Penn State Hoops Opens Vs. VMI, Earl

The Nittany Lions tip off the 2015-16 season against VMI Saturday. The Keydets are led by a very familiar face.

VMI (0-0) @ Penn State (0-0)

WHEN: Saturday, 1 p.m.

WHERE: Bryce Jordan Center

TV: BTNPlus

LINE: Penn State -13.5 as of Friday afternoon

PROBABLE STARTERS

Penn State

G Shep Garner (6-1, 185, So.)

G Josh Reaves (6-4, 190, Fr.)

F Payton Banks (6-6, 220, RS-So.)

F Brandon Taylor (6-6, 225, Sr.)

C Jordan Dickerson (7-1, 245, Sr.)

VMI

G Q.J. Peterson (6-0, 190, Jr.)

G Tim Marshall (6-3, 185, Sr.)

G Julian Eleby (6-3, 190, Jr.)

F Trey Chapman (6-6, 205, Jr.)

F Phillip Anglade (6-5, 210, Sr.)

SHORT SHOTS

The Lions are led by fifth-year coach Pat Chambers. PSU is coming off a season in which it went 18-16 overall and 4-14 in the Big Ten, but won three of its last four games.

VMI is coached by former Nittany Lion player and assistant coach Danny Earl. He is in his first year as a head coach. The Keydets went 11-19 overall and 7-11 in the Southern Conference last season.

Earl, a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 1996, will be honored before the game.

Chambers indicated that his primary rotation will also include guards Devin Foster and Isaiah Washington, as well as forwards Donovon Jack, Davis Zemgulis and Julian Moore.

Chambers said this well could be the best long-range shooting team he has had as a head coach. Three forwards Banks, Taylor and the rookie Zemgulis should really help in that area.

Peterson averaged 19.6 ppg last season and is a preseason All SoCon pick.

The Keydets averaged 11.4 3-pointers per game last season.

Penn States projected starting lineup weighs a combined 1,065 pounds (acording to listed weights). VMIs tips the scales at 980. So the average Lion starter (213) outweighs the average Keydet starter (196) by 17 pounds. Thats probably going to be more of a factor in this game than PSUs significant height advantage.

That said, VMI does not have a player taller than 6-6.

The Keydets were projected to finish last in the Southern Conference by the media and conference coaches.

Penn State had only one double-figure scorer last season in the since-graduated D.J. Newbill. Chambers said he expects to have three or even four players average in double figures this winter.

Chambers has won all four of his season openers at Penn State, all of them at home. The Lions have won 10 straight season openers, again, all of them at home.

Penn State leads the series 3-1 but the two teams have not played since a 129-111 Lion win at the BJC in 2006.

All fans will receive a 2015-16 schedule poster.


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