Men's Basketball Closes Home Season With Yale, Brown

MEN'S BASKETBALL GAMES 28/29

PENN vs. YALE
Friday, March 2 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra
PENN vs. BROWN
Saturday, March 3 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra

Radio/Internet: WXPN (88.5 FM) / PennAthletics.com (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV: Friday - None; Saturday - YES (Chris Shearn, Greg Herenda)

Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - The scenario for Penn against Yale Friday is simple: win, and the Quakers are in. In the NCAA Tournament, that is. Lose, and the Quakers are still in first place but with some work to do before they can secure that postseason berth.

To use a baseball term, Penn’s magic number entering the weekend is two -- any combination of two Penn wins or Yale losses clinches the Quakers’ third-straight Ivy title and the League’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, those two numbers can be taken care of Friday night if the Quakers down the Bulldogs.

And if Yale wins? That’s where it gets interesting. Penn -- which has won seven straight, eight of nine, and 13 of its last 15 -- will still be one game up on the Bulldogs in the loss column, but Brown comes into The Palestra Saturday and you figure the Bears would like nothing better than to spoil their former coach’s chances at an Ivy title. It should also be noted that Brown has gone 4-1 in the second swing of Ivy play.

Ivy Domination
Penn began the 2003-04 Ivy League season with a pair of losses at Yale and Brown. Since then, the Quakers have gone 45-6 in league play (24-2 at home, 21-4 on the road). Beyond that, all but two of the six losses could have gone either way. They were: 78-74 to Brown (2/20/04); 76-70 in OT to Princeton (3/9/04); 78-60 at Yale (2/19/05); 59-57 at Columbia (2/17/06); 60-59 in OT at Princeton (3/7/06); 77-68 at Yale (2/3/07).

Ivy Domination, Palestra Style
Penn has won 19 straight Ivy League home games, as well as 22 of its last 23 and 36 of its last 38 conference home games. In fact, the Quakers are a staggering 100-9 at The Palestra against the Ancient Eight since losing their Ivy League home opener in 1991-92. During that time, the Quakers are 10-5 against Princeton and 90-4 against the rest of the league.

Surveying the Opponents
• Friday’s meeting between Penn and Yale represents the 206th; the Quakers hold a 138-67 lead in the series.

• Earlier this season, Yale defeated Penn in New Haven, 77-68; it remains the Quakers’ only Ivy loss to date.

• Last year, Penn swept the season series from Yale, winning 74-52 in Philadelphia and 57-55 in New Haven; the second win, coupled with a Princeton loss at Brown, gave the Quakers the Ivy League title.

• Saturday’s meeting between Penn and Brown represents the 112th; the Quakers hold a 93-18 lead in the series and have won five straight.

• Earlier this season, Penn handed Brown a 77-61 loss in Providence.

• Last year, Penn defeated Brown two times, 68-51 in Philadelphia and 74-68 in overtime here in Providence.

• Penn has swept this homestand each of the last two years, eight of the last nine seasons, and 13 of the last 15 years. Brown’s last win in The Palestra was Feb. 20, 2004 (at the time, Brown was coached by Glen Miller); Yale’s was Feb. 15, 1997.

Tough Schedule!
• Penn began the Ivy League season with four road games, but is now in a span of playing seven of nine Ivy games at home.

Scheduling Tough!
• The seven non-Ivy teams to beat Penn this year -- UTEP, Syracuse, Villanova, Fordham, Seton Hall, No.8 North Carolina and Saint Joseph’s -- entered the weekend with a combined record of 125-74 (.628 win percentage). All but one of the teams are over .500.

Veteran Leadership
• You think three of the four seniors being honored this weekend have some experience? Ibrahim Jaaber has started all 85 games played by Penn the last three seasons, while Steve Danley has started 83 of the 84 games he has played in that span (he came off the bench for Senior Night in 2004-05, and missed a game to injury in 2005-06). Mark Zoller, meanwhile, has 90 career starts.

Streaking...
Some of the numbers that stand out during Penn’s seven-game winning streak heading into the weekend...

• Penn’s average margin of victory has been 13.7 points per game.

• Penn has gotten good scoring balance, placing four players in double figures in five of the last seven games.

• Penn has shot 50.7 percent from the field (185 of 365), while opponents have shot 40.4 percent (152 of 376); five of Penn’s seven opponents during this stretch have shot 40 percent or worse for the game.

• Penn has taken 162 foul shots, while opponents have taken 110 (a discrepancy of 7.4 per game); if you discount the Feb. 23 Harvard game, when the Crimson took 23 and the Quakers took just 11, the disparity in the other six games is 10.7 free throws per game.

• Penn has a 1.28 assist/turnover ratio, while opponents have a 0.61 ratio;

• Penn has a +4.43 turnover margin on its opponents (Penn 90 turnovers, opponents 121); the Quakers have had more turnovers than its opponent once during the streak, at home against Harvard (Penn 17, Harvard 16).

• Ibrahim Jaaber has 27 steals, an average of nearly four per game.

The Note of Note
• Jaaber has 1,451 career points, good for eighth place on Penn’s all-time scoring list; he enters the weekend needing 45 points to pass Stan Pawlak (1964-66) for seventh place.

• Zoller enters the weekend with 1,355 points, good for 11th place on Penn’s all-time list. He needs 27 points to pass Bob Morse (1970-72) and crack the Top 10. (see page 9 for leaders of all-time scoring list)

• if it strikes you as unusual to have two players in the all-time Top 10 in scoring who have played together for four years, that’s because it is -- at least at Penn. Jaaber and Zoller are the only members of Penn’s Top 11 scorers who played together for all four years; the next closest connection is Ugonna Onyekwe (No. 2) and Michael Jordan (No. 4), who were teammates for one season (Jordan was a senior when Onyekwe was a freshman).

Download: 0607 Notes 28-29 (Y-B).pdf