Nittany Lions Take On No. 2 Kentucky Saturday
Nov. 17, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Nov. 17, 2011 -Penn State (3-0) will take on No. 2-ranked Kentucky (2-0) Saturday at noon at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. as the Nittany Lions continue play in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament.
Penn State used another spectacular game from junior guard Tim Frazier on Wednesday to down Long Island, 77-68, and improve to 3-0 for just the fourth time in the last 12 years and eighth time since joining the Big Ten in 1993. Penn State has reached the post-season every season it has started 3-0 since joining the Big Ten.
Entering Thursday's Big Ten schedule, Frazier led the conference in scoring (20.7), assists (8.7) and steals (3.3) after posting back-to-back double-doubles, including a career high 26 points and 10 assists Wednesday vs. LIU.
Penn State will wrap up play in the Tip-off Tournament on Sunday facing either Old Dominion or South Florida at approximately 2:30 p.m.
TELEVISION: ESPN3.com (on-line); Mike Crispino (p-by-p), Tim Welsh (analyst)
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network Local: 1450 AM; Loren Crispell (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
WEB: Gametracker & Audio at: GoPSUsports.com
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 3-0 (1st at PSU); 44-28 (3rd Overall)
KENTUCKY: John Calipari - 66-12 (3rd at UK); 511-152 (20th Overall)
NEXT UP: Penn State will take on either Old Dominion or South Florida Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Lions are 2-0 all-time vs. ODU, with both meetings coming in 1992. The Lions are 1-3 all-time vs. USF, having last met the Bulls at USF in 1990.
Penn State and Kentucky will meet for the fourth time with the Wildcats holding a 2-1 lead in the series. This meeting will occur six days shy of 11 years after the last meeting when Penn State stunned the then No. 21 ranked Wildcats in Rupp Arena behind huge games from brothers Joe and Jon Crispin. Penn State claimed a 73-68 victory that day, Nov. 25, 2000, setting the table for a run to the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16 later that year. Joe Crispin, Penn State's third all-time career scorer, posted 31 points on 7-of-15 from three and Jon Crispin, who would later transfer to UCLA, netted 26 points on 6-of-8 from three as the brothers combined for 13 threes and 57 points. Penn State's other two meetings with Kentucky both occurred at the NCAA Tournament in the 1950's with UK claiming an 82-54 victory in the NCAA first round in 1952 and an 84-59 victory in the NCAA East Regional Consolation game in 1955 over Penn State teams that were led by All-American Jesse Arnelle who was the program's all-time leading scorer until being surpassed by Talor Battle last year. Patrick Chambers and his Boston University team fell to Kentucky, 91-57, last year in Lexington.
VS NO. 2:
Penn State is 1-9 all-time against teams ranked No. 2 in the national polls, falling 69-66 at No. 2 Ohio State in January of last year in it last meeting with a team ranked No. 2. The highest ranked team Penn State has ever beaten was No. 2 ranked Michigan State (65-63) in the 2001 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, winning that game on a long three in the closing seconds from Joe Crispin who logged 22 points in the contest. Penn State went 4-8 vs. ranked teams last year with the highest ranked victory coming over No. 13 Wisconsin. The Lions have won eight games vs. ranked teams in the last three years and are 26-100 vs. ranked teams since joining the Big Ten in 1993.
Penn State has posted a 3-0 start for the second-straight year, but for just the fourth time in the last 12 years and eighth since joining the Big Ten conference in 1993. The Lions have reached the post season every year they have started a season 3-0 since joining the Big Ten including 2011 (NCAA), 2009 (NIT title), 2006 (NIT) and 2000 (NIT) since 2000. Penn State began last season with a 4-0 start. The Lions have started 4-0 on six occasions since joining the Big Ten and just twice since the 2000-01 season.
FRAZIER ON FIRE!:
Junior guard Tim Frazier now leads the Big Ten in scoring (20.7), assists (8.7) and steals (3.3) after posting back-to-back double-doubles, 20-point games and career-best assist totals in his last two outings and opening the season with a career-high five steals. He is the first PSU player to post back-to-back double-doubles since Geary Claxton posted three straight in January of 2008. Frazier was spectacular in the Lions' win over Long Island posting a career-high 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting and logging a career-best 10 assists for the second-straight game. Frazier went for 20 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals in the Lions previous outing vs. Radford. The 6-1 guard is shooting 51.2 percent (22-43) from the field, 60 percent (3-5) from three and 83.3 percent (15-18) from the foul line while filling his stat line with at least six assists, four rebounds and two steals in every game thus far. He led the team with a career-best five steals in the season-opener helping Penn State to a team total of 15 steals on the day.
Coming off a 2011 NCAA Final Four appearance, Kentucky has started 2-0 with convincing wins over Marist (108-58) and No. 12 Kansas (75-65). Kentucky downed Kansas at Madison Square Garden behind 17 points on 3-of-5 from three from sophomore guard Doron Lamb and 15 from 6-9, sophomore Terrence Jones. Kentucky is averaging 91.5 ppg while shooting 57 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three and has had five players in double-figures in both of its two games. Freshman Anthony Davis (6-10) leads UK in points (18.5), rebounds (8.0) and blocks (6.0) and is one of three freshmen starters for a UK team that also starts two sophomores. Ranked No. 2 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, the Wildcats went 29-9 last year and defeated North Carolina in the NCAA Elite Eight to make the program's 14th Final Four appearance. Preseason SEC Player-of-the-Year and AP All-America pick Terrence Jones led the SEC in rebounding last year. Third-year Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Wildcats welcomed the top ranked recruiting class in the nation, including three incoming freshmen who were finalists for the Naismith High School Player of the Year Award in Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague. Four Wildcats were named to the 2011-12 Naismith Player-of-the-Year preseason watch list including Jones, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Teague.
HALL OF FAME TIP-OFF TOURNAMENT:
Penn State is playing in its first pre-season tournament since the 2009 Charleston Classic. It opened play in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament with victories over Radford (Monday) and Long Island (Wednesday) at home. Penn State holds a 66-82 all-time record in in-season tournaments, claiming 10 titles and 11 second-place finishes. Eight teams will compete in the 2011 HOF tournament with Old Dominion (CAA), Penn State (Big Ten), Kentucky (SEC) and South Florida (Big East) hosting two games on campus sites and Vermont (America East), Long Island (Northeast), Marist (MAAC) and Radford (Big South) playing games at those sites. All eight teams will advance to games Saturday and Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. with two separate sessions and four games being played on each day. Penn State will play Kentucky on Saturday in first round action of Bracket 2 before facing either ODU or S. Florida (which play each other Saturday) on Sunday. Both of Penn State's games will appear on the ESPN3.com.
FRAZIER LOOKING TO SCORE/LEADS BIG TEN:
Tim Frazier finished fifth in the Big Ten last year averaging 5.1 assists per game while taking just 4.8 shot attempts per contest. Frazier averaged just 4.6 shots per game while playing in every one of Penn State's 65 games over his first two seasons. That changed in his junior campaign as the previously pass-first point-guard has been looked toward as the Lions' most potent scoring option. Frazier currently stands LEADS the Big Ten scoring 20.7 ppg and posted his second and third career 20-point games leading the Lions with 20 points in a victory over Radford (11/14) and a career-best 26 in a win over Long Island (11/16). Frazier is averaging 14.1 shots and 7.3 field goals made per game while shooting 51.2 percent thus far on the season. He 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 GOES FOR 20 & 10:
Junior guard Tim Frazier posted his second career double-double in the Lions' victory over Radford (11/14) as he logged his second career 20-point game and equaled a career high assist total leading the team with 20 points and 10 assists and adding six rebounds and three steals. Frazier equaled his career-best 10 assists posted at Northwestern last year, also his first double-double. The 6-1, guard hit 9-of-14 from the floor. Frazier scored 11 of the Lions' final 19 points in the first half and assisted for two others as Penn State went from trailing 10-11 to a 29-20 halftime lead.
LEWIS LEADS TEAM IN DEBUT:
Freshman Trey Lewis, the runner-up for Ohio's "Mr. Basketball" award in 2011, was outstanding in his first collegiate game leading Penn State to a season-opening victory with a team-high 17 points on 3-of-6 from three. Lewis also added four assists, two boards and two steals in the game in 31 minutes of action after starting the contest. Lewis scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as Penn State pushed a 10-point halftime lead to as much as 26 and junior guard Tim Frazier spent much of the half on the bench with four fouls. Lewis scored 10-straight points hitting a pair of threes and two lay-ups beginning midway through the half to push Penn State's lead to 18. Lewis finished 7-of-13 from the floor.
Penn State's lone senior, Cammeron Woodyard, spent his first three seasons playing an average of just 8.7 minutes per game (including a high of 10. 4 mpg last year) and never averaged more than the 2.2 ppg he posted in 24 contests as a freshman. He showed that will all change this year when he posted career highs in points (14), rebounds (7), threes (4) and steals (4) in 27 minutes of action off the bench in Penn State's season opening victory over Hartford. This despite missing the first two weeks of practice after having minor surgery on his left knee. Woodyard hit 4-of-7 from three in the contest and tied for the team lead in rebounding. He started his fourth career game in the Lions' second contest vs. Radford and once again led the Lions in rebounding equaling his career high with seven. He currently ranks second on the team posting 11.0 ppg and leads the team with 6.7 rpg while playing 29.3 minutes per contest.
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.