Penn at Monmouth
Dec. 8, 2007 * 7 p.m.
Boylan Gym (West Long Branch, N.J.)
Radio: WPEN (950 AM) / PennAthletics.com - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
Penn Game Notes
Monmouth Game Notes
PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers conclude a brutal stretch of games with Saturday night’s contest; in particular, the last few weeks have played havoc on a young, inexperienced team. This weekend, Penn travels to North Jersey to face Monmouth, and hopefully gain some momentum heading into the schedule break for exams.
Penn is not entering the 2007-08 season quietly -- with a young, inexperienced roster, the Quakers played seven games in the month of November, and this is already their third in December. In all, tonight’s game marks the Quakers’ 10th in a 30-day span. However, consider this: following Saturday’s contest, the Quakers will play just eight games from now until February 1 (a span of 54 days).
Penn has had nine different players reach double figures in scoring in at least one game already this year, including four freshmen.
Penn has played three ranked teams in its last five games, with two of them at home -- then-#23 Virginia, at then-#21 Villanova, and current #1 North Carolina.
Senior Brian Grandieri, a second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, is the only Penn player to start all nine games this season; overall, head coach Glen Miller has started 10 different players.
Freshmen Tyler Bernardini, Jack Eggleston and Harrison Gaines have swept the Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors this season, as each of them has won it in the three weeks it has been given.
Bernardini has scored 47 points in the last two games, against Villanova (21) and North Carolina (26), a 23.5 ppg average. Beyond that, he has 100 points in the last six games (16.7 ppg) including five double-figure scoring games (in addition to the last two, also 18 against The Citadel, 13 vs. Virginia, 15 against Navy).
Bernardini went 4-of-6 on three-pointers last Saturday night at Villanova.
His classmate and roommate, Gaines, has dished out 30 assists in the last six games; he had 12 -- one shy of the Penn school record -- in the Quakers’ win over The Citadel on Nov. 20.
Eggleston has only two games in double figures; however, he scored at least seven points in the first seven games of this season (he was held to just two at Villanova, and two against UNC).
Sophomore Justin Reilly has scored 36 points in the last four games, and started each of the last three.
The Series With Monmouth
Despite their relative proximity, Penn and Monmouth have met just two other times. The first came on Jan. 18, 2003 when the Quakers rolled to a 98-54 victory at the Asbury Park (N.J.) Convention Center. The second came last season, and Penn again took the win, this time 80-66 at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
Penn is a perfect 11-0 against the teams that currently make up the Northeast Conference.
Fairleigh Dickinson ... 2-0
Monmouth ... 2-0
Quinnipiac ... 1-0
St. Francis (N.Y.) ... 1-0
St. Francis (Pa.) ... 5-0
Ivy League Honors
Bernardini earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors Monday morning. He was a bright light in Penn’s 87-61 loss at No. 21 Villanova, scoring 21 points to tie for game-high honors with Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds. In the game, Bernardini hit four three-pointers (on six attempts) and was 9-of-12 from the foul line; he also had four rebounds and two steals in the contest. In Penn’s loss at Lafayette, Bernardini scored seven points, added a board and two other steals. He is currently second on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg) and leads the Quakers with 10 steals and 12 three-point baskets.
So are we looking at the future of the Ivy League? Well, with Bernardini’s’ honor, Penn is now 3-for-3 in gaining the weekly rookie award -- and they all went to different players. Eggleston won the first award this season, for the week of Nov. 19, and Gaines took the award for the week of Nov. 26.
Tyler Bernardini (#3)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/3)
Jack Eggleston (#24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/19)
Harrison Gaines (#22)
Co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/26)
Settling on Starters
Penn head coach Glen Miller has started 10 different players through eight games this season, but seems to be settling on most of his starting five; against Villanova, for the sixth-straight game, four of the starters were senior Brian Grandieri and freshmen Tyler Bernardini, Jack Eggleston and Harrison Gaines. (the fifth starter throughout that stretch has alternated between sophomores Andreas Schreiber and Justin Reilly)
A Bad Break (Literally!)
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 UNC
For the first time in program history, Penn hosted the Associated Press’ top-ranked team at The Palestra. In fact, it marked just the third time the Quakers have even played the top-ranked team.
Freshman Tyler Bernardini hit a career high for the second-straight game, scoring 26 points. That marked the most points by a Penn freshman in a game since Jerome Allen dropped 31 on Cornell in the 1991-92 season finale (March 7, 1992).
Notes From Villanova
For the first time this season, Penn hit more three-point baskets (9) than its opponent (8).
Freshman Tyler Bernardini scored a career-high 21 points, hitting four three-pointers; he became the third Penn player this season to have a 20-point game.
Bernardini scored in double figures for the fourth time in the last five games.
Sophomore Justin Reilly scored in double figures for the second time in the last three games, with 12 points.
Notes From Lafayette
The loss snapped an eight-game win streak the Quakers had over the Leopards, dating back to Jan. 27, 1997.
Perhaps more impressively, Penn had won 23 in a row against Patriot League teams before this loss.
Senior Michael Kach not only led all scorers with 17 points; he also set a career high with five assists, and matched a career best with six rebounds.
Kach went a perfect 8-of-8 from the foul line.
Notes From Navy
Penn and Navy had six ties and eight lead changes; prior to this game, the Quakers had seen just one lead change through their first five games (when Howard overcame Penn midway through the first half).
It marked the first time this season Penn overcame a halftime deficit to win a game.
Penn took 42 foul shots, one day after taking 40 against Virginia.
Penn put four players in double figures for the third game in a row: Brian Grandieri (18), Bernardini (15), Harrison Gaines (12) and Reilly (10).
Notes From Virginia
Penn allowed 100 points to an opponent for just the second time in the Glen Miller era; the other time was also against an ACC school, when North Carolina dropped 102 on the Quakers last season.
The last time Penn allowed an opponent to score 100 points in The Palestra was Feb. 10, 1990, when Harvard beat the Quakers, 105-97.
The game pitted Miller against UVA head coach Dave Leitao; they were assistant coaches together under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun at UConn from 1986-87 to 1992-93.
Freshman Remy Cofield -- who did not score a point in Penn’s first four contests -- scored a game-high 20 points off the bench; it marked the most points by a Penn freshman since Mark Zoller scored 24 against Brown on Feb. 20, 2004. (that Brown team, of course, was coached by current Penn mentor Glen Miller)
Gaines had his first double-figure scoring game as a collegian, with 12 points.