What Division is Penn State Basketball?
Penn State University is an NCAA Division I member school and has been since the school’s football program joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993. The men’s and women’s basketball teams at Penn State play in the Big Ten Conference and are members of the NCAA Division I. This article will explore the history of Penn State Basketball and its current status as a Division I program.
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The Early History of Penn State Basketball
Penn State University first fielded a basketball team in 1909, making it one of the oldest programs in the country. The team had moderate success over the years, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that the program began to take off. During this time, the team won two conference championships and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament, including one to the Elite Eight.
The 1980s and 90s
The 1980s and 90s saw Penn State basketball reach its peak. During this time, the team made four NCAA Tournament appearances, with their best finish coming in 1991 when they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
The team also had success in the Big Ten Conference, winning the regular season title in 1994 and the tournament title in 1995. During this era, the Nittany Lions were led by legendary coach Jerry Dunn and star players such as Pete Lisicky, Calvin Booth, and Joe Crispin.
Since the turn of the century, Penn State basketball has seen a decline in its success. The team has failed to make the NCAA Tournament since 2001 and has not won a conference title since 1995. The team has also struggled to consistently compete in the Big Ten, finishing in the bottom half of the conference in 11 of the last 19 seasons.
The Current State of Penn State Basketball
Despite a recent lack of success, Penn State basketball is still a Division I program and competing in the Big Ten Conference. The team is currently coached by Patrick Chambers and is led by star players such as Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, and Rasir Bolton.
The team has had some recent success, most notably making the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 2018 and 2019. While the team has yet to make a return to the NCAA Tournament, they have been competitive in the Big Ten, finishing as high as fourth in the conference in 2018.
The Future of Penn State Basketball
Penn State basketball is a program on the rise and it’s not far-fetched to think the team could make a return to the NCAA Tournament in the near future. With a talented roster, a passionate fan base, and a strong recruiting class, the Nittany Lions could be poised to make a run at the Big Ten title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
In recent years, the Penn State basketball program has invested in its facilities in order to attract top recruits and put the team in a position to compete for championships. In 2019, the school opened the Pegula Ice Arena, a state-of-the-art practice facility with two full-sized basketball courts, a strength and conditioning center, and a player’s lounge.
The team also plays its home games at the Bryce Jordan Center, a 15,261-seat arena that opened in 1995. The arena is one of the largest in the Big Ten and has hosted numerous NCAA Tournament games throughout the years.
Penn State basketball has done a good job of recruiting top talent in recent years. The team currently has four four-star recruits on their roster and have had seven players drafted into the NBA since 2000.
The team has also been successful in landing transfer players, most notably landing Lamar Stevens and Rasir Bolton in the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes. These two players have been instrumental in the team’s recent success and are a big part of the team’s future plans.
Penn State basketball is an NCAA Division I program and has been a member of the Big Ten Conference since 1993. The team has had some success over the years, winning two conference championships and making three trips to the NCAA Tournament.
In recent years, the team has struggled to compete in the Big Ten, but they have been making strides in the recruiting game and have invested in their facilities. The team is still a long way from competing for championships, but it appears the program is on the rise and could be a force in the Big Ten in the near future.
Penn State University, NCAA Division I, Big Ten Conference, Pegula Ice Arena, Bryce Jordan Center, Recruiting