Nittany Lions



Nittany Lions Highlights

General Information

Conference: Big Ten

NCAA Division: Division I

City: University Park, Pennsylvania

Stadium: Beaver Stadium


  • National Championships: 7
  • Conference Titles: 5
  • NCAA Tournaments: 2

Past Conferences:

  • Southern

Penn State Nittany Lions Standings & Analysis

The Penn State Nittany Lions football team had a mixed season, finishing with an overall record of 7-6, including a 4-5 record in Big Ten conference play. The team had some impressive victories, including a thrilling 20-18 win over the then-22nd-ranked Auburn Tigers in September, but also suffered several tough losses throughout the season.

All-Time Penn State Nittany Lions Stats & Records

Points Scored

  • Talor Battle: 2,213
  • Lamar Stevens: 2,207
  • Jesse Arnelle: 2,138


  • Jesse Arnelle: 1,238
  • Mike Watkins: 953
  • Mike Lang: 912


  • Tim Frazier: 641
  • Freddie Barnes: 600
  • Dan Earl: 574


  • John Egli: 187
  • Bruce Parkhill: 181
  • John Lawther: 150

Overview of the Penn State Nittany Lions Standings

Last-Season Standings

The Penn State Nittany Lions standings had an up-and-down season in 2021-2022, finishing with an overall record of 12-20, including a 6-14 record in Big Ten conference play. The team struggled early on, losing several non-conference games before picking up a few wins in conference play.

Despite the team’s struggles, several players had standout performances throughout the season. Senior guard Izaiah Brockington was a key contributor, averaging 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while junior forward Seth Lundy provided solid production with 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Jalen Pickett also had a strong debut season, averaging 10.2 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game.

In terms of conference rankings, the Nittany Lions finished 13th out of 14 teams in the Big Ten, ahead of only the Northwestern Wildcats. The team did not receive an invitation to compete in the NCAA tournament or the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Despite the disappointing season, there were several bright spots for the Nittany Lions. In February, the team picked up an impressive win over the then-13th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 90-76. The team also competed hard in several other close games, including a narrow 61-60 loss to the Maryland Terrapins in February.

Looking ahead to the 2022-2023 season, the Nittany Lions will look to improve their performance and compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament. While the team will lose several key players to graduation, including Brockington and guard Sam Sessoms, they will also have several returning players who gained valuable experience during the previous season. With a strong recruiting class also joining the team, there is reason to be optimistic about the Nittany Lions’ standings chances in the upcoming season.

Before Betting on Penn State Nittany Lions, Check Out These Tips:

Look at the Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Nittany Lions is crucial when placing a bet. If the team has a strong defense, for example, they may be more likely to win games with lower scores. If they have a potent offense, they may be more likely to win games with higher scores. Analyzing the team’s strengths and weaknesses will help you make a more informed betting decision.

Consider Home and Away Performances:

When betting on the Nittany Lions, it’s important to take into account their performance at home versus away. Some teams tend to perform better at home due to the support of their home crowd, while others may perform better on the road due to their ability to handle pressure in a hostile environment. Check the team’s home and away records to help inform your betting decision.

Analyze the Team’s Current Form:

Before placing a bet on the Nittany Lions, it’s important to consider their current form. Look at the team’s recent performances, including their win-loss record, scores in recent games, and performance against teams with similar abilities. This will give you a good idea of whether the team is in good form or not.

Keep an Eye on Injuries and Suspensions:

Injuries and suspensions can significantly impact a team’s performance. Before placing a bet on the Nittany Lions, check to see if any key players are injured or suspended, as this may have an impact on the team’s ability to win games. Additionally, pay attention to any recent injuries that may have occurred during practice or warm-ups, as these can also impact a player’s performance.

Penn State Nittany Lions Basketball History

Penn State is definitively a football school. The men’s basketball team has stolen some of the thunder a few times over the years, but it largely lurks in the background behind the school’s many other athletic powerhouses.

The Nittany Lions standings first joined a conference in 1935 as part of the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference and proceeded to go 0-10 in league play that season. It finished at .500 or better in EIC action over the next three campaigns before the conference ended, following the 1938-39 season.

Penn State rejoined the independent ranks and quickly formed a powerful unit that went 18-3 in 1941-42 en route to the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. The rest of that decade was rather mediocre, but the Lions became somewhat more regular in the postseason when the 1950s rolled around.

Under head coach Elmer Gross, Penn State made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1952, 1954, and 1955. The 1954 team, led by Jesse Arnelle, reached the Final Four before a loss to eventual champion LaSalle.

Arnelle, who also played football at the school and was Penn State’s first black student body president, was the program’s only 2,000-point scorer for more than 50 years before Talor Battle; then, Lamar Stevens joined the ranks. Arnelle averaged 26.1 points and 15.3 rebounds in the following season (1954-55,) but the Lions only won one game in the NCAA Tournament.

That season was also the first for head coach John Egli, who won 187 games at the school. Egli led a 20-win team to the NCAA Tournament in 1965 and the NIT in 1966, both of which resulted in first-round exits.

After that 1965 run came to an end, Penn State would go 26 seasons before returning to the Big Dance. There were plenty of competitive teams in that span, but none stood out. And the program bottomed out in the early 1980s, winning just five games in Bruce Parkhill’s first season in 1983-84.

Parkhill, who had previously made William & Mary into a winning program, had his sights set on doing the same in State College. His second team at Penn State won eight games, his third claimed 12 victories, and his fourth -in 1986-8- saw the Lions return to the plus side of .500 at 15-12.

Penn State was in the Atlantic-10, now alongside regional rivals like West Virginia, Temple, and Rutgers. It finished fourth in the league in 1989 with a 12-6 mark, and won one game in the NIT that year, the program’s first postseason triumph of any kind since 1955.

In 1989-90, with a team led by senior center Ed Fogell and tough-minded players like James Barnes and Freddie Barnes (no relation,) won 25 games and was second in the A-10. Alas, it was left out of the NCAA Tournament and resorted to playing in the NIT, making it to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

Parkhill had taken a five-win program and turned it into a solid competitor, playing in the most hallowed basketball arena in the world in just six years. And he’d take the Lions to another level in 1991, when they shook off some late-season struggles to win the A-10 tourney and enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 13 seed.

Behind 19 points by James Barnes and a superb second half, Penn State stunned fourth-seeded UCLA in the first round. It was the biggest win in Nittany Lions’ history, but their run came to an end two days later in overtime against Eastern Michigan.

Parkhill lasted a few more seasons, winning 21 games and again reaching the semifinals of the NIT in 1995. Jerry Dunn took over the following season, and the Lions opened 13-0 to vault into the top 20. Penn State finished second in the Big Ten, a conference it joined in 1992, but suffered a first-round upset loss to Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Dunn led one more team to the NCAA Tournament in 2001, and there it picked up a victory even bigger than the upset of UCLA 10 years earlier. After gaining a No. 7 seed and defeating Providence in the first round, the Lions were matched up with blue-blood North Carolina, featuring Brendan Haywood, Joseph Forte, Jason Capel, and Julius Peppers.

UNC led at halftime but could not put the Lions away. Titus Ivory, who went to high school in Charlotte, NC, led a late Penn State charge that resulted in an 82-74 upset and a trip to the Sweet 16 for the boys from State College.

Like in previous times, when the program had flirted with greatness, it then fell on hard times again. The next four seasons -two under Dunn and two under Ed DeChellis- resulted in a combined record of 30-84 and multiple last-place finishes in the Big Ten.

DeChellis won a school-record 27 wins and an NIT crown with the Lions in 2009, and his crew reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011. They lost to Temple in the first round and haven’t been back since. As fate would have it, one more Nittany Lions squad again flirted with something special before the powers that be -in this case, COVID- robbed them.

Indeed, the 2019-20 team had something going before the pandemic struck. Its NCAAB odds weren’t all that great to open the campaign, but early wins over Georgetown, Syracuse, and fourth-ranked Maryland altered the trajectory.

An eight-game winning streak in Big Ten play turned heads nationally, as the Lions hosted a rare sellout at Bryce Jordan Center and reached No. 9 in the country at one point. Alas, COVID put an end to a run that had the campus abuzz and certainly would’ve ended the team’s NCAA Tournament drought.

Star senior Lamar Stevens has even kept seven points short of the school’s all-time scoring record in a cruel twist of fate. That was Patrick Chambers’ ninth and final season as the team’s head coach. Jim Ferry guided the squad through a losing 2020-21 season and Micah Shrewsberry did the same in 2021-22.

The Penn State Nittany Lions team stats page from last season showed a senior-laden squad that struggled to score. Betting tips suggest that they’ll finish near the bottom of the Big Ten again in 2022-23, but there is talent on this team and it seems to be pointed in a positive direction under Shrewsberry.

Penn State Nittany Lions Basketball FAQs

What is the highest win total in Penn State Nittany Lions history?

The 2008-09 team won 27 games, the last five of which came in a title run in the NIT.

What was the worst season in Penn State Nittany Lions history?

Bruce Parkhill would win 181 games at Penn State, but just 5 against 22 losses in his first season, 1983-84.

Who is the greatest player in Penn State Nittany Lions history?

Penn State has reached the NCAA Tournament nine times and three of those came with Jesse Arnelle on the roster. The program’s all-time leading rebounder – by a wide margin – is also third on its scoring list.
Arnelle played a season in the NBA with the Fort Wayne Pistons and was also drafted into the NFL. He later became a high-powered attorney in San Francisco.
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