Penn State Basketball fans are cautiously optimistic about this year’s squad, and with the release of the B1G conference slate for 2016-17, there might be room for a little more optimism. Unlike years past, where a brutal opening stretch all but guaranteed a poor start to their B1G schedule, this year Penn State will have a good opportunity to start the conference season with a winning record.
Northwestern at home two days after Christmas isn’t a gimme, but it is winnable, and it’s the type of game Chambers and Co. need to win to have success in the B1G moving forward. After that, the team will travel to Rutgers on New Year’s Day before back-to-back games against the Michigan schools. The undefeated stretch will likely end with one of those two games, but it’s plausible that this team will start the conference schedule 2-0. With such a young team, this could have a big influence on morale.
Looking at the big picture, Penn State will play Rutgers, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue twice. It won’t be a cakewalk, but it’s a favorable draw for a team lacking in experience. We will have to wait until the team takes the court in November before getting too excited about the prospects for success this season, but it refreshing to look forward to the B1G opener for a change.