Penn State Basketball

Penn State men’s basketball officially skipping the CBI again

Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers yells to the refs about a call during the Feb. 4 game at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers yells to the refs about a call during the Feb. 4 game at the Bryce Jordan Center. adrey@centredaily.com

The Penn State men’s basketball team will officially not compete in the postseason this year.

After finishing this season with a 15-18 record, the Nittany Lions “did not pursue” a spot in the College Basketball Invitational, a Penn State spokesperson said in a text message Sunday night. The CBI is a 16-team postseason tournament featuring teams that did not receive bids to the NCAA tournament or National Invitation Tournament.

The NCAA tournament, NIT and CBI brackets were announced Sunday.

A Penn State spokesperson said in a text message Thursday night that no official decision had been made about postseason play, as the team’s focus was on the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lions lost 78-51 to Michigan State last Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. A blog post on the university’s official site, GoPSUsports.com, noted Penn State’s season “came to a close” after the loss.

It will be the third straight season Penn State has not played in the CBI.

Penn State played in the CBI in 2014, entering the tournament that year with a 15-17 record. The 2017 CBI marks the 10th year of the tournament. Colorado was the last Power 5 program to play in the CBI in 2015.

The Nittany Lions went 6-12 in the Big Ten during the regular season, finishing tied for 12th with Nebraska. They closed the regular season on a five-game losing streak before beating the Cornhuskers in the first round of the conference tournament and falling to Michigan State in the second round.

Freshman point guard Tony Carr averaged a team-high 13.2 points for the Nittany Lions, who did not have a senior on the roster. Freshman forward Lamar Stevens was second on the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game, followed by junior guard Shep Garner (12.0) and redshirt junior forward Payton Banks (10.4).

Redshirt freshman forward Mike Watkins led the team with 8.1 rebounds per game and 2.7 blocks per game.

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