It is a day that will live in infamy.
Not because of a basketball game, but still.
Marshall University has announced that they’ll traverse roughly 400 miles of prime coal-mining country that lies between Huntington and Happy Valley on December 7 of this year, so they can renew their basketball series with Penn State.
Tom Herrion’s club will be looking to build momentum for the regular season. The Thundering Herd haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1987, and it’s always taken an auto-bid to get them there. With C-USA’s membership dramatically altered by realignment, it’s anybody’s guess as to how many bids the league can garner in the upcoming season. Every win will count, and every loss will hurt, badly.
History is not on Marshall’s side in this one, as reported by the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
Marshall has played the Nittany Lions five times previously and lost all five. The most recent meetings were in the 1991-92 season. Penn State defeated Marshall, 78-64, on Dec. 29, 1991, at the Palm Beach Classic in West Palm Beach, Fla., and also won at Cam Henderson Center, 67-60, on Jan. 16, 1992.
The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, would like to show some growth in a Big Ten that has just gotten tougher. Penn State has won just six league games in two years under Pat Chambers, and a weak non-conference game like this one won’t help them, win or lose. More than anything, these early season tests will give Chambers an idea of which supporting players might lend a hand to D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier. That’s a great backcourt by any measure, but PSU will need a lot more than that to contend.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.