Non-Conference Schedule Weak but Could Prove to be a Challenge
The Penn State men’s basketball non-conference schedule is fairly weak, but should prove to be a challenge for the rebuilding Lions. A few games stick out on the schedule as games that could help the Lions improve their tournament resume and RPI.
La Salle visits the Bryce Jordan Center on November 19th. The Explorers are coming off of a Sweet 16 appearance a year ago, and still have three leading scorers from last year in Tyreek Duren, Jerrell Wright and Tyrone Garland. Expect La Salle to resemble a quality non-conference opponent and one that would be a quality win for the Nittany Lions, and for anyone else for that matter.
Penn State travels to the Barclays Center to take part in the Barclays Center Classic preseason tournament. St. Johns is the team the Lions will face, followed by Georgia Tech against Mississippi.
The tournament is certainly not the best preseason tournament when it comes to the level of talent, but it is a good tournament for Penn State to take part in. Any win over a team from a power 6 conference would be a good win for Penn State this season.
St. Johns, albeit in rebuilding mode, is a high profile team coached by Steve Lavin. The Red Storm is looking to have more success than last year’s NIT appearance.
Bucknell, Marshall and Duquesne round out the non-conference schedule.
By no means should the non-conference portion of the schedule scare anyone, but there are some opportunities for Penn State to notch some confidence-building wins against some quality opponents. Those kind of wins are important later on down the road if the Lions can put themselves in position for a postseason tournament bid.
Mike Gilbert is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.