Men’s Basketball To Play In 2016 Hall Of Fame Tipoff Classic
Pat Chambers vs. Coach K? With today’s announcement, it’s certainly possible.
Penn State men’s basketball will join Duke, Cincinnati, and Rhode Island in the 2016 Hall-of-Fame Tipoff Classic, according to a tweet from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Duke, Cincinnati, URI, & Penn St headline the 2016 Hall-of-Fame Tipoff Classic at Mohegan Sun, sources told @CBSSports. Matchups still TBD.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 28, 2015
The tournament, held in Springfield, Ma until 2010, relocated to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and will feature four additional teams that have yet to be announced. This isn’t the first time Penn State’s participated in the tournament. The Lions last participated in 2011, where it went 3-1 after defeating Radford, Long Island, and South Florida. The team’s lone defeat came at the hands of eventual National Champion Kentucky and Naismith College Player of the Year Anthony Davis, who defeated Penn State 85-47.
A potential matchup against Duke will prove to be an extremely difficult challenge for what should be a talented but inexperienced Penn State team. Pat Chambers generated plenty of hype in landing highly-rated recruits like point guard Tony Carr and forward Lamar Stevens, but it’s almost a sure bet that Coach K will have his own slew of five-star prospects to let loose. Duke is one of the nation’s premier programs, meaning the game could serve as a good litmus test to gauge the progress of Chambers’ rebuild.
This is far from a knock on Cincinnati or Rhode Island, by the way. Year after year, Cincinnati has been one of the steadiest teams in the nation under head coach Mick Cronin. The Bearcats boast six consecutive trips to the Big Dance over as many seasons — a remarkable accomplishment unmatched by programs of a similar tier.
Rhode Island is in the middle of a rebuilding effort, but the program is led by one of the nation’s hottest up-and-coming coaches in Dan Hurley. While he’s yet to lead the Rams to the NCAA Tournament, he’s fresh off a 23-10 season, and his team heads into 2015-16 as the favorites in the Atlantic-10.