It was June last year when Pat Chambers took over the men's basketball program. At that point in time, the 2011-2012 schedule was all but locked in by the previous staff. This year, Chambers and his Director of Basketball Ops, Ross Condon, had a clean slate to work with, so consider this the first look at the new coach's scheduling philosophy. Bits and pieces of this year's schedule had been released before, so we had a good idea of what to expect.
The biggest highlights include a very strong field at the 3-game Puerto Rico Tip-Off and a rematch with an improved Boston College squad at home in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The rest of the schedule is filled out with a repetoire of Pennsylvania schools and other guarantee games. The Lions actually signed four home-and-home series with PA schools - Bucknell, Penn, Duquesne, and La Salle.
Chambers wants to have an annual game in Philadelphia, so the Lions will take on La Salle this year and the Quakers next year, both at the Palestra. Both teams will travel to the BJC as part of the series with Penn coming this season and La Salle in 2013-2014.
The Bucknell series, which had been announced before, is a 2-for-1 deal. The Lions will host a quality Bucknell team this season, then travel to Lewisburg in 2013 for the first time in over 35 years. Bucknell will return to the BJC in 2014-2015. Lastly, Duquesne is back on the schedule after the two programs locked into another home-and-home series. This time the deal is for four games, so the Dukes will be on the schedule until 2015.
Overall it's not a daring slate of opponents, since the focus seems to be on gaining exposure throughout Pennsylvania. As far as RPI impact, this slate won't really help boost PSU's chances at the NCAA tournament. PSU's opportunity to make their mark will be in Puerto Rico. If they aren't able to in November, they will just have to really surprise in conference play to have a chance.
Full list of opponents after the jump.
|Nov. 3rd||Philadelphia U.#||BJC||-|
|Nov. 9th||Saint Francis (PA)||BJC||312|
|Nov. 15th||NC State||Coliseo de Puerto Rico||49|
|Nov. 16th||UMass / Providence||Coliseo de Puerto Rico||77 / 156|
|Nov. 18th||TBD||Coliseo de Puerto Rico||-|
|Nov. 28th||Boston College||BJC||244|
|Dec. 5th||La Salle||Palestra||86|
|Dec. 15th||Delaware St||BJC||249|
|Dec. 23rd||New Hampshire||BJC||296|
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