Penn State Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released
With the second year of the Pat Chambers era of Penn State Basketball on the horizon, the program’s 2012-13 non-conference schedule– one filled with a bevy of in-state opponents and even a trip out of the country- has been released.
After starting off the season with two home games at the Bryce Jordan Center, the Nittany Lions will travel to Puerto Rico to participate in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Challenge beginning on November 15.
The Lions will open the highly-regarded tournament against 6th ranked North Carolina State and will face either Providence or Massachusetts in the second round. The rest of the tournament field includes Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Akron, and UNC Asheville.
The remaining non-conference schedule is highlighted by four new home-and-home series with Pennsylvania schools. The Lions will face Bucknell, Penn, and Duquesne at home, and travel to Philadelphia to square off with La Salle at the historic Palestra. The schedule also features a home rematch with Boston College—who the Lions defeated in last year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
“We have put together a challenging non-conference schedule that will help prepare this team for Big Ten Conference,” said second-year head coach Patrick Chambers said in a press release. “It’s great to renew some rivalries with some of our fellow Pennsylvania schools.”
The end of the non-conference schedule also features home matchups against Army, Delaware State, New Hampshire, and Duquesne.
Taken as a whole, the non-conference schedule is not exactly daunting. Several of these teams including Bucknell, Penn, and La Salle are quality opponents who played in postseason tournaments last year. However, opponents like St. Francis, Army, Delaware State, and New Hampshire, all with RPI’s over 245, will not help the Nittany Lions if they happen to be in contention for a spot in the NCAA tournament.
The Lions will have to make their mark in Puerto Rico. The Tip-Off Challenge has a very competitive field stocked with several major conference opponents. Penn State will have a chance to open some eyes before they test their abilities in Big Ten play.
Senior All-Big Ten point guard Tim Frazier will have a new running mate in the backcourt this year in Southern Miss transfer DJ Newbill. Those two, along with an improving Jermaine Marshall and Pat Chambers’ first recruiting class, can lay the foundation for a bright future for Penn State basketball.