It was a quiet front on the basketball coverage this week at BSD in preparation of tomorrow's big game against the Buckeyes, but never fear, #PennStateBasketballNeverStops. We are exactly three weeks away from opening night, and the Lions are hard at work preparing for the season. Here's a brief recap of what's been happening around the program, while we prepare to ramp up the hoops #content starting next week.
Blue - White Scrimmage
The men's team once again is trying to immerse itself with all of this weekend's football activities, as they should. Pat Chambers will fire up Rally in the Valley tonight with another token pep talk, and he will be accompanied by some players, as well. The program will also showcase an open practice scrimmage in the Bryce Jordan Center at 2:00pm Saturday that is free to the public. The scrimmage will last 1.5 hours, and it's your first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the 2014-2015 Nittany Lions.
One of the most glaring deficiencies of the Bryce Jordan Center has been the complete lack of basketball branding around the facility. When you walked through the concourse and ticket portals, there was absolutely nothing to indicate a D1 program played there. No more (even if they had to jump through 100 unnecessary hoops to do so).
We've already recapped what some print publications were predicting for the Big Ten this season, but other online forecasts have since emerged. Arguably the most fair projections I have seen so far came from Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn, who partnered with Dan Hanner to create their projection model that they applied to 11 major conferences. Their model pegged Penn State to only finish 11th in the Big Ten but projected the Lions to win 7 Big Ten games. These type of projections help illustrate the parity and depth that currently occupies the middle of the Big Ten. If Penn State slightly exceeds this expectation by one or two games, Penn State will be all over the bubble conversation in March.
Tim Frazier to the NBDL
While it's not a surprise, it is still unfortunate that Tim Frazier was waived by the Boston Celtics this week after the end of the NBA preseason. Although he did not make the roster, Tim was assigned to the Celtic's D-league affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Playing in the D-league will keep Tim's NBA dream alive, as injuries could create an opportunity for Tim to earn a 10-day contract during the season. It also keeps him home in the States and away from the chaotic and cutthroat world of international ball. Good luck, Tim!
The day everyone has anxiously awaited is just around the corner. In fact, it's even before the start of the regular season. Relax, Penn State fans, because the anxiety will soon melt away. The 2015 class of Mike Watkins, Josh Reaves and Davis Zemgulis can sign the dotted line on November 12th, the first day of basketball's fall signing period.
In the meantime, the Lions continue to work on upcoming classes. 2016 Top-100 forward and Philadelphia native Lamar Stevens reportedly is visiting for the game tomorrow, but considering he is also scheduled to be at Villanova's Hoops Mania and 8Eye classic tonight, we will see if the visit comes to fruition. He sure seems highly interested in Penn State, though.
Lastly, as we brace for impact at 8:00pm tomorrow, perhaps we should draw inspiration from last year's series sweep on the hardwood for a reason to believe.