Men's Basketball Gets Ready for Hoop Group Classic

Penn vs. Virginia
Philly Hoop Group Classic
Nov. 23, 2007 * 9 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Radio:WPEN 950 AM / - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran

Penn Game Notes

With the first win under their belts, the Quakers look to this weekend’s Philly Hoop Group Classic Championship Round. First up? The University of Virginia, undefeated in the early season, and defending ACC regular-season co-champion, on Friday night in the second game of the night session (Seton Hall and Navy tip off the session at 7 p.m.).

How much have times changed in college basketball? The last time Penn and Virginia hooked up on the hardwood, they opened the season with each other and the date was Dec. 1, 1992.

This year, the Quakers also happen to play on December 1 -- they will be at Villanova. The difference from just 15 years ago? That game will be Penn’s eighth of the season.

The Series With Virginia
• Penn and Virginia are meeting for the 13th time in men’s basketball; the Cavaliers have won the last five meetings, all since 1980, to take a 7-5 lead in the series.

• The most recent meeting took place Dec. 1, 1992 right here at The Palestra, with the Cavaliers taking a 74-68 decision. Penn’s last win in this series was Nov. 29, 1978, again here at The Palestra, an 80-78 decision. (that Penn team, of course, would go on to the Final Four, the last Ivy team to do so)

• Penn is 36-33 all-time against schools that currently play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC); this is the first of three games the Quakers will play against ACC schools in 2007-08. Just 11 days from now, Penn will host its second ACC team when current AP No. 1 North Carolina visits (UNC and Virginia tied for the ACC regular-season title last year). On January 2, the Quakers travel to the Sunshine State to meet Miami (Fla.).
Boston College ... 2-1
Miami (Fla.) ... 3-4
Clemson ... 1-0
North Carolina ... 2-4
Duke ... 6-8
N.C. State ... 0-2
Georgia Tech ... 4-2
Virginia ... 5-7
Maryland ... 12-2
Wake Forest 1-3

I Know You!
• A lot of attention will be given to UVA’s Sean Singletary this weekend, as the All-America candidate -- a Philly native --makes his return to the area. However, Penn fans will also have a chance to welcome back a former Quaker: UVA senior Ryan Pettinella began his career at Penn (in a freshman class with Steve Danley, Ibrahim Jaaber and Mark Zoller), but transferred after his freshman year.

• You think Jim Calhoun will be paying attention? Penn’s Glen Miller and Virginia’s Dave Leitao, the head coaches for this game, were assistants together under UConn’s Hall of Fame coach from 1986-87 to 1992-93.

Penn Participating in First Philly Hoop Group Classic
A new Thanksgiving tradition is being born this weekend, with the return of an NCAA basketball tournament to the historic Palestra in Philadelphia. The inaugural Philly Hoop Group Classic championship round will feature eight teams from the East Coast, including Drexel University, Howard University, Loyola College, Navy, Robert Morris University, Seton Hall University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Virginia.

The 75-year-old Palestra has hosted more college basketball games, more visiting teams, and more spectators of college basketball than any other arena in the world. Watching a collegiate basketball game at the famous arena is an experience matched only by attending celebrated facilities such as Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field, or Madison Square Garden.

As an exempt tournament, each team is playing four games, but they will only count as two toward each team’s NCAA-imposed limit of 29. The first two preliminary games were played at campus sites, with the final Championship Round games being held this weekend at The Palestra.

Tournament Schedule
Friday, Nov. 23 (The Palestra)
Game 1 - Howard vs. Loyola (Md.), noon
Game 2- Robert Morris vs. Drexel, 2 p.m.
Game 3 - Navy vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m.
Game 4 - Penn vs. Virginia, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24 (The Palestra)
Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, noon
Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m.
Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 7 p.m.
Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m.

2007-08 Honors
Jack Eggleston (#24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/19)

Settling on Starters
• Penn head coach Glen Miller has already started 10 different players through four games this season; the only Quaker to start all four contests is senior Brian Grandieri.

A Bad Break (Literally!)
• Never mind the results on the floor; the news is not good for the Quakers off the floor, either. Sophomore Darren Smith, one of just two returning starters for this year’s team, was lost for the season after he fractured his patella (right knee) in the first half of the season opener against Drexel.

• Smith’s injury is actually the second this season to knock the Quakers for a loop; prior to the season, junior Tommy McMahon had surgery which is forcing him to miss the 2007-08 season. He has been plagued by back problems during his first two seasons at Penn, but was expected to be a major contributor.

Notes From The Citadel
• Penn reached the 90-point mark for the fourth time in the Glen Miller era; the Quakers are 4-0 in those games.

• Penn shot season-high percentages from the field (.579), beyond the arc (.474) and at the free-throw line (.818).

• Penn had 30 assists on its 33 baskets, its best assist total in a game since the Quakers had 31 against Florida Gulf Coast almost exactly a year ago (11/18).

• Penn never trailed in the game, scoring the first eight points and never looking back. In four games this year, the Quakers have had just one lead change.

• Penn had four players score in double figures: Brian Grandieri (20), Michael Kach (19), Tyler Bernardini (18) and Jack Eggleston (13).

• Kach’s point total was a career high -- previous high 14 last year at Harvard -- while for Bernardini and Eggleston, it was their first collegiate double-figure scoring games.

• Freshman Harrison Gaines finished with 12 assists, one shy of the school record and just the ninth time a Penn player has reached that mark in program history. He had just two turnovers in the contest, a 6:1 ratio.

• Penn started three freshmen (Bernardini, Eggleston, Gaines) and a sophomore (Andreas Schreiber) in addition to Grandieri.

Notes From Howard
• Penn scored the game’s first nine points, taking its first lead of the season in the process.

• Penn started two freshmen (Tyler Bernardini, Harrison Gaines) and two sophomores (Justin Reilly, Andreas Schreiber) in addition to senior Brian Grandieri.

• Penn lost for the first time in the Glen Miller era when making more free throws than its opponent (Penn 23, Howard 22); last year, the Quakers went 16-0 in such games.

• The game represented a homecoming for third-year Howard head coach Gil Jackson, who was an assistant coach at Penn for 16 years prior to his appointment with the Bison.

• The game marked the first time Penn has ever played a school from the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC).

Notes From Loyola (Md.)
• For the second-straight game, Penn lost despite shooting more free throws than its opponent (34-30); last year, the Quakers went 16-1 in such games.

• Penn got 24 points from its starters and 44 from its bench; last year, the Quakers never had the bench players outscore the starters. (in fact, the starters accounted for 81.4 of Penn’s points all of last season)

• Sophomores Andreas Schreiber (13) and Justin Reilly (10) each had their first double-figure scoring games as collegians.

• Senior Joe Gill recorded his first collegiate field goal, and he did it in emphatic fashion -- after gaining a steal at midcourt, he drove in, dunked the ball, and was fouled on the play (he made the free throw). Gill ended the game with four points, more than he had combined in his first three seasons (3).

• All 15 players who dressed for Penn played in the game, with 12 of them seeing time in the first half. In the second half, junior Kevin Egee -- one of the three who did not see time in the opening stanza -- played 13 minutes.

Notes From Drexel
• Penn opened the season with an overtime game for just the third time in program history; the others came at the start of the 1988-89 season (a 93-91 double-OT loss to Navy) and the 1928-29 season (a 26-24 win over Saint Joseph’s).

• This game went to overtime despite the fact that, in regulation, Penn never held a lead and was tied with the Dragons only twice -- at 0-0 to start the game, and at 52-52 on a bucket in the final second of regulation.

• Penn not only used 13 players in the game, they used 13 in the first half -- and all of them played at least four minutes in that stanza.

• Penn grabbed 49 rebounds, the most by a Quaker team since Feb. 18, 2004 (51 at Brown).

• It marked the first time a Penn team under Glen Miller lost a game when holding its opponent below 45-percent shooting from the field (Drexel shot 43.4 percent); last year, the Quakers went 16-0 in such games.

• Senior Brian Grandieri hit foul trouble early (two in the first 2:01), but came back with 21 points and eight rebounds in the second half; he finished the contest with a game-high 23 points and 10 boards for his fourth career double-double. The 23 points matched a career high for Grandieri.

• Junior Aron Cohen played a career-high 31 minutes and drained four three-pointers for 12 points; that doubled his combined point total from his freshman and sophomore seasons (6).

• In his first collegiate game, freshman Jack Eggleston scored seven points and had eight boards in 33 minutes; he also hit the shot at the end of regulation that tied things up and sent the game into overtime.

• Junior Cameron Lewis got his first career start, and in 19 minutes filled the box score with four points, two rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals.

Download: 0708 Notes 5 (Virginia-HG).pdf