Dec. 13, 2013
|Penn State (8-3) vs. Princeton (7-1)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men’s basketball team returns to its roots, returning to Rec Hall for the first time since 1996 to take on Princeton at 2 p.m. Saturday. With just a few standing room tickets available, the Nittany Lions look forward to a soldout crowd of over 6,000 in the venue they had a 514-183 record over 68-plus seasons before departing Jan. 7, 1996 with a 79-50 rout of Wisconsin. The event is presented by AAA.
THE FUN STUFF
- The 1991 Atlantic 10 championship team will be honored at halftime. Coached by Bruce Parkhill, the team finished 21-11 with the league title to earn an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament where they upset No. 16-ranked UCLA in the first round.
- The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a Penn State basketball-themed holiday hat.
- All students will be given a Tim Frazier throwback-uniform style t-shirt.
AT A GLANCE
- Penn State is 8-3 on the season, its best 11-game start under head coach Patrick Chambers and the best overall since 2008-09 (9-2)
- D.J. Newbill (18.5ppg) and Tim Frazier (17.9ppg) are ranked second and third, respectively, in the Big Ten and make up the highest-scoring backcourt duo in the nation. [MORE: Page 2]
- Tim Frazier has the most assists of any NCAA Division I player (72) to start the week and is sixth in the country in assists per game ... He is atop the conference in helpers per game (7.7), besting Michigan State’s Keith Appling in second by 2.4 per game ... Frazier currently is the only B1G player in the Top 5, let alone Top 10, of scoring (18.6, 3rd), assists (7.2, 1st) and steals (2.0,5th). [MORE: 9-10]
- Newbill has emerged as one of the Lions’ top 3-point scoring threat, tallying 20 on 45 attempts (.444), one of seven B1G players scoring on over 44 percent of attempts.
- The Nittany Lions have four players scoring in double figures after 10 games with the team averaging 80.5 ppg, the fourth-highest scoring clip among conference teams and 15 points more than the average in non-conference games last season (65.5).
- With Allen Roberts’ team-leading 15 points at Duquesne, six different PSU players have led the team in scoring through the first 11 games of the year: Frazier (5 games), Newbill (2 games), Jack,j1 Travis, Roberts and Brandon Taylor (1 game). [MORE: Page 25]
- Penn State was held to 68 points at Duquesne last Wednesday, just the second sub-70 point outing of the season.
- Penn State has the second-fewest turnovers per game in NCAA Division I, to start the week. The Lions are giving up the ball 9.2 times per game with opponents garnering an average about 10 points. Conversely, PSU is forcing 10.2 turnovers per game and coming up with an average of 14.2 points per game off opponent miscues. [MORE: Page 25]
- As a team, the Lions are shooting 75.2 percent from the free-throw line, the second-best showing among Big Ten teams ... Four PSU players are shooting 75 percent or better from the FT line, led by Tim Frazier’s 80 percent (59-74) showing.
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.
HITTING WITH THE BEST SHOT
The Nittany Lions have the third-highest field-goal percentage among Big Ten teams (.469), up 7.4 percent from a year ago. As a unit, the starting five are all shooting at a higher clip than last season, by an average of 8.7 percentage points. Ross Travis leads that charge, hitting 10.1 percent more shots than he did last season. D.J. Newbill (+9.9), Brandon Taylor (+9.5), Donovon Jack (+7.6) and Tim Frazier (+6.2) have all shown marked improvements. Frazier’s average is compared to his 2011-12 total.
LAST TIME OUT: Nittany Lions Down Duquesne 68-59
Reserve Allen Roberts had 15 points and D.J. Newbill added 13 points as Penn State won for the sixth time in its past eight games, 68-59 against Duquesne on Wednesday night. All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier had a career-high 13 assists along with 11 points for the Nittany Lions (8-3), who won despite having only 10 free-throw attempts as compared to the Dukes’ 34. [MORE: Page 30]
Penn State takes a week off for finals and returns to action at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22 vs. Mount St. Mary’s back in the Bryce Jordan Center on BTN. The Mount is 3-7 on the season and off until it travels to University Park next weekend. The Lions are 7-0 in the all-time series with the last meeting coming Dec. 18, 2011.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Princeton is 7-1 on the season and riding a six-game winning streak after being knocked off by Butler, 70-67, Nov. 16 in Indianapolis. The Tigers are averaging 72.1 points per game, led by T.J. Bray’s 16 ppg, and net 10.6 3-pointers per contest, the seventh-most in NCAA Division I. Against Rutgers Saturday, a 78-73 victory for the Tigers, they made 16 3-pointers and Bray finished with a career-high 23 points. Denton Koon is second on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game with Hans Brase enters the game averaging 11.9 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. Ben Hazel is the fourth Tiger player averaging double-digits at 10.8 tallies per game.
Penn State holds an 8-3 advantage in the all-time series, including wins in each of the last seven games and all six games played in University Park, Pa. The last matchup in the series came in Dec. 12 2007, a 61-38 win for the Nittany Lions in the Bryce Jordan Center. Fifteen players saw action for Penn State with Geary Claxton finishing with a team-high 21 points. Then-freshman Andrew Jones, now a graduate manager with the team, was the starting center and had six points in 15 minutes. The teams met three times in Rec Hall, during the 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1973-74 seasons.
Patrick Chambers has never coached against Princeton. Chambers and Tiger head coach Mitch Henderson were hired within two months of each other, with Henderson named at Princeton April 20, 2011 and Chambers starting his tenure at Penn State June 3, 2011. Current Princeton assistant coach Brian Earl is the brother of Dan Earl, who played for Penn State in 1993-99 and is one of four PSU palyers, among them Tim Frazier, with over 1,000 points and 500 assists (1,256/574).