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5 Things to Know Before Penn State-Purdue Men’s Basketball at The Palestra

Penn State beat Indiana, 85-66, led by coach Micah Shrewsberry
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry on the sidelines during the menÕs Big Ten tournament college basketball game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Minnesota Golden Gophers on March 9, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Penn State men’s basketball has a big chance to make a statement Sunday night when it takes on the No. 1 team in the country, Purdue, at the “Cathedral of College Basketball.” Here are five things to know.


The most unique thing about this game is the setting. Penn State (11-4, 2-2) is playing No. 1 Purdue (14-1, 3-1) in Philadelphia’s famous Palestra, which has been open since 1927 and is one of college basketball’s most prominent venues. Penn State has played in the Palestra 60 times before— dating back to a month after it opened— and twice in the Big Ten.

oThe program is 2-0 against Big Ten teams at the venue, beating Michigan State in 2017 and Iowa in 2020.

Penn State has won its last four games in the Palestra and looks to make it five Sunday.


An interesting subplot to this game is Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry going against his old boss and old school. Shrewsberry coached at Purdue for two stints (2011-13, 2019-21).

Shrewsberry coached against Purdue twice last season, once in the regular season and once in the Big Ten Tournament. The novelty of Shrewsberry coaching against his old school has worn off.

But his quest of getting his first win against Matt Painter hasn’t.


It isn’t often a team has to game plan for a 7-foot-4 player, and it’s even more challenging when that 7-foot-4 player is averaging more than 21 points and 13 rebounds. Purdue’s Zach Edey is a force, and Shrewsberry knows it.

“He doesn’t mind contact,” Shrewsberry told reporters in a press conference this Thursday. “He actually likes contact. Where you find some big guys that like to shy away from it a little bit, but he’s a dude that constantly works. He’s a great example for a lot of people. He was never proclaimed to be a good player. He made himself a good player.”


Purdue is No. 1 for a reason. Although the Boilers slipped against Rutgers, Purdue is still one of, if not the best teams in the country. The Boilers bounced back from the Rutgers setback with a 71-69 win at Ohio State Friday night. Purdue is third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, giving up 61.4 points per game.

Offensively, only Edey and guard Fletcher Loyer (12.1 PPG) are averaging double-figures in scoring. Braden Smith (9.4), Brandon Newman (7.7) and Caleb Furst (7.4) are also contributors, and the scrappy play of Butler, Pennsylvania, son Ethan Morton has benefitted Purdue as well. Purdue has a point margin of +14.5, good for third in the Big Ten.

Penn State has a lot of work to do.


Penn State men’s basketball and Purdue Purdue will tip-off at 6 on the Big Ten Network. For those who aren’t making the trip to Philly, here’s how to watch and listen to the game.

TV announcers: Brandon Gaudin (PXP), Robbie Hummel (color), Andy Katz (sideline)

Radio: Penn State Radio Network 

Radio Announcers: Steve Jones (PXP), Dick Jerardi (color)

SiriusXM: Channel 390, 980 (app)


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