Penn State Basketball Makes Smart Move, Schedules Two-Game Road Series With Drexel
If we're being frank here, Penn State basketball attendance around the end of December is simply bad. Students are on break and the rest of Happy Valley's general disinterest in picking up the slack has led to lackluster crowds.
So head coach Pat Chambers and the Nittany Lions are going to make the most of at least one of these late December games. They'll be playing a two-game away from home series against Drexel. The first of the two games will be played against the Dragons on Saturday, Dec. 20 at the soon-to-open PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The second game will be played the next season at a location to be determined.
“We are excited to play at the new PPL Center in Allentown,” Chambers said. “With so many Penn State fans and alumni spread throughout the state, anytime we have a chance to play a game in front of them is something we will explore. We hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to come out as we take on a talented and well-coached team in Drexel.”
And that's the smart move.
Penn State could stay at home and play a game at the BJC but there is nothing to be gained. So Chambers will take his team and the program out to one of the state's biggest recruiting areas against a team from the state's biggest basketball hotbed to play in a marquee game.
Sure, Penn State basketball isn't going to change overnight, but playing two games against a Philadelphia team in the Allentown/Philadelphia area is going to help in the long haul. Program relevancy can be a big part of the recruiting process and the best way to be relevant to a recruit is to play in his backyard.
In essence Penn State is giving up a home game for a chance to spread the Penn State basketball message to recruits and fans in a different part of the state.
It says a lot about Chambers' willingness to do the unconventional in order to move the program forward.