Penn (5-9) vs. La Salle (5-9)
Jan. 15, 2008 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Radio: WPEN (950 AM) / PennAthletics.com - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
Penn Game Notes (PDF)
La Salle Game Notes (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - After yet another lengthy break -- the third in the last month -- the Quakers jump back into action with the first of three-straight Philadelphia Big 5 games, hosting La Salle.
For the second year in a row, Penn will go uninterrupted through La Salle, Saint Joseph’s (Saturday) and Temple (Jan. 23). These games will be the Quakers’ last non-Ivy contests; believe it or not, Penn will not play an Ivy League game until February, the first time that has happened in the 51-year history of the League.
Penn has had 11 different players reach double figures in scoring in at least one game already this year, including four freshmen.
Penn has played three ranked teams this season -- 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 14 games this season; overall, head coach Glen Miller has started 11 different players.
Junior Cameron Lewis has scored 28 points (13 at Miami, 15 vs. NJIT) and grabbed 15 rebounds (6, 9) in the last two games; prior to that, he had 23 points and 29 boards for his entire collegiate career. Lewis also doubled his collegiate steal total with five against NJIT.
Another player who has hit his career high in scoring in consecutive games is freshman Conor Turley, who had eight points against the University of Miami and then nine against NJIT.
After missing both of Penn’s games in Florida due to injury, freshman Harrison Gaines came back against NJIT with eight assists in 24 minutes.
Junior Kevin Egee got his first start of 2007-08 against NJIT after being a revelation at the University of Miami, establishing new career bests in rebounds (7), assists (5) and steals (2) while playing 30 minutes. Egee became the 11th different player to start a game for Penn this season.
Penn has played the last three games without senior Michael Kach; he has been sidelined with an injury. However, he has returned to practice in the last week and is expected to play Tuesday night.
The Series With La Salle
Thursday’s meeting between Penn and La Salle is the 61st between these intracity rivals, with the Quakers holding a 38-22 advantage including wins in each of the last six meetings.
Last year, the Quakers and the Explorers engaged in a classic affair at the Gola Arena on the La Salle campus, with Penn pulling out a 93-92 victory. It was the highest-scoring one-point game in program history, and the game featured 15 lead changes and five ties in the final 11 minutes.
For the second year in a row, Penn is playing three Big 5 games in a row, something the Quakers had done just three other times in the first 50 years of the round-robin city series (1969-70, 1980-81, 2004-05).
Looking at the schedule even closer, this run marks just the third time Penn has played three Big 5 games within a 10-day span (and, again, the second season in a row). The other came in 1970, when the Quakers played Temple (Jan. 21), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 24) and La Salle (Jan. 27) within the span of a week. Penn won all three of those games.
Penn enters this week with an all-time record of 111-142 against the other Big 5 schools, including a loss to Villanova (87-61) earlier this season.
Penn is 106-122 all-time against teams the currently comprise the Atlantic 10. Following tonight’s game, the Quakers remain in A-10 action with Saint Joseph’s on Saturday and Temple next Wednesday.
Tyler Bernardini (#3)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/10)
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)
*NOTE: the Ivy Rookie of the Week honor has been given just one other time this season after Penn has played, on Jan. 7 (it was won by Princeton’s Kareem Maddox). The rookie honor awarded on Jan. 14 came after a week when Penn did not play, and no honor was given Dec. 17, also after a week when Penn did not play.
The Starter Situation
Penn head coach Glen Miller has been anything but settled on his starting lineup this year; to date, 11 different players have started at least one game, and Miller has gone with eight different starting lineups through 14 games.
The most recent change came in Saturday’s win over NJIT, when Miller replaced junior Aron Cohen in the lineup with classmate Kevin Egee. Prior to that, Cohen had started four games in a row at the point guard spot, after freshman Harrison Gaines had started seven in a row there.
The only Penn player to start all 14 games this season is senior Brian Grandieri. After him, freshman Tyler Bernardini has started each of the last 12 contests, and freshman Jack Eggleston has started 12 of 14 games.
Among the other players who are possible to get a starting nod tonight, Gaines and sophomore Justin Reilly have seven starts apiece; Cohen and sophomore Andreas Schreiber have five starts each; and junior Cameron Lewis has four starts (including each of the last two games).
Senior Michael Kach started the first two games this season, but none since; he also has missed the last three games to injury.
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 NJIT
Penn shot 51.0 percent from the field, the third time in the last five games the Quakers have made at least half of their field-goal attempts in a game.
After giving out just 15 assists combined in two games in Florida, the Penn players dished out 22 assists against the Highlanders.
Penn took 40 foul shots in the game, two shy of the season high set against Navy. By comparison, NJIT took just 16 free throws.
Senior Brian Grandieri finished with 22 points, just one shy of the career high he set last year vs. Saint Joseph’s and tied earlier this season against Drexel; it was Grandieri’s fourth time reaching 20 points this season.
In addition to setting new career marks for points (15) and rebounds (9) for the second game in a row, junior Cameron Lewis doubled his steal total for his collegiate career with five.
Another player who hit a career mark in points for the second game in a row was freshman Conor Turley, with nine.
After missing both of Penn’s games in Florida, freshman Harrison Gaines returned to the lineup and led Penn with eight assists.
Notes From Miami (Fla.)
Penn finished the season with an 0-3 record against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), having already lost to Virginia and North Carolina before this.
Lewis got his first start since November 11, and answered Coach Miller’s call with career bests in points (13), rebounds (6) and blocked shots (4) in 23 minutes.
Junior Kevin Egee established new career highs with seven rebounds (a team high), five assists and 30 minutes; he also tied a personal best with two steals.
Turley (8 points) and fellow freshman Dan Monckton (6) also set season highs in the scoring column.
For the second-straight game, Penn played without Gaines, senior Michael Kach, and junior Brennan Votel.
Download: 0708 Notes 15 (La Salle).pdf