VIDEO: Penn State Hoops Tours NIL Food Truck Charity Event
The Penn State men’s basketball team now knows what’s ahead of it this winter after it released its 2023-24 schedule Tuesday afternoon. The Nittany Lions are entering a new era with first-year coach Mike Rhoades, and the program is also looking to build off of last season’s NCAA Tournament appearance, which was the first in more than a decade.
Penn State will open the season against Delaware State on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Bryce Jordan Center, and the early season non-conference slate also features games against Lehigh, St. Francis (Pa.), Morehead State, Bucknell, Le Moyne and Rider, plus a trip to Florida for the ESPN Events Invitational over Thanksgiving.
Penn State will open conference play at Maryland on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The first home conference game will be against Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 9. In total, the Nittany Lions will play 20 Big Ten games from early December through March. Penn State plays two conference games in December, but then league play begins in earnest in January with a trip to Michigan State on Thursday, Jan. 4 to kick off 18 consecutive Big Ten tilts to end the year.
Maryland bookends the Big Ten season with the Nittany Lions hosting the Terrapins in the season finale on Sunday, March 10.
Penn State went 10-10 in Big Ten play last season. The Nittany Lions finished in 10th place in the conference standings, which set them up for an unexpected run to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament title game in Chicago in March where they ultimately lost to Purdue while playing their fourth game in four days.
Penn State earned the No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and blew out No. 7-seed Texas A&M for the program’s first tournament win since 2001, but the Nittany Lions fell to No. 2-seed Texas in the second round.
Coach Micah Shrewsberry departed for Notre Dame after two seasons during the offseason, and Penn State hired Rhoades away from VCU to replace him. Rhoades, a Pennsylvania native who starred at Lebanon Valley College in the 1990s, rebuilt a Nittany Lions roster that returned only three scholarship players — forward Demetrius Lilley and guards Kanye Clary and Jameel Brown — from last season.
Penn State has already gotten the chance to play games together during a foreign trip to the Bahamas in August. The Nittany Lions won both exhibition games, and it gave the players a key opportunity to bond and work together before the games begin counting in November.
“It was a good experience,” Johnson told Lions247 last month. “We got to bond, and we got a lot of practices and we got to learn each other’s game more just because a lot of new faces, a lot of new transfers and even a new coach. So we all got a good taste of what’s coming for the season before it’s even started.”