At a Glance: Penn State

A closer look at Illinois next opponent - the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Illinois (13-10, 2-8) at Penn State (12-11, 3-7)
Sunday, Feb. 9, 3:21 CT - University Park, Pa. - Bryce Jordan Center
Big Ten Network - Eric Collins, Shon Morris

Notes (per Penn State sports info):

Penn State is looking for its third-consecutive home Big Ten win for the first time since winning four in a row in 2011 (vs. Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin; 1/8-1/29) At 12-10, the Nittany Lions have matched the most wins under a Patrick Chambers-led team at Penn State (12-20 in 2011-12).

Penn State has had four one-possession games in Big Ten play, the most of any conference team. The Lions are 1-3 in those games. Penn State has held its four of its last five opponents to a combined 37 percent shooting (83-of-224) while forcing an average of 13 turnovers in those games. The Spartans, however, shot 47 percent Thursday, the second-highest B1G opponent shooting percentage this season.

Against Michigan State, Tim Frazier tied the all-time career record at Penn State previously owned by Freddie Barnes (600; 1989-92). He also is tied for No. 10 all-time in the Big Ten and has the fifth-most assists of any active Division I player.

In the last four games, D.J. Newbill is averaging 19.3 ppg with 5.5 rpg. He was named Penn State's first B1G player of the week since 2011 Monday. In the recent three-game win streak, Brandon Taylor was second on the team in scoring with 15.0 ppg, while shooting 47 percent from 3-range.

Donovon Jack and Jordan Dickerson have combined for 21 blocks in the last seven games. Jack is fifth in the Big Ten with 1.9 per game, while Dickerson had a career-high five in the OSU game. In four games as a starter (3-1 record), Graham Woodward is producing 4.8 ppg, nearly two points more than his season average of 2.9.

Probable starters:
D.J. Newbill: G, 6-4, 205, Jr. - 17.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Graham Woodward: G, 6-0, 170, Fr. - 2.9 ppg, 0.9 rpg
Donovon Jack: F, 6-9, 210, So. - 6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Brandon Taylor: F, 6-7, 235, So. - 9.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Tim Frazier: G, 6-1, 170, Gr. - 16.4 ppg, 6.1 apg

Off the bench:
John Johnson: G, 6-1, 175, Jr. - 7.5 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Allen Roberts: G, 6-3, 214, Gr. - 5.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Geno Thorpe: G, 6-3, 180, Fr. - 2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Ross Travis: C, 6-6, 225, So. - 9.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Series history:
Series Record: Illinois leads 26-13
Series Streak: Illinois W-2
Record at State College: Illinois leads 10-7
Series Streak at State College: Penn State W-2
Last Meeting: Illinois 75, Penn State 55 // Jan. 4, 2014 at Champaign
Groce vs. Penn State: 2-0

Notable quotable:

"One of the things you always know when you play them, is how hard and physical his (Penn State Coach Pat Chambers) teams play. I really admire that, certainly from afar, watching them live in person and on film. They play with an extraordinary amount of effort and energy." — Illinois coach John Groce.

Fun fact:

Coach Pat Chambers is the youngest of 12 siblings (nine boys, three girls).

PSU team info:

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