the
"It's so great to be in your area," Walsh said.
The 2014-'15 athletic season marks the first with Maryland as a member of the
Big Ten. That being said, the 12,000
Penn State alums in the Baltimore area are thrilled to have Penn State's teams
competing in Maryland on an annual basis.
The Nittany Lion football team is slated to return to Baltimore on Oct.
24, 2015 when it will take on Maryland inside M&T Bank Stadium.
Coach Franklin lived on and off in Maryland for eight years, a place he calls
"It's awesome to be back," Franklin said.
In all, 10 players currently on the football roster or 2014 signees are from
Maryland. For the men's and women's
soccer programs, the story is much of the same.
Walsh highlighted former Nittany Lion great and U.S. National Team
standout Ali Krieger and former All-American and current National Women's
Soccer League member Christine Nairn, who are both from the local area. Warming's men's soccer team has three members
from Maryland on it.
Like day one on the Caravan, each coach explained how the loyal supporters of
Penn State play such an instrumental role in the success of the athletic
programs. Without the unrivaled support
of the fan base, Penn State Athletics would not be what it is today. That's what makes the Coaches Caravan a
special three weeks. It gives the coaches
a chance to say thank you and provide some insight on what makes the programs
"Penn State is a remarkable place for learning as a student," Warming
said. "And it's a remarkable place to
learn as a coach."
"Success is about being able to do the little things better than anyone else,"
The day ended with a lighthearted question for all three coaches on the
stage. A fan asked which flavor of ice
cream at Berkey Creamery is their favorite.
Coach Walsh said that she likes to stick with vanilla. Coach Warming likes strawberry. Coach Franklin's answer was a bit different.
"My mission is to taste every flavor," Franklin said.
Stop No. 5 - Washington, D.C. (Marriott Wardman Park)
A crowd of more than 425 fans greeted the Penn
State coaches in the nation's capital on Wednesday night. The Washington, D.C., metro area is home to
more than 25,000 alums. Like the
Baltimore event, the individuals in attendance were fired up to see Penn State
teams making annual trips to the area with Maryland joining the Big Ten.
Coach Walsh opened the evening speeches with her great visualization story of a
recruiting visit. Before getting into
the step-by-step process of recruiting, she had a joke for the attentive D.C.
"They usually put the key note speaker last, but we are switching things up on
the Caravan," Walsh said.
Warming followed a standing ovation for Walsh with a speech to highlight his passion
for Penn State and appreciation of the fans.
Additionally, he informed the crowd of the exponential growth of soccer
around the country. The leader of Penn
State soccer spent much of the one-hour reception before the program began
talking with fans about the sport.
"I love this crowd. I've talked more
soccer at this stop than any other we've been to," Warming said.
Warming, who was a member of the search committee to hire the new football
coach in January, introduced Coach Franklin as one of the finest men that he
has ever met. Franklin then took the
microphone in front of the room to a rousing cheer.
Franklin told the crowd how excited he is about the direction things are
headed, largely because of the high-quality human beings that are on the team right
now. Following the individual meetings
with every player on the roster in the past two weeks, Franklin said he has
been incredibly impressed with the student-athletes since he took the job.
"We are in a really good place right now," Franklin said. "They are really excited about the direction
we are heading in."
As the fourth program drew to a close, Coach Franklin encouraged the group to
return each Saturday in the fall. He was
genuinely happy to be in Maryland and D.C. on Wednesday to meet another group
of passionate fans.
"I include Maryland and D.C. as part of our state in the Penn State family,"
The Caravan heads to Penn State Fayette in Uniontown and Pittsburgh on Thursday
to wrap up week one of the traveling events.
Day I - 165 miles
Day II - 130 miles
Total - 295 miles
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
York Photo Gallery | Hershey Photo Gallery
Coaches Caravan Registration
HERSHEY, Pa. - The 2014
Penn State Coaches Caravan hit the road on Tuesday with a pair of sold out
stops in York and Hershey to kick off the first full week of events.
The Penn State themed Fullington Trailways bus pulled out of the Bryce Jordan
Center parking lot at 8:15 a.m. en route to the Penn State York campus. Take a look through highlights from the first
two stops of a six-event week on the Coaches Caravan.
Stop No. 2 - York (Penn State York)
Head coaches James Franklin, Erica Walsh, Bob Warming and Coquese Washington
headlined the first stop of the road tour on Tuesday. After a media session, the coaches took the
stage for a lunch program before a sold out crowd of more than 225 enthusiastic
Penn State fans on the University's York campus.
Walsh, who will enter her eighth season as head coach of the women's soccer
team in the fall, opened the panel of speakers.
"It's amazing to see so many people wearing Blue and White," Walsh said.
Walsh proceeded to take the fans through a vivid story of what a recruiting
trip is like for a prospective student-athlete.
The leader of Penn State Women's Soccer guided the crowd through a
recruiting visit weekend with every minute detail of what a trip to the campus
is like. From the academic buildings the
soccer program takes recruits inside to a gameday experience in Beaver Stadium,
Walsh painted a remarkable picture of what campus would look like for the first
time as a 17-year-old prospective student-athlete.
"That is one example of many," Walsh said at the end of her speech. "That (camaraderie on campus) is why we have
won more national titles than anyone (tied with USC) since 2007."
Nittany Lion men's soccer coach Bob Warming addressed the crowd after Walsh. Warming opened his speech by introducing Bob
Little, a member of Penn State men's soccer's 1954 national championship team,
who was in the York crowd on Tuesday afternoon.
Warming went on to joke with the attendees that he was thrilled to see a
capacity crowd so excited to see Penn State's two soccer coaches.
"We know all of you came here to see Erica and I since soccer is the most
popular sport in the world," Warming said with a laugh.
Lady Lion basketball head coach Coquese Washington kicked of the first of her
two stops on the Caravan with a direct message to the loyal supporters in York.
"The fans, the alums, with how much all of you support us, it trickles down,"
Washington said. "The student-athletes
have such an unbelievable experience.
And your support is what lets provide that for them...You are part of our
Franklin stepped to the microphone as the featured speaker of the afternoon. He first joked with the crowd that after
listening to Coach Walsh's description of campus that he needs to get out of
his office more and see the sights of what University Park has to offer. After all, he has been living inside his
office for more than month.
The new leader of Penn State Football provided an update on the team, coaching
staff and recruiting as he talked about the direction of the program. He told the crowd that he met each player on
the roster for 20-25 minutes individually before the spring semester
ended. The student-athletes will return
to campus for the first of two summer academic sessions on May 18.
"I've been blown away by these kids since I've been here," Franklin said. "They are an amazing group of young men."
In addition to winning football games on the field, Franklin wants to achieve
new heights in all phases of the program, including highs in team GPA,
graduation rates and activity in the community.
"We came to Penn State to make a positive impact in the community," Franklin
Stop No. 3 - Hershey (Hershey Lodge)
evening event inside the Hershey Lodge was all about the fans. Central Pennsylvania is filled with members
of Nittany Nation, and the sold out crowd in Hershey gave the four head coaches
a warm welcome to cap off a great first day on the road.
More than 750 Penn State fans filled the ballroom inside Hershey Lodge with
great energy and enthusiasm. The Penn
State coaches all talked about how important the fan support is for the success
of the sports programs in Happy Valley.
"What you guys can embrace is that we are truly a family of coaches and take
the responsibility of representing you very seriously," said Washington.
The fan support, coupled with the strong relationships between the head coaches
on campus, is what makes Penn State such a unique place.
"I'm around such successful people who are at the top of their craft," Warming
Coach Franklin opened his evening speech by apologizing in advance that if the
phone rang during the event, he was going to walk off the stage and take the
call. True to his word, Franklin stood
up and walked to his right, off the stage while answering a phone call during
the Q&A portion of the show.
Mid-way through the call, he turned to the crowd and led a rousing "We Are!"
chant before getting back on the phone and returning to his seat on stage.
The overwhelming excitement from the fans in Hershey about the direction Penn
State's teams are headed made it a great evening event. The coaches are proud to represent the
University, and the fans are proud to support the teams.
"I can't begin to tell you what it's been like to come back home and be your
football coach," Franklin said.
The Caravan rolls south to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Coaches Caravan Miles Traveled:
Day 1 - 165 miles
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Not much has changed for men's hockey head
coach Guy Gadowsky since the season ended. With the first season of Big Ten play
under the program's belt, Gadowsky's demeanor and energy hasn't changed, nor has
his level of excitement about the direction of the Nittany Lions' program.
Simply put, Gadowsky is anxious to start next season, and he's hungry for wins.
There were no "what ifs" when the bench boss reflected on the
2013-14 campaign, only "we did" and "we are." Since the season ended for the
men in blue and white, Gadowsky has had a chance to sit in his office at Pegula
Ice Arena and think about the moments and the plays that defined his second
season at the helm of the Nittany Lions.
Although the season is technically over, Gadowsky knows it never
really ends. There are still objectives, and dreams to pursue, and a team to
get ready for another long season just a few months away.
GoPSUsports.com caught up with the head coach to talk about the
season that was, and the future that is.
Battling The Best
On April 14, USCHO.com released their final poll for the 2013-14 season.
Of the 20 teams ranked in the poll, the Nittany Lions played eight of them,
including four of the top five. The tough schedule was a key component of their
growth, and is something Gadowsky thinks will help prepare them for next
"This was our second year of Division I hockey and we played a
tough, tough schedule," said Gadowsky. "The first year we played a smattering of
games all over the board. Obviously, it wasn't our goal to play the second toughest
strength of schedule in the nation this year. It just happened to worked out
like that. It wasn't by design, but I think we learned a lot, and I think we
really benefited from it.
"You can look at the games we played against the Big Ten- Minnesota was ranked
No. 1 all year long - and team's like Boston College, who was a top-two team
when we played them, and Union, who won the National Championship."
Penn State will need to continue to grow as a program considering the Big Ten
Conference won't get any easier. The strength of the 2013-14 schedule will be
extremely beneficial to the program as they move forward.
Focusing on Hockey
There were a lot of firsts for the Nittany
Lions this season. Whether it was the first Big Ten season, the first of
several games against ranked opponents, or the first season in Pegula Ice
Arena, these players were still settling in and trying to refine their game
under a bright spotlight.
Now that the Big Ten, ranked opponents, and Pegula Ice Arena are the norm, it
will be nice to just focus on playing hockey and getting down the game plan from
week to week.
"We are looking forward to playing at more consistent level earlier
[next season]," Gadowsky said. "We had to get used to a new building. We moved
into the building, had to learn how everything worked, and we had to get ready
for opening [night]. There was a lot of buzz around it [the building] and that might
sound simple but it was a little distracting. We are very hungry [for next
season] and know we have to be ready to play a much more consistent hockey
right off the bat."
Pegula Ice Arena is one of many advantages for the Nittany Lions
and now that one season in the building under their belt, it is all about
hockey from here on out.
Respecting the Process
Because of all of his experiences, Gadowsky knows exactly what goes
into building a contender and contending in a tough conference. He has been
through it before at previous coaching stops and he's pleased with the progress
he has seen from his Nittany Lions.
"We have a long, long way to go and we will always have it in our
minds that we need to continue to build our foundation," Gadowsky said. "That's
very important to us. We respect the process; we also understand how important
"We will always be cultivating the foundation of this program and
making sure that we improve. That is what has made us good in the first place. That
had to do with [our players and coaches] pulling the same way and that takes
constant cultivation. It's not just like, 'okay we did that, now let's move on.'
That's always going to be a focus."
Building a program takes time and effort. Gadowsky knows that all
too well, and all signs point that this Penn State team is heading in the right
Fan Base Connection
It's no secret that Pegula Ice Arena is a state-of-the-art arena
with top-of-the-line fans. The arena sold out 17 of their 18 home games and
every opponent commented on the exceptional supporters that fill the arena. The
fans are what drove the team this year and Gadowsky said throughout the season
that he believes they are the best fans in college hockey.
"It is fun to play in Pegula, I can't tell you that," said
Gadowsky. "Playing games here is a blast and it's motivating, it's the most fun
I have ever had coaching. I just love seeing the students dance, and dressed up
and the amount of energy they bring. We love it and it is a big part of what
makes Penn State such a great experience. You see it in other Big Ten venues,
as well, but I'm optimistic that Penn State will be known for its fan base. I
sure there is no better student body."
The connection between the team and their diehards is outstanding.
Before, during, and after every game these guys know they have the support of their
fans through it all. The fans inspire excellence from the team, and the team wants
to give those fans an excellent product on the ice.
Taking Momentum Into Next
The 2014-15 season can't come fast enough for Gadowsky and his
team. They are just six months away from the opening of the 2014-15 season in
Pegula Ice Arena, and the energy around the program is still very high.
Before our chat ended with Gadowsky, we asked the coach to reflect on the
season and where he thought Penn State hockey was as a program.
"We are thrilled with the improvement we made last season," Gadowsky
said. "We're really happy with the vast improvement that we had from the start
of the year. It was a unique year; it was a really fun year. We moved into
Pegula Ice Arena, opened the building with a win and started play in a new conference.
There are a lot of things that were new and exciting, but at the same time it
was a challenge to make sure we stayed focused on what we had to do.
"We're thrilled with the improvements we've made, but are looking
forward to being 100 percent hockey moving forward."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
On track to receive his second degree from Penn State this weekend, Tim Frazier is
ready to solely focus on basketball during the next phase in the process to
continue his basketball career at the next level.
Since the Nittany Lion basketball season ended in March, the two-time All-Big
Ten guard has been busy in his quest to prepare for the upcoming NBA Draft
Frazier was invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in mid-April to
showcase his skills to professional scouts from every NBA team and several
international leagues. The trip included
NBA combine testing and three games.
Frazier's team - Norfolk Sports Club - reached the tournament's final
game before falling at the buzzer.
great," Frazier said. "It was a blessing
and an honor to be able to attend the invitational. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be on a
good team with a great group of guys and a great group of coaches. We played together, and we made it to the
championship. We lost at the buzzer in
the championship. For me personally, I
played well down there. I was able to
improve and show as much as I could to the NBA scouts in attendance."
Averaging 8.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds, Frazier had a very
productive three games in Portsmouth.
The Texas native, who is one of just two Big Ten players to reach 1,500
points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds in his career, took an unselfish approach
in his trip to the showcase tournament.
"I am just continuing to try and get better overall," Frazier said. "I think my main focus going down there was
there to be a leader on the floor. I
wanted to get as many guys involved as possible, and to make the other guys on
my team better. I've always been a
pass-first point guard. I tried to make
the best assists I could make, and then I tried to score when the opportunities
were there. Overall, I think I did
With the Portsmouth tournament complete, Frazier has been working out two to
three times a day in preparation for upcoming individual workouts. He said that it is all about refining each
aspect of his game in the coming weeks to get ready for the next chapter.
"I feel great right now," Frazier said.
"The guys I've been working out with here have done a great job. The coaches and strength coaches have been
awesome. I've been working out two to
three times a day. I feel great. Obviously, I want to continue getting into
better shape leading up to my next step, which is working out at home."
With a degree in supply chain management and information systems already in
hand, Frazier is scheduled to earn a communication arts and sciences degree when final exams for the spring semester finish on Friday.
He will head back to Houston this week, in addition to selecting an
agent. The next phase of on-court work
will also include individual workouts in front of teams.
"This experience is everything that you dream about," said Frazier. "You are able to come in now, play in front
of NBA teams, GMs, travel, play in different facilities. I'm really looking forward to it. The only thing nerve-wracking is the waiting
game. The draft isn't until June. So the next month and a half is just training
and the waiting game. Hopefully, my name
will get called. If not, I know there
will be another plan for me."
Frazier said he would not be in the position that he is today without his five
seasons at Penn State. He experienced
the highest of highs with a run to the NCAA Tournament in 2011 and the
challenge of an Achilles injury.
Frazier's journey in Blue and White prepared him for a career on the
hardwood, and with two degrees in hand, he is well positioned for a successful
future beyond basketball.
"Penn State has done everything that I could ask for," said Frazier. "These last five years have been
unbelievable. It has been nothing but
great for me. I've cherished every
moment. Like I said before, if I had the
opportunity to come back, I would have taken another year. Penn State has done a lot of things for
me. It has made me the man I am
today. I'm thankful and very blessed to
have been able to spend the last five years here."
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony