PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team was swept by Yale and Brown on the road two weeks ago. This weekend, the Quakers try to reverse their fortunes against the Bears and the Bulldogs, this time entertaining both at The Palestra where they are 4-1 in Ivy League play this season (the lone loss coming to Ivy frontrunner Harvard).
GAME 24 - PENN (7-16, 4-5 Ivy League) vs. BROWN (14-10, 6-4)
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 * 7:30 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
TV: NBC Sports Network (Steve Schlanger, Dalen Cuff)
Radio: WNTP 990 AM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
GAME 25 – PENN vs. YALE (14-10, 8-2)
Saturday, March 1, 2014 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
TV: Ivy League Digital Network (there is a fee for this service)
Radio: WXPN 88.5 FM (Matt Leon, Vince Curran)
Thank You, Seniors!
This weekend marks the final home games for five graduating seniors: Fran Dougherty, Cameron Gunter, Miles Jackson-Cartwright, Dau Jok, and Steve Rennard. These five will be honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday night.
The Brown-Yale Home Weekend
*This is the 54th time Penn has hosted Brown and Yale on the same weekend; the Quakers have swept the weekend 37 times and split it 16 times (including last year). Penn has never been swept on this home weekend.
*Last year’s split came when the Quakers opened by losing to Yale before beating Brown. The previous two years before that, Penn swept the Bulldogs and the Bears -- in fact, the Red and Blue have swept this home weekend five of the last nine and 11 of the last 16 seasons.
The Series with Brown
*The Quakers have met the Bears 125 times and hold a 103-22 lead in the series.
*Penn had won six in a row over Brown and nine of the last 10 before two weeks ago, when the Bears defeated the Quakers 62-55 in Providence. Cedric Kuakumensah led Brown with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Sean McGonagill added 15 points. For Penn, Darien Nelson-Henry had 20 points and five blocked shots, while Tony Hicks scored 16 points and Fran Dougherty nearly had a double-double (9 points, 8 rebounds).
*Last year, Penn rolled over Brown here at The Palestra, 71-48, as Miles Jackson-Cartwright had 28 points and Hicks added 15. In the rematch at Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center, Jackson-Cartwright completed a 25-point night by hitting a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds left on the clock to give the Quakers a 66-64 victory.
Friday’s game represents a homecoming of sorts for Brown’s second-year head coach, Mike Martin, who was an assistant here at Penn for six seasons before he was hired by his alma mater.
The Series with Yale
*The Quakers have met the Bulldogs 219 times and lead the series, 146-73.
*Yale has won four of the last five meetings, including a 69-54 decision two weeks ago in New Haven, Conn. In that game, Justin Sears led all scorers with 25 points, while Armani Cotton had 17 points and 11 rebounds. For Penn, Hicks scored 19 points, while Nelson-Henry had 12 points and eight boards.
*The Bulldogs took last year’s opener here in Philadelphia, 68-59, and then rolled the Quakers in New Haven at the end of the season, 79-65. Hicks had 27 points combined in last year’s games.
Up The Scoring Chart
Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright enters this weekend with 1,333 points for his career which is 15th in Penn history; he passed Tony Price (1,322 points from 1977-79) last weekend. Herb Lyon (1,356 points from 1946-50) is next on the list, with Bob Morse (1,381 from 1970-72) ahead of him.
Lists and Lists
Some other all-time lists that bear Jackson-Cartwright’s name entering the weekend...
*4th all-time in minutes played (3,712)
*5th all-time in games started (102)
*7th all-time in assists (335)
*8th all-time in free-throw percentage (81.6)
*9th all-time in free throws made (337)
*t-10th all-time in 3-point FG made (152)
*11th all-time in games played (113)
*11th all-time in steals (124)
Dau Jok, Ambassador
Another senior playing his final home games this weekend, Dau Jok, is racking up the off-court awards this winter…
*In January, Jok was named one of five finalists as the college honoree for the Wooden Citizenship Cup, which will be given by the Athletes For A Better World in April.
*On February 11, Jok was named one of five honorees for the Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Team. along with Danny Berger (Utah State), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Joe Harris (Virginia) and Jordan Morgan (Michigan). The Good Works Team will spend Final Four weekend in Dallas in early April, doing community service programs and being honored for their off-court achievements.
*On February 20, Jok was honored by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) as one of three recipients for its Most Courageous Award, along with Akron men’s basketball operations coordinator Dan Peters and Westmont College women’s basketball coach Kirsten Moore. Dau will receive his award at the USBWA’s honors breakfast during the Final Four in Dallas on Monday, April 7.
With the spate of injuries that have bedeviled the Quakers this season, Coach Allen has reached into the JV program and added freshman guard Matt Poplawski to the roster. He dressed for both games last weekend after practicing on Wednesday and Thursday with the team, playing four minutes and scoring the game’s final two points against Harvard. He will wear #14. This fall, Poplawski was a member of Penn’s Ivy League champion men’s soccer team -- he started all seven of the Quakers’ Ivy matches -- and earned honorable mention All-Ivy in the midfield with six points (2g, 2a).
The Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Speaking of injuries, Penn has lost 82 games to injury this season including five players who have missed more than 10 games apiece due to injury. Six of the nine players who have missed games due to injury -- Camryn Crocker, Julian Harrell, Matt Howard, Greg Louis, Patrick Lucas-Perry, Preston Troutt -- are done for the year.
*Penn is 7-5 this season when leading at the half; aside from the January 31 game at Dartmouth, when the Quakers surrendered a seven-point halftime advantage and lost to the Big Green, the halftime leads they have lost were 1 point (Lafayette), 1 point (Wagner), 2 points (George Mason), and 2 points (at Brown).
*In Penn’s 23 games so far, head coach Jerome Allen has played 15 players in a game twice this season, 14 players four times, and 13 players six times; last weekend, all 11 players who dressed saw game action on both nights.
*Ten different players have made at least two starts for Penn this season, and only senior Fran Dougherty has started all 23 games.
*Penn has used nine different starting lineups this season; that said, the Quakers have started the same five guys the last six games.
*Penn has four players averaging double figures in scoring -- Tony Hicks (15.5), Dougherty (12.4), Darien Nelson-Henry (11.1), Miles Jackson-Cartwright (10.7) -- but the Quakers have had more than three double-figure scorers in a game just twice this season (January 25 against NJIT, February 22 vs. Dartmouth).
*Five different players have led Penn in scoring (Dougherty, Jackson-Cartwright, Hicks, Nelson-Henry, Harrell) and all five have had at least one 20-point game.
*After recording 14 rebounds combined in Penn’s first four games (3.5 rpg), Dougherty has 151 in the last 19 contests (7.9 rpg); he has snared nine or more boards in 10 of Penn’s last 17 games.
*Dougherty also has scored in double figures in five of the last six games (14.5 ppg in that stretch); in the one game he didn’t reach double digits, at Brown, he scored nine.
*Hicks has led Penn or shared the lead in scoring in nine of the last 13 games (16.9 ppg in that stretch); the only game in which he didn’t reach double figures in scoring during this stretch was January 31 at Dartmouth (4 points).
*Nelson-Henry went 2-of-6 from the field last Saturday against Dartmouth; prior to that, he had shot 25-of-32 (78.1 percent) from the field over his previous seven contests.
*Jackson-Cartwright has hit six three-pointers in one game this season (Rider), five treys in another game (Monmouth), and four in three other games (Villanova, George Mason, NJIT).
*Fellow senior Steve Rennard, meanwhile, has hit three treys in three different games this season (Saint Joseph’s, at Dartmouth, home vs. Dartmouth).
*Jackson-Cartwright enters the weekend having hit 28 of his last 32 free throws, while Hicks has hit 31 of his last 36.
*Jackson-Cartwright made his 100th career start two weeks ago at Brown; in fact, he has started 102 of the last 105 games he has played at Penn. Earlier this season, he came off the bench at Marist due to a thumb injury. The other times he played in a game but did not start during this stretch? Dec. 10, 2011 at UCLA, and March 8, 2011 against Princeton (Penn’s Senior Day of his freshman year).