It's not easy being the little guy. After a fairly dismal 4-14 B1G campaign in 2015, Penn State was handed another difficult run of games to open this year's conference slate. The Nittany Lions will travel to College Park to begin their B1G season against the preseason number one team in the country in Mark Turgeon's Maryland on December 30.
It doesn't get much easier from there, as Pat Chambers' crew will play six of their first nine games away from the Bryce Jordan Center. Here's the full schedule, with B1G opponents in bold.
|Day||Date||Opponent (2015 KenPom Rating)||H/A||Arena||City||Notes|
|Saturday||November 14||VMI (297)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA||Coached by Dan Earl|
|Tuesday||November 17||DePaul (167)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA||Gavitt Games, ESPN Tip-Off Marathon|
|Friday||November 20||Duquesne (207)||A||Consol Energy Center||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Tuesday||November 24||Radford (162)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Saturday||November 28||Bucknell (193)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Wednesday||December 2||Boston College (106)||A||Conte Forum||Chestnut Hill, MA||B1G/ACC Challenge|
|Saturday||December 5||Eastern Michigan (144)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Tuesday||December 8||George Washington (74)||A||Charles Smith Center||Washington, DC|
|Thursday||December 10||Canisius (146)||H||Rec Hall||University Park, PA||Las Vegas Classic|
|Saturday||December 12||Louisiana-Monroe (170)||H||Rec Hall||University Park, PA||Las Vegas Classic|
|Saturday||December 19||Drexel (247)||A||The Palestra||Philadelphia, PA|
|Tuesday||December 22||Colorado (101)||N||Orleans Arena||Las Vegas, NV||Las Vegas Classic|
|Wednesday||December 23||SMU (23)/Kent State (105)||N||Orleans Arena||Las Vegas, NV||Las Vegas Classic|
|Wednesday||December 30||Maryland (32)||A||Xfinity Center||College Park, MD|
|Saturday||January 2||Michigan (75)||A||Crisler Arena||Ann Arbor, MI|
|Tuesday||January 5||Minnesota (58)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Sunday||January 10||Michigan State (15)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Wednesday||January 13||Purdue (48)||A||Mackey Arena||West Lafayette, IN|
|Saturday||January 16||Northwestern (118)||A||Welsh-Ryan Arena||Evanston, IL|
|Thursday||January 21||Wisconsin (3)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Monday||January 25||Ohio State (21)||A||Value City Arena||Columbus, OH|
|Saturday||January 30||Michigan (75)||N||Madison Square Garden||New York, NY||Hoops/Hockey Doubleheader|
|Wednesday||February 3||Iowa (19)||A||Carver-Hawkeye Arena||Iowa City, IA|
|Saturday||February 6||Indiana (53)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Saturday||February 13||Nebraska (133)||A||Pinnacle Bank Arena||Lincoln, NE|
|Wednesday||February 17||Iowa (19)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Saturday||February 20||Rutgers (215)||A||Louis Brown Athletic Center||Piscataway, NJ|
|Thursday||February 25||Nebraska (133)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Sunday||February 28||Michigan State (15)||A||Breslin Student Event Center||East Lansing, MI|
|Thursday||March 3||Northwestern (118)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
|Sunday||March 6||Illinois (69) (nice)||H||Bryce Jordan Center||University Park, PA|
Some more thoughts on this front-loaded slate:
- I already miss the Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday schedule from 2015. Damn you, Delany.
- There are no easy games in the B1G, but the last seven games are, shall we say, manageable. For a young team that needs to show growth as the year goes on, playing four home games against expected middle-to-bottom of the pack teams would ideally give this team some confidence heading into the B1G Tournament.
- Please win at Rutgers, I beg you.
- Only two crazy road-road turnarounds this year: College Park to Ann Arbor and NYC to Iowa City, which is less of a basketball problem and more of a culture shock problem. But at least that's over four days.
- If Penn State can't beat a similarly rebuilding Minnesota, that dreaded 0-6 start will loom heavily going into the Northwestern game, which won't be an easy one by any means. The Wildcats are expected to push for a tournament bid and they'll need every win they can get after Chris Collins put together one of the cupcakiest non-conference schedules you'll ever see from a projected bubble team.
- Seriously, please don't lose in Piscataway.