Men's Basketball Closes Regular Season at Princeton

MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME 30

PENN at PRINCETON
Tuesday, March6 * 7 p.m.
Jadwin Gym * Princeton, N.J.

Radio/Internet: WXPN (88.5 FM) / PennAthletics.com (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV:ESPNU (Jon Sciambi, John Celestand)

Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - For the third year in a row, Penn arrives at Jadwin Gym with the Ivy League title secured, and the NCAA Tournament ticket punched. Tonight, the Quakers close out the regular season by renewing their rivalry with Princeton.

It was a raucous weekend at The Palestra, especially Friday when the Quakers jumped out to a blistering start and kept pouring it on against Yale. Penn scored 19 straight points, turning a 5-4 game into a 24-4 rout -- the Bulldogs never got closer than 13 before halftime, and another 13-2 run early in the second half pretty much ended things.

These days, the debate rages as to who is Penn’s best candidate for Ivy League Player of the Year. Is it Mark Zoller? Is it Ibrahim Jaaber? A perfect example of how close the race is came this weekend. In Friday night’s Ivy-clinching win, Zoller put up a statline for the ages: 22 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, four blocked shots and four steals. One night later, with Zoller continually hampered by foul trouble, Jaaber seemed to singlehandedly will Penn to a three-point win over Brown with 16 second-half points (22 overall) and four second-half assists.

The Notes of Note
• Penn has won the Ivy League title three years in a row, four times in the last five years, and 11 times in 15 seasons.

• Penn has won nine games in a row, 10 of its last 11, and 15 of its last 17.

• Penn has recorded 20 wins three years in a row, five times in the last six years, and the seven times in nine seasons.

• Penn began the 2003-04 Ivy League season with a pair of losses at Yale and Brown (coincidentally, those were the first Ivy games played by outgoing seniors Steve Danley, Ibrahim Jaaber and Mark Zoller). Since then, the Quakers have gone 47-6 in league play (26-2 at home, 21-4 on the road).

Surveying the Opponent
• Tuesday night’s meeting between Penn and Princeton is the 216th in men’s basketball; the Quakers lead the series, 118-97.

• Earlier this season, Penn was able to break a 29-29 tie and pull away for a 48-35 win at The Palestra. Mark Zoller was the only player on either team to score in double figures; he had 17 points and eight rebounds. Brian Grandieri scored nine points for the Quakers, while Ibrahim Jaaber and Steve Danley scored eight apiece.

• These teams split last season, with Penn winning 60-41 at The Palestra and Princeton closing the season with a 60-59 overtime win here at Jadwin Gym.

• Penn and Princeton have gone to overtime in one of their two meetings each of the last three years—last year at Jadwin, and the two years before that at The Palestra.

• A classic rivalry? A good gauge can be used by the 17-year Fran Dunphy coaching era at Penn. During his tenure, five games went to overtime. But you may be surprised to know that just nine of the other 30 games were decided by single digits, and the average margin of victory during the Dunphy era was 11.6 points.

• A dominant rivalry? That is a better gauge. Since 1989, Penn or Princeton has won at least a share of every Ivy title, with the Quakers earning the League’s NCAA Tournament bid 10 times and Princeotn earning it nine times. Only Yale managed to work its way into the mix during that time, tying both the Quakers and Tigers in a three-way tie in 2001 (Penn emerged with the NCAA bid).

• Perhaps more amazing, Penn or Princeton has now been crowned champion 46 of the last 49 years of Ivy League competition in men’s basketball.

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 week with a combined record of 128-80 (.615 win percentage). All but two of the teams are over .500.

Veteran Leadership
• Ibrahim Jaaber has started all 87 games played by Penn the last three seasons, while Steve Danley has started 85 of the 86 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 92 career starts.

Ingredients For Success...
How did Penn clinch the Ivy title and become the first team to punch its NCAA ticket? Some compelling reasons...

• In conference-only games, Penn leads the Ivy League in the following...
Scoring Offense (72.9 ppg)
Scoring Margin (+13.7)
Field-Goal Percentage (.500)
Field-Goal Percentage Defense (.400)
3-Point FG Percentage Defense (.294)
Rebounding Offense (33.5)
Assists Per Game (16.62)
Steals Per Game (8.31)
Assist/Turnover Ratio (1.33)

• Penn has had more assists than turnovers in all but two of its Ivy League games.

• Penn has had seven or more steals in 10 of its 13 Ivy games, and had 11 or more in five of its Ivy home games.

Streaking...
Some of the numbers that stand out during Penn’s nine-game winning streak...

• Penn’s average margin of victory has been 14.1 points per game.

• Penn has gotten good scoring balance, placing four players in double figures in six of the nine games.

• Penn has shot 51.2 percent from the field (242 of 473), while opponents have shot 39.8 percent (192 of 482); seven of Penn’s nine opponents during this stretch have shot 40 percent or worse for the game.

• Penn has taken 208 foul shots, while opponents have taken 150 (a discrepancy of 6.5 per game).

• Penn has a 1.25 assist/turnover ratio (152/122), while opponents have a 0.63 ratio (94/150).

• Penn has a +3.11 turnover margin on its opponents (Penn 122 turnovers, opponents 150).

Download: 0607 Notes 30 (@Princeton).pdf