Mele Kalikimaka! Penn Heads to Hawaii For Two Games

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2005-06 Penn Men's Basketball Player Profiles

PHILADELPHIA - If you are a Penn basketball player or staff member, you have to think that Santa put you on his “nice” list this Christmas. How else to explain this week, when the Quakers head to Hawaii for a pair of games?

GAME 8 - Penn (3-4) vs. Hawaii (6-3)
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005
7 p.m. HAST (Midnight EST)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Stan Sheriff Center (capacity 10,300)
GAME 9 - Penn vs. BYU-Hawaii (2-4)
Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005
5 p.m. HAST (10 p.m. EST)
Laie, Hawaii
Cannon Activities Center (capacity 4,500)
Radio/Internet: (Brian Seltzer, PBP; Vince Curran, analyst)

Penn ends a 16-day break in style, visiting the Aloha State to play the University of Hawaii Thursday evening, then BYU-Hawaii in a New Year’s Eve tilt, before taking a red-eye back to Philadelphia. These are the first of four straight road games the Quakers are playing, after opening the season with six of their first seven contests at The Palestra.

Hawaii (6-3) is certainly an unknown quantity to many basketball fans on the East Coast, but the Rainbow Warriors put an immediate stamp on the 2005-06 college basketball season when they knocked off Michigan State. That said, what can island fans expect from Penn, which has become the dominant program in the Ivy League in recent years with nine titles and eight NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 13 years?

Well, for one thing, Penn does not avoid playing tough teams. In fact, Hawaii’s three losses are three more than the Quakers’ last two opponents have combined (No. 1 Duke is 11-0; No. 3 Villanova is 8-0), and their other losses came to teams from the Big 12 (Colorado) and the Atlantic 10 (Temple).

Junior guard Ibrahim Jaaber, a second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, leads the conference in scoring with 18.9 points per game and is on pace to shatter the school’s all-time steals record. He has several backcourt mates who can also step up, usually from the trio of Eric Osmundson, David Whitehurst and Brian Grandieri. Two junior forwards with honorable mention All-Ivy credentials bolster the frontcourt, Steve Danley and Mark Zoller. And senior Friderich Ebede is coming off his best performance as a collegian, with a double-double against Villanova (13 points, 10 rebounds).

The Fun Facts

• Penn is making just its second trip ever to the Aloha State; the Quakers participated in the 1974 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, sandwiching a win over Florida (100-88) between losses to Ohio State (106-94) and Tulsa (81-75).

• Penn is making its third trip outside the contiguous U.S. to play regular-season games; in addition to the Rainbow Classic, a Fran Dunphy-led Quakers squad participated in the 1997 San Juan (Puerto Rico) Shootout. In that event, Penn lost to Dayton (71-60), defeated Washington State (69-67) and lost to Evansville (90-66).

The Series with Hawaii and BYU-Hawaii

• Penn will be playing both Hawaii and BYU-Hawaii for the first time in men’s basketball during this trip to the islands.

• This is the first time Penn has played a non-tournament regular-season game outside of the contiguous United States.

• Penn has never faced off against a team that currently plays in the Western Athletic Conference, which is what Hawaii plays in.

• Prior to this trip, Penn’s most recent game took place 16 days ago. They have been off for final exams and Christmas.

• Penn’s two most recent games came against No. 3 Villanova (Dec. 13) and No. 1 Duke (Dec. 7); the Quakers fell to the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium by 13 (72-59) and lost at home to the Wildcats by seven (62-55).

Download: MBK Notes 08-09 (Hawaii trip).pdf