PSU men open with Campbell

Lions’ nonconference opponents scheduled

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State men’s basketball program released its 13-game nonconference schedule on Wednesday, and the team will open the 2017-18 season with Campbell on Friday, Nov. 10.

The opener will be followed by home games with Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday, Nov. 12, Montana Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Columbia on Friday, Nov. 17.

As part of the 2017 Legends Classic game format, Penn State will play host to Montana and then Oral Roberts on Friday, Nov. 24. The Legends Classic semifinal and championship games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 21-22 will feature Penn State, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M with the matchups to be determined.

Penn State will close out November with a trip to N.C. State for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Wednesday, Nov. 29. A home game versus George Washington on Saturday, Dec. 9 leads the Nittany Lions into finals week, and the schedule resumes with Penn State traveling to George Mason Sunday, Dec. 17. Home contests in the BJC against Binghamton, Tuesday, Dec. 19, Rider Friday, Dec. 22 and Coppin State on Saturday, Dec. 30 complete the nonconference schedule.

“We set up our nonconference schedule to help us become the best team by the beginning of Big Ten competition,” said Pat Chambers, entering his seventh year as coach of the Nittany Lions. “Our goal was to put our players in a position to compete against different styles of play to prepare them for what they will encounter during the conference slate.”

Fans can get a preview of the Nittany Lion squad during an exhibition game in the BJC against Bloomsburg on Sunday, Nov. 5.

PSU ‘special’ honors

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State senior Tyler Davis and sophomore Blake Gillikin joined the pack of Nittany Lions on preseason watch lists with berths on the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award charts, respectively.

The Lou Groza Award is awarded to the nation’s top kicker, while the Ray Guy Award is given annually to the nation’s top punter.

Davis and Gillikin are the seventh and eighth different Nittany Lion on a preseason watch list. Junior running back Saquon Barkley and junior quarterback Trace McSorley were named to the Maxwell Award watch list for the National Player of the Year, senior safety Marcus Allen and senior linebacker Jason Cabinda are nominees for the Bednarik Award for the National Defensive Player of the Year, senior tight end Mike Gesicki is on the John Mackey Award list for nation’s top tight end and senior linebacker Brandon Smith is among the nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works team.

Davis earned the 2016 Vlade Award for the nation’s most accurate kicker from the Touchdown Club of Columbus to go along with first-team All-Big Ten accolades from the conference coaches and second team accolades from the media. He was a semifinalist for the Groza award last season.

Gillikin was selected to ESPN.com’s True Freshman All-America team and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection by the conference’s coaches and media after a stellar rookie campaign. He broke the Penn State freshman season punting average record with 42.8 yards per punt.

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