UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will open its 117th season of men’s basketball Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center with a 7 p.m. tip vs. Saint Francis (PA). The game can be seen on BTN.com and heard live on the Penn State Sports Network with Brian Tripp and Dick Jerardi calling the action.
The Nov. 9 season tipoff will mark the earliest in the history of Nittany Lion basketball, bettering the Nov. 12 season start dates of the last two seasons. All Penn State freshmen students will be admitted free to the game and it will be an ever-popular Dollar Dog Night. Penn State has won its last seven season openers dating to the 2005 season and is 86-30 all-time in season opening games, 76-10 in home season openers. The Nittany Lions and Red Flash will be meeting for the first time since 2007. Penn State owns an 8-2 series lead and has won the last four meetings.
The Red Flash will begin their first season under head coach Rob Krimmel, a State College native. Krimmel’s brother, Ken, played basketball at Penn State from 1998-2002 and his father Bob, currently the Athletic Director at Saint Francis, had a 32-year career in the Penn State Athletic Department first as the head women’s swimming and diving coach (1981-98) and then as an Assistant Athletic Director (1998-2005). His mother, Sharon, also had a 35-year career in the Penn State Department of Kinesiology.
Preseason All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) enters his senior campaign 30 points shy of becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nittany Lion history and 157 assists shy of breaking the Penn State career assist mark of 600. He is the Big Ten’s top returner in scoring and assists after posting 18.8 points and 6.2 assists per game as a junior.
PENN STATE (0-0; 0-0 Big Ten) vs. SAINT FRANCIS (0-0; 0-0 NEC)
FRIDAY, NOV. 9, 2012 at 7 P.M. (ET)
BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.
TELEVISION: BTN.com: Jeff Lowe (p-by-p), Justin Rocke (analyst), Sophia Perri (sideline)
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Brian Tripp (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers – 12-20 (2nd at PSU); 54-48 (4th Overall)
ST. FRANCIS: Rob Krimmel – 0-0 (1st year); same overall
Penn State will head to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and a first round game with No. 6 N.C. State on Thursday, Nov. 15. The teams last met in 2000 with the Wolfpack winning 84-76 in Raleigh. N.C. State holds a 15-3 series lead, but the Lions have won 2 of the last three meetings, including a 74-72 win in the 2000 NIT third place game in Madison Square Garden.
Penn State will open its 117th season of men’s basketball on Friday, Nov. 9 vs. Saint Francis. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 2007. Penn State owns an 8-2 lead in the series and has won the last four meetings. Saint Francis’ last win in the series came in overtime, 68-63, in 1978 in State College. Penn State has won its last seven season openers, dating to 2005. The November 9 start marks the earliest start ever to a Penn State basketball season, bettering the Nov. 12 start the previous two years. In 1992-93, Penn State’s first season in the Big Ten, the Lions opened on Dec. 1.
117 YEARS OF HOOPS:
Penn State will embark on its 117th season of playing basketball in the 2012-13 campaign, having begun play in 1897 with a pair of contests vs. Bucknell, which returns to the schedule this year for the first time since 2006. Penn State has made 12 post-season appearances in the last 24 years (4 NCAA, 8 NIT) and a total of 19 (9 NCAA, 10 NIT) overall. Since 2009, Penn State has won the program’s first national tournament title (2009 NIT), made the program’s first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game (2011) and played in the NCAA Tournament (2011).
OPENING NIGHT – FRESHMEN FREE:
Penn State will once again admit all Penn State freshmen students free to Friday’s season opening game vs. Saint Francis (PA). The 7:00 p.m. tip at the Jordan Center will also be a Dollar Dog Night. All students attending the game can also enter to win an iPad.
Penn State has won its last seven season openers dating to 2005. The last loss in a season opener came vs. Illinois State (92-73) at the 2004 Black Coaches Association Classic in Milwaukee. Penn State’s last season opening loss at home came to Georgetown (79-78) in 2003. The Lions opened with a 70-55 victory over Hartford in coach Patrick Chambers first season, marking the first season-opening win of his career after a pair of losses at Boston University in season openers. Penn State is 86-30 overall in season openers and 76-10 in home season openers.
Penn State went 8-5 in non-conference games last year, including a neutral court loss to No. 2 Kentucky (85-47) in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament and three losses by seven points or less, including home losses to Mississippi (72-70) and Lafayette (61-57) and a road loss at Duquesne (66-59). The Lions won at Boston College (62-54) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and defeated eventual NCAA Tournament participant South Florida (53-49) on a neutral floor in the HOF Tournament.
THE KRIMMEL CONNECTION:
Saint Francis head coach Rob Krimmel is in his first season leading the Red Flash program and 13th on the coaching staff. He is a 1996 graduate of State College Area High School before going on to play for Saint Francis. His father, Bob, is in his eighth year as the Athletic Director at Saint Francis after a 32-year career in Penn State Athletics that included a 17-year tenure as the head coach of the women’s swimming and diving team (1981-98) and seven years serving as Assistant Athletic Director (1998-2005). Bob is also a former Penn State swimmer who graduated from Penn State in 1973 and earned his masters from the University in 1974. His wife and Rob’s mother, Sharon, was a member of Penn State’s department of kinesiology for 35 years. Rob’s brother, Ken, played basketball for Penn State (1998-2002) and graduated from Penn State in 2002.
SCOUTING SAINT FRANCIS:
Saint Francis posted an 85-38 win over Penn State Altoona in exhibition action. The Red Flash shot 30-60 (50 percent) from the field, led by sophomore guard Ollie Jackson (6-3) who dropped 15 points. Senior guard Anthony Ervin (6-3) is the top returning scorer from last season having posted 11.2 ppg. The Red Flash posted a 6-23 record last year (5-13 NEC) and are picked near the bottom of the NEC in their first season under new head coach Rob Krimmel, who is in his 13th season with the program but first leading it. Ervin is among four returning starters from last year’s team. The Red Flash will also benefit from the return of 5-11 junior guard Umar Shannon who was a second-team All-NEC pick as a sophomore but tore his ACL in the first game of the 2011-12 campaign. SFU graduated its leading scorer and rebounder from last season, forward Scott Eatherton (14.0/7.0).
FRAZIER PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN:
Senior guard Tim Frazier was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team by conference media voters. Frazier, the lone returning first-team All-Big Ten selection from last year, was joined on the preseason team by Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, Michigan’s Trey Burke and Indiana’s Cody Zeller who was also named the preseason Player of the Year.
FRAZIER SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE:
Tim Frazier was one of 30 Division I men’s basketball players selected as candidates for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award presented to a senior student-athlete with notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The award will be trimmed to 10 finalists midway through the season with the winner announced at the 2013 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta.
FRAZIER EYES 1,000 POINTS/ASSIST RECORD:
Tim Frazier enters his senior campaign with 970 points, needing just 30 to become the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Penn State history. He is on pace to finish his career among the top five Nittany Lion history in scoring, assists and steals. He needs 157 assists to eclipse the career record of 600 set by Freddie Barnes in 1992.
Single game tickets for men’s basketball are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting GoPSUsports.com/tickets or Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets for Nittany Lion games are $24 for lower bowl seats between the baselines, $18 for the lower bowl behind the baskets and upper level between the baselines and $15 for upper level behind the basket seats for adults and seniors. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $10, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.