Men's Basketball, Drexel Will Tip Off Tuesday at The Palestra

MEN'S BASKETBALL GAME 5
Penn vs. Drexel
Tuesday, Nov. 21 * 8 p.m.
The Palestra (cap. 8,722)
Radio/Internet:
WXPN (88.5 FM)/PennAthletics.com
(Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV: CN8
(Scott Graham, Rob Kennedy)
Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - It is not often that basketball teams meeting on November 21 can talk of a common opponent, but that is the case as Penn and Drexel meet tonight at The Palestra.

Last Wednesday, the Dragons routed Florida Gulf Coast, 73-37. The Eagles are an NCAA Division II team this year, but making the transition to becoming a Division I program (and member of the Atlantic Sun Conference) next year.

Three days later, Penn had a little bit of difficulty shaking off Florida Gulf Coast, but ultimately the Quakers pulled away and won their home opener, 97-74.

With that in mind, the Quakers and the Dragons get together to renew their neighborhood rivalry for the 11th straight season. Penn has dominated the series recently, with three-straight wins and a 7-3 record against Drexel the last 10 years.

Penn enters tonight’s game having won its last two games by a combined 53 points, having shot 63-of-107 (.589) from the field -- including 19-of-40 (.475) from three-point land -- and dishing out 53 assists against 24 turnovers (a 2.21 assist /turnover ratio).

There were plenty of positives coming out of the FGCU game Saturday night. Mark Zoller continued his dominant play, shooting 9-of-11 from the field to tie a career high with 26 points. He also set a career best with six assists and had two steals in 29 minutes of action. On Monday, Zoller was named Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Week.

Brian Grandieri filled the box score as only he can -- 19 points (on 7-of-11 shooting from the field), nine assists, six steals and six rebounds. Ibrahim Jaaber had 15 points, also shot 7-of-11 from the field, and dished out a career-best eight assists for the second-straight game.

Finally, there was freshman Darren Smith. All he did in his first game at The Palestra wearing a Penn jersey was go for 17 points, knock down four three-pointers in the first half, and come up with two steals.

Penn shot 63.2 percent from the field Saturday night, capped by an astounding 75-percent performance in the second half when the Quakers dropped 58 points on the Eagles. Perhaps even more impressive, Penn had 31 assists on its 36 baskets. At the other end, the Quakers had 13 steals, giving them 27 in the last two games.

Surveying the Opponent
• This marks the 19th meeting between Penn and Drexel in men’s basketball. The Quakers lead the all-time series, 14-4, with the most recent win coming last year on Nov. 26, 68-60. In fact, Penn has won three in a row in the series.

• These neighboring rivals are playing each other for the 11th year in a row.

• Penn is 33-7 all-time against the teams that currently make up the Colonial Athletic Association.
Delaware...16-3
Drexel...14-4
Northeastern...1-0
William & Mary...2-0

Quaker Notemeal
• When Penn opened the 2006-07 season with three games in three days, it marked a first in the Quakers’ history. In fact, only three times in history have they even played two games in two days to start the season!

• In addition, the Quakers were playing three games in three days for just the sixth time since 1955-56, and the first time since the 2001-02 season. The others, and where they took place...
Dec. 27-29, 1955 (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Dec. 27-29, 1956 (Richmond, Va.)
Dec. 28-30, 1984 (Portland, Ore.)
Nov. 28-30, 1997 (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Nov. 22-24, 2001 (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Nov. 10-12, 2006 (Syracuse, N.Y.)

• If you feel like this season snuck up on you quicker than most years, you are correct. Last weekend’s BCA Invitational marked the earliest Penn has started a season; the previous earliest start was Nov. 16 (in 1994-95 and 2004-05).

• Penn has won its home opener each of the last three years and five of the last six years; the Quakers won their first two home games last year, and their first four home games in 2004-05.

Download: 0607 Notes 05 (Drexel).pdf