PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team started the Ivy League campaign on the right foot exactly two months ago, defeating Princeton at The Palestra. On Tuesday, the Quakers hope to end things the way they started them -- with a win over the Tigers. It would be a nice way to end a season that has not met the optimism that emerged from that first victory.
GAME 28 - PENN (8-19, 5-8 Ivy League) at PRINCETON (19-8, 7-6)
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 * 8 p.m.
Jadwin Gym (Princeton, N.J.)
TV: Ivy League Digital Network (there is a fee for this service)
Radio: WNTP 990 AM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
The Penn-Princeton Series
*The Quakers have matched up with the Tigers more than any other opponent in men’s basketball, 229 times. Penn holds a 124-105 lead in the series.
*Penn snapped a three-game Princeton streak in the series on January 11, winning 77-74 at The Palestra. Tony Hicks scored 18 points to lead the Quakers, while Fran Dougherty had a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Darien Nelson-Henry had 17 points and eight boards.
*Last year, the Tigers swept the season series, winning 65-53 here in Princeton and then 71-58 at The Palestra.
*Excluding the last few years, these two programs were the flagship for the Ivy League for literally decades. Consider these notes...
*Penn and/or Princeton won every Ivy League title from 1989-2007 (Penn 9 outright, Princeton 8 outright, 2 shared with each other)
*From 1959-2007, Penn and/or Princeton won at least a share of the Ivy League title all but three years (Cornell won the title outright in 1988, Brown did it in 1986, and Yale did it in 1962).
*In 2008, ESPN.com rated the most prestigious college basketball programs of all time; Penn came in 34th, while Princeton was 40th.
*In 2005, The Sporting News rated the greatest college basketball programs of all time; Penn came in 16th, while Princeton was 19th.
Up The Scoring Chart
Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright enters his final game at Penn with 1,389 points for his career which is 13th in Penn history; he passed Bob Morse (1,381 points from 1970-72) over the weekend. Mark Zoller (1,429 points from 2004-07) is next on the list, in 12th place.
Dau Jok, Ambassador
Another senior, 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 has dressed for the last six games, playing in three of them 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 entered the weekend having lost 106 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 enters Tuesday’s game 8-5 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 lost were 1 point (Lafayette), 1 point (Wagner), 2 points (George Mason), and 2 points (at Brown).
*Eleven different players have made at least two starts for Penn this season, and only senior Fran Dougherty has started all 27 games.
*Penn has used 12 different starting lineups this season, including three different lineups in the last three games.
*Penn has four players averaging double figures in scoring -- Tony Hicks (15.5), Dougherty (12.4), Miles Jackson-Cartwright (11.6), Darien Nelson-Henry (10.3) -- 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).
*Six different players have led Penn in scoring this season (Dougherty, Jackson-Cartwright, Hicks, Nelson-Henry, Dau Jok, Julian Harrell), and all six have had at least one 20-point game.
*After recording 14 rebounds combined in Penn’s first four games (3.5 rpg), Dougherty has 181 in the last 23 contests (7.9 rpg).
*Dougherty -- who will play in his 100th game for Penn Tuesday night -- also has scored in double figures in eight of the last 10 games (14.3 ppg in that stretch); in the two games he didn’t reach double digits, he scored nine at Brown (2/15) and eight against Yale (3/1).
*Hicks has led Penn or shared the lead in scoring in 10 of the last 15 games (17.3 ppg in that stretch); the only games in which he didn’t reach double figures in scoring during this stretch was January 31 at Dartmouth (4 points) and last Friday at Columbia (6 points).
*Nelson-Henry shot 25-of-32 from the field (78.1 percent) over a seven-game stretch, struggled a bit against Dartmouth and Brown (3-of-9, 33.3 percent), but has shot a combined 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) in the last three contests.
*Jackson-Cartwright has scored in double figures in six straight games (13.5 ppg in that stretch) and also dished out 31 assists (5.2 apg) in that span.
*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 has started 106 of the last 109 games he has played for Penn. Earlier this season, he came off the bench at Marist due to a thumb injury. The other times he played but did not start? Dec. 10, 2011 at UCLA, and March 8, 2011 against Princeton (Penn’s Senior Day of his freshman year).
Notemeal From Ivy Weekend 6 (at Columbia/Cornell)
*Senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright shot a combined 15-of-16 at the foul line this weekend (8-9 at Columbia, 7-7 at Cornell).
*In the win at Cornell, senior Dau Jok got the start, scored 21 points and knocked down six three-point shots (he also led Penn with seven rebounds); Jok entered the game with 27 points and five treys for the entire season.
*Also at Cornell, fellow senior Steve Rennard set a career best with six assists.
*Penn set a team low in the Jerome Allen coaching era with five assists at Columbia, and a season team low with 17 made field goals.
*Freshman Dylan Jones made his first collegiate start at Columbia and set a season/career high with two blocked shots.
*Sophomore Tony Hicks was ejected from the Columbia game, his second ejection this season (also 1/31 at Dartmouth); due to the nature of his ejection on Friday, Hicks was not allowed to play Saturday at Cornell.