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December 1, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's basketball team opens its Big Ten Conference season on Saturday, December 2, with a 5 p.m. ET tipoff at Iowa.
Penn State (6-2) at Iowa (4-3)
Saturday, December 2
5 p.m. ET
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
WATCH: BTN & BTN2Go
Brandon Gaudin (pxp) & Stephen Bardo (analyst)
LISTEN: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (pxp) and Dick Jerardi (analyst)
2017-18 Affiliates and free online at GoPSUsports.com/lionvision
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
RECORD: 6-2, 0-0 Big Ten
Coach: Patrick Chambers (7th year at Penn State)
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/0
2017-18 Leading Scorer:
#10 Tony Carr, So., G - 21.3 ppg / 4.3 apg
2017-18 Leading Rebounder:
#24 Mike Watkins, RSo. F - 7.6 rpg
RECORD: 4-3, 0-0 Big Ten
Coach: Fran McCaffery (8th year at Iowa)
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
2017-18 Leading Scorer:
#5 Tyler Cook, So., F - 14.1 ppg
#3 Jordan Bohannon, So., G - 14.1 ppg
2017-18 Leading Rebounder:
#55 Luka Garza, Fr.., F - 7.6 rpg
Tickets are available for Penn State home games, including the Monday, December 4, Big Ten season home opener vs. Wisconsin. Visit gopsusports.com/tickets/m-baskbl-tickets.html for more information.
NITTANY LION PROBABLE STARTERS
# / Name / Pos. / ELG. / Pts / REB / STAT / NOTES
11 / Lamar Stevens / F / So./ 14.4 / 6.9 / 2nd ppg/rpg | Scored all 13 pts at N.C. State in 2nd half
24 / Mike Watkins / F / R-So. / 10.0 / 7.6 / 23 blks | Nationally ranked for total blocks & blocks pg (3.29)
10 / Tony Carr / G / So. / 21.3 / 4.3 / 4.83 apg | 29 pts at N.C. State, 20 2nd half, career-best 12 FG
23 / Josh Reaves / G / Jr. / 11.4 / 4.7 / B1G steals leader | Nationally ranked for total steals & steals pg (2.71)
33 / Shep Garner / G / Sr. / 10.1 / 2.0 / 236 career 3s | Sharp-shooter has 63 career 10+ pt. games
SERIES RECORD VS. IOWA
The home team has won each of the last three meetings in the series. Ten of the last 15 contests have been decided by a single-digit margin.
Iowa owns the series advantage over Penn State 29-15 overall with a single meeting in the final regular season game of 2016-17 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa 90-79, 3/5/17).
The Nittany Lions' last win over Iowa came when they upset then-No. 4/6 Iowa 79-75 at the Bryce Jordan Center (2/17/16). Penn State has won three times in 20 previous games as the visiting team. The last win at Iowa City was fueled by 20 points by Gyasi Cline-Heard and 15 by Joe Crispin for a 78-73 victory (3/1/2001).
While this is the earliest date the Nittany Lions will have ever played Iowa, it is not the earliest Penn State has ever played a Big Ten Conference game. During the 1998-99 season, Penn State played at Ohio State on November 20, 1998, in the last regular-season game at St. John's Arena.
LONG TIME NO SEE
The 2017-18 Big Ten opener marks the first time in Penn State's Big Ten history that it will open the conference season with the same opponent it played in its final regular season game.
This is only the second time in 26 years of Big Ten play Penn State will meet Iowa in the conference opener, the last time was at the start of the 1997-98 season.
ON THE ROAD, AGAIN
Including Saturday's game, the Nittany Lions under coach Patrick Chambers will have opened league play on the road for five of seven contests:
at 18/16 Michigan (L, 12/29/2011)
at Wisconsin (L, 1/3/2013)
5/4 Michigan State (L, 12/31/2013)
at 4 Wisconsin (L, 12/31/2014)
at 4/4 Maryland (L, 12/30/2015)
Northwestern (L, 12/27/2016)
at Iowa (12/2/2017)
FIVE SEEING DOUBLE
Penn State is tops in the Big Ten and ranked fourth in the nation in total steals with 85. The Nittany Lions are seventh nationally in steals per game with 10.6 per contest.
STAYING ON TOP
Mike Watkins not only set the Penn State freshman mark for rebounds, he also claimed the top spot for career field goal percentage at 59.0 percent following his rookie campaign. Watkins is 31-46 (67.4 percent) from the field so far in 2017-18 and now boasts a 60.4 field goal percentage for his career.
CAREER FG PERCENTAGE
PCT FGM FGA
1. 60.4 / 159- 263 / Mike Watkins, 2016-present
2. 58.3 / 539-924 / Jarrett Stephens, 1996-00
3. 54.6 / 301-551 / Andrew Jones, 2008-11
4. 54.2 / 162-299 / Sasa Borovnjak, 2009-13
5. 53.9 / 489-907 / Ed Fogell, 1986-90
In the December 1 kenpom.com rankings, Penn State is 38th overall and 20th in defensive efficiency.
PENN STATE SPORTS NETWORK
More than 40 radio stations in Pennsylvania and New York will carry Nittany Lion Basketball games during the 2017-18 season. Radio announcer Steve Jones, in his 36th year with Penn State, will handle the play-by-play with USBWA Hall of Famer Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News serving as analyst. Broadcasts begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off with the "Penn State Bookstore Pregame Show." Broadcasts conclude with the PA Propane Association Postgame Show post-game show featuring coach and player interviews, game statistics and scores from around the nation.
Broadcasts are also available on SiriusXM with specific channels for each game announced in game notes.
THE PENN STATE COACHES SHOW PRESENTED BY PEPSI
"The Penn State Coaches Show -- Featuring Pat Chambers and Presented by Pepsi" with Steve Jones and Roger Corey, airs live from Primanti Brothers in State College Thursday nights from 6:05-7:00 p.m. through early March. "The Penn State Coaches Show" and game broadcasts can also be heard for free via www.GoPSUsports.com/lionvision. The Penn State Sports Network is syndicated by Penn State Sports Properties, a property of Learfield.