Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Basketball

Lions not selected to play in postseason NIT

Photo from Penn State Twitter: John Harrar

In what has to be considered a surprise, Penn State was not selected for the postseason NIT on Sunday night.

The Nittany Lions have just an 11-14 record, and they went just 7-12 in the Big Ten (8-13 when considering two Big Ten Tournament games). But that wasn’t good enough to be selected for the 16-team NIT field.

Not only was PSU not among the 16 teams invited, the Lions were not listed as one of the “first four” teams out in the selection show on ESPNU. Those teams will be on standbye, in case another team cannot participate. The first four teams on standbye are Belmont, Furman, Marshall and UAB.

RELATED: The full NIT bracket can be found here

There are only 16 teams in this year’s NIT field, down from the usual 32. All games will be played in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Teams did not need to have a winning record in order to be selected for NIT. However, no team in the field has a record below .500.

Penn State is No. 42 in the NCAA NET rankings, which were used to help select teams for the NCAA Tournament. Because of that, and the Lions’ good wins this season, many believed PSU would make the NIT.

But the school is looking for a new head coach, after interim coach Jim Ferry led the squad this season. Athletic director Sandy Barbour has said that she wants to name the next head coach immediately after the season.

Given where the program is, and the decision that looms with a new head coach, is it possible that Penn State might have been selected but chose to opt out of the NIT? Hopefully we can find out the answer to that in the coming days. Other teams such as Xavier, Seton Hall and St. John’s reportedly opted out of the NIT.

Update: Barbour tweeted this out late Sunday, so it does appear that PSU was ready to accept an NIT bid if it had received one.

Ferry said after a loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament that the Lions would accept an NIT bid if invited.

“We will absolutely play in the NIT, and we are all on the same page — school, the players, we all want to keep this thing going. So, if we get invited, we’d be more than happy. We’d be excited to play in the NIT, absolutely.”

These tweets from Jamari Wheeler and Myles Dread would seem to indicate that Penn State did want to be invited.

Giger’s take

Penn State’s season is over, and to be honest, that’s a good thing. It would have been fun to see if the Lions could have made a run in the NIT, and they certainly could have done just that. PSU has won the tournament the last two times it appeared (2009, 2018).

But it’s time to move on.

The program needs to hire a new coach, and frankly, getting that process completed as quickly as possible is more important than seeing what the team might be able to do in the NIT over the next couple of weeks.

Going to the NIT this year would have been different.

First, it probably would have cost the school money to do so, and as I’ve written about extensively, finances with men’s basketball are a very precarious thing. What’s the point of losing ANY money if you can spend that toward the next head coach or his staff?

Become a Nittany Pride member for an ad-free experience throughout the site and even more exclusive in-depth content. You can sign up for $3.99 per month or get a yearly subscription for only $38.00.

Second, what if Penn State went on a great run and actually won the NIT? That may only add more pressure to AD Sandy Barbour about perhaps having to retain Ferry as head coach, and at this point, that simply would not be a good move.

The season is over.

It’s time for Penn State to start preparing for the future, whatever that may hold.

Fan reaction

Click for more Nittany Sports Now coverage

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

Click to comment

Sound Off!

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

Most Viewed

Big Ten or ACC? Which is the better home for Penn State?
Franklin: 'We've got a chip on our shoulder'
Lions get commitment from elite offensive lineman Birchmeier to start 2023 class
James and the 'Fatman': Lions continue to stockpile talent at RB
Recruiting notebook: Breaking down defensive commits, and top targets left at each position
How much money is Penn State paying Shrewsberry? And why won't the school tell us?
How long will Mike Yurcich be at Penn State?
Top recruit in PA, DE Enai White, not planning official visit to PSU, but unofficial visit planned
Bishop Guilfoyle girls win PIAA Class 1A state championship
Single-game tickets on sale for State College Spikes' inaugural season in MLB Draft League

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Basketball

0 Micah Shrewsberry’s first game as Penn State’s basketball coach will be at home against Youngstown State on Nov. 10, according to a report...

PSU Basketball

0 Penn State picked up its fourth commitment from the transfer portal on Sunday when 6-foot-9, 210-pounder Greg Lee announced he is transferring to...

PSU Basketball

0 Western Michigan’s Greg Lee, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound senior forward, reportedly has Penn State among the finalists for a landing spot out of the...

PSU Basketball

0 Yet another Penn State basketball player has entered the transfer portal — bringing the total to a whopping nine this offseason — as...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend