Nov. 4, 2011
Game Notes vs. Slippery Rock
BTN.com; Jeff Lowe (p-by-p), Glenn Sekunda (analyst)
Gametracker at: GoPSUsports.com
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 0-0 (1st at PSU); 42-28 (3rd Overall)
SLIPPERY ROCK: Kevin Reynolds - 57-31 (4th at Slippery Rock)
PSU will open its 116th season of basketball with a first-ever double-header with the football team on Sat., Nov. 12. Penn State will take on Hartford in the basketball opener, with free attendance for all fans, while the football team will face Nebraska at Beaver Stadium. Penn State is 2-0 all-time vs. Hartford. Penn State has won six straight season openers and is 85-30 overall in season openers.
Penn State will see its first competition under first-year head coach Patrick Chambers Saturday vs. NCAA Division II Slippery Rock in an exhibition double-header with the Lady Lions who tip-off at 2:00 p.m. vs. Bloomsburg in the BJC. It will be Chambers' first chance to see how seven Nittany Lion newcomers who could see action this year (including five true freshmen, a transfer and a redshirt freshman) mesh with five returning players who have previously seen action in a Penn State uniform. Just four of those (Tim Frazier, Billy Oliver, Cammeron Woodyard and Jermaine Marshall) saw action last year. Redshirt sophomore Sasa Borovnjak will return after missing last year with a torn ACL.
SCOUTING THE ROCK:
This year's exhibition game with Slippery Rock will be held one day shy of the second anniversary of SRU's last visit to University Park. The Rock lost an 81-52 decision Nov. 5, 2009 against the then-defending NIT champion Nittany Lions. Under coach Kevin Reynolds, The Rock are coming off a 21-11 season last winter and a three-year period in which they recorded 57 wins, the second highest three-year win total in school history. Reynolds holds the school record for most wins by a men's basketball head coach in his first season (21), first two seasons (36) and first three seasons (57). Reynolds' 2011-12 Rock squad will feature three returning starters from last year's team, which earned SRU's first NCAA postseason tournament berth since 1991. The returners are led by senior forward Devin Taylor who averaged 11.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last year. The Rock lost All-America forward Maron Brown, the team's top scorer (17.7 ppg) and rebounder (10.2 ppg) a year ago.
116 YEARS OF HOOPS:
Penn State will embark on its 116th season of playing basketball in the 2011-12 season, having begun play in 1897. The Nittany Lions are coming off of their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and first for the program since 2001. Penn State has made 12 post-season appearances in the last 23 years (4 NCAA, 8 NIT). Penn State has made a total of 19 post-season appearances in its history (9 NCAA, 10 NIT). In the last three years the Nittany Lions have won the program's first national tournament title (2009 NIT), made the program's first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game (2011) and played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
CHAMBERS ERA BEGINS:
Patrick Chambers was introduced as the 12th head coach in Nittany Lion basketball history on Monday, June 6, shortly after the departure of Penn State alumnus and eight-year head coach Ed DeChellis for the Navy head job in late May. Chambers introduction took place in front of more than 300 fans and supporters described a "less an introduction than a passionate call to arms," by local media. Chambers wasted little time connecting with the Penn State fan base far and wide. He ordered a pair of golf carts and began making spur-of-the-moment trips around the Penn State campus distributing t-shirts and his infectious energy. He visited amusement parks, pep rallies, student groups, classes, threw out the first pitch for the State College Spikes and even donned a Penn State football jersey and helmet to fire up the famed "Paternoville" student campout just prior to the clash of Joe Paterno's football team with Alabama. He was seemingly everywhere in his first four months on the job, most importantly the recruiting trail, and showed no signs of slowing down.
20th BIG TEN SEASON:
Penn State will open its 20th season of Big Ten Conference play with a pair of road games at Michigan (Dec. 29) and at Northwestern (Jan. 1). It marks the second straight season Penn State will open the Big Ten with a pair of road games (winning at Indiana and falling at Michigan last year) and the third straight season opening the Big Ten with a road game (falling at Minnesota in 2009-10). Penn State posted a 9-9 mark during the Big Ten regular season last year to finish in a tie for fourth place. The nine wins marked the fifth time Penn State posted a .500 or better record in Big Ten play and tied for Penn State's third best Big Ten record ever. It marked the second time in the last three seasons Penn State finished fourth in the Big Ten regular season. Penn State's best Big Ten finish came in 1996 as the Lions went 12-6 to finish second in the conference.
CHAMBERS ERA TIPS-OFF WITH FOOTBALL DOUBLE-HEADER:
Penn State will tipoff the Patrick Chambers era on Saturday, Nov. 12 with the first-ever basketball/football double-header at Penn State. Fans will be allowed free admission for the first time ever to a regular season Penn State basketball game as the Nittany Lions take on Hartford on the same day the that the football team faces Nebraska across the parking lot at Beaver Stadium. The game times for each event will allow fans to enjoy both contests on the day. The Nebraska football game was put on a six-day selection by the Big Ten's television partners this week, meaning an announcement on the kickoff time will come no earlier than Saturday night and no later than Monday. The Penn State-Nebraska football game is one of five Big Ten Conference games placed on a six-day selection for Nov. 12. Those five games will fit into time slots at either noon or 3:30 p.m. The basketball game will tipoff at either 11:30 a.m., prior to a 3:30 p.m. football kickoff, or at 4:30 p.m., following a noon kickoff for the football team. Arrangements have been made to help shuttle basketball fans not attending the football game to and from the Bryce Jordan Center. Those specific arrangements will be announced once the game time has been selected.
FRAZIER STEPS INTO LEADERSHIP ROLE:
Junior guard Tim Frazier took his game to a higher level in Penn State's 2011 run to the NCAA Tournament as he averaged 10.0 ppg, 5.9 apg and 4.6 rgp over the final 11 games, including a career-best 22-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort in the Lions' Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan State. With the graduation of four senior starters, Frazier is now the most experienced Nittany Lion having played in every game over the past two seasons and started 43. Frazier has seized the mantel and has even become a member of the Athletic Director's Leadership Institute at Penn State. Each phase in the ADLI guides its members through a set curriculum of activities that educate and aid personal growth. In order to remain an active member, the student athletes must complete the activities assigned in each phase.
WOODYARD RETURNS TO ACTION:
Cammeron Woodyard was sidelined for four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean up loose material in his left knee on Oct. 3. Woodyard returned to full participation in Penn State practices on Monday, Oct. 31.
"HOOPS MADNESS" ROCKS REC HALL:
It was a a fabulous night in Rec Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2 when the Nittany Lion and Lady Lion basketball teams hosted "Hoops Madness" with a special performance by top selling rap artist Fabolous. The Brooklyn-born Fabolous has twice been nominated for a Grammy and has sold more than three million albums with numerous chart topping hits since his debut release in 2001. The venerable former home of Penn State basketball once again shook with hoops hysteria as a lareg crowd turned out to see New Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers and the 2011-12 Nittany Lions and fifth-year Lady Lion coach Coquese Washington and a 2011-12 Lady Lion teams introduced. Fans were treated to numerous contests, highlight videos, a slam-dunk contest and one fan in attendance was given a chance to make a half court shot to win $10,000. Nittany Lion guard Tim Frazier and Lady Lion Maggie Lucas helped instruct the contestant and made back-to-back half court shots on their first attempts to electrify the crowd.
CHAMBERS HITS THE GROUND RUNNING:
Coach Chambers wasted no time in getting to know his first Penn State team as he logged 10,500 miles in his first eight days on the job traveling from coast-to-coast to visit current Penn State players and incoming freshmen and their families. Chambers traveled from Massachusetts to California, Minnesota to Texas as he met with every player except Sasa Borovnjak who was at home in Serbia.
BJC GETS NEW SCOREBOARD:
Penn State partnered with ANC Sports Enterprises to place a new state-of-the-art center hung scoreboard in the Bryce Jordan Center. The board, weighing approximately 22,000 pounds, features high-definition quality visuals across approximately half a million pixels. The new scoreboard, which was installed in October, features four Mitsubishi Electric 10mm Diamond Vision video screens each measuring approximately 12' high x 16' wide and two 16mm Diamond Vision ribbon displays, one on top of the video screens and one at the bottom of the structure. The new center-hung system will include over 1100 square feet of dynamic video capabilities which will provide real-time statistics, team logos, crowd prompts, animated team introductions, student athlete videos and live footage of events at the arena.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are $117 for adults, $91 for faculty/staff and seniors and $52 for youth. Penn State students will be admitted for free to Lady Lion basketball games beginning this season.
PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.