Men's Basketball Heads to Tobacco Road

Penn at #2 North Carolina

Wednesday, Jan. 3*8 p.m.
Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) * Chapel Hill, N.C.
WXPN (88.5 FM)/ (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Len Elmore, Doris Burke)
Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - It has been a slow month for the Quakers, who played on December 21 against Illinois-Chicago and then December 23 at Seton Hall as their only games since losing to Fordham on December 9.

Penn probably could have used the break. Several players were nicked up more than usual, something that reared itself up twice in December when they simply did not seem to have the legs to recover for a second game in three days. That does not bode well as Penn moves quickly into Ivy League play -- where games are played on consecutive nights, Friday and Saturday -- less than two weeks from now.

Pennarrives in Chapel Hill with a new head coach in Glen Miller, who inherited the most successful Ivy League program in recent years from Fran Dunphy (whose Temple teamis down the road at Duke Tuesday night,coincidentally). The Quakers have won the last two Ivy titles, four of the last five, five since 2000, and 10 of the last 14. In addition, they have reached the 20-win plateau the last two years and six of the last eight seasons.

Return to Tobacco Road: While this is Penn’s first trip to Chapel Hill, the trip to Raleigh/Durham Airport felt familiar to a number of the Quaker players -- just last year, Penn made a similar trip, but made the turn out of the airport toward Durham for a meeting with then-No. 1 Duke (the Blue Devils won, 72-59).

A Homecoming of Sorts: Wednesday’s game represents a homecoming for Penn senior forward Adam Franklin, who attended UNC for two years before transferring to Penn. He played on UNC’s junior varsity his two years in Chapel Hill.

Going For 100: Penn’s John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Glen Miller, is gunning for his 100th win as a Division I head coach tonight; after compiling a 93-99 record in seven seasons at Brown, he is 6-5 at Penn.

Surveying the Opponent
• Penn and North Carolina are meeting for the sixth time in history; the Tar Heels lead the series, 3-2.
*3/12/1987 - UNC 113, Penn 82 (Charlotte, N.C.)
*3/11/1979 - Penn 72, UNC 71 (Raleigh, N.C.)
*3/18/1972 - UNC 73, Penn 59 (Morgantown, W.Va.)
12/31/1951 - Penn 70, UNC 62 (Raleigh, N.C.)
1/24/1948 - UNC 52, Penn 46 (Philadelphia)
*NCAA Tournament game

• Though it is the sixth meeting between the Quakers and the Heels, this is the first regularly-scheduled game since 1948; since that game, three meetings have come in the NCAA Tournament, and the 1951 meeting came on the final day of the three-day Dixie Classic in Raleigh, N.C.

• Penn is making its first visit to Chapel Hill; four of the five previous meetings have occured on a neutral court, after the first meeting which took place in 1948 at The Palestra in Philadelphia. And The Palestra is where these teams will meet again next year, when UNC returns to play the Quakers.

• Penn actually boasts a winning record all-time against the schools that currently make up the Atlantic Coast Conference, at 36-32. The last time the Quakers played an ACC team was just last year and just down the road, when they lost at then-No. 1 Duke, 72-59.
Boston College... 2-1
Clemson... 1-0
Duke... 6-8
Georgia Tech... 4-2
Maryland... 12-2
Miami (Fla.)... 3-4
North Carolina... 2-3
N.C. State... 0-2
Virginia... 5-7
Wake Forest... 1-3

• The Tar Heels were a consensus pick among the preseason college basketball publications to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title. In fact, two publications -- Athlon and The Sporting News -- picked UNC to win the NCAA championship this year.

Quaker Notemeal
• The five teams who have beaten Penn this year -- UTEP, Syracuse, Villanova, Fordham and Seton Hall -- entered the new yearwith a combined record of 43-20 (.683).

• Ibrahim Jaaber has started all 69 games played by Penn the last two-plus years, while Steve Danley has started 67 of the 68 games he has played in that span (he sat for Senior Night in 2004-05, and missed a game to injury in 2005-06). Mark Zoller, meanwhile, has 74 career starts.

• Jaaber is vying to become the third player in Penn history and fifth overall to win Ivy League Player of the Year two times. The other Penn players? Jerome Allen (1993, 1994) and Ugonna Onyekwe (2002, 2003). The non-Penn players to do it? Princeton’s Craig Robinson (1982, 1983) and Princeton’s Kit Mueller (1990, 1991).

When Penn Has Won (6)...
• Penn has averaged 83.3 points per game and had a margin of victory of 19.8.

• Penn has shot 51.7 percent from the field (172-of-333), while opponents have shot 39.6 percent from the field (133-of-336).

• Penn has shot 44.3 percent from three-point land (47-of-106), while opponents have shot 35.9 percent from beyond the arc (42-of-117).

• Penn has outrebounded its opponents, 212-209.

• Penn has had 129 assists (21.5 per game) on 172 baskets, a .750 ratio.

• Penn has averaged 14.5 turnovers per game, had a 1.48 assist/turnover ratio (129/87), and compiled a +4.67 turnover margin on its opponents.

• Penn has had 68 steals, an average of 11.3 per game.

When Penn Has Lost (5)...
• Penn has averaged 72.0 points per game -- skewed greatly by its 89-point performance against Villanova and its 85 points at Seton Hall -- and had a margin of defeat of 11.4.

• Penn has shot 47.1 percent from the field (130-of-276), while opponents have shot 49.0 percent from the field (140-of-286).

• Penn has shot 30.7 percent from three-point land (31-of-101), while opponents have shot 40.0 percent from beyond the arc (46-of-115).

• Penn has been outrebounded by its opponents, 170-162.

• Penn has had 80 assists (16.0 per game) on 130 baskets, a .615 ratio.

• Penn has averaged 18.8 turnovers per game, had a 0.85 assist/turnover ratio (80/94), and suffered a -2.60 turnover margin against its opponents.

• Penn has had 36 steals, an average of 7.2 per game.

Penn’s Personnel...
• Ibrahim Jaaber entered the season with a career high of eight assists; he has already bested that number twice (10 vs. Monmouth on 11/28; nine vs. UIC on 12/21), matched it twice (11/12 vs. St. Francis; 11/18 vs. Florida Gulf Coast), and had seven assists against Villanova.

• Jaaber already has 60 assists this season; last year, he had 64 for the entire season.

• Jaaber has 32 steals in the last eight games (4.0 spg); his first steal against UIC on December 21 made him the Ivy League’s all-time leader in that category. With 250, Jaaber has surpassed Harvard graduate Andrew Gellert’s total of 242.

• Jaaber has 218 steals in Penn’s last 69 games, dating back to the start of 2004-05 season. That is an average of 3.16 per game.

• Jaaber has 1,199 career points, good for 20th on Penn’s all-time scoring list; he needs 22 to pass Dick Censits (1956-58) for 19th place, and 28 to pass Dave Wohl (1969-71) for 18th place.

• Jaaber has shot 50 percent or better from the field in eight of Penn’s 11 games, better than 60 percent in six games, and 70 percent or better twice.

• Mark Zoller entered the season with a career high of 26 points; he has already surpassed that number twice (29 points vs. Monmouth on 11/28; 33 points vs. Villanova on 12/2) and matched it once (11/18 vs. Florida Gulf Coast).

• Zoller has hit double figures in scoring every game this year, the only Penn player to do so; in fact, he has a 17-game double-figure scoring streak dating back to last season.

• Despite averaging nearly 13 shots from the field per game, Zoller has shot 50 percent or better eight times in 11 games this season; ironically, his worst shooting game was the only game in which he took less than 10 shots, a 2-of-7 performance at Syracuse.

• Zoller entered the season with five games of 20 or more points in his collegiate career; he has seven such games already this season.

• Zoller missed the first nine three-pointers he took this year, stretching into Penn’s third game; he has shot 51.3 percent (19-of-37) from beyond the arc since then.

• Zoller became the 34th player in Penn history to score 1,000 points; he did so with his ninth point against Villanova on December 2. He enters tonight’s game with 1,098 points.

• Brian Grandieri entered the season with a career high of 17 points; he has already surpassed that three times in 2006-07 (19 points against Florida Gulf Coast on 11/18, Monmouth on 11/28 and UIC on 12/21).

• Grandieri hit for double figures in six-straight games from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7, his best such streak as a collegian.

• Grandieri has been consistently filling the box score this season—in Penn’s six wins he has averaged 16.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals. In the loss to Villanova, he had 14 points.

• Steve Danley hit for double figures in eight-straight games, averaging 13.1 ppg, before being held to eight points at Seton Hall; the streak was the best of his collegiate career.

• Sophomore swing player Tommy McMahon seems to be healing from the back injury that has hampered him at Penn. Against UIC, he got the start and had eight points, three rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes. Prior to missing the Navy game (12/7) due to the back, he had scored nine points in each of the last two games and averaged 30.6 minutes per game in the last three contests.

• McMahon had a career-high four rebounds against Villanova (matched it at Seton Hall), a career-high four assists against Monmouth, and a career-high 33 minutes vs. Drexel.

• Junior guard Michael Kach—who sat out the last two games due to injury—saw his first significant action of 2006-07 at Navy, getting the starting nod in McMahon’s place. Kach responded with 12 points (going 3-of-3 from the field), three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 33 minutes. On Penn’s first possession of that game, he swished a three-pointer.

• Prior to Navy, Kach had seen his first action of 2006-07 in the Monmouth and Villanova games, seeing five minutes in both contests. Kach left the program after playing in six games as a freshman in 2004-05, and did not play last year.

• Sophomore guard Kevin Egee made his first collegiate start against Illinois-Chicago on December 21, and rewarded Coach Miller’s faith with nine points, an assist and a steal in 22 minutes. He followed that up with five points in 15 minutes at Seton Hall two days later.

Quaker Notemeal From Seton Hall...
• Penn was down by 16 points in the second half, but drew back within four points on a pair of occasions before losing by nine.

• Penn lost despite scoring 85 points, the second time this season the Quakers lost a game when scoring that many points; the last time that happened to a Penn team was 1989-90.

• Ibrahim Jaaber scored a career-high 32 points in the loss, including 28 in the second half; it was the third 30-point game of his career. Both times a Penn player has scored more than 30 points this season, the Quakers have lost.

• Jaaber also had six rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.

• Mark Zoller had his sixth double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

• Steve Danley had a streak of eight-straight double-figure scoring games snapped; he finished with eight. It was Danley’s longest such streak of his collegiate career.

Download: Penn Player Profiles.pdf