Hampton at Penn?State men
First round, CBI Tournament
Tipoff: 7 p.m., Bryce Jordan Center
Records: Penn State (15-17, 6-12 Big Ten); Hampton (18-12, 13-3 MEAC)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 37-58 in his third season at Penn State and 79-86 in four seasons overall. Edward Joyner Jr. is 82-77 in his fifth season at Hampton.
Probable starters: Penn State - G Tim Frazier, 6-1 Sr. (15.4), G D.J. Newbill, 6-4 Jr. (17.8), F Ross Travis, 6-6 Jr. (8.6), F Brandon Taylor, 6-7 So. (9.1), C Jordan Dickerson, 7-0 So. (1.4). Hampton - G Deron Powers, 5-11 So. (11.6); G Brian Darden, 6-2 So. (10.0), G Ke'Ron Brown, 6-3 So. (4.7), F Du'Vaughn Maxwell, 6-7 Sr. (15.2), F Jervon Pressley, 6-8 So. (6.9).
Notes: Penn State, a 13-point favorite, had to pay $35,000 for the right to host this game, and there are some who wonder why even bother with playing in the CBI if you miss the NCAA or NIT tournaments. But it is a chance for the Lions to keep playing, keep practicing and keep improving for the guys returning next year. Frazier is the only starter who won't be back next year, so it does beg the question of how much he should play in this tournament, as opposed to giving younger guys more minutes so the coaches can see different combinations. That's one way to look at it. The other is to for PSU to do everything it can to try and win each game so the season lasts as long as possible. It basically comes down to how much does PSU value CBI wins as opposed to the thing that all coaches in these kinds of tournaments talk about, which is to keep practicing so younger players can improve. If those younger players are on the bench watching a senior like Frazier, are they improving enough? Hampton finished second in the MEAC with a 13-3 record and won seven games in a row before losing to Coppin State in its conference tournament. ... The winner plays Siena next Monday in the second round.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 73, Hampton 64
Comment: It's OK that PSU is playing in this also-ran tournament that basically no one cares about. But the one thing the Lions cannot do is lose this game. That would be an embarrassing way to end the season and would leave a sour taste for the program going into the offseason.
Mirror prediction record: 24-8
- Cory Giger