Jan. 7, 2014
|Penn State (9-6, 0-2 B1G) vs. Minnesota (12-3, 1-1 B1G)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's basketball team looks for its first win in conference play when it hosts Minnesota at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions, who start Big Ten play with three-consecutive games against teams ranked in the Top 25 of ESPN's basketball percentage index, are 9-6 on the season an 0-2 in conference play. The Gophers have split their first two league games and are coming off a three-point win over Purdue, 82-79, Sunday.
THE FUN STUFF
- Kids Eat Free: All Kids 12 and under eat free from a selected menu at the concession stands
- Youth Jersey Night: Any youth (12 and under) who wear their youth league basketball jersey receive free admission at the gates
LIMITED BAG POLICY
Penn State has implemented a limited bag policy at all home athletic events this season. One clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag per person will be permitted for medical needs, child care needs and general items as needed. Items that can fit in a pocket should remain in patrons' pockets (i.e. keys, cell phone, wallet, glasses, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, make-up). General items of this nature, including those that don't fit in patrons' pocket, can also be placed in a clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag. All clear bags will be inspected through the bag and article check stations as in prior years.
PENN STATE SCOOP (TEAM)
- The Nittany Lions have five players scoring in double figures after 15 games with the team averaging 78.3 points per game, the fourth-highest average among Big Ten teams and on pace to be among the highest scoring averages in program history.
- The starting five accounts for 81 percent (956 of 1,174) of Penn State's total point on the season.
- With John Johnson's team-leading 20 points vs. Mount St. Mary's Dec. 22, seven different PSU players have led the team or tied for the lead in scoring through the first 15 games of the year: Tim Frazier (6 games), D.J. Newbill (3 games), Brandon Taylor (2 games), Johnson (2 games), Donovon Jack, Ross Travis and Allen Roberts (1 game).
- As a team, the Lions are shooting 74.7 percent from the free-throw line, the second-best showing among Big Ten teams ... Four PSU players are shooting 70 percent or better from the charity stripe, led by Brandon Taylor's 90 percent showing (27-30), among players with at least 20 attempts.
- Three Penn State players have combined for seven double-doubles so far this season, tied for the third-most players from one team in the Big Ten with Minnesota and Ohio State.
NITTANY LION NUGGETS (Players)
- D.J. Newbill (18.0 ppg) and Tim Frazier (16.9 ppg) are ranked second and seventh, respectively, in the Big Ten and make up the second-highest scoring backcourt duo in the nation.
- Tim Frazier has the third-most assists of any NCAA Division I player (103) at the start of the week and is seventh in the country in assists per game (6.9) ... Only B1G player in the Top 10 of scoring (16.9, 7th), assists (6.9, 1st) and steals (1.9, 5th).
- Newbill passed 1,000 career points at Duquesne (1,067), including 293 scored at Southern Mississippi ... He needs 226 more points to enter the PSU records books ... Newbill has emerged as one of the Lions' top 3-point scoring threat, tallying 23 on 54 attempts (.426).
- Donovon Jack has tallied 24 of his 36 blocks in the last six games and has eight-consecutive games with multiple blocks to lead the team and stand in fourth in the B1G with 2.1 bpg.
- Brandon Taylor is hitting 90 percent of his free throws (27-30) and has hit each of his last 15 attempts, dating back to the second half of the game at Pittsburgh (12/3/13).
- The NCAA granted the waiver request for Jordan Dickerson to be eligible to play beginning with the Mount St. Mary's contest Dec. 22. The game vs. the Mountaineers also marked the first of John Johnson's eligibility after transferring from Pitt in Dec. 2012.
Penn State remains at home for a noon Saturday matchup with Indiana before embarking on back-to-back road trips at Michigan (Jan. 14) and Purdue (Jan. 18). Following the game vs. the Hoosiers this weekend, Penn State has just one more home game in the month of January -- hosting Nebraska Jan. 23. Tickets for all PSU home games can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, on Ticketmaster or by visiting the Jordan Center box office.
SCOUTING THE GOPHERS
Led by first-year coach Richard Pitino, the Golden Gophers are 12-3 on the season and 1-1 in the Big Ten after knocking off Purdue, 82-79, Sunday in Minneapolis. Austin Hollins had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Minnesota went 23 for 27 from the free-throw line to hang on for the win.
Winners in seven of their last eight games, Minnesota is producing 76.5 points per game with an average of 18 coming from the free-throw line in each contest. The Gophers are the only team in the Big Ten more accurate from the charity stripe than Penn State, hitting 76.3 percent of shots compared to 74.7.
Andre Hollins is the leading scorer for Minnesota at 15.9 points per game while Austin Hollins is second with 13 ppg and a team-high seven rebounds. Point guard DeAndrew Mathieu is third in the league in assists with 4.7.
VS. THE GOPHERS
Tim Frazier is the leading scorer in the series with Minnesota, among current players with multiple games vs. the opponent. In six career meetings, Frazier averages 8.5 ppg and 4.7 apg. D.J. Newbill and Brandon Taylor have each seen the Gophers once, producing 15 and 4 points, respectively. Ross Travis (6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Kevin Montminy have each seen the Gophers twice.
Penn State trails in the all-time series vs. Minnesota 10-29 with the Gophers taking each of the last two meetings. The teams have met just once in the last two seasons, but are scheduled for home-and-home contests this year with the regular-season finale on both sides slated for March 8 or 9 in Minneapolis. Led by 15 points from D.J. Newbill, the Lions fell to Minnesota, 73-44, in Williams Arena March 2, 2013. Penn State's last wins in the series came in a season sweep in 2010-11 by identical 66-63 scores.
LAST TIME OUT: Penn State Falls to Illinois, 75-55
Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures as the Illini defeated Penn State 75-55 Saturday at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. Penn State's John Johnson led all scorers with 18. The junior was appearing in just his third game for the Nittany Lions after transferring from Pittsburgh. Senior Tim Frazier also hit double figures in scoring with 10 points while also adding six rebounds for the Lions.