In a cool move by head coach Pat Chambers and the Penn State athletic department, the basketball team will forgo having a game on campus to host Michigan State at Philadelphia’s legendary Palestra this coming season.
It's done: Sparty will face Penn State at Palestra; for Tom Izzo and Philly, it's gonna be a scene https://t.co/NlLGTzStgZ
— David Jones (@djoneshoop) August 22, 2016
The game will be played on Saturday, January 7, 2017, and this is a gift to the many Penn State alum that live in the City of Brotherly Love. Not only that, but many players on Penn State’s roster hail from Philadelphia.
More from GoPSUSports.com, which issued a release Monday:
“We cannot wait to take the Big Ten into Philadelphia this season,” Chambers said. “It is always an incredible experience to play in the Palestra and we are honored to do it this time as the home team. We have so many ties to the city as a program and we look forward to connecting with the alumni and fans in the area.
“I want to thank the Big Ten Conference for working with us to make this game happen, and allowing our vision of playing a Big Ten game in the Palestra to come to fruition.”
When you think about it, it is a genius move by Chambers. He is establishing a strong recruiting base in Philadelphia, as three of the four players he signed to his 2016 recruiting class (which 247Sports ranks as the 26th-best in the nation) hail from the city.
By entertaining one of the country’s most prestigious and productive team in Tom Izzo’s Spartans, he will make the game a must-see event next January. This can only elevate and enhance the visibility of a program that has struggled of late.
The Nittany Lions are coming off solid, yet unspectacular season in which they went 16-16 overall and 7-11 in Big Ten action, where they came in 10th place.