Men's Basketball Season Opener vs. Hartford Saturday

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Tim Frazier


Tim Frazier

Nov. 11, 2011

GAME NOTES vs. Hartford Get Acrobat Reader

Basketball team opens season with double-header following football team kickoff at noon vs. Nebraska

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Nov. 11, 2011 - The Nittany Lion basketball team will open its 116th season of competition and first under head coach Patrick Chambers on Saturday with a 4:30 p.m. tipoff vs. Hartford. The game will follow the Penn State football team's noon kickoff vs. Nebraska at Beaver Stadium.

Fans are encouraged to enjoy an afternoon of Nittany Lion athletics, as the first-ever double-header with Penn State's basketball and football teams will feature free admittance for fans to the Nittany Lions' season-opening basketball game at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State will distribute 116 prizes to commemorate the 116th season of Penn State basketball during the game.

PARKING & TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

Penn State will provide a free shuttle service for fans attending the basketball game. The shuttles will run to and from the Jordan Center beginning one-and-a-half hours before the 4:30 p.m. tipoff and for 30 minutes following the conclusion of the basketball game. Shuttles will run from the State College Area High School North and South Buildings (650 Westerly Parkway, State College, Pa., 16801) beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and running up to 30 minutes following the conclusion of the basketball contest to return fans to their vehicles.

All parking around Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center will be operated under regular football game day patterns and regulations. Football parking permits will be required for all reserved lots, with first-come, first-serve yellow lots charging normal football game day admittance and open to all fans. Fans attending just the basketball game and not planning to be in the area prior to the noon football kickoff are strongly encouraged to utilize one of several shuttle service options to get to and from the Jordan Center. Penn State Customer Relations representatives will be available at 1-800-NITTANY on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. to assist fans with questions.

Two additional shuttle services that normally run to Beaver Stadium on football game days are available in State College and will operate on enhanced hours allowing basketball fans to utilize the services to get to and from the basketball game:

- The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) operates its Gameday Football Shuttle, primarily from downtown and locations south of Beaver Stadium at a cost of $3 per ride. The Game Day Football Shuttle service consists of two separate routes that provide continuous service between many area hotels, Downtown State College, and Beaver Stadium.

Downtown Shuttle: serves primarily the Downtown hotels and the three Downtown parking garages.

South Atherton Shuttle: serves the many hotels along South Atherton St. along with several other areas where you can park and ride including: The rear parking lot at Hills Plaza and along the street in Windmere Park (Rolling Ridge Dr, & Windmere Dr.) For complete information, please go to: http://www.catabus.com/ServiceSchedules/CATABUS/CommunityService/Football%20Shuttle/index.html

- Fullington Tours operates the Penn State Football Express, primarily from locations to the north and west of Beaver Stadium. The Football Express picks up at several locations around State College including several locations along North Atherton Street, the Benner Pike Walmart and University Park Airport for a cost of $8-$9 per round trip. For complete information, please go to: www.fullingtontours.com

BAG CHECK INFORMATION Recent developments warrant increased protective measures for Penn State Athletic events this weekend. As such, bags of any sort, including purses, will not be permitted in the Bryce Jordan Center, Jeffrey Field, Ice Pavilion or Rec Hall on Friday November 11 through Sunday November 13. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

GAME INFO TELEVISION: BTN.com: Jeff Lowe (p-by-p), Glenn Sekunda (analyst)

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network Local: 1450 AM: Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)

WEB: Gametracker & Audio at: GoPSUsports.com

COACHES: PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 0-0 (1st at PSU); 42-28 (3rd Overall) HARTFORD: John Gallagher - 11-20 (2nd at Hartford); same overall

NEXT UP:

Penn State will play its first game as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament on Monday when it faces Radford at 7:00 p.m. in the BJC. It will be the first ever meeting between the Lions and the Big South Conference team. Penn State is 2-0 all-time vs. Big South teams. The Lions will play four games in the Tip-off Tournament next week.

THE GAME:

Penn State will begin the 2011-12 season and the Patrick Chambers Era with a very familiar foe for Chambers. Last year, Chambers led Boston University to a 2-1 mark in three meetings vs. fellow America East Conference member Hartford - falling, 59-55, in the initial meeting but going on to post victories of 61-50 and 55-49, including defeating Hartford in the semifinals of the America East Tournament. Chambers went 5-1 in six meetings overall with Hartford while at BU. Penn State is 2-0 all-time vs. Hartford. Penn State has won its last six season openers and is 85-30 overall in season opening games, including a 75-10 mark in home season openers.

CHAMBERS' FIRST TEAM:

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers will look to mesh seven Nittany Lion newcomers who could see action this year (including five true freshmen, a transfer and a redshirt freshman) with seven returners, five of which have previously seen action in a Penn State uniform. Just four returning players (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. Penn State will look to replace nearly 80 percent of its scoring and 70 percent of its rebounding lost when five seniors graduated from a team that went 19-15 last year and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001. Frazier leads the returners having started 43 career games and played in every game the last two years. Frazier averaged 6.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last year and ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 5.1 assists per game. Frazier was big in Penn State's run to the 2011 Big Ten Tournament championship game and NCAA Tournament as he averaged 10 points, 5.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game over the final 11 games of 2010-11.

FIVE GAMES IN NINE DAYS:

Penn State will get the 2011-12 season started with a flurry of games beginning with Saturday's season opener vs. Hartford. Penn State will play its first five games of the season in nine days, including four as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament starting next week. Penn State will play its first two games in that tournament at home on Monday (vs. Radford) and Wednesday (vs. Long Island) before departing Friday for games at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Saturday (vs. Kentucky) and Sunday (vs. South Florida or Old Dominion). Penn State could potentially face three teams (Long Island, Kentucky and Old Dominion) that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament during that stretch.

SCOUTING HARTFORD:

The Hawks open the 2011-12 season Friday vs. Sacred Heart at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut before traveling to State College for Saturday's game vs. the Nittany Lions. Hartford was picked to finish tied for seventh in the America East Conference by a pre-season vote of the league's head coaches. The Hawks went 11-20 overall last year, including a 7-9 mark in conference play, and played as the sixth seed in the America East Tournament, defeating the third seed Maine in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 2 seed Boston University in the semifinal round. Led by second-year head coach John Gallagher, the Hawks will look to replace more than 80 percent of their offensive output after losing four of their top five scorers to graduation. Hartford will look to a trio of seniors in 2011-12, including Clayton Brothers, Genesis Maciel and Andres Torres. Maciel saw time in every game last season and is the Hawks' top returning scorer (7.0 ppg).

CHAMBERS IN OPENERS:

Patrick Chambers is 0-2 in season opening games having lost a pair of road contests in his two seasons as head coach at Boston University. The Terriers fell, 66-64, at Northeastern to open the 2010-11 season and dropped an 82-73 decision at Iona in Chambers' first game as a head coach to begin the 2009-10 season. Saturday will mark the first home season opening game in Chambers' three year career as a head coach.

CHAMBERS' FORMER BU TEAM PICKED TO WIN AMERICA EAST:

The America East Conference coaches voted Boston University as the favorite to repeat as league champion in 2011-12 with six of eight possible first-place votes and 62 points in a pre-season poll. Patrick Chambers led BU to a 21-14 record last season as the Terriers captured their first league title and made their first NCAA appearance since 2002. First-year BU head coach Joe Jones inherited a squad that lost the conference's reigning Player-of-the-Year, John Holland, but returns four starters from last season.

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.

PENN STATE VS. THE NON-CON:

Penn State posted a 7-5 record vs. non-conference teams last year, including a 66-64 loss to Temple in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State has a 156-73 record in games vs. teams from outsided of the Big Ten Conference since joining the Big Ten in the 1992-93 season. The Lions posted a best-ever 16-2 record vs. non-conference teams during the 2008-09 season, which included a run to the 2009 NIT title.

CHAMBERS BIG TEN'S YOUNGEST HEAD COACH:

Patrick Chambers will begin his first season at Penn State as the youngest head coach in the Big Ten. Chambers and Purdue head coach Matt Painter are the only two Big Ten head coaches born in the 1970's. Chambers, born Dec. 13, 1970, is 108 days younger than Painter, in his seventh season as head coach at Purdue, who was born on Aug. 27, 1970.

OLIVER TWIST:

After missing his first two seasons as a Nittany Lion due to concussions and chronic exercise induced headaches and taking a total of 76 shots last year, his first full healthy season, Billy Oliver will step into a much more integral offensive role in his junior campaign and fourth season in the program. That was clearly evident in the Lions' exhibition game win as Oliver hit 4-of-8 from three and 6-of-11 from the floor to score 16 points. Oliver enters the season as a career 23.9 percent shooter from three having hit 11-of-46 career three-point attempts. However, his confidence has soared during off-season and pre-season practices spent getting numerous shot opportunities and constant encouragement to shoot from the coaching staff. Oliver posted a career-best 10 points on six shots in the Lions' season-opening win vs. Lehigh last year, but only reached that career-high shot total twice more the rest of the year.

FRAZIER LOOKING TO SCORE:

Tim Frazier finished fifth in the Big Ten last year averaging 5.1 asssists per game while taking just 4.8 shot attempts per contest. Frazier has averaged just 4.6 shots per game while playing in every one of Penn State's 65 games over his first two seasons. That will change in his junior campaign as the previously pass-first point-guard will be looked toward as one of the Lions' most potent scoring options. Frazier went 6-of-16 from the floor for a team-high 19 points in Penn State's exhibition game win and showed glimpses of his scoring ability in the LIons' run to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including posting a career-high 22 points on a career most nine field goals and 13 field goal attempts vs. Michigan State in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal victory. Frazier followed that up with 15 points vs. Temple in the Lions' NCAA Tournament loss to the Owls. Frazier enters the season 20-56 on his career from three, having averaged just under one three-point attempt per game over his career. In Frazier's second career game at Penn State, he went a career best 4-of-5 from three for 19 points vs. Robert Morris, but has never taken more than three trey attempts in a game since.

STILL DISHIN':

Despite a new emphasis on scoring, Tim Frazier led Penn State with seven assists in the Lions' exhibition win and ranks third among Big Ten returners in assists after posting an average of 5.1 per game last year. His 246 career assists are just 12 shy of breaking into the top 15 all-time in Penn State history, trailing Mike Walker's 258 (2005-08) in 15th place. Frazier's 173 assists last year rank as the fifth best season mark in Penn State history and he is on pace to rank among the top 10 all-time in assists at Penn State by the end of his junior season.

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.

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