Penn State Nittany Lions basketball

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Penn State Nittany Lions
2013–14 Penn State Nittany Lions basketball team
Penn State Nittany Lions athletic logo
University Pennsylvania State University
Conference Big Ten
Location University Park, PA
Head coach Pat Chambers (2nd year)
Arena Bryce Jordan Center
(Capacity: 15,261)
Nickname Nittany Lions
Student section Nittany Nation

Blue and White

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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament Final Four
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1942, 1954
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1952, 1954, 1955, 2001
NCAA Tournament appearances
1942, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1965, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2011

The Penn State Nittany Lions basketball team is a NCAA Division I college basketball team representing the Pennsylvania State University. They are a member of the Big Ten Conference and play home games at the 15,261-seat Bryce Jordan Center, moving there from boisterous Rec Hall during the 1995–96 season. Their student cheering section is known as Nittany Nation.

The program has eight NCAA tournament appearances with its best finish coming in 1954, reaching the Final Four. Its most recent appearance was in 2011, when the team lost to the Temple Owls in the round of 64. The program also has 10 appearances in the National Invitation Tournament, with the most recent being in 2009, when they beat Baylor to win the NIT championship.

In the shadow of football[edit]

At a school where the football program captures the vast majority of media and fan interest, the basketball program has historically struggled for relevance. According to writer and Penn State graduate[1] Dana O'Neil,

For years the basketball team has been a little sister of the poor stepchild to football, a winter afterthought given all the tending and care of a vegetable garden positioned in the middle of a nuclear field. Administrative support waffles between tepid applause and casual indifference.[2]

In O'Neil's view, the "stepchild" status of the program was most starkly illustrated by the last weeks of the 2010–11 season. The team normally practices at a dedicated facility within the Bryce Jordan Center. However, for nearly a week in February, while the team was making a run for an NCAA at-large bid, Bon Jovi took over the entire BJC—including the practice facilities—for rehearsals for their upcoming concert tour, which opened at the BJC. The following week, the team was evicted from the BJC for a career fair[1] and for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.[3] On both occasions, the team was forced to practice at the nearby Intramural Building, a facility normally used by Penn State's volleyball teams. Although retrofitted with basketball hoops, the space left much to be desired. Multiple holes for volleyball net stanchions had to be taped over. During the Bon Jovi rehearsals, the hoops had been visibly lower than regulation height. While this error was corrected the following week, one of the hoops remained visibly misaligned.[3]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name Year Alma mater
Head coach Patrick Chambers 2011 Philadelphia University (1994)
Assistant coach Eugene Burroughs 2011 University of Richmond (1994)
Assistant coach Brian Daly 2011 Saint Joseph's University (1992)
Assistant coach Keith Urgo 2011 Fairfield University (1992)
Director of basketball operations Ross Condon 2011 Villanova University (2007)
Athletic trainer Jon Salazer 2001 Penn State (1993)
Video coordinator Adam Fisher 2011 Penn State (2006)
Strength and conditioning coach Brad Pantall 2006 Penn State (1996)

Coaching history[edit]

Coach Years Seasons Record Pct. Cnf. Record Pct. Cnf. Titles Nat. Titles
No coach 1897–1915, 1917–1918 20 131–65–1 .668 0
Burke M. "Dutch" Hermann 1916–1918, 1919–32 15 148–73 .716 0
Hugo Bezdek 1919 1 11–2 .846 0
Earl "The Spike" Leslie 1933–36 4 29–28 .509 0–10 .000 0 0
John Lawther 1937–49 13 150–93 .617 17–13 .567 0 0
Elmer Gross 1949–54 5 80–40 .667 0
John Egli 1954–68 14 187–135 .581 0
Johnny Bach 1968–78 10 122–121 .502 9–11 .450 0 0
Dick Harter 1978–83 5 79–61 .564 13–11 .564 0 0
Bruce Parkhill 1983–95 12 181–169 .517 82–116 .414 1 0
Jerry Dunn 1995–2003 8 117–121 .492 45–87 .341 0 0
Ed DeChellis 2003–2011 8 114–138 .452 41–95 .301 0 0
Pat Chambers 2011–present 3 38–59 .392 12–42 .222 0 0
Totals 1897–present 116 1377–1084–1 .560 217–369 .370 1 0

Postseason appearances by year[edit]

NBA draft[edit]

Year Name Team
John Rusinko
Baltimore Bullets
Herman Sledzik
Baltimore Bullets
Jesse Arnelle
Fort Wayne Pistons
Bob Weiss
Philadelphia 76ers
Carver Clinton
Philadelphia 76ers
Ron Brown
Boston Celtics
Frank Brickowski
New York Knicks
Mike Lang
New York Knicks
Dick Mumma
Los Angeles Clippers
Calvin Booth
Washington Wizards

Penn State Men's Basketball Radio Affiliates[edit]



  1. ^ a b O'Neil, Dana (February 18, 2011). "Some things never change at Penn State". College Basketball Nation Blog. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ O'Neil, Dana (May 23, 2011). "The ball is in Penn State's court". College Basketball Nation Blog. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Bauer, Nate (February 15, 2011). "Inside the Den: News and notes from the hardwood". Blue White Illustrated. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ 2011-2012 PSU Network Affiliates - Men's Basketball