Penn State's non-conference basketball schedule was finally released Tuesday, and there were no surprises regarding the opponents on the slate.
There was, however, a bit of a shocker when it came to the locations of a couple of the games. On PSU's promotional Coaches Caravan earlier this year (see the video above), Nittany Lion coach Pat Chambers hinted that his team would be returning to venerable Rec Hall for a game in 2015-16.
As it turns out, Penn State will be back in the 6,200-seat arena for TWO games this year.
As part of the Las Vegas Classic (more on this later), the Nittany Lions will face Canisius at Rec Hall Dec. 10 and Louisiana-Monroe there two days later.
Since moving to the Bryce Jordan Center during the 1995-96 season, State has played only one game at Rec Hall -- a heartbreaking come-from-ahead loss to Princeton in December of 2013.
Otherwise, the home non-con slate is not exactly high on "name" opponents. There is a visit from DePaul as part of the new Big Ten-Big East Gavitt Tipoff series, but the Blue Demons are coming off a rough year (12-19).
But Radford (22-12), Bucknell (19-15), Louisiana-Monroe (24-14) and Eastern Michigan (21-14) all appear to be quality opponents.
The best opponent on the non-con -- by far -- is Larry Brown's SMU club (27-7). But the Lions will likely have to beat Colorado in the first-round when the Las Vegas Classic arrives in Sin City to get a crack at the Mustangs.
Meanwhile, Chambers continues to schedule games in major media markets in the region. The Lions will face Duquesne in Pittsburgh, George Washington in Washington, D.C., and Drexel in Philadelphia. This in addition to a Big Ten game vs. Michigan in New York.
Here are the 2014-15 records of all of Penn State's non-conference opponents, followed by a screen grab of the actual schedule.
VMI (11-19, 7-11)
DePaul (12-20, 6-12)
@ Duquesne (12-19, 6-12)
Radford (22-12, 12-6)
Bucknell (19-15, 13-5)
@ Boston College (13-19, 4-13)
Eastern Michigan (21-14, 8-10)
Canisius (18-15, 11-19)
Louisiana-Monroe (24-14, 14-6)
@ Drexel (11-19, 9-9)
Colorado (16-18, 7-11)
SMU (27-7, 15-3) or Kent State (23-12, 12-6)