PHILADELPHIA - Penn State men's basketball head coach
Patrick Chambers hit the road today, traveling to the City of Brotherly Love
for a press conference regarding the Nittany Lions' Big Ten matchup against Michigan
State at the Palestra Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017.
Prior to the 10:30 a.m. press conference, Chambers took an
early morning flight to arrive in Philadelphia just in time to make an appearance
at Breakfast on Broad, live on Comcast Network. He also took a quick trip to do
a little sight seeing at the historic The Rocky Statue, just outside the The
Rocky Steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Check out our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the early
Chambers opened his press conference on location at the historic Palestra, located right in the heart of Philadelphia.
"A lot of exciting things wrapped around this day for our Philly kids and for myself too," Chambers said. "I'm from here, my brothers played here, I played here, so it should be a fun filled weekend for Penn State basketball to be put on this stage."
In the early planning stages of the event, Chambers mentioned that part of the reasoning for the Philadelphia location came back to relationships, with a total of six Nittany Lions currently on the roster calling the Philadelphia area home.
After clearing the idea with the Penn State administration and the Big Ten, Chambers reached out to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, who had never coached in the Palestra. Chambers noted that Izzo was thrilled with the idea.
The Nittany Lions and the Spartans are set for a noon or 1 p.m. tip-off on ESPN, as announced by the conference earlier this month. The matchup marks the first appearance on the primary ESPN network for the Nittany Lions since 2012.
An afternoon tip-off could also also potentially bring rays of sunlight streaming through the Palestra, which has windows lining the upper walls of the building. That's no reason to be concerned for Chambers though.
"If you go back to the old school days with the doubleheaders that start in the afternoon and run into the evening, there is a mystique about it - there's an old school feeling. I want our guys, and I want Penn Staters to have that feel, to live those old school says," Chambers said. "I think that's what we are going to bring back, I think people are going to appreciate it and I think they are going to remember this game, they are going to remember this experience wrapped around this day."
Penn State has won 11 of its last 18 games in the Palestra, having most recently visited the building in 2016, where the Nittany Lions rallied to defeat Drexel, 63-57.