PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania has announced its 2016-17 men’s basketball schedule. In the second season under John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball Steve Donahue, the Quakers will play a 27-game schedule that includes 13 games at The Palestra.
Season tickets for the 2016-17 men’s basketball home season will go on sale starting Tuesday, Aug. 23. Click here for season-ticket information.
“I am very pleased with how our schedule came together for this season,” said Donahue. “The fact that our home opener will be against the reigning NCAA champion is fantastic! The Palestra will be a special place on November 29. In terms of the rest of the schedule, playing in the 15th-toughest league in the country -- according to the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) -- combined with a challenging non-conference schedule will provide us with tremendous opportunities to make some noise this season.
“We look forward to playing road games in Florida against two perennially talented high-major programs in Miami and Central Florida. However, I think my favorite part about the schedule is that, for the first time in seven years, we will play Princeton at home while classes are in session. It is vitally important to me that our students get to experience one of the best rivalries in all of college sports. This change in the schedule was due in large part to the first-ever Ivy League Tournament, which will determine our league’s NCAA bid. There are so many things to be excited about with our team and our schedule! I can’t wait to see Quaker Nation in The Palestra this season.”
A Few Notes…
*In addition to home games with all seven Ivy League institutions and Big 5 foes Villanova and Saint Joseph’s, the Quakers will also host non-conference opponents Lafayette, George Mason, Drexel and Fairfield.
*After starting the season with four road games, Penn’s home opener will come against the defending NCAA Tournament champion Wildcats on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
*Penn will make two trips to Florida this season. The first comes early, as the Quakers meet the University of Miami on Saturday, Nov. 19. The second takes place on Monday, Dec. 12, when Penn faces the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando.
*Penn will play six games against teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament: Villanova (champion), Miami (Sweet 16), Yale (2nd round), Saint Joseph’s (2nd round), and Temple (1st round).
*FROM PROTÉGÉ TO MENTOR: When Penn plays Temple (Dec. 3), head coach Steve Donahue will match wits against his former boss at Penn, Fran Dunphy; when the Quakers play Lafayette (Dec. 7), he will match up against Fran O’Hanlon, with whom he shared bench space when they were assistants at Penn; when Penn plays Drexel (Dec. 28), Donahue will face his own former assistant in Zach Spiker, as the Dragons’ new head coach was Donahue’s assistant at Cornell.
*In addition to the 27-game regular season, Penn hopes to advance to the inaugural Ivy League Men’s Basketball Tournament which will take place March 10-11 at The Palestra. The top four regular-season finishers will advance to that event, with semifinals taking place on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday. While the team that finishes the regular season with the best conference record will be declared the official Ivy League champion, the winner of the Ivy League Tournament will receive the Ancient Eight’s bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Non-Conference Schedule…
AT ROBERT MORRIS (Friday, Nov. 11): For the second-straight year, Penn opens against the Colonials who are coached by a former Penn player, Andrew Toole … Penn blew a 17-point second-half lead in last year’s game, but after giving up that lead came back to win 76-75 … The only other meeting between these programs also came at The Palestra, as part of the 2011 Philly Hoop Group Classic, and was won by Penn, 66-60 … 2015-16 record: 10-22, 8-10 NEC.
AT UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI (Saturday, Nov. 19): This will be the ninth all-time meeting between the Quakers and the Hurricanes, with Miami leading the series 5-3 … All nine games have been played in Miami … The most recent meeting took place on January 2, 2008 in Miami, an 88-62 win for the ‘Canes … Prior to that, the last matchup occurred during the 1988-89 season … Penn’s last win over the Hurricanes came on Dec. 28, 1953 (67-54) … Miami finished third in the ACC last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Villanova … 2015-16 record: 27-8, 13-5 ACC.
AT CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE (Tuesday, Nov. 22): This will be the second meeting between the Quakers and the Blue Devils in men’s basketball … Penn won last year’s matchup, 77-61, as Sam Jones went for 23 points … Penn enters this season 11-4 all-time against Northeast Conference schools … 2015-16 record: 4-25, 3-15 NEC.
AT NAVY (Saturday, Nov. 26): This marks the third-straight year Penn has met the Midshipmen … The Quakers beat Navy two years ago in Annapolis, 57-46, but fell last year at The Palestra, 65-59 … Penn has played Navy 83 times, more than any other non-Ivy, non-Big 5 team … The Quakers lead the series 58-25 … 2015-16 record: 19-14, 9-9 Patriot League.
VILLANOVA (Tuesday, Nov. 29): Penn’s home opener comes against the defending NCAA Tournament champion … Villanova has won 13 in a row in the series, including a 77-57 decision last year at the Pavilion out on the Main Line … 2015-16 record: 35-5, 16-2 Big East.
AT TEMPLE (Saturday, Dec. 3): The Owls have dominated this Big 5 series recently, winning nine in a row and 12 of the last 13 meetings … Last year, Temple beat Penn at The Palestra, 77-73, after the Quakers erased a 13-point second-half lead … This game pits Coach Donahue against one of his mentors, Fran Dunphy, as Donahue was an assistant under Dunphy at Penn from 1989-2000 … Temple won the American Athletic Conference regular-season title last year, before falling to Iowa in the NCAA Tournament first round, 72-70 … 2015-16 record: 21-12, 14-4 American.
LAFAYETTE (Wednesday, Dec. 7): One of its most regular non-conference matchups, Penn has met the Leopards every year but two since the 1985-86 season … Penn leads the series, 40-9, but the Leopards have won four in a row, five of the last seven, and six of the last nine meetings … Lafayette won last year’s game in Easton, 92-86 … The game pits Coach Donahue against Fran O’Hanlon; the two were assistant coaches together at Penn during the 1990s … 2015-16 record: 6-24, 3-15 Patriot League.
GEORGE MASON (Saturday, Dec. 10): Just the third meeting between these programs … This will be George Mason’s first trip to The Palestra … Last year, the Patriots rolled to a 63-44 win over the Quakers in Fairfax, Va. … The first meeting took place three years ago, also in Fairfax, and was won by GMU 80-77 … George Mason’s coaching staff includes assistant coach Ted Rawlings, a Penn grad … 2015-16 record: 11-21, 5-13 Atlantic 10.
AT UCF (Monday, Dec. 12): This will be just the second meeting between these programs … The first meeting took place on Dec. 29, 2008 as part of the UCF Holiday Classic in Orlando; the Knights won the game, 81-64 … 2015-16 record: 12-18, 6-12 American.
DREXEL (Wednesday, Dec. 28): These neighborhood rivals meet for the second-straight year after a two-year hiatus … The Dragons won last year’s game in overtime, 53-52, the second time in 25 meetings these teams needed OT to settle matters … Penn leads the overall series 15-10, but Drexel has won the last six matchups … By date, this is the latest game between Penn and Drexel since the 2000-01 season … The “road trip” from Drexel’s gym to Penn’s gym (0.6 miles) is the shortest in the country at the NCAA Division I level … Drexel’s new head coach, Zach Spiker, was Coach Donahue’s top assistant at Cornell and helped lead the Big Red to three-straight Ivy League titles from 2008-10 … 2015-16 record: 6-25, 3-15 CAA.
FAIRFIELD (Friday, Dec. 30): This will be just the second meeting between the Quakers and the Stags in men’s basketball … The first took place on Nov. 13, 2012 as part of the NIT Season Tipoff and was played in Charlottesville, Va.; Fairfield won the game, 62-53 … Penn enters the season with a 24-17 overall record against programs in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) … Fairfield’s head coach is Sydney Johnson, who played and later was head coach at Princeton before making the move to Connecticut … 2015-16 record: 19-14, 12-8 MAAC.
SAINT JOSEPH’S (Saturday, Jan. 21): The Quakers and Hawks have split the last six games in this series including SJU’s 75-60 victory last season … Penn has played Saint Joseph’s 84 times, more than any other non-Ivy League program (SJU leads the series, 49-35) … Every game in this series has been played in The Palestra dating back to the 1996-97 season … SJU advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year, losing to top-seeded Oregon in the second round, 69-64 … 2015-16 record: 28-8, 13-5 Atlantic 10.
AT LA SALLE (Wednesday, Jan. 25): The Big 5 finale takes place at Tom Gola Arena this year … Penn leads the series, 39-30, and ended an eight-game losing streak to the Explorers last year with an 80-64 victory at The Palestra … By calendar date, this is the latest meeting between these programs since the 2005-06 season … 2015-16 record: 9-22, 4-14 Atlantic 10.
The Princeton Rivalry…
Saturday, Jan. 7 at Princeton; Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Penn
*These will be the 235th and 236th meetings between the Ivy League’s flagship programs. Penn has not played any other opponent more than Princeton. This will mark the first time Penn and Princeton have not ended the regular season with each other since the 1991-92 season.
The Ivy League Weekends…
January 13/14 – Yale, Brown at The Palestra
*Penn has swept this home weekend 37 times overall, most recently in 2012; last year the Quakers split the weekend, beating the Bears but falling to the eventual Ivy champion Bulldogs. This will mark Penn’s earliest Ivy League weekend (by calendar dates) since the 2006-07 season.
February 3/4 – at Harvard, at Dartmouth
*Penn has been swept on this trip each of the last three years, after splitting it in 2013 and sweeping it in 2012.
February 10/11 – Columbia, Cornell at The Palestra
*Penn has swept this weekend 42 times overall, including three of the last five years. Last year, the Quakers split the weekend, beating the Big Red but losing to the Lions.
February 17/18 – at Brown, at Yale
*Penn has been swept on this trip three-straight years; prior to that, the Quakers had swept or split the trip nine straight seasons.
February 24/25 – at Cornell, at Columbia
*Penn has split this trip each of the last four years, the win coming against the Big Red each time. This will mark Coach Donahue’s second trip to Ithaca since coaching there from 2000-01 to 2009-10.
March 3/4 – Dartmouth, Harvard at The Palestra
*Penn has swept this home weekend 44 times overall, including last year. Prior to that, the Quakers had split the weekend six straight years.