Pat Chambers Era Kicks Off with Schedule Release
With Pat Chambers in the fold as the new head basketball coach for the Nittany Lions, his presence on campus has generated some buzz around Happy Valley. After Ed DeChellis fled State College to coach at Navy, the Penn State athletic department seized an opportunity to invigorate a basketball program that has always played second fiddle to the football program. Chambers has wasted no time, travelling the country recruiting players, and having a presence on campus.
With just one senior on the roster (guard Cammeron Woodyard), the 2011-2012 season has been given the dreaded “rebuilding year” label and the team is generally considered to be a bottom-feeder in the tough Big Ten Conference. Chambers has inherited a roster of Dechellis recruits that he has been getting to know throughout the summer. Chambers already has two of his own recruits in the fold for the class of 2012, guard Akosa Maduegbunam, and recently added 6-foot-7 forward Brandon Taylor.
Penn State’s opponents this year have been known publicly for quite some time, but now the full schedule, including television broadcasts, has finally been released.
The season kicks off November 12th at home against Hartford. Admission to the game is free, as it coincides with the football team’s home battle with Nebraska. Notable non-conference opponents include: Kentucky (as a part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament), Boston College, Ole Miss, and Cornell.
Big Ten Conference play begins with two road contests against Michigan on Dec. 29 and at Northwestern on New Year’s Day, and concludes March 4 at home against Michigan. The Lions only have to face defending conference champion Ohio State once.