Penn (12-18, 7-6) at Princeton (6-22, 3-10)
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 * 7 p.m.
Jadwin Gym (Princeton, N.J.)
Radio: WPEN (950 AM)
(Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
Penn Game Notes (PDF)
Princeton Game Notes (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers and the Tigers play their annual Ivy League finale with nothing at stake except pride and standing -- an unusual circumstance, given the history of success surrounding these programs.
For the first time in 20 years, a team other than Penn or Princeton won the Ivy League title -- Cornell will represent the Ancient Eight at the NCAA Tournament this year. Instead, the Quakers hope to secure third place by themselves with a win (they will tie Columbia and Yale for third with a loss), while the Tigers can finish sixth alone with a victory on their home court.
The Series Record
Tuesday’s meeting between Penn and Princeton is the 218th in men’s basketball; the Quakers lead the series, 120-97.
The Quakers defeated the Tigers earlier this season, 70-65, at The Palestra; Penn also swept the season series last year, defeating Princeton 48-35 at The Palestra and then 64-48 here at Princeton. Overall, Penn has won 11 of the last 13 matchups dating back over the last seven seasons.
Last year marked the first time in four years Penn and Princeton did not go to overtime in one of their two regular-season meetings; the last overtime meeting took place here two years ago, when the Tigers ended the season by pulling out a 60-59 decision over a Penn squad that had already clinched the Ivy championship.
A dominant rivalry? Cornell’s Ivy League title this season ended a 20-year run in which either Penn or Princeton took the Ancient Eight crown. Since 1989, the Quakers have earned the League’s NCAA Tournament bid 11 times and the Tigers nine. Prior to this season, only Yale managed to work its way into the mix during that 20-year stretch, tying both the Quakers and Tigers in a three-way tie in 2001 (Penn emerged from that scrum to gain the NCAA bid).
Perhaps more amazing, Penn or Princeton has been crowned champion 46 of the last 50 years of Ivy League competition in men’s basketball.
The Future Is Now!
A Penn player has captured the Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor eight times this season, out of 14 times it has been given. Tyler Bernardini has won it four times, while Jack Eggleston and Harrison Gaines have won it two times apiece.
Penn has had 11 different players reach double figures in scoring in at least one game already this year, including four freshmen.
Penn has started 14 different players this season, and used 15 different starting lineups through 30 games; senior Brian Grandieri is the only player to start all 30 games to date.
You want balance? Penn has had eight different players lead the team in scoring in a game at least once this year, and eight different players lead the Quakers in rebounding at least once.
Grandieri, a senior and second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, has scored in double figures in eight-straight games (16.0 ppg in that stretch) and 12 of the last 13 contests (14.4 ppg); in the only game he did not reach double figures during this stretch, he had nine the last time Penn played Princeton.
Freshman Tyler Bernardini has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games (14.0 ppg); the only time he didn’t reach double digits was March 1 at Brown, when he was shut out and took just two shots.
Bernardini had 40 points over the weekend against Cornell and Columbia (25, 15), while Grandieri scored 32 (21, 11).
Junior Kevin Egee had a career-high 16 points Saturday vs. Columbia, after scoring a combined nine in Penn’s three previous games.
Freshman Harrison Gaines is averaging 10.7 points and 3.8 assists in Penn’s last six games.
Breaking It Down...
So where is the scoring coming from in 2007-08? Here is a breakdown comparing the starters to the bench, and breaking the points down by class:
Total Points ... 2,036
Starters ... 1,376 (67.6 percent)
Bench ... 660 (32.4)
Freshmen ... 866 (42.5 percent)
Sophomores ... 325 (16.0)
Juniors ... 326 (16.0)
Seniors ... 519 (25.5)
Notes From Cornell/Columbia
Friday night’s loss to Cornell marked Penn’s first to the Big Red at The Palestra since the 1988-89 season.
Penn scored 92 points in the loss, its highest point total in a loss since a 105-97 loss to Harvard on Feb. 10, 1990.
The 186 combined points were fourth in Penn history in an Ivy League game, behind the 202 from that Harvard game; the 193 with Cornell on Feb. 25, 1972 (a 111-82 Penn win); and 187 scored with Dartmouth on Jan. 11, 1975 (a 108-79 Penn win).
Penn lost a game decided by two points or less for the first time in the Glen Miller coaching era against Cornell, but improved to 6-1 in such games the next night with a two-point victory against Columbia.
Penn won against Columbia despite shooting worse from the field than the Lions; it marked just the second time this season the Quakers won such a game.
Freshman Tyler Bernardini tied a high in the Miller coaching era with five three-point baskets against Cornell; last season, Darren Smith hit five treys against Harvard on Feb. 23, while Mark Zoller had five against Villanova on Dec. 2.
One night later, against Columbia, Kevin Egee scored a career-high 16 points and went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, matching a best in the Miller era set a few weeks ago by senior Brian Grandieri.
Grandieri scored 21 points, his seventh-straight game in double figures (and 11th time in the last 12 contests) and his sixth time reaching 20 points in a game this season.
Freshman Harrison Gaines matched his season/career high with 19 points against Cornell; the only other time he did it was also against the Big Red, on February 9.
Gaines also dished out six assists while committing just one turnover vs. Cornell; in two games against the Big Red this season, he had 13 assists and just the one turnover.
On Senior Night, Joe Gill made his first collegiate start.
Notes From at Yale/Brown
Penn’s 18-point halftime lead at Yale (39-21) was its largest this season.
In that first half, Penn shot 52.9 percent from the field (18-of-34), had 16 assists on its 18 baskets, and committed just two turnovers; the Quakers finished the game with 20 assists on 24 baskets, and committed just 10 turnovers.
All of Penn’s three-point baskets vs. the Bulldogs came from senior Grandieri, who was a perfect 4-of-4 on treys and set a career high with his four threes; he went 2-of-2 beyond the arc the next night at Brown, a 6-of-6 weekend on three-point shots.
Grandieri finished the Yale game with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double this season -- the other one came in the season opener against Drexel -- and fifth as a collegian; he also tied for game-high honors with six assists..
Eggleston led all scorers at Yale with a season-best 18 points; he went a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line, which was the best performance by a Penn player since Mark Zoller went 10-of-10 against Villanova on Dec. 2, 2006.
Junior Brennan Votel had eight points and five rebounds at Yale, and was rewarded by earning the start a night later at Brown; he became the 13th different player to start a game for Penn this season.
Freshman Dan Monckton led Penn with six rebounds, and scored five points; he became the eighth different player to lead the Quakers in rebounding in a game this season.
Download: 0708 Notes 31 (@Princeton).pdf