It looks like the Penn State basketball team will return to Philadelphia this season.

According to college basketball analyst Rocco Miller, Penn State is in the process of finalizing an agreement with Drexel to play a neutral-site game on Dec. 21 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

That makes perfect sense.

Penn State is a big name in the Philadelphia area, and although PSU doesn't currently have any Philadelphia players on its roster, one area helped the program thrive in the not-too-distant past. One of the best players in school history, Lamar Stevens, played at Roman Catholic High School in Philly.

Philadelphia has a rich basketball tradition, something that second-year Penn State coach Mike Rhoades knows.

Rhoades grew up in Schuylkill County and played college basketball in Lebanon Valley, about two hours from Philly.

Rhoades is completely fine with Penn State playing on neutral ground.

“I'll play anybody, anywhere,” Rhoades said last January. “If it's at the Palestra, even better. That's cool. It would be great to be here for so many reasons. Players on the team, recruiting, our fans are here. But look, I don't know if you know this, but my grandfather played at Villanova in the late '20s, early '30s. He played at the Palestra. I got to coach Penn State in my home state and beat Michigan at the Palestra. Come on, man. Pretty cool. That's the exciting thing about it. It's a game. It's a cool game. We won. I got to coach a team at the Palestra. We get on the bus and eat a cheesesteak back to the snow. I'm all for that.”

The Palestra, of course, is arguably the most historic arena in college basketball, and a place where Penn State played last season under Rhoades (against Michigan) and the year before (against Purdue) under Micah Shrewsberry. It's not yet official if Penn State will return there this season, but PSU will face the Palestra's primary tenant, Penn, on Dec. 29 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *