PHILADELPHIA - Coming off an historic win to open the 2012-13 season, the University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team heads to Virginia for its first two games in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Quakers will play Delaware in Monday's first round, with Fairfield or the host Cavaliers on tap for Tuesday.
GAME 2 - PENN (1-0) vs. DELAWARE (0-1)
NIT Season Tip-Off First Round
John Paul Jones Arena (Charlottesville, Va.)
Monday, Nov. 12 * 9:30 p.m.
Radio: WNTP 990 AM (Jon Laaser, Stan Pawlak)
Penn Game Notes (PDF) / Delaware Game Notes (PDF)
*The Quakers and the Blue Hens have met 22 times in history, with Penn holding an 18-4 lead in the series.
*These teams have met each of the last three seasons, with Penn winning last year at The Palestra (69-60) and two years ago in Newark (78-68) and Delaware taking the decision three years ago in Philadelphia (97-94 in double overtime).
*Penn and Delaware will also meet in Newark, Del. on Friday, Dec. 21. The last time Penn played a non-Ivy, non-Philadelphia Big 5 team twice in one season? Try St. John's, way back in 1980-81, once in the Red Storm's Lapchick Tournament on the St. John's campus and the second time as part of the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.
*Penn is 39-14 all-time against programs that currently compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. (18-4 vs. Delaware, 15-8 vs. Drexel, 1-1 vs. Hofstra, 0-1 vs. JMU, 1-0 vs. Northeastern, 2-0 vs. Towson, 2-0 vs. William & Mary)
NIT Season Tip-Off
Monday's game represents the first game for these teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The 16-team, NCAA-exempt event guarantees the Quakers four games, but there are some things to note about Penn's participation...
*On Tuesday night, Penn will face either Fairfield or host Virginia. However, instead of the usual "lose on Monday, play early Tuesday/win Monday, play late Tuesday" scenario, Penn's Tuesday game will be slotted based on its opponent. If Penn's second-round opponent ends up being Fairfield (meaning both the Quakers and the Stags won OR lost on Monday), the game will be at 4:30. If Penn plays Virginia (meaning the Quakers and Cavaliers won OR lost on Monday), that game will be at 7 p.m.
*TV/Radio info for Tuesday: If Penn plays Fairfield, the game will not be televised and the Quakers' radio call will only be available at PennAthletics.com. If Penn plays Virginia, the game will be televised on ESPN3.com and air locally on radio at WXPN (88.5 FM).
*If Penn loses at all in Virginia, the Quakers will be slotted into another four-team regional that will be played Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20 at a site to be determined (most likely by Wednesday).
*However, if Penn WINS both of its games in Virginia, then it's on to New York City's Madison Square Garden. The NIT semifinals will take place Wednesday, Nov. 21, with the consolation and final on Friday, Nov. 23.
Friday night's win was historic, in that Penn overcame a 22-point deficit (42-20) to defeat UMBC 80-75. According to NCAA records, which keeps track of such comebacks, it was the largest comeback by a Penn team in history. Click here to see the NCAA list of greatest comebacks.
Penn will play seven games before the calendar turns to December. Interestingly, the only full month in which the Quakers will play more than seven games happens to be the shortest month of the year, February -- they will play eight. Penn will play four games in December, seven in January, and five in March.
Countdown to 1,700
Penn's win on Friday was its 1,698th win as a program; the Quakers need two more to become the 10th NCAA Division I program to reach 1,700 victories.
*Talk about youth -- Penn enters the 2012-13 season with no seniors. In an informal survey of the 345 other NCAA Division I programs, only Georgetown, Navy and Wright State came back as programs that started 2012-13 without any seniors on the roster.
Youth Movement, Part Deux
*Our colleagues at Navy came up with another way to determine a team's lack of experience, using a ratio that measured the total number of combined seasons playing Division I basketball against the number of players on the roster. Penn came in at 1.00 (15 combined years of experience/15 players on the roster). Only 13 teams had a lower ratio. (FYI, Navy was third, at 0.76, behind Cal State Northridge's 0.65 and Dartmouth's 0.73.)
Quaker Notemeal From UMBC
*The game matched the earliest start, by date, in Penn men's basketball history. The only other time the Quakers played on Nov. 9 was in 2007, when they opened with Drexel here at The Palestra. The Dragons won that game in overtime, 67-59.
*Penn won its season opener for the third straight year; head coach Jerome Allen is 3-0 in season openers (he took over after seven games in 2009-10).
*All 12 players who dressed for Penn played in the first half, ten different players scored, and nine different players had assists.
*Penn scored 80 points, something the Quakers did just three times all of last season (they won all three of those games, and are now 6-2 in such contests under Coach Allen).
*Penn had 12 steals in the game, tying a high in the Allen coaching era (most recently set last Feb. 11 against Dartmouth).
*Sophomore Patrick Lucas-Perry scored 15 points in 17 minutes; last year, he had four points and played 28 minutes for the entire season; in fact, Lucas-Perry had more points after just 2:24 of action (5) than he had all of last season.
*Lucas-Perry also had five steals, the most by a Penn player since Zack Rosen had five at Cornell last January 14.
*In his collegiate debut, freshman Tony Hicks scored 13 points, going 4-of-5 from the field and hitting all three of his three-point attempts; he also had four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 24 minutes.
*Sophomore Fran Dougherty nearly had his first double-double, with nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds (previous high eight).
*Sophomore Camryn Crocker scored four points and set a career best with three assists.
*Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry and sophomore Greg Louis made their collegiate debuts; Nelson-Henry had two points and two rebounds in 11 minutes, while Louis had a point, an assist and a block in four minutes.