Penn State to play in 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off
The Penn State men’s basketball team will compete in a strong eight-team field in the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off played Nov. 15-18 in historic San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Nittany Lions will be joined in the Puerto Rico field by five teams that reached the 2012 post-season and four teams that finished 2012 in the top 100 of the RPI, with all eight teams finishing 160 or lower. In the field are 2012 NCAA Tournament participants North Carolina State and UNC Asheville; 2012 NIT participants Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Akron; as well as Oklahoma State from the Big 12 Conference and Providence from the Big East. Games will be played Thursday,Nov. 15, Friday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. The bracket for the annual event will be announced at a later date.
“We are excited to take our team to Puerto Rico to play in a great tournament against an outstanding field of teams,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “This will be a memorable experience for our players both on and off the floor. We look forward to the terrific competition and the early challenge!”
Chambers will be making his second trip to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off as a head coach. He led his Boston University team to a 1-2 mark in the 2009 Puerto Rico Tip-Off and downed Indiana in San Juan, 71-67, for his first victory as a head coach. The 2012 tournament will mark the fourth-straight year in which a Big Ten team has competed in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Minnesota won the event in 2010 and Purdue fell in the championship game to Alabama, 65-56, last year.
The event will mark Penn State’s 69th appearance in a regular season tournament, but the program’s first-ever trip to Puerto Rico and first regular season games outside of the contiguous United States since playing three games in the Seawolf Classic in Anchorage Alaska in 1978. Penn State is 68-83 all-time in regular season tournaments, including going 3-1 last year in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament. The Lions downed Radford and Long Island at the Bryce Jordan Center and fell to eventual 2012 NCAA Champion and then No. 2-ranked Kentucky and defeated 2012 NCAA participant South Florida in two games played at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and in last year’s Hall of Fame Tournament. Penn State has claimed 10 regular season tournament championships and 11 second-place finishes.
The Puerto Rico Tip-Off is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. The tournament has been played since 2007 with Alabama (2011), Minnesota (2010), Villanova (2009), Xavier (2008) and Miami (2007) claiming tournament championships.
The family-friendly tournament and resort destination of Puerto Rico will host the teams to three days of play, practices and immersion into the Puerto Rican culture and landscape. To learn more about the event, visit the tournament's official website at www.PuertoRicoTipOff.com or follow the tournament's official Twitter feed, @ESPN_PRTipOff.
Travel packages and discounted hotel accommodations are available to fans through Anthony Travel, the official travel provider of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Packages include hotel accommodations, game day transportation, an all-session pass to the games and access to an exclusive banquet reception with the players and coaches (limited availability). For more information or to book your travel to the tournament, please visit www.AnthonyTravel.com or call (888) 632-6951.
First-team All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) will return for his senior season to lead a Nittany Lion team that returns four players that started at least 16 games last year and its top two scorers in Frazier, who finished second in the Big Ten at 18.8 ppg, and junior guard Jermaine Marshall (Etters,Pa.), who posted 10.8 ppg. Bolstering that group will be Southern Mississippi transfer D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) who sat out last season after posting 9.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg as a freshman for the Golden Eagles in 2010-11. Penn State will return 70 percent of its scoring, 60 percent of its rebounding and 78 percent of its assists from a team that posted a 12-20 mark in Chambers’ first season.